How Do I Become an Unarmed Security Officer?

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  • Written By: Kenneth W. Michael Wills
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 01 April 2020
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Requirements to become an unarmed security officer are determined by the state in which the security officer works. Although determined by individual states, requirements are usually very similar in nature. Such personnel will usually need to take an unarmed security officer training course in order to become eligible for a license. Thereafter, he or she will need to pass that course, apply for a license, submit to a background check, and successfully complete on-the-job training. Depending on the state, candidates may apply and get hired for a position first — with the employer handling the training and licensing process — or he or she may complete the process independently and then seek employment.

Whether getting hired first or seeking a license independently, the first step needed to become an unarmed security officer is to take and pass a course in unarmed security, approved by the state’s licensing department. State requirements will vary regarding the length and content of the course; however, security personnel usually learn the most important aspects of the job during the course. Course content will often cover subjects directly applicable to the job to include legal powers and limitations, emergency procedures and patrol duties. Not meant to function as a comprehensive training, the course required for licensing will often cover the basics in working as a security officer. More specialized training is offered in other courses or directly from an employer.


Backgrounds of security officers are important to not only the employer and client, but also to the general public for safety and security reasons. Therefore, once a candidate passes the unarmed security officer course, he or she will apply for a license and submit to a background check. This check may or may not include a credit check, depending on the state, but will involve a criminal background check to confirm an applicant’s identity, associations and criminal activity or lack thereof. Passing the background check is usually a condition for the state to issue a license to become an unarmed security officer.

Other requirements are also part of the process when applying for a license to become an unarmed security officer. Age limitations usually specify an applicant to be 18 years of age or older at the time of licensing application. In the United States, for example, applicants will also need to prove citizenship or residency. Upon the granting of the license, the unarmed security officer may then either apply to organizations for a position or begin working for the company in which he or she was already hired.


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