Have you ever thought that you are competent to get employed as a security guard? You know that your chances of getting hired tend to be great however you decided not to go job searching yet? If one thing is halting you from becoming a security guard, then it is most likely the license application process, which may be puzzling if you don’t know where to find the proper info. It shouldn’t be complicated though, as in most states the application process is pretty easy once you know the right place to start.
In most of the United States, people who are working as a security guard need to carry a valid security license, in certain states known as guard card. But before you can apply for such a license, you need to know the policies and requirements that are being applied in the state you wish to be working in. That’s right, every one of the United States has a different application procedure and different conditions for the licensing of security guards. Nevertheless, there are a few standard regulations that we can outline for you to give you an impression.
First of all, virtually all state licensing offices require anyone who is applying for a security guard license to follow training. Although the expected duration and subjects covered in the training course can differ per state, virtually all licensing departments require applicants to follow an 8-hour classroom training program in which they will be prepared for their upcoming job as a security guard. The course covers subjects such as how to properly observe a location, recognize suspicious activities and write correct reports.
An additional popular requirement is to record and submit fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They will perform a criminal history background check to guarantee your state’s licensing office that you have not committed any felonies in the past. Before you can have your fingerprints recorded though, you need to check which fingerprinting formats are currently being recognised by your state. Currently there are 2 commonly used methods for fingerprint scanning. The first involves having your fingerprints taken on the traditional ink fingerprinting cards and sending them to the FBI via mail. Using the second method, which makes the process go considerably faster, fingerprints are being scanned and sent to the FBI electronically. Given it can take up to 4 weeks for the criminal record results to arrive, it’s advised to get your fingerprints registered as soon as you know which formats are being recognized by the state you live in. Please note that people who are currently performing as a police officer may be exempt from training and fingerprinting demands, depending on which state they are applying in.
The third stage consists of telling our state’s licensing department that we have followed the mandatory training program and had our fingerprints transmitted, so at this point we want to request our security guard license or guard card. In most states this must be done by filling out an application form and sending it to your state’s licensing department. If you have completed the required training and have a clean criminal record, there should be no problem to get accepted for a security guard license.
Please be aware that anyone who wants to obtain a security guard license may also be required to possess supplemental documents. For instance, in the state of Illinois all security officers are required to have a legitimate Permanent Employee Registration Card, often referred to as Illinois PERC card, to get approved for a security guard license. In order to obtain an Illinois PERC card, candidates must record and send their fingerprints to the FBI in a digital format, so the Illinois Division of Professional Regulation is able to take a look at their criminal background.
You should also be aware that your state’s licensing bureau may require applicants for a security guard license to have additional required certificates. To give you an example, anyone working as a security guard in the state of Illinois needs to obtain their Permanent Employee Registraton Card or Illinois PERC card before they can start working as a security officer. An Illinois PERC card is a document which informs companies that their employees have not been convicted for a felony in the last 10 years. Before being able to get accepted for a PERC, every applicant is required to submit fingerprints to the FBI in order to analyze their criminal records. Currently, the state of Illinois is the only state that uses the PERC.
Those are the general requirements and application process for getting licensed as a security guard in the state you reside in. In most cases it doesn’t get any more complicated than this. However, if you are seriously interested in pursuing a career in the security guard field, we recommend you to find out which bureau or department is responsible for licensing in your state and contact them to discover what the rules and requirements are for security guard licensing