How to Become a Security Guard in Mississippi

How to Become a Security Guard in Mississippi

Being a security guard means you’ll have a stable job as well as the possibility of climbing the career ladder.

If you want to know how to enter this field in Mississippi, this article is for you!

Security Guard Job Description and Requirements

As a security guard, your duties will include:

  • Keeping an eye on the monitors from the security cameras
  • Patrolling the property at set times
  • 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 if needed

In Mississippi, you’re not required to be licensed if you’re working in the private security industry.

However, if you’ll be an armed agent, you’ll need credentials issued by the state.

The armed guard will need to get their permit from the Department of Public Safety, or DPS.

The individual will need to pass a background check:

  • When they first get the credential
  • When they renew it
  • By answering a few questions
  • Based on fingerprints
  • At the state and federal level

Those interested in becoming a security guard will need to contact the Mississippi Highway Patrol/Department of Public Safety where their fingerprints will be collected.

While this is something the state mandates, each employer may ask for further requirements to be met.

These include:

  • Having to pass a drug screening test
  • Having related experience, from fields like:
    • The military
    • Firefighting
    • Service industry
  • Having computer skills
  • Having good communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Having some specific training classes, such as crisis intervention

Candidates are also generally expected to have a high school diploma, though, for certain positions, an associate’s or even a bachelor’s degree is preferred.

Applying for a Permit

The DPS website has all the application forms you need to fill out to obtain the permit.

The Firearm Permit Unit in Jackson processes the applications in person, so you shouldn’t mail any document.

You’ll have to answer questions related to your criminal and mental background, and provide details and documents if you answered “yes.”

These are some of the other documents you’ll need in the application:

  • A recent photo
  • The form mentioning the type of military discharge, if you have such experience
  • Documents related to your criminal and mental background, if you had any
    • Includes the documentation from a treatment provider
  • A notarized affidavit about domestic violence convictions
  • A notarized statement if you were born outside of the US
  • The total fee of $132
    • $100 for the permit
    • $32 for the background check

The permit is valid for 4 years and to renew it you’ll need to pay:

  • $50 for the renewal
  • $32 for the background check

If you’re a retired law enforcement officer, you’ll only need to pay the background check fee.

Civil Service Job Descriptions

The civil service jobs have multiple levels, such as:

  • Security Officer I, II, and III
  • Security Officer Chief I, II, and III

The requirements are differentiated based on the position.

For instance, the individuals hired for all the above positions need a high school diploma.

Law enforcement training is expected for some of these jobs.

If the position is a physical one, you’ll be expected to be able to lift between 50 and 100 lbs.

For some positions you’ll have to:

  • Prove you have good eyesight
  • Have self-management skills
  • Be accountable
  • Be service-oriented
  • Have managerial skills, especially for the ‘Security Officer Chief’ level:
    • Emotional maturity,
    • Results orientation,
    • Macro orientation
  • Have work experience in a related field, as follows:
    • At least 3 years for Chief Officer I
    • At least 5 years for Chief Officer III

Security Guard Salary Information

The more time you work for the same employer, the more you’ll earn, though a few other factors will have an impact on your paycheck.

Salaries are higher on average in cities like Jackson, Southaven, Olive Branch, and Horn Lake.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Jackson $36,465
Gulfport $35,823
Southaven $37,697
Hattiesburg $35,599
Biloxi $36,108
Meridian $36,112
Tupelo $34,368
Olive Branch $37,602
Greenville $36,218
Horn Lake $37,678

Regional Salary in Mississippi

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS1,680$28,810$13.85$42,720$19,660
Hattiesburg, MS260$29,500$14.18$46,350$18,470
Jackson, MS3,560$26,430$12.71$35,480$18,690
* 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 Firearm Permit Unit can offer further details about the firearm permit.

The firearm permit references Section 97-37-7 of state statute.

USA Security Guard License by State

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