How to Become a Security Guard in Massachusetts

There is a constant demand for security guards in Massachusetts, so this is a good field to search for a job in.

We prepared this guide to help you get started on this career path in this state.

Security Guard Job Description and Requirements

A security guard has more job responsibilities than just walking around a designated area.

Their duties include:

  • Keeping an eye on the monitors from the security cameras
  • Writing reports with what happened during your shift and rounds
  • Ensuring the laws and regulations are followed on your employer’s property
  • Collaborating with the police when necessary

In Massachusetts, security agents are not required to be licensed, and there are no state set of rules for these professionals.

It is only the agencies that need to:

  • Be licensed
  • Have insurance of at least $5,000

The insurance has to cover the actions of the agents as well.

There are some requirements for you to meet before you can start working.

They might vary from agency to agency, and if you’re going to be armed or not.

Some of the security companies will set higher standards compared to others.

The most common requirements are:

  • Having a clean criminal record
  • At least 18 years old
  • Having good English language/ verbal skills
  • Having strong computer skills

Becoming an Unarmed Security Guard

If you used to have a license and it got revoked or if you have been convicted of felonies, you’re not allowed to work as a security agent.

When applying for such a position, according to the law in Massachusetts, you’ll have to:

  • Provide a declaration you weren’t convicted of felonies
  • Show your employment history for the past 3 years

Your employer must keep the declaration and show it to the police when asked to do so.

There is no legal minimum age requirement for this position.

When it comes to each employer, though, they might ask for:

  • Age of at least 18 and in some cases at least 21
  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Previous experience in security or a related field

The previous experience can be sometimes substituted by a degree in criminal science.

If you want to get hired in a civil service position, you may have no educational requirements for an entry-level job.

You might have to show a driver’s license though.

The Massachusetts Division of Human Resources recognizes Institution Security Officer I, II, III, and IV.

For the Institution Security Officer II and up, you may need:

  • Experience in the police, law enforcement or security and/ or comparable education
  • An associate’s degree in police science, criminal justice, or law enforcement

For the Institution Security Officer IV job,  it is preferred you have an associate’s degrees instead of a bachelor’s.

Becoming an Armed Security Guard

You’ll need a firearm license if your job will require you to be armed.

In this state, there are a variety of licenses for firearms and the one allowing you to carry a handgun is the License to Carry (LTC).

For this license you need to be at least 21 years old, therefore you cannot become an armed security agent in Massachusetts before this age.

Unless a physician certifies you’re fit to carry a weapon, you cannot obtain this license if you suffer from some mental illness.

Substance or alcohol abuse will also disqualify you from this license and position, unless:

  • 5 years passed since you received treatment or were confined
  • A physician certifies you’re cured

You’ll also have to have a clean criminal history and undergo some training.

The Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR) approved the following courses:

  • Basic pistol course, home safety course, or personal protection course offered by the National Rifle Association
  • Massachusetts Carry Permit Course offered by Smith & Wesson Academy
  • Handgun Orientation Course offered by SIGS Arms Academy
  • Basic Handgun Safety Course offered by the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association

Be aware that the Massachusetts State Police continues to approve other courses, and its website has a complete list of approved classes you can take.

To become licensed, you’ll need:

  • To fill out the application form
  • To provide all the documents showing you’re fit
  • To provide a reason for needing the license
  • To provide the certificates from the firearm safety or hunter safety courses

The applications are generally left at the candidate’s local police department.

Salary Information

Even though when you start your salary is rather low, there are ways in which you can ensure you can earn more.

The ways include earning more experience on the job and getting hired in cities like Boston, Cambridge, Quincy, or Lynn.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Boston $45,902
Worcester $42,899
Springfield $42,268
Cambridge $45,902
Lowell $44,407
Brockton $44,122
New Bedford $42,940
Quincy $45,902
Lynn $45,902
Fall River $42,940

Regional Salary in Massachusetts

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Barnstable Town, MA360$48,280$23.21$71,410$30,960
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH18,900$41,180$19.8$51,360$31,400
Leominster-Gardner, MA190$36,920$17.75$49,050$29,640
New Bedford, MA370$37,810$18.18$47,180$29,640
Pittsfield, MA120$37,950$18.25$58,490$29,640
Springfield, MA-CT1,440$38,860$18.68$59,530$29,640
Worcester, MA-CT1,190$38,550$18.53$45,090$29,640
* 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 Executive Office of Public Safety and Security can offer more information related to the firearms license and the process of obtaining it.

The Certification Unit of the Massachusetts State Police is the body that licenses security agencies.

USA Security Guard License by State

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