Just the Facts: How to Get Your NYS Security Guard License

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If you’re wondering how to get an NYS security guard license, you’re not alone. The fact is that the security industry has seen steady growth in recent years. That’s especially true in large metropolitan areas and states like New York. In fact, across the state of New York, there are currently more than a million security guards actively protecting life and property. As demand for protection continues to grow, demand for qualified, highly-trained guards is also likely to continue to increase in the coming years. Unfortunately, many would-be security guards may be confused about how they can enter this exciting and rewarding industry. If you’re in New York, you need to know how to get your NYS security guard license before you can be hired. To help you better understand that process, here are the basic facts that can help you to get your security guard license.

Getting a Security Guard License in NYC

Before you can even begin the process to obtain your NYS security guard license, you should make sure that you’re eligible. In New York state, you must be at least 18 years of age, have no serious criminal offense convictions on your record, and be either a U.S. citizen or a legal resident alien with a valid work permit. If you fail to meet any of those requirements, you won’t be eligible to become a security guard.

How to Get a Security Guard License: Training

Once you’ve determined your eligibility, you will need to get the proper training to prepare you for the job. In New York, that process involves several concrete steps, including finding a training school and completing required courses.

Choosing the Right New York State-Certified School

The first thing you need to do is find a great security guard training school where you can complete the required coursework to obtain your NYS security guard license. You should look for a school with certified trainers who have years of experience and expertise in the industry.

Completing the Basic 8-Hour Pre-Assignment Training Course

All security guards in New York must complete the mandatory 8-hour Pre-Assignment Training Course. This course covers the basic legal and procedural information you will need to know to properly carry out your guard duties, including:

  • Emergency response standards and techniques
  • Security guard code of conduct and ethics
  • Legal standards and limitations
  • Communication and public relations strategies
  • The role of the security guard

Completing Required Firearm Training (Optional)

If you are pursuing a career as an armed security guard, you will also need to complete the 47-hour Firearms Training Course. Instructors will teach you about various procedures, legal standards, and proper use of force. The course also includes extensive firearms training to ensure that you are proficient with the weapon.

Students who take this course will receive a mix of classroom instruction as well as actual range instruction. There’s also a written exam covering the use of force and deadly force, as well as firearms qualification.

security guard training course

The NYS Security Guard License Application and Maintaining Your Status

Once you pass the required training courses, you will need to go through the licensing process. The first step in that process involves submitting your fingerprints so that the FBI can verify that your criminal record is clean. Your training center should be able to provide you with detailed help setting up the fingerprint appointment and submitting them to the proper authorities.

The Security Guard License Application

After you get fingerprinted, you will need to formally apply for your guard license. Some schools will assist with that process too, so be sure to ask when you’re evaluating your training options. Fortunately, the license application process is fairly straightforward. You can usually obtain the application from your school or download it from the internet. You just need to complete it with the required information and sign it when it’s done. You then send the form, a copy of your Pre-Assignment Training Certificate, and Fingerprint receipt to the New York State Department of State.

Locating Employment and Completing the 16-Hour On-the-Job Training

Once you’ve completed those steps, you can be legally employed as a security guard. Any employer who hires you will need to complete an employment status notification form. From the date you’re hired, you will have a total of 90 days to complete a required 16-hour On-the-Job Training course at your training school. That training goes beyond the pre-assignment training and further prepares you for success in your new career with instruction that includes:

  • Your responsibilities as a guard
  • Education about incident command systems
  • Access control standards
  • Emergency response standards
  • Incident documentation training
  • Instruction about terrorist threats

Maintaining Your NYS Security Guard License Status

Getting a security guard license is just part of the process, however. To continue employment in this industry, you will need to maintain that license over time. You can do that by renewing the license every two years throughout your career. That process involves completing an annual 8-hour on-the-job training course and any appropriate firearms training refresher courses. Naturally, you will also need to complete and submit a renewal application every two years, along with the license renewal fee. The state will send you the required renewal form roughly three months before your current license expires.

International Security Services, Inc. Can Help

As you might expect, it is vital to find the right NYS security guard training service to ensure that you’re properly prepared to meet the job’s rigorous demands. While there are many training schools in New York, there’s only one that you can rely on for the best training and career assistance: International Security Services. At ISS, you will receive the best training from competent, experienced security experts who share your commitment to protecting life, limb, and property.

For the most effective and reliable training and assistance obtaining your NYS security guard license, there’s only one name you can trust: International Security Services – New York City’s dedicated security experts.

George Kozhar

George Kozhar

George Kozhar is a respected security professional, licensed private investigator, and founder of International Security Services (ISS) - New York City’s dedicated security experts since 1999. Mr. Kozhar and his team provide a full array of private and business investigative services in the U.S. and overseas, VIP executive protection, armed and unarmed security guard services and training, and Fire and Life Safety Director training through the company’s Fire Science Institute.