Security Guard Training: Frequently Asked Questions

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security guard training faqs

Being a security guard can be an interesting job. Security officers are trusted to protect assets of all kinds, in every type of circumstances. You have armed guards and unarmed guards in jobs ranging from construction site surveillance to dignitary protection, protecting diamonds, data, and everything in between. 

Wondering How to Become a Security Officer?

The world of security is far-reaching, but how does one become part of it? 

If you’re interested in becoming a security guard, we’ve put together a short list of frequently asked questions. These will help you get a general scope of what may be required. 

If you’re not looking for a career in security services, maybe you’re looking to hire a security guard? Or maybe you’re just curious about what it takes to be one. Either way, read on. You might be surprised.

Security Guard Training FAQs

Do you need a degree to be a security guard?

No, typically only a high school diploma is required to become a security guard. Although a degree or courses in criminal justice or experience in law enforcement may give your resume a boost. Additional expertise may also help you find a job faster and/or get a higher pay rate.

What are the requirements?

The requirements differ from state to state. Many states require entry-level applicants for an unarmed security guard position be at least 18 years of age and have a clean background check. 

How long is security guard training? 

It all depends on what state you want to work in. The hours of required training before being hired can vary from as little to 8 up to 72. Some states don’t require training before you can be hired as a security guard. 

New York, for instance, requires 71 hours of training and lists their requirements on the state-run department of criminal justice website

Virginia, which requires 18 hours, has a similar website listing training and eligibility requirements, which include:

  • Age 18+
  • Successful training completion
  • United States citizenship

In Maryland, security guard certification for employment with a licensed agency is provided by Maryland State Police and requires no training for unarmed guards. 

Security guard agencies in the State of Maryland are required to have met prior training requirements in military, law enforcement, or other government services. Armed security guards in Maryland are required to complete a firearm training course.

How much does security guard job training cost?

Just like the required training varies by state, the cost varies by state and by individual security companies.  

Who regulates security guard training?

Private security guard education is not controlled by the federal government. States control their own security guard standards. Some states have no mandated training protocol and leave training up to private security companies. As of 2017, 12 states have no requirements that new security hires must meet, and 14 have none for armed guards

This works out well for security guard companies. It helps to keep training costs and enables them to set their own standards to remain competitive in a tight market.

Do you need firearms training to be a security guard?

Yes, previous firearms training will be required if you are applying to be an armed guard. Armed guards are, at minimum, required to meet their state’s gun licensing laws. Many security companies require additional firearms and weapons training. 

Do security guards need continuing education?

It depends. Some states require continued education for certification renewal. Some states require renewal but no additional education. Some states do not require either. 

Check-in with your state or your local agency’s guidelines.

What does it take to be a good security guard?

While the formal requirements for becoming a security guard are different by state, some things are just fundamental. These aren’t qualifications – these are the qualities you need to be truly good at the job:

  • Strong moral character
  • The ability to think quickly and rationally
  • Fast response times
  • Immaculate attention to detail
  • Good written and verbal skills
  • The ability to communicate under pressure
  • Mental discipline (no daydreaming)
  • A personable nature

With the above qualities, plus the required training, you can be an effective asset to any well-respected security company.

Ensuring Quality Security Guard Training

Choose Prior Police, Law Enforcement, or Military Experience Guards

If you’re shopping for security, but aren’t sure about your state’s security guard requirements or certification procedures, don’t worry. Even if your state doesn’t have mandated security guard training, licensure, or certification, there’s a way to trust you’ll get expert security. 


By choosing highly-rated professional security services. 

You can choose to hire a security agency that only employs security officers with prior police or military experience. This way, you can trust no matter what state you’re in, your guards are equipped with mandated safety and firearms training.

Hire The Best In the Business

Don’t hesitate to look up the security company owners or security guard training instructors in your area. Chances are, if the owner of the company is well-trained and experienced, he or she will ensure their agents are, too. The company’s reputation is at stake.

Choose SMART Security Pros for Security Guard Services and Training Services

SMART Security Pros hires only off duty, retired, and prior police to fill armed security positions. Founder Shawn Scarlata worked in law enforcement in the D.C. metro area for over 20 years. He has long been considered a local leader in security and training. His experience drives his commitment to integrity and intensive training for all SMART Security Pros agents.

We provide customized guard company security training, servicing companies across the D.C. area. Our program is based on law enforcement training and is guaranteed to exceed the industry standard. 

If you need security guard training, armed or unarmed security, or any other security-related service, call us at (301)-232-3808 to speak with a professional. Tell us what you’re looking for, and we’ll schedule a consultation and a fast, free quote. 

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