How to Become a Security Guard in Virginia

How to Become a Security Guard in Virginia

In Virginia, security guards can have successful and stable careers.

If you’re interested in this career path, all you have to do is read this guide to see if being a security agent in C is the right occupation for you.

Security Guard Job Description and Requirements

The Department of Criminal Justice Systems (DCJS) in Virginia oversees security agents in this state and recognizes armed and unarmed agents.

High-level managers can be licensed as compliance agents in Virginia as well and all security businesses need such a professional.

Some of these agents are exempted under state code.

Such a professional is hired to monitor properties and keep intruders out.

Security guards have many daily responsibilities, like:

  • Working together with law enforcement to report any suspicious incidents
  • Ensure that the laws are respected on your employer’s property
  • Keep an eye on TV cameras and alarms
  • Patrol the employer’s property
  • Write reports about what you found during your checkups
  • Interview witnesses in the case of criminal activity

Becoming an Unarmed Security Guard in Virginia

An unarmed security guard should meet these requirements:

  • Age of over 18
  • Be allowed to work in the US
  • Complete 18 hours of training

The training of the unarmed security agent must cover these topics:

  • Law
  • Patrol, communication, and access control
  • Documentation
  • Confrontation management
  • Emergency procedures
  • Use of force
  • General security officer duties,
  • Ethics,
  • Applicable state code,
  • Signs of terrorism

The Department has a complete list of schools that offer such training.

When the course completes, expect to take a written test.

Those with law enforcement or security experience can be exempted from completing if:

  • They can prove they received entry-level training
  • They have at least 5 years of continuous work experience
  • They submit a request supported by the correct documents

The registration of an unarmed security guard must be renewed every 2 years after completing 4 hours of continuing education.

Becoming an Armed Security Guard in Virginia

The requirements are:

  • Being at least 18 years old
  • Completing the 18 hours of standard training
  • Completing an additional training session

The additional course work  must cover:

  • Arrest authority -8 hours
  • Handgun training – 24 hours
  • Shotgun training – 3 hours; only if you’ll have access to a shotgun for work

The Department also has a list of schools that provide training for future armed agents.

Individuals need to pass a written test and a range.

You cannot take the range test without passing the written one.

The passing scores are 70% and 75% respectively.

These security guards also need to renew their registration every 2 years, but the permit for the weapon must be renewed every year.

Security Officer Application Process

The application process involves additional requirements and preparing some documents as well.

These include:

  • Undergoing a background check based on your fingerprints
  • Court records for those who were previously convicted
    • Reference letters
    • Evidence of rehabilitation
  • The notification sent the training school directly
  • Proof of residence
  • Paying the fee of $50

The background check for just 120 days, so you must be careful how early you complete this step.

Those who qualify for alternative training will need:

  • Supporting documentation
  • An additional fee of $25

Becoming a Compliance Agent

To become a compliance agent you need:

  • At least 3 years of experience at the managerial or supervisory level in security, law enforcement, or a related field
    • It can be replaced by 5 years of experience if you had a lower position
  • Complete a training session of 6 hours
  • Score at least 80% on the exam
  • Submit the training enrollment application along with the additional documents
    • These include fingerprints and documentation of eligibility
    • Application fee of $50

The training will be paid for by the candidate and it costs $75.

The exam can be taken only twice, after which the individual needs to retrain and re-apply.

Renewal is based on the completion of in-service requirements.

A compliance agent as part of the application process for a security business.

Security Guard Salary Information

The salaries for these agents vary with their experience and actual position.

As you get more experienced, you can expect your salary to also increase.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Virginia Beach $38,948
Norfolk $38,361
Chesapeake $38,312
Arlington $45,352
Richmond $40,651
Newport News $38,165
Alexandria $45,352
Hampton $38,165
Roanoke $37,665
Portsmouth $38,361

Regional Salary in Virginia

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA320$35,330$16.99$50,390$22,880
Charlottesville, VA380$36,790$17.69$54,500$22,890
Harrisonburg, VA160$35,780$17.2$50,380$23,130
Lynchburg, VA550$43,150$20.74$71,900$26,640
Richmond, VA4,430$36,670$17.63$56,360$23,840
Roanoke, VA1,160$35,120$16.89$49,910$23,700
Staunton-Waynesboro, VA130$38,650$18.58$58,370$25,250
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC6,070$34,160$16.42$51,430$23,180
Winchester, VA-WV190$35,710$17.17$51,180$22,880
* 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

To keep up to date with the changes to the laws and rules, you can reach out to the Department of Criminal Justice Systems (DCJS).

The Department can offer in-depth details about the fingerprinting process and other aspects of getting registered.

USA Security Guard License by State

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