How to Become a Security Guard in New York

There is a strong demand for security guards in New York.

If you want to become a security agent in New York, you came to the right place!

Security Guard Job Description and Requirements

In New York, if you want to be a security guard you must register with the Division of Licensing Services.

You can only register if:

  • You have a clean criminal record
  • Are of age – at last 18
  • Enroll in and complete a training program
  • You have the right to legally work in the US
  • You pass a drug test

Military discharges or resigns cannot be dishonorable, but an explanation is expected for these cases.

Security agents have many responsibilities, and some of these are:

  • Patrolling the designated area
  • Writing reports about what you found during your checkups
  • Interviewing witnesses in the case of criminal activity
  • Working together with law enforcement to report any suspicious incidents
  • Ensuring that the laws are respected on your employer’s property
  • Keeping an eye on TV cameras and alarms

Security Guard Training

To be allowed to work, you’ll need to complete at least 8 hours of training.

When you first apply, you’ll need to provide a certification of completion of these 8 hours.

In the next 90 days, you’ll need to complete additional 16 hours of training.

The topics covered by both training sessions depend on your actual job, location, and duties.

If you need to carry a gun, you’ll have to train for additional 47 hours, but after getting registered.

You’ll need to obtain a firearm permit at the end of this training session.

To maintain your registration as a guard, you’ll need to continue your training annually as follows:

  • 8 hours if you’re unarmed
  • 16 hours if you’re armed:
    • 8 hours related to the occupation
    • 8 hours for the firearm permit

If you received training as a law enforcement agent, you may qualify for a waiver for the initial training.

You must ensure your training was on par with that of a security agent and that you received it in the previous 10 years.

You’ll need to request the waiver either by mail or phone.

If you receive it, you’ll need to include the answer in the application file.

Some peace officer and current police officers will receive the waver without a request, but they still need to document this.

Background Check Requirements

The background check is done using your fingerprints.

These are collected electronically, at the approved vendor MorphoTrust, at any New York location.

Remember to keep the ORI code.

You’ll also need 2 identification documents.

Both the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the FBI are to carry out the background check.

To complete the process, make sure to pay the associated fees:

  • $75 for DCJS
  • $14.74 for FBI

The fees are paid to the vendor who will issue 2 copies of the receipt, and you’ll include one in the application file.

Security Guard Application Process

To apply, you need to go to the Division’s website and download the forms.

The application forms are available in several languages besides English, and these are Chinese, Haitian/ Creole, Italian, Korean, Russian, and Spanish.

You’ll have to:

  • Pay the application fee – $39
  • Provide explanations if you answered “yes” to the background check questions
  • Take photos at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if you have a NY ID or driver’s license

If your status changes, you’ll need to notify the Division.

Private Patrol and Qualifying Agents Requirements

Individuals who want to start a security business, need to:

  • Be at least 25 years old
  • 2 years minimum experience in the security industry
    • You can credit the experience as a police officer or sheriff
  • Have insurance
  • Pass an exam
  • Have 5 character witnesses

Corporations need a qualifying agent.

This person will have to pass the exam and meet the experience requirement.

This agent doesn’t need to be registered as a security guard even if they provide services for their company.

Security Guard Salary Information

The place where you work will influence your salary the most.

If you seek employment in cities like New York, Yonkers, or Huntington, you’ll earn more than the average.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
New York $49,010
Hempstead $44,663
Brookhaven $44,420
Islip $44,501
Oyster Bay $46,538
Buffalo $38,961
Babylon $44,501
Rochester $40,161
Huntington $46,538
Yonkers $46,960

Regional Salary in New York

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY2,080$40,360$19.4$55,620$29,520
Binghamton, NY650$36,280$17.44$47,850$28,340
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY3,310$36,880$17.73$48,640$28,680
Elmira, NY100$40,540$19.49$60,780$28,070
Glens Falls, NY170$37,270$17.92$49,970$27,460
Ithaca, NY130$41,110$19.76$59,110$29,520
Kingston, NY330$41,870$20.13$54,040$27,730
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA124,250$41,370$19.89$56,770$30,280
Rochester, NY2,950$38,640$18.58$50,310$28,290
Syracuse, NY1,920$45,440$21.85$76,820$29,520
Utica-Rome, NY920$41,950$20.17$59,820$29,560
Watertown-Fort Drum, NY170$38,190$18.36$47,960$28,240
* 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

Being familiar with the state licensing act is a must for security guards.

The division can offer further information regarding the license or the process of obtaining it.

USA Security Guard License by State

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