Online Security Guard Training Programs

Online Security Guard Training Programs

Now is a good time to think about becoming a security guard.

Online classes can make getting an education even easier.

The business itself is growing fast, and government projections say there will be a 15-percent growth in jobs through at least 2030.

There will likely be 160,000 job openings each year through the end of the decade.

Some will be new jobs and some will be replacing workers.

There is a lot of turnover among security guards.

It is a field in high demand and there are often solid opportunities for advancement.

What Courses Are in an Online Security Guard Program?

States vary in what they require for security guards.

New York State, for instance, requires a license or card, while other states have no set requirements.

The employer of the company usually sets the standards of what they want security guards to do and training is modified to fit that scenario.

Only nine states do not require any training or licensing at all.

Basic Introductory Class

A basic introductory class will give a person enough training to be an entry-level security guard.

The introductory class may include information about:

  • Security guard roles
  • Legal powers
  • Emergencies
  • Public Relations
  • Ethics and conduct.

This can be completed online in most cases.

There is a test you must pass after completing the course, and you will get a certificate of completion.

You may add getting your fingerprints and background check done on this course.

Second-level and On-the-job Training

This is another course that security companies use in New York that is required by the state.

Most states have some variation on a second-level or advanced course.

In this class, most of the topics of the introductory class are gone over in greater detail.

Normally, an introductory class is required to take this class.

In addition to the training offered in the first class, incident command systems, and terrorism are added as topics.

There is also more emphasis on how to actually do the job than on the theory taught in the first class.

Refresher Course

Some states and companies require an annual refresher course.

This online class refreshes concepts that are essential to the job of a security guard.

In addition to the items taught in the introductory class, report writing, and active shooter scenarios may be added to the class.

Usually, security guards looking for a refresher course want to also renew their online license with their state.

Armed Security Guard Training

Armed security guard training is also available online, but you will have to spend at least one day at a shooting range to get certified.

Even states that do not require guards to be licensed require training for armed security guards.

You must complete at least the introductory class in order to take the firearms class.

Additional Certifications

May also be offered online, either in addition to or in conjunction with the other classes.

A school security guard, industrial security, or business proprietary security officer training classes are examples.

armed security guard

Can You Earn a Security Guard Certification Completely Online?

The short answer to this question is, yes, you can earn a security guard certificate completely online.

You can complete the basic training online that will qualify you to be an entry-level unarmed security officer online.

Many schools offering these programs say they are completely online.

You may also complete most of a firearms class online, but there is some in-person time required.

Some other courses may also be completed completely online, such as industrial security.

Courses like terrorism or active-shooter training can be completed online in some cases, but some states require a part of this to be done in person.

How Long Does it Take to Earn a Security Guard Certification Online?

The amount of time it takes to complete a security guard program varies a lot by state and by your own situation.

If you are taking the course online, you have a lot of control over how long it takes.

In New York State, for instance, the basic class is eight hours of training.

This could be done in one full day, or in eight one-hour classes.

You can get hired in New York without any training but must complete the class within the first 90 days of employment.

Texas requires a 30-hour class that until recently could only be completed at an authorized training center.

The state of Texas has allowed a few companies to offer classes online.

California requires a 40-hour course for its basic licensing.

How Much Does an Online Security Guard Certification Cost?

The cost of online security guard programs is very low, less than half of what it costs to take the class in a traditional classroom.

This varies a lot by state and there are several levels.

In California, the basic eight-hour introductory class that would qualify you to be an entry-level unarmed security guard is offered for as little as $18.

The 32-hour class, parts two and three, including armed training and other certifications, is $75.

You must complete the first to take the second.

Both are offered together as a 40-hour class for $85.

In New York, that eight-hour class is $55 online, and the higher level is $110.

The Texas license is $25 for the introductory eight hours and $50 for the higher level.

Types of Security Guard Certifications

For the states that require licenses, there are some differences, but the essentials are the same.

Entry-level certifications qualify you for an entry-level job.

This goes over the basics of what being a security guard is about.

Secondary certifications expand on the first certificate and go into more detail.

At this level, you may get some firearms training, and there is more training in dealing with situations like terrorists or active shooters.

Firearms training is another certificate and is required for armed security guards.

Sometimes, this is part of the secondary certificate but can be offered on its own.

Specialty certificates are also offered for various areas of security-type work.

School security, industrial security, or certifications for business environments are some examples.

security guard working with a private client

Benefits of Online Security Guard Training Programs

Work at your own pace

With a computer class, you can study when it is convenient.

This is ideal for someone who is working at another job.

You also have a lot of control over how long it takes to complete the course.

You can adjust the class to fit your schedule, as opposed to making your schedule fit a traditional classroom.

Get a leg up

States are different in what they require.

Some require no license at all, while some do, and it depends on your specialization.

While there is expected to be a number of jobs available, preference will naturally go to those that have experience and training.

More access

When you take a course online, the entire Internet is available to you immediately.

You can get more resources faster than you could if you were in a classroom setting.

You can become a specialist

With an online course, you can pick a field within the security field and become specialized in that area.

This could qualify you for some higher-level jobs.

Save time and money

As is the case with most online training, the cost is lower and it usually takes less time to get your degree.

Drawbacks of Online Security Job Training Programs

Studying on your own

The greatest advantage can also be the greatest disadvantage. You have to have the self-discipline to complete the work as there is no structure in place to keep you on the task.

A lot of repetition

Most security companies have their own training program that everyone has to go through. You will likely have heard it all before when you take the class.

Lack of contact

A common drawback of all online education is the lack of a personal touch. Most schools offer a way to talk to someone, but you do miss that day-to-day interaction time with the teacher.

Weapons classes cannot be taught

There are armed and unarmed security job positions. It is impossible to do firearm training online. Some time in a physical setting is necessary.

Lack of accountability

It is hard for a school to monitor students and make sure no one cheats.  A combination of online training and the physical setting is generally the ideal situation.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Online Security Guard Training Programs – Summary Table

Benefits of Online Security Guard Training ProgramsDrawbacks of Online Security Job Training Programs
Work at your own paceStudying on your own
Get a leg upA lot of repetition
More accessLack of contact
You can become a specialistWeapons classes cannot be taught
Save time and moneyLack of accountability

studying online to become a security guard

4 Self-Study Tips for Security Guard Online Students

Make a schedule

The beauty of online classes is you get to do it when it is convenient.

You will still do better if you have some structure.

Have a set time when you will work on the class.

It is ideal if you use the same space and time each day or week.

It will soon become a habit and self-discipline will be easier.

Set some boundaries

Let family members and others in your place of residence know you are studying and when you will be studying.

Tell them to not interrupt you unless it is a life and death emergency.

Even then, they should think twice.

Letting people know will help them keep from bothering you while you study.

Be an active learner

A class is more than just listening to a speaker.

Take notes and read them later.

Say what you have learned without using your notes.

Writing your notes out in your own words is another good way to engage your mind in the learning process.

Create small tests and take those tests to see what you have learned or need to study more.

Think it through

Thinking about how this would work in real life is important in fields like security work.

When looking at your notes, think about what the speaker said in terms of what it would look like.

Imagine yourself in that situation and doing what the speaker or trainer said.

This will help make it more real to you and will activate more of your senses.

working security at night

Schools Offering Online Security Guard Training

School Name Address
Penn Foster 925 Oak Street, Scranton, PA 18515
AEGIS Security & Investigations 10866 Washington Blvd. Suite 309 Culver City, CA 90232
Guardian Group Services 44 Court Street - Room 820 Brooklyn, New York 11201
Sec-curity Safety Center – New York & New Jersey 172-21 Hillside Avenue, STE 204-205 Jamaica, New York 11432, USA
Vector Solutions 4890 W. Kennedy Blvd Suite 300 Tampa, FL 33609
MySecurityTraining No physical location
Invictus Security Training School 7100 Pines Blvd #25, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024
Security Training Group 3200 S Congress Ave Suite 203, Boynton Beach 33426
Online Security Guard Training 3800 N Lamar Blvd. Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78756
Valley Guard Online 16140 Cohasset StreetVan Nuys, CA 91406
Alliance Training & Testing 315 Deaderick St #125 Nashville, TN 37238
Go Strapped Firearms Training 3325 W Pioneer Pkwy Arlington TX 76013


Most, if not all, of the training to become a security guard, can be completed online.

Online classes are more convenient and a lot less expensive.

You can become an entry-level security guard on the introductory course, and take more training to get a higher-level position.


Frequently Asked Questions

Which states do not require licensing to become a security guard?

There are nine states that do not require security guards to be licensed.

They are:

  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • South Dakota
  • Wyoming

Some cities inside those states do have requirements for licensing or certification.

There are differences in the types of licensing in states.

A total of 22 states have no requirement for unarmed guards, and 15 have no training requirements for armed guards.

What are some differences in licensing for various states?

Licensing is required to some degree in 41 states, and there can be great differences.

There is generally more education required for armed security guards than for unarmed guards, and most are unarmed.

South Carolina requires four hours of initial training and four more for armed officers.

Alaska requires 48 hours of training and eight more hours for armed guards.

Mississippi does not require training but does require armed guards to have weapons permits.

What is the essential job of a security guard?

Security guards are not policemen and that is an important difference to be aware of.

A security guard’s main duty is to protect the property of a government agency or private business.

This can involve preventing theft, violence, or breaking rules.

Security guards also work to prevent fires and safety hazards.

They may protect against vandalism and illegal entry.

Most of the time, security guards do not make arrests but will report illegal activity and alert police when needed.

Much of the work involves monitoring and reporting what you see.

What is the salary range for security guards?

The pay for security guards varies a lot depending on how hazardous the work is, and the location.

A security guard in an industrial complex who only checks IDs at a gate might make $10 per hour.

Generally speaking, an entry-level security guard will make between $11 and $19 per hour.

An armed security guard at a bank would make well over that amount.

The yearly salary ranges from $27,000 to $45,000 per year across the United States.

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