Steps Required To Become A Security Guard in New York

Becoming a licensed security guard in the state of New York involves obtaining the proper pre-assignment training, submitting appropriate applications and registrations and annual refresher training. These are all requirements for security service jobs in schools, universities, commercial, residential and office buildings, to name a few. By definition, a security guard employed in New York State is described as an individual who is hired to principally perform one of more of the following duties:

  • Protect people and / or property from unlawful activities including theft or harm
  • Deter and/or report unlawful or unauthorized activity
  • Respond to alarms triggered by security systems
  • Surveillance, monitoring and street patrol services

Those who wish to become a security guard will need to meet all the requirements specific to the State in which they plan to obtain their security guard license and follow the proper steps to ensure a smooth and stress-free process. Here we cover the required steps to obtain a security guard license in the State of New York.

Security Guard Registration - Basic Requirements

In order to be able to begin the process of registering as a security guard in New York State, interested individuals will need to meet a few basic requirements. These include:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have no prior convictions of any serious criminal activity
  • Have passed the required New York State Department of Justice background check
  • Be a Citizen or a Resident Alien of the United States

If the potential candidate meets all the above requirements and has passed the background check, the next step in the process is locating an approved security guard training school and registering for the 8-hour pre-assignment security guard training course. It is important that the security guard training school that is chosen has been approved to provide security training courses required by NYS General Business Law Article 7-A, section 89-n. Individuals can access the list of approved schools in New York directly from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) website, or by clicking here.

Complete an 8-hour Pre-Assignment Training Course

Individuals must complete an 8-hour pre-assignment training course as the first step in the process of obtaining a security guard registration card. For credit of successful completion of this course, individuals must pass an examination at the conclusion of the course.

The 8-hour pre-assignment course covers the following topics:

  • The Roles of a Security Guard
  • Legal Powers and Limitations
  • Emergency response
  • Communication
  • Public Relations
  • Access Control
  • Ethics
  • Proper Conduct

Each training facility may vary in how the course is offered and completed. The training school may either offer the entire course in one day or break it up over a few days. The course will supply the individuals with all the pertinent information and processes for taking the next step in obtaining their security guard license.

Proof of course completion is needed for application to the NYS Department of State for a Security Guard Registration Card. The security guard school is required to issue the individual a DCJS approved certificate of completion.

Security Guard Application Process

Once an individual has completed the necessary 8-hour pre-assignment training course, the next step would be to begin the security guard registration application process. This includes completing the application, submitting a copy of the 8-hour pre-assignment certificate, paying an initial application fee and obtaining and including with the application a receipt or proof of electronic fingerprint completion. A copy of a NYS DMV issued driver's license or non-drive ID must be included in the submission. The application may also need to include any additional information or supporting documentation requested in response to specific questions in the application form.

Further Training after Obtaining Employment

A 16-hour on the job training course must be completed no more than ninety days after obtaining employment as a security guard. This course is mandatory and it presents the students with more in depth information of their duties as an employed security officer. This course adds to the topics covered in the 8-hour pre-assignment course and includes training on Terrorism and Incident Command Systems

Additionally, licensed security guards are required to complete an annual 8-hour in-service training course. This course must be completed no more than twelve calendar months after the completion of the 16-hour on the job training course for security guards. It must also be completed once every year thereafter. The course will cover many of the same topics from previous courses but will include important updates, changes or enhanced information that can be vital for security guards to properly perform their job functions.

Learn more about the current state of the security guard industry.

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Requirements For Armed Security Guards

Armed Security Guards must also hold a valid NYS pistol license as well as complete a 47-hour firearms training course. This must be completed before applying for a special armed guard registration card. Prior to registration for this course, individuals must first revive their valid pistol license pursuant to NY Penal Law Section 400.00 as well as a NYS security guard registration card ( Once a valid pistol license is obtained, individuals can register for the 47-hour firearms training course. The course will consist of 40-hours focused on range instructions as well as qualifications. The other seven hours are focused on the NYS Penal Law Article 35, which will require the passing of a written exam.

An 8-hour firearms training course for armed guards must be completed no more than 12 months after the completion of the 47-hour firearms training course for armed guards. This course must also be taken once a year every after the completion of the 47-hour firearms training course for armed guards. Individuals are required to be in possession of a valid pistol license as well has have a valid NYS security guard registration card. The 8-hour course will consist of 5 hours focused on range instructions and qualification and the remaining 3 hours spent focusing on the NYS Penal Law Article 35. This course will allow individuals to stay up to date with the requirements and serve as a refresher on the use of force on the job. The course concludes with a final written exam.

How To Become a NYS Security Guard Infographic

New York Security Guard Certification Steps

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