How to Become a Security Guard in Ohio

If you considered a new career path, here you can learn more about what it takes to become a security guard in Ohio.

Security Guard Job Description and Requirements

There are more things that a security guard needs to do, and there are quite a few requirements to meet to be hired for such a position.

Your duties as a security guard include:

  • 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
  • Patrolling the designated area
  • Writing reports about what you found during your checkups
  • Interviewing witnesses in the case of criminal activity

The  Ohio Private Investigator Security Guard Services (PISGS) oversees and recognizes several roles played by security professionals.

These professionals are called security providers, and their roles include:

  • Security agents
  • Security company owners
  • Individuals hired to run security agencies

The professionals need a license, which can be:

  • Class A
  • Class B
  • Class C – only for security services

Regardless of the license class, all candidates need to pass a background check.

Additionally, those who need to carry a weapon will need a firearm permit.

This permit is also issued by the PISGS.

There are a few individuals who are exempt from receiving state credentials, such as those who protect the properties of their employers.

Background Process

Like in most other states, the background process uses the candidate’s fingerprints.

These are to be collected through the approved vendor WebCheck.

Unlike most other states, the process is carried out by:

  • The Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) for the unarmed security guards
  • BCI and the FBI for the armed guards

BCI has to be informed if the individual will carry a weapon.

The background check cannot be older than 30 days on the date when you apply.

Not everything discovered in the background investigation will disqualify an individual.

For instance, most convictions must be older than 3 years.

It is up to the employer to register their employees.

For this, a passport-type photo of the employee is needed.

The agents will receive an ID card that they will have to renew every year.

Armed Guard Requirements

Those who need to carry a weapon will need to enroll in a training program that received the approval of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission (OPOTC).

This program has to be at least 20 hours long and must cover topics related to the usage of a handgun.

Individuals may learn how to handle other types of firearms as well.

These individuals cannot have received any convictions for domestic violence.

Those who receive their firearm permit must requalify every year.

Qualifying Agent Requirements

A security agency must have at least one qualifying agent, be it the owner or a person hired by the owner.

However, an agency may even have more qualifying agents.

This person has to submit a series of documents to verify their character and qualifications.

Other requirements include:

  • 5 professional references from people that the person knows for at least 5 years
  • Proof of integrity
  • At least 2 years of experience in a related field
    • The experience can be as an attorney, education in law enforcement, or criminal justice
    • The education must be accumulated in the previous 10 years
  • Passing an exam

It’s important to know that candidates who use education as experience, still need at least 2,000 hours of security work experience.

They cannot use education to substitute for the whole work experience requirement.

The exam can be taken after sending the application.

The exam will test on the knowledge of business, state laws, and rules, especially Chapter 4749 of state code and the associated rules.

Only those who get notified can take the exam, and not more than 90 days can pass since the notification.

Candidates will need to reapply if:

  • They fail 3 times in a row
  • They don’t show up to the exam

Application Process

The applications for security provider and qualifying agent must be submitted together, and this can be done online as well.

Documents proving experience or education must be submitted.

Other documents include:

  •  A copy of the DD-214 for former military personnel
  •  Letters of good standing from the state’s supreme court, if this applies
  • A 2×2 photo
  • A copy of the OPOTA certificate
  • A recent score sheet, if you’re a peace officer

If you’re a veteran or the spouse of one, the process will be expedited.

Security Guard Salary Information

The salary of a security agent is based on a series of factors, such as experience, employer, and even the city they’re employed in.

In Columbus and Cleveland, average salaries are generally higher than in other parts of the state.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Columbus $40,190
Cleveland $40,325
Cincinnati $39,840
Toledo $39,432
Akron $39,115
Dayton $39,604
Canton $39,060
Youngstown $38,695
Lorain $39,669
Hamilton $39,677

Regional Salary in Ohio

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Akron, OH1,710$37,450$18$64,710$22,790
Canton-Massillon, OH710$35,860$17.24$64,100$20,620
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN7,620$35,550$17.09$51,480$22,520
Cleveland-Elyria, OH8,320$36,340$17.47$62,600$22,300
Columbus, OH7,640$37,080$17.83$52,170$22,770
Dayton, OH2,040$36,600$17.6$61,610$22,140
Lima, OH110$37,580$18.07$53,860$20,440
Mansfield, OH110$40,020$19.24$80,950$21,730
Springfield, OH110$38,750$18.63$67,360$19,340
Toledo, OH1,690$31,870$15.32$45,930$20,600
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA1,140$30,930$14.87$46,940$20,150
* 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

You’ll need to contact the licensing agency by email with questions related to the status of your application.

USA Security Guard License by State

One Comment
  1. Avatar for Andrew Leroy Hopkins jr Andrew Leroy Hopkins jr

    is 1040 hours of experience still acceptable for a person applying for class a, b, or c, license with a bachelors degree

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