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Completing an approved security guard course and obtaining a Florida license prepares you for an exciting career in protective services. Forty hours of training is required to obtain a Class “D” unarmed security officer license in Florida. Armed guards need an additional 28 hours of instruction and a Class “G” license. Training must be obtained through one of the many state licensed security schools in Florida, although exceptions may be granted for equivalent online, law enforcement or military training.
What Does a Florida Security Guard Do?
Unarmed security guards in Florida encounter everything from inebriated tourists on a beach to lost children at amusement parks to misguided alligators on a golf course. On a typical day, security guards may patrol gated retirement communities, monitor alarms, check IDs of visitors, protect company assets, direct traffic, control access to the premises and write incident reports. Armed security guards protect money and people in transit or work as armed private investigators.
Meet Licensing Requirements
Like many states, Florida requires security guards to be licensed. The Florida Division of Licensing stipulates that applicants must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, or legally authorized to work in the United States. A background check and fingerprinting are required at the time of application. Felony offenses are grounds for disqualification.
Enroll in a Security Class “D” Course
Becoming a security guard starts with a 40-hour training course offered at a security officer school licensed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Trainees learn from experts and quickly gain valuable skills such as report writing, interviewing witnesses, terrorism awareness and crowd control. Training is held over the course of four consecutive days at licensed facilities around the state.
Trainees are tested on the material at the end of the course. Upon successful completion of training, you will receive a Class “D” training certificate. Retain your certificate because you will need it to qualify for an unarmed security guard license.
Exceptions to Mandatory Classroom Training
Contact the Florida Division of Licensing if you are seeking an exception to the licensed 40-hour security guard classroom training that most applicants take when pursuing a license in Florida. For instance, law enforcement or online security guard training in Florida that you completed in college or while serving in the military requires special approval by the Florida Division of Licensing. To count toward licensing, Class “D” security license online training or non-licensed classroom courses must fulfill the requirements set forth by Chapter 493 of the Florida Statutes and Chapter 5N-1 of the Florida Administrative Code.
Submit Security Guard Application
Submit a Security Class “D” application to the State of Florida Division of Licensing and attach the certificate you earned by completing an approved 40-hour Security “D” course. If you’re eager to find work, you may apply for a license after completing only 24 training hours, but the remaining 16 hours must be wrapped up within 180 days. You will also need to provide a full set of fingerprints and an official photo ID.
Pay Licensing Fees
The security guard licensing fee is $45, and costs associated with fingerprint analysis and retention total $52.75. Licensing fees may be waived for recently discharged military veterans from all branches of the service who submit a DD214 form verifying discharge within the past two years. Class “D” and Class “G” licenses must be renewed every two years.
Consider a Class “G” Security License in Florida
The State of Florida requires armed security guards to complete a 28-hour statewide firearms “G” licensing course in addition to the 40-hour Class “D” licensing course required of all unarmed security guards. Students learn the essentials of marksmanship, firearms safety and legal liability. If online instruction is counted toward the 28 hours, the student may still be required to demonstrate marksmanship proficiency at a designated test site. Some aspiring security guards also earn CPR/AED certification to prepare for medical emergencies.
Dr. Mary Dowd brings vast hands-on experience to her writing endeavors. Along with general knowledge of human resources, she has specialized training in affirmative action, investigations and equal opportunity. While working as a dean of students, she advised college students on emerging career trends and job seeking strategies. As director of equal opportunity, she led efforts to diversify the workforce and the student body.