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How to Become a New Jersey Trained Security Guard

Updated on February 10, 2013

It is indeed an honor to serve your country in any capacity - not only does it give you a sense of importance, from the respect from the people around you! It also assures that you have job security and can feel safe that your family is going to be well taken care of by the State with all the perks that come along!

A career as a security guard can be very rewarding. You may want to dedicate your entire career to the field or just use it as a stepping stone for other career choices, for example within law enforcement. No matter what. Being a security guard can teach you some valuable life lessons. But first you need to know how to become one. If you live in New Jersey then this is the right place for you to find out how to become a licensed armed or unarmed security guard.

Requirements to become an unarmed security patrol in New Jersey

According to Security Officer Registration Act (S.O.R.A.) which was enacted by the NJ Legislature in 2007, the following requirements serve to professionalize and standardize the Security Industry.

The law made it mandatory that all security officers working under contract or were interested to take up employment in New Jersey had to be certified in accordance to whatever was mentioned in the Act. S.O.R.A directed the Superintendent, NJ State Police to formulate a curriculum so as to train Security Officers.

General requirements

Applications and payments ($75) for the security guard certification are accepted by Private Detective Unit, NJ State Police, only in an electronic format. The applicants must be 18 years of age and should also submit their fingerprint documentation in the special forms which are provided along with the online application. They must register and get 30 days temporary certificate of registration as security officer from the NJ State Police.

Background check

The applicants must be prepared to undertake a background check on the criminal history and participate in 24 hours of training and pass in the exam after the test which is mandatory within a period of 30 days of applying for the license.


Training requirements and contents of training program

The security officer must participate and complete an approved 24 hours course of classroom directives by a recognized and certified instructor where New Jersey has set their own set the minimum requirements as the contents of the course contents.

There should be a minimum of two hours, if not more, of training and instruction in the training course for each for:

  • Communications/emergency response
  • Homeland security and counter-terrorism
  • Detention of suspects
  • Limits of using force
  • Ethics and professional conduct
  • Theft prevention
  • First aid/CPR/AED and

any other subject areas which the Superintendent may determine to be necessary in the interest of public safety

The fingerprinting process must be completed on the Sagem Morpho fingerprint form which is provided along with the application form. The fingerprint appointment must be scheduled at BioAppicant-NJ, which will duly be used to run any criminal background check by the State Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

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Requirements for becoming an armed security guard in New Jersey

All guards working as armed security are better paid that the regular guards. They are allowed to use weapons and have the advantage of having better chances opportunities for their career advancement than the normal security guards. Armed security guard has to undertake responsibilities and has to be really dedicated.

General requirements

One has to first enroll in any New Jersey Guard Licensing class which will train you to face a series of situations that you might encounter as an armed security guard. This mandatory course has two parts - the first is the pre-assignment course and later comes a training. In the first one you will get your guard card and the second part is a 16 hour of on-the-job training.

Training requirements and contents of training program

It is required by the Homeland Security Department that armed security guards should complete a security training course for eight hours, 16 hours is of supervised training for the job and another firearms safety and operation course for 47 hours of. It is after this that they will have to apply for their license where a background check is required. These may be done away with if the applicant guard is a police officer, was in the military or has a license as a private investigator or peace officer.


Firearms training

Armed guards are to go through formal firearms training to learn all about the different tactical weapons handling and how and when to use the potentially deadly force according to the need, when and if it arises.

Where to apply for a license and where to get training

It is very risky to work as any kind of armed security guard and with the nature of work it requires specific training before one can legally start working as armed security. After completing the training, you have to submit the certificate showing that you have completed your training along with a registration application. You will then get the permanent security guard (armed) license which is issued by the N J State Police, Private Detective Unit within 90 days after your application and getting employed as armed security guard.

It is mandatory that you undertake a firearms training course for eight hour annually. It includes a three hour classroom refresher course on usage of force with a written exam and another five hours for weapons qualification. Later, you have to take the proficiency exam which should be completed as a perquisite in order to renew your armed guard registration. As long as you appear for the eight hour annual training, there will be a validity for your license for two years.

Are you thinking about a career as a security guard. Have you already applied for a job or maybe you are already working in the industry. No matter where you are in your career path please share your thoughts in the comments below.


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