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How to Become a Certified Facility Security Officer

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The security business can offer the right candidate a long term profession that frequently provides flexible scheduling and health insurance benefits. The pay scale can vary drastically depending on what company you work for, what state you are in, and what account you are posted at. Facility security guards, as the name implies, guard installations whether they be shopping malls, government buildings or banks. Most states require licensing before a security guard can legally work. Becoming a certified facility security guard takes some time before a license is issued.

Complete a state-certified security course. If you get hired by a firm, they can arrange classes for you. The length of the classes varies per state but 20 to 40 hours is fairly standard and the courses cover state law and security job responsibilities.

Take the state exam. Once the course is completed, you need to take a state-issued multiple choice test that covers the material you learned during the course. The test must be passed before you can receive certification.

Pass a background check. You will either have your fingerprints taken on an FBI card or your will undergo a Livescan where you are fingerprinted by computer. If you have any felonies on your record, you will not be able to be certified in facility security.

Pay all the fees. This can vary depending on the state and whether they fingerprint traditionally or electronically but $250 is a good average of what you will likely need to pay. Some companies will front the money and then take it back after your initial check but that depends on the security company.


If you want to be certified with a firearm, you will need to take additional courses on a shooting range and pass a firearms exam for you specific caliber weapon.

A guard certification normally lasts one year. Some states require additional courses every year while others just require a re-registration fee of around $35.