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How to Get Your Security License

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While requirements for security licensing vary by state, there are steps you can take to determine your local requirements. Once you're licensed, you'll be able to work for companies looking to protect their employees, location or assets. Working in security can give you autonomy as well as a schedule that operates at any hour of the day. Getting a security license helps prepare you for the position.

Contact your state department of licensing. In some states, such as Florida, this is operated through the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In other states, like Washington, the Department of Licensing is more autonomous and exists outside another agency. Maryland's licensing is in its Department of Labor. Any government office associated with labor and businesses in your area should be able to provide you with information about the issuance of security licenses.

Verify that you meet your state's basic requirements before applying for a license. Many states require that you are age 21, but no state will issue a license to someone under 18. If you're under 21, you may be able to apply for an unarmed security license, which would limit where you can work, as you wouldn't be able to guard banks or nuclear plants, for example.

Undergo a background check. If you suspect that something on your background check will bar you from working in security, be ready to explain, honestly and in detail, the problem with your record so people who process your application can take your circumstances into consideration.

Fill out your state's application for a security license. This can often be done online, but there are usually paper alternatives if you prefer not to submit the information electronically. Depending on the type of license you're applying for, you may need to show evidence of a college education, experience in security, a current job offer in security or transcripts from training courses. Once you've completed the application, send it in with the application fee and any additional requested material, such as a fingerprint card or proof of liability insurance.

Complete any additional steps after your application has been reviewed. In some cases, you may be required to take an exam or attend further training before your license becomes active.


If you're applying for an armed security license, you should have a firearms license in your state.