Florida, with its vibrant cities and bustling tourism industry, is in great need of highly-trained security guards to maintain a safe and secure environment. If you’re looking for an exciting and rewarding career, becoming a security guard in Florida might be the perfect fit for you. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the steps required to obtain your Florida security guard license and kickstart your career.
- Do You Need a License to Be a Security Officer in Florida?
- How Much Can You Make as a Security Guard in Florida?
- How Long Does it Take to Become a Licensed Security Officer in FL?
- How to Become a Security Guard in Florida
- What Disqualifies You from Becoming a Security Guard in Florida?
- How to Apply for Your Florida Class D Security Officer License
Do You Need a License to Be a Security Officer in Florida?
Absolutely! In order to work as a security guard in Florida, you must obtain a Class D Security Officer License. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is responsible for issuing these licenses. To qualify, you’ll need to meet certain requirements, which include completing a state-approved 40-hour training course, passing a background check, and submitting an application along with the necessary fee.
It’s important to note that different types of security guard licenses may have additional requirements. For example, armed security guards must undergo extra training and possess a valid firearms license to carry a weapon while on duty.
How Much Can You Make as a Security Guard in Florida?
The salary of a security guard in Florida can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, whether you’re armed or unarmed, and the type of employer. On average, security guards in Florida earn between $12-19 per hour, which translates to an annual salary range of $24,000-39,000 for full-time positions. Armed security guards tend to earn towards the higher end of the spectrum, typically averaging around $30,000-33,500 per year.
Additionally, security guards may be eligible for benefits such as healthcare, retirement plans, and paid time off, depending on their employer. Those working in high-risk or specialized environments, like executive protection or transportation, may also command higher salaries.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Licensed Security Officer in FL?
The time it takes to become a licensed security guard in Florida can vary depending on several factors. These include the availability of training courses, application processing time, background checks, and any required additional training or certifications. In some cases, you can become a licensed security guard in Florida in under a month.
The first step is completing the mandatory 40-hour security guard training course in Florida. This course covers various topics such as legal issues, emergency procedures, communication skills, patrol techniques, and more. Once you’ve successfully completed the training, you can submit your application, fingerprints, and fee to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The processing time for applications can vary but typically takes around five business days.
For armed security guard licenses, you’ll need to complete an additional 28 hours of firearms training and obtain a valid firearms license, which can take extra time.
How to Become a Security Guard in Florida
To become a licensed security officer in Florida, you’ll need to meet certain prerequisites and complete specific training courses.
Here are the requirements you must fulfill to become a licensed security guard in Florida:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Be a citizen or legal resident of the United States.
- Not have been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent.
- Successfully complete a 40-hour security officer training course offered by a Class “DS” Security Officer School or Training Facility. Submit a completed application, fingerprints, and fee to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
In addition to these basic qualifications, armed security guards must complete an additional 28 hours of firearms training and obtain the Statewide Firearms License (G).
Required Security Guard Training
To be eligible for the Class D Security Officer license, candidates must complete 40 hours of security officer training courses. These courses must cover the entire curriculum as outlined by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It’s crucial to take these courses from a licensed DI Instructor at a licensed DS School to ensure the hours count toward your license application.
Exceptions to the Required Training
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services currently has a few exceptions to the training requirements. These include:
- If you are currently employed as a certified law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer in Florida, a valid ID card issued by your employing agency is sufficient to meet the training requirement.
- If you have successfully completed the necessary training to become a certified law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer in Florida, a certificate of completion will satisfy the training requirement.
- If you received relevant military training or education during your service in the United States Armed Forces, proof of such training or education will fulfill the training requirement.
What Disqualifies You from Becoming a Security Guard in Florida?
Several factors can disqualify individuals from becoming security guards in Florida.
If you’ve been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, you may be disqualified from becoming a security guard. Crimes involving moral turpitude include perjury, theft, and other immoral or unethical illegal activities.
Drug or Alcohol Abuse
A history of drug and alcohol abuse can potentially disqualify someone from obtaining their security guard license in Florida. Special certifications or verifications may be necessary before proceeding with licensure.
Mental Health Issues
Mental health issues, especially if they have led to involuntary commitment to a mental health facility, can potentially disqualify someone from becoming a security guard. Medical clearance may be required to proceed with licensure.
Dishonorable Discharge from the Military
If you’ve been dishonorably discharged from the military, this can disqualify you from becoming a security guard in Florida at any point in your career.
Falsified Information on License Application
Making false statements or omitting relevant information on your security guard license application may disqualify you from becoming a security guard. Always be honest and provide accurate information on your license application.
Lack of Required Training
To apply for your Class D Security Guard license, you must complete the mandatory training. Failing to fulfill the training requirement will prevent you from getting your license. However, you can reapply once you’ve completed the necessary training.
How to Apply for Your Florida Class D Security Officer License
You can apply for your Class D Security Guard license in person or by mail. Be sure to include payment for the required fees when submitting your application.
The Class D license fee is $45, the fingerprint processing fee is $42, and the fingerprint retention fee is $10.75, making the total cost of the application $97.75.
Apply in Person
You can schedule an appointment at the nearest branch of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to obtain your license. No need to complete the application in advance. Alternatively, you can schedule an appointment and apply in person at any regional office.
Apply by Mail
Complete the Class D License application and mail it to the following address:
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Division of Licensing
P.O. Box 5767
Tallahassee, FL 32314-5767
Working as a security guard in Florida opens up countless opportunities for a fulfilling career. NITA is here to support you every step of the way, offering the necessary training courses and professional development programs to enhance your security skill set. Partner with NITA to take your security career to new heights.