Aspiring to join the ranks of security guards in New York State, yet unsure of the process?

This comprehensive guide is here to assist you in navigating the sea of information and deciphering the necessary steps to obtain your NYS security guard license, thereby embarking on a rewarding career as a licensed security guard, providing all the essential details at your fingertips.

To become a security guard in New York State, you must:

  • Be a minimum of 18 years of age
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED
  • Successfully pass the NYS written examination
  • Complete 16 hours of practical, on-the-job training
  • Submit to a criminal background check and fingerprinting
  • Acquire a license from the NYS Division of Licensing Services

Upon fulfilling the outlined prerequisites and obtaining the necessary documentation from the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), you’ll be ready to commence your career as a security guard in NYS.

Mandatory 8 and 16-Hour Training for New York State Security Guards

Taking your education seriously is vital when contemplating a career as a security guard. In order to obtain your NYS security guard license, you must first complete an 8-hour pre-assignment training course and achieve a satisfactory grade.

This course offers students a comprehensive overview of the duties and responsibilities pertinent to becoming a security guard, including emergency response procedures, communication and public relations, access control methods, and ethical conduct.

After successfully completing this course, you’ll be poised to obtain a security guard registration card from the NYS Department of State.

Subsequently, within three months (or 90 days) of passing the 8-hour pre-assignment training, you’ll need to complete 16 hours of on-the-job training.

Furthermore, as a licensed security guard in New York State, you must complete an 8-hour annual in-service training course within one year (or 12 calendar months) of finishing your 16-hour on-the-job training, and continue to do so every subsequent year to maintain your guard license.

More information on becoming a security guard, including the NYS security guard training school requirements, can be found here: NYS DCJS Security Guard Training

Getting Your NYS Guard License

As alluded to previously, obtaining your NYS Security Guard License entails adhering to specific protocols.

Initially, you must secure a certification from the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services (NYS DCJS) if you’re seeking employment within a private organization.

Conversely, if your ambition lies in joining the ranks of state-employed security guards, a letter of authorization from NYS DCJS is needed.

To initiate the certification process, reach out to the NYS DCJS and solicit an application form tailored for this purpose. The NYC DCJS security forms can be found here.

Subsequently, immerse yourself in the mandated educational programs (e.g., managing aggressive behavior) and give the NYS DCJS proof of completion.

Upon successfully navigating these courses, the NYS DCJS will give you a certification, thereby attesting to your qualification as a security guard and eligibility for licensure.

With the certification in hand, you can apply for the license online.

Once the pertinent forms have been completed, the final step entails submitting a comprehensive application form accompanied by the required documentation (i.e., a copy of the certification letter).

How You Get A NYS Guard License

If you’re looking to become a security guard in New York, securing a state license is a must.

Before you can get your hands on that license, you’ll need to fulfill specific prerequisites laid out by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS).

Kickstart your journey by enrolling in an approved NYC security guard training program, and make sure to complete all the required coursework, exams, and assessments.

Once you’ve proven yourself qualified, you’ll be awarded a NYS security guard license.

The DCJS is in charge of security guard licensing for the entire state of New York, ensuring safety standards are met in every corner of its jurisdiction.

This includes the responsibility of formulating policies and procedures, as well as determining the training program requirements that outline the best practices for security officers to follow on the job.

Moreover, the DCJS designs a consistent licensing process, which all aspiring security guards must adhere to before obtaining their license.

Finally, the Division of Licensing Services plays a crucial role in granting security licenses to applicants who have successfully met the requirements mandated by the DCJS.

To become a licensed security guard by the NYS department of state, you must follow the Division of Licensing Services listed above. After complete training you will be awarded a guard license and then come back here to get a security guard application.

What is a security guard?

Security guards are professionally trained individuals responsible for safeguarding people and property across various environments, like commercial establishments.

Though a precise definition of a security guard is elusive, their duties typically encompass:

  • Overseeing and monitoring staff or clientele at their respective locations
  • Carrying out patrols and surveillance tasks
  • Implementing emergency protocols to ensure the well-being of people and assets
  • Upholding parking rules, fire safety measures, and other regulations or procedures
  • Enhancing security at entry and exit points, as well as through monitoring equipment, lighting, locks, and more

You’ll often find security guards in both private and public spaces, such as offices, factoriesretail shops, parking areas, malls, theaters, airportshospitals, and libraries.

In residential or corporate contexts, they may work in apartment complexes or gated communities.

Aside from these core responsibilities, security guards can also be hired for special events or personal protection.

Operating under an employer or a security management firm, security guards adhere to relevant laws, like the New York State Penal Code, and state-specific regulations (e.g., New York State Security Guard Regulations).

Security guard training programs differ in length, often lasting several weeks. Trainees learn self-defense tactics, patrol techniques, and emergency procedures, including crisis or terror attack response.

More information on training requirements can be found here.

Moreover, they’re educated about the legal framework governing the security sector, including the permitted types of weapons (e.g., handguns).


Why should you become a security guard?

In New York, security guards enjoy a diverse range of job prospects, enabling them to secure employment in various capacities, including serving private property owners or operators, collaborating with law enforcement agencies as special deputies, or joining government agencies as federal security officers (GSOs).

The path to becoming a licensed security guard in NY is paved with opportunities for those who have completed their NYS security guard training and obtained their New York security guard license.

Private property owners or operators, burdened with hectic schedules, often outsource security services to licensed security guards, who can be hired on an hourly or monthly basis.

This flexibility allows guards to adapt to the needs of their employers, providing comprehensive security solutions that include monitoring entry and exit points, enforcing parking rules, and ensuring the well-being of people and assets.

Law enforcement agencies extend their reach by employing special deputies, who act as their eyes and ears in areas where regular law enforcement presence is limited due to budget or staffing constraints.

These positions often require a security guard license and a thorough understanding of emergency protocols and security industry standards.

Government agencies offer a stable and rewarding career path for security guards, engaging them under contracts that specify duties crucial to national and local security.

These roles not only demand a high level of professionalism and dedication but also offer competitive compensation packages, including medical insurance coverage for the guards and their families.

The role of a security guard encompasses a wide array of responsibilities, from safeguarding commercial establishments to providing personal protection and ensuring the safety of public and private spaces.

Security guards are a vital component of the security infrastructure, adhering to the guidelines set forth by the NYS Department of State and the Division of Licensing Services. They undergo rigorous training programs, including the mandatory 8-hour pre-assignment training and on-the-job training, to prepare for the challenges of the job.

Being a security guard in New York State not only offers flexible hours but also opens the door to a career filled with a diverse range of experiences in various environments.

Whether you are employed by a private firm or a government agency, the job prospects for licensed security guards in NY are promising, thanks to the comprehensive oversight by the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the ongoing demand for skilled professionals in the security industry.

We provide security guard services in the following New York locations:

Additional information:

  1. Division of Licensing Services Contact
  2. Division of Criminal Justice Services Contact

Joseph Ferdinando is the visionary founder of Building Security Services, a leading security company renowned for its comprehensive security services. With an illustrious career spanning over 40 years in the security industry, Joseph has been instrumental in elevating the standards of security guard services for a broad spectrum of businesses and organizations. As an influential member of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) in both New York and New Jersey chapters, Joseph has played a pivotal role in shaping industry standards and practices.