The pulsing heart of New York City, with its ceaseless rhythm and energy, owes a considerable debt to the watchful eyes of its security guards. These unsung heroes safeguard the city’s inhabitants, as well as the countless businesses and institutions that call the city home.

Their role as the peacekeepers and guardians of order is not just important – it’s indispensable.

This blog post is your roadmap to joining these ranks, offering a detailed guide on how to get certified as a security guard and work for a security guard company in NYC.

The Role of a Security Guard

Being a security guard isn’t just about standing watch at a building entrance. Their remit extends far beyond that – they’re tasked with monitoring premises to avert theft, aggression, and rule-breaking.

They’re also the first line of response in emergencies and may even liaise with law enforcement when the situation demands it. The profession isn’t one-size-fits-all either.

Depending on their specific roles, security guards can specialize in a myriad of fields, such as personal protection, retail security, or corporate security, each with its own unique responsibilities and challenges.

Read more: What Are Duties & Responsibilities Of Security Officers?

Prerequisites for Security Guard Training

Before you begin your training to be a security guard in New York, there are certain boxes you need to tick.

  1. Age and education come first. You need to be at least 18 and hold either a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  2. Equally critical is your physical and mental health. You need to be fit in body and mind.
  3. Lastly, a clean criminal record isn’t just desirable; it’s a must-have.

The NYS Security Guard Act of 1992

The Security Guard Act of 1992 forms the bedrock of security guard training and practice in New York. This legislation insists on state-certified training for all security guards, a mandate that ensures every guard is fully prepared to tackle the challenges they might encounter on the job.

Read more: What Is A Security Guard?

How to Get a Job as a Security Guard in New York City

First things first, you have to get registered with the New York Department of State to work as a security guard. The next step is to finish the 8-Hour Pre-Assignment Training Course, which is an introductory class that will teach you the fundamentals of the security guard business.

You will need to finish the 16-Hour On-the-Job Training Course within the first 90 days of starting your new job if you want to be eligible for promotion.

Last but not least, in order to keep your registration current, you are needed to complete an annual 8-hour in-service training course. In addition to these requirements, fingerprints and background checks must be carried out.

Read more: How To Get Your NYS License & Become A Security Guard

Coursework for the Security Guard Training Program

The curriculum for the training program covers fundamental subjects including:

  • Ethics and how to properly behave
  • The function of a security guard
  • What security guards can and can’t do
  • Emergency circumstances,
  • And so on.

Public relations, report writing, and terrorist awareness are some of the themes covered in more advanced classes. You may also receive specialized training, such as how to respond to bomb threats, if you work as security at an airport.

This would depend on the nature of your employment.

Ongoing Instruction and Education

Education and training that is ongoing are absolutely necessary in this sector. The ongoing training that security guards get on a yearly basis allows them to remain current on the most recent regulations, best practices, and emergency response procedures.

You may improve your abilities and make yourself more appealing to potential employers by participating in optional courses and obtaining relevant certifications.

The Best Training Programs

New York City is home to a number of highly regarded schools that provide training for security guards.

When making your selection, keep in mind the following factors:

  • The cost of the training
  • The experience level of the teachers
  • The school’s reputation

Additionally, there may be financial help.

Career Opportunities Open to Those Who Have Completed Their Security Guard Training

After receiving training, you will have the opportunity to work in a wide variety of environments, including companies, retail establishments, schools, and hospitals, as well as residential complexes.

There are many prospects for growth, particularly for those who continue their training and education, and the typical pay rate for a security guard in New York City is competitive.

Read more: How Much Does A Security Guard Make Hourly?

Here are just some happy guards who work for us:

“Great company to work for. NY/NJ offices with various work locations. Competitive pay and consistent help from management. They give you tools and knowledge to succeed in the security industry.”

“Bss is a wonderful company A team more like family been with them for years they are reliable all guards are professional and respectful I recommend this company to anyone I’m Happy to be apart of this team and family BSS”

“I’ve been with BSS for 12 Years & I can honestly say this is the BEST company I’ve ever worked for.”


Embarking on the journey to become a certified security guard in NYC is a multifaceted process. It intertwines state-required training, official registration, and an unwavering commitment to lifelong learning.

Your role will be instrumental in safeguarding the city and its people. If you’re ready to rise to this challenge, a fulfilling career stands ready to greet you.


If you’re keen to dive deeper into the state regulations surrounding security guard training in NYC, the New York Department of State’s website is your go-to resource.

Looking for the best training schools? Their contact details can typically be found on their websites.

ASIS International, a hub for security professionals, and Security Magazine, a platform for industry news and insights, are also invaluable resources for anyone aspiring to join the ranks of security guards.

Always remember: the path to becoming a security guard is a pledge to uphold peace and order.

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.