Are you looking for a fulfilling job that involves helping and protecting others? If so, becoming a security guard in California is a great career path to pursue. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 19% growth in the overall number of security guard job openings in 2020. Security guards earn a yearly wage of approximately $19,640 at the 10th percentile, to $48,370 at the 90th percentile. This translates to an hourly wage of $9.44 to $23.26. The security guard job market offers a wide array of opportunities for those who are willing to follow the requirements set by the state of California.
Whether you plan to become a personal protection officer or obtain a concealed weapons permit, your training and certifications will be fundamental in preparing you to become a safe and effective security guard. The state of California requires the following training and certification for acquiring a security guard license, also known as a “guard card.” The following requirements are needed to put your plan into action and become a certified security guard in California:
- In order to obtain a security guard license, applicants must be at least 18 years of age.
- Applicants can apply for licensure at training facilities or private patrol operators certified by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS). You can find more information on BSIS approved training locations here.
- Applicants must pass a detailed criminal history background check performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and BSIS.
- First time applicants must complete an 8-hour “Power to Arrest” training course and pass an examination at the end of the course with a 100% score in accordance with the Manual’s Administering Instructions. The company providing the training will issue a Certificate of Completion to the applicant.
- Applicants must submit their fingerprints using Live Scan (which sends their fingerprints to the Department of Justice for verification), along with their application and Automated Transaction Identifier (ATI) number.
- Once an applicant passes the background check, they can start working as a security guard immediately upon receiving an interim license.
- Approved applicants must complete another 16 hours of security training from a state certified company within 30 days of receiving the interim license.
- Within the first six months of receiving the interim license, they must complete an additional 16 hours of training in security officer skills.
- If the 32 hours of training are not completed in the given time frames, the security license can be revoked.
Carrying a firearm is part of the job to protect. In order to obtain a firearm permit, applicants need to take these additional steps of training and certification:
- Applicants must be U.S. citizens or have permanent resident (green card) status.
- Applicants must pass a 14-hour BSIS certified Exposed Firearm Permit course on the carrying and use of firearms, and pass the exams at the end of the course.
- Applicant must submit a firearm permit application and send it to the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.
- Security guards must have their valid security guard registration and a valid photo I.D. while on duty.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are approximately 667,940 individuals working in Investigation and Security Services in the United States. Will you be the next hire? Following the steps above will lead you to an enriching and fulfilling career. Just think, you’re one step closer to becoming a certified security guard in the state of California, licensed to protect and serve.