Florida is a highly populated state with several large sprawling cities, such as Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa, and more. Florida is also a wildly popular tourist destination. From Disney World to its beautiful beaches, millions of people visit Florida every year. As such, highly-trained security guards are in great demand by companies seeking to create a safe, secure environment.
If you’re looking for an interesting and highly rewarding career, consider becoming a security guard in Florida. In this article, we’ll share the steps required to get your Florida security guard license so you can get a head start on your career.
Do You Need a License to Be a Security Officerin Florida?
Yes, you need a license to work as a security guard in Florida–specifically, a Class D Security Officer License. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is responsible for issuing licenses to security guards in the state. To obtain a Class D Security Guard License, you must meet certain requirements, including completing a 40-hour training course approved by the state, passing a background check, and submitting a completed application along with the required fee.
It is important to note that different types of security guard licenses may have additional requirements or training requirements, depending on the specific job duties involved. For example, armed security guards must complete additional training and have a valid firearms license in order to carry a weapon while on duty.
Learn more: Armed vs. Unarmed Security Guards: What’s The Difference?
How Much Can You Make as a Security Guard in Florida?
A security guard’s salary in Florida can vary based on factors such as experience, location, whether they are armed or unarmed, and the type of employer they work for. The hourly rate for a security guard in Florida ranges from $12-19 per hour, which roughly translates to an annual salary between $24,000-39,000 based on a full-time schedule. The salary for an armed security guard is usually on the higher end of the spectrum, roughly averaging $30,000-33,500 per year.
In addition to the base salary, security guards may also be eligible for benefits such as healthcare, retirement plans, and paid time off, depending on their employer. Security guards who work in high-risk or specialized environments, such as those providing executive protection or working in the transportation sector, may also earn 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 based on several factors, such as the availability of training courses, the processing time for applications and background checks, and the completion of any required training or certifications. Depending on how quickly you can complete the required training courses, you could become a licensed Florida security guard in under a month.
The first step is to complete the Florida 40-hour security guard training course. The course can take several days to complete and includes topics such as legal issues, emergency procedures, communication skills and patrol techniques, event security, communication, the role of the security officer, report writing, physical security, safety issues, and more. Make sure the DS school you choose covers the full curriculum as required by the state of Florida.
Once the training course is completed, you’ll then need to submit a completed application, fingerprints, and the required fee to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The processing time for applications can vary, but it could take up to a few weeks to complete a background check and issue the license. With a clean background, however, the average license processing time is about five business days.
If you’re applying for an armed security guard license, you’ll also need to complete an additional 28 hours of firearms training and have a valid firearms license, which can take additional time.
How to Become a Security Guard in Florida
You’ll need to meet certain prerequisites and complete specific training courses in order to become a licensed security officer in Florida.
Here are the requirements necessary 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 its 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 to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, along with fingerprints and a fee. This can be submitted via mail or in person at a regional office.
In addition to these basic qualifications, armed security guards must also complete an additional 28 hours of firearms training and receive the Statewide Firearms License (G).
Required Security Guard Training
Candidates must complete 40 hours of security - officer training courses in order to become eligible for the Class D Security Officer license. These training courses should be in depth and cover the entire required curriculum as outlined by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
You must take the courses from a Licensed DI Instructor from a licensed DS School in order for the hours to count toward your license application. Failure to do so may disqualify you from receiving your Class D Security Officer license.
Class D Security Guard Training Course from NITA →
Exceptions to the Required Training
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services currently has a few exceptions to the training requirements.
1. If you are currently employed as a certified law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer in the state of Florida, a copy of your valid ID card issued by your employing law enforcement agency is sufficient to satisfy the training requirement.
2. If you have successfully completed the training necessary to become a certified law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or correctional probation officer in the state of Florida, a copy of the certificate of completion will satisfy the training requirement.
3. If you received relevant military training or education during service in the United States Armed Forces, proof of such training or education will satisfy the training requirement.
What Disqualifies You from Becoming a Security Guard in Florida?
There are several factors that can disqualify an individual from becoming a security guard in Florida.
If an individual has been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, they may be disqualified from becoming a security guard in Florida. Crimes involving moral turpitude include perjury, theft, and other immoral or unethical illegal activity.
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 the individual can become a security guard in this situation.
Mental Health Issues
Mental health issues, especially if they have resulted in the individual being involuntarily committed to a mental health facility, can potentially disqualify someone from becoming a security guard. Medical clearance may be necessary in order to proceed with licensure.
Dishonorable Discharge from the Military
If you’ve been dishonorably discharged from the military, this may disqualify you from becoming a security guard in Florida at any point in your career.
Falsified Information on License Application
You may be disqualified from becoming a security guard if you make false statements or omit relevant information on your security guard license application. Always be honest and only include accurate information on your license application.
Lack of Required Training
It goes without saying that you must complete the mandatory training in order to apply for your Class D Security Guard license in Florida. If you don’t fulfill the required training, you won’t be able to get your license. However, you should be able to reapply once you’ve completed the training.
How to Apply for Your Florida Class D Security Officer License
You can either apply in person or by mail for your Class D Security Guard license. You’ll need to prepare or include payment for the required fees at the time of submission.
At the time of writing this article, the Class D license fee is $45, the fingerprint processing fee is $42, and the fingerprint retention fee is $10.75, bringing the total cost of the application to $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. You don’t need to complete the application ahead of time. Additionally, 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 can open up a vast number of opportunities for you and provide you with a rewarding career. NITA is here to help you prepare for a career in security by offering the necessary training courses as well as professional development courses necessary to enhance your security skill set. Level up your career by partnering with NITA for all your security training needs.
Explore All Security Guard Training Courses from NITA →
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