How to Become a Security Guard in Maryland

In Maryland, the demand for security guards is steady.

If you want to become a security agent in this state, this article will guide you through the steps you need to take and the requirements you must meet.

Security Guard Job Description and Requirements

The State Police Licensing Division oversees security guards in Maryland.

There are several positions that the Division recognizes and oversees that are related to security guards.

If you need to be armed for your position, you’ll have to meet higher requirements and to apply for a permit.

The basic job duties include:

  • Patrolling a designated area
  • Writing reports
  • Watching the monitors from the surveillance cameras
  • Collaborating with law enforcement
  • Ensuring the laws, as well as the client’s regulations, are followed
  • Keeping strangers out

Unarmed Security Guard Requirements

You’ll receive the certification for this position if you:

  • Are employed
  • Prove to have a good character
  • Are a citizen or have the right to work in the US

The proof of a good character is done through a clean criminal background check.

The certification is valid for 3 years and to renew it, you’ll need to pass another background check.

Armed Security Guard Requirements

The requirements to be hired as a security agent are:

  • Obtaining the certification
  • Undergoing training to carry and use a weapon
  • Passing a drug screening test
  • No history of instability or violence
  • No convictions longer than 1 year
  • Explanation of why a handgun is needed

The training for these guards is at least 16 hours and must include shooting a qualifying round.

The instructor needs to be qualified and they can be found on the website of the State Police.

If you have experience from being in the law enforcement, military, or National Guard, you may qualify for exemption from training.

Completing training through a registered handgun instructor or if you are handgun instructors yourself, you may also qualify for exemption from training.

Employment as a security guard is usually enough explanation for the firearm permit.

The agency employing you will need to clarify in a letter:

  • Basic job duties
  • The gun’s storage place when not in use

You’ll need to have the permit for the gun before you can actually carry it.

Not everyone applying will also receive the permit.

Operating or Managing a Security Guard Business

You might want to start a security agency of your own one day.

For this you need:

  • To be at least 25 years of age
  • To have 3 to 5 years of experience in a related field
  • Complete the required training

The years of work experience varies based on the field of job you previously had, as follows:

  • For 3 years, with the approved training, the following are eligible:
    • A detective who worked for a police agency
    • If you trained through the Maryland Police Training Commission and worked in an investigative capacity for a governmental unit
  • For 5 years, with the approved training, the following are eligible:
    • Police officers
    • Fire investigators
    • Maryland correctional supervisors

Application Process

To apply you for a security guard certification, you’ll need:

  • To pass background checks performed by both the CJIS and the FBI
  • To pay the fees:
    • Background check  – $32.75
    • Security guard registration – $15
    • Handgun permit – $75
    • Security guard agency application fee:
      • $200 for an individual
      • $375 for a corporation
  • To fill out the most recent security guard application
  • 2 recent passport-style photos

The background check is based on the fingerprints that are collected electronically using Livescan.

This also applies to candidates that come from out of state.

You’ll need just one set of fingerprints, even if you apply for multiple certifications.

The vendor will charge a separate fee to collect the fingerprints.

You can fill out the application online on the website of the Licensing Division, and you need to choose the correct one for your situation.

The various versions available have different questions.

You will have to provide a series of extra documents for your application to be accepted.

If you apply for more certifications, you’ll need a set of 2 photos for each application.

You have to make sure the photos are not older than 30 days.

If you apply for a handgun permit as well, you’ll need to provide the qualification documentation for it as well.

Salary Information

Security guards with more experience earn more than those that just started.

If you seek employment in cities like Silver Spring, Waldorf, Gaithersburg, or Rockville, you can earn on average, a much higher salary.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Baltimore $41,881
Columbia $41,813
Germantown $44,018
Silver Spring $45,352
Waldorf $45,230
Ellicott City $41,854
Frederick $43,760
Glen Burnie $41,881
Gaithersburg $45,230
Rockville $45,297

Regional Salary in Maryland

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD13,890$41,780$20.09$62,670$28,780
California-Lexington Park, MD220$42,880$20.61$65,790$30,280
Cumberland, MD-WV120$36,380$17.49$43,970$28,350
Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV560$35,430$17.03$59,750$22,300
Salisbury, MD-DE640$35,970$17.29$46,860$26,000
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Security Guards, OCC Code 33-9032, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Additional Information

The Maryland State Police can offer more details regarding all the requirements you must meet, such as age or education.

There are separate sections for security agents and handgun permits.

They are called:

  • The Security Guard Section
  • The Handgun Permit Section

USA Security Guard License by State

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