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Security officers provide services such as guarding property, being a bodyguard and working in armored cars. In Florida, the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services processes applications and issues licenses to prospective security officers. The licenses are designed to ensure that security officers are well trained and to prevent people with questionable backgrounds from becoming security guards. Security guards in Florida must obtain a "class D" security license.
Complete a professional training course from a school licensed by the state to provide security-officer training. Law enforcement and correctional officers with a current certification from the state are exempt from the training requirement. The training course is offered by many schools throughout the state. Cost and class structure varies by school. One example is Invictus Security in Boynton Beach, which offers a 24-hour course spread over three days at a cost of $89, as of 2011. Tuition includes fingerprinting, which is required to be licensed by the state. Although state law requires the training to consist of at least 40 hours of instruction, an applicant can receive a temporary license and start working after a 24-hour training course, with a full license being issued following an additional 16 hours of training.
Download a Class D Security Officer license application on the Florida Division of Licenses website, or pick up an application in person at one of the state agency's regional offices.
Read the requirements on the application to determine if you are eligible for a license. To be approved, an applicant must be at least 18 years old and be a U.S. citizen or legal resident alien. An applicant must not be a convicted felon, or if he is, must have had his civil rights restored and at least 10 years must have passed since being released from supervision.
Complete the application and return it to the Division of Licensing office in Tallahassee, or at the nearest regional office, along with the application and fingerprinting fees. As of 2011, the fees were $45 for the application and $42 for processing fingerprints, which are required to be submitted with the application. Schools that offer security guard training include fingerprinting as part of the course.
Check the status of the application online after six weeks. The state Division of Licensing website says that due to the high number of applications, it takes 30 business days, or six weeks, for the information to be entered into its database.
- security guard image by Joyce Wilkes from Fotolia.com