Private companies hire security guards to protect public businesses and other buildings. Working in shifts, these guards must have the mental and physical strength to keep a constant guard and halt danger at a moment’s notice. This can be especially difficult since most guards work overnight. Each state has requirements to make sure security guards are qualified. In Florida, for example, there are a few conditions you must fulfill before taking on this important job.
Age and Background Requirements
First, potential security guards in Florida must be more than 21 years old and eligible for employment in the United States. Additionally, potential guards must have a clean criminal record and pass a drug test and a background check. Guards must also have their own reliable transportation, access to a telephone or some other means of communication, be able to read and write in English and have a high school diploma or its equivalent, such as GED. These measures help prescreen the candidates, ensuring that only the most qualified applicants get through.
Once you meet basic eligibility requirements, you need to get a Class D Florida Security Guard License. To earn this license, you must complete 40 hours of training, either all at once or over time. If you complete the training over time, you must complete the first 24 hours followed by a 16-hour follow-up session, which must be completed within six months of the first session.
This training is provided by schools that offer security guard training throughout Florida, such as Florida State Security, Miami Protection and the S2 Safety and Intelligence Institute. You may be able to obtain on-the-job training through special programs offered by certain employers or be able to complete the programs through distance learning. Under Florida State Statute 493.3604, you must include the name and address of the school on your license application when you apply to become a security guard. Coursework includes classes on the Florida Statute dealing with security guard responsibilities (Section 493), the potential liability security guards may face, legal issues such as the right to detain people, first aid, fire response, what to do in the case of an emergency and how to prevent accidents from occurring. Once the classwork is complete, you can take the licensing exam. Upon passing the exam, you can then apply for your license.
Finally, potential security guards must have the physical conditioning necessary to complete the job. According to section 493.6108, physical fitness for certain types of guards is certified by a doctor who is considered qualified under the provisions of Chapter 458 or 459. For example, a qualified doctor must certify fitness to carry a fire arm before a person can be awarded a Class G security guard license. Furthermore, under provisions in Chapter 493 of the Florida State Code, applicants who are severely overweight or disabled to the point where it affects job performance may not be eligible to become a guard.