Becoming a security guard requires, in many instances, that the guard hold a valid security guard license. There is a number of training programs that lead to licensing, many of them available online. All of the courses require that the student be exposed to the rules and regulations pertaining to community statutes and permitting in regards to firearms. Additionally, the state may require the candidate to also posses a valid first aid/CPR license.

The Security Guard License

There are two types of licenses given to security professionals, which are the Class 'D' and the Class 'G'. Class D licenses are for private security officers, while Class G is for those who wish to work in the public sectors. A candidate can apply and take both tests for both sets of licensing, allowing the candidate to become more employable.

Most security guard certification programs cover basic mathematics, reading comprehension, procedurals, technical classroom instruction, management, labor, community relations, health and safety, and possibly environmental and biological weapon factors. Most courses are short, and can last anywhere from a week to three or more months (depending on the state and the training desired). Most require 40+ hours in the classroom, then a final examination.

Class D Licenses

This type of security guard licensing program is generally inexpensive and is geared for those who will be protecting high profile individuals, client's property, or deterring criminal activity for someone, without utilizing a firearm. There are online programs as well as many community colleges that offer this type of licensing. It is usually quite affordable and is geared to work with the non-traditional student.

Class G Licenses

This type of licensing includes the use of a firearm as well as advanced training in dealing with potentially hostile situations or people. Security guards holding this license are able to deal with illegal activity, identification of security issues, prepare reports, and assist local law enforcement, as well as be able to use advanced and various techniques involved in deterrence. This type of course and licensing is also available online or via local community colleges.

Most licenses are issued by a governmental agency within the state. It is not necessary to hold a license to be a body guard, however, for any other type of protection detail the license must be valid and in good standing. The licenses are generally good for a period of 1 year (check specific states for exact renewal times). If need can be shown, then the trainee may complete an initial 24 hours of training, obtain a temporary license, then return within a few months to complete the training. Each of these situations is usually considered on a case by case basis.

On a yearly basis, thousands of individuals apply for their security guard licenses. This is partly due to the transient nature of the industry, and partly attributable to the increased demand for trained security guards. As the economy suffers, the amount of crime and criminal intent seem to also rise, creating a need for security personnel. For those willing to put a small investment of time and money into the program, security guard certification can lead to a rewarding career.