How to Become a Security Guard in Washington

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How to Become a Security Guard in Washington

Do you want to work as a security guard in Washington?

Check out the article below for info about the requirements and training needed for this job.

Security Guard Job Description and Requirements

The security guard job entails being hired to patrol and monitor a property or place.

You will have many job duties to complete, and some of these are:

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  • 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 a designated area
  • Write reports about what you found during your checkups
  • Interview witnesses in the case of criminal activity

A security guard should also have some skills, which include:

  • Solid communication skills
  • Ability to decide fast
  • Empathy skills with the customers
  • Know how to use a gun if needed
  • Knowledge of public safety
  • Know the laws and regulations in Washington
  • Work well alone but also in a team
  • English language skills

Required Training for Security Guards in Washington

In Washington, you will get licensed through the Department of Licensing (DOL).

Some security guards work unarmed, while others opt to carry a gun.

If you want to carry a gun, you will need additional training.

The training will be finished through an approved program and a certified instructor.

In this state, you can only register after you get hired as a security guard.

When being pre-assigned, you need to train for at least 8 hours.

However, you can also opt to pursue higher education for increased job opportunities.

An associate’s or bachelor’s degree usually lasts about 2 years to complete.

Some of the classes you will take include the following:

  • Basic security guard principles
  • Legal power and limitations
  • Accident prevention and safety
  • Emergency response
  • Report writing

You will also have to take 8 more hours of post-assignment training.

The program should include the below topics:

  • Basic security guard role
  • Legal aspects
  • Conduct
  • Principles of communication
  • Access control
  • Observation and reporting of incidents
  • Safeguarding information
  • Evacuation process
  • Emergency response
  • Job assignment and post orders
  • Life safety awareness

After you get a license, you have to attend 4 hours of extra education before you can renew it.

You can also get a temporary work permit if you want to start working while pre-assigned.

Becoming an Armed Security Guard in Washington

To become an armed guard in this state, you will need 2 separate licenses.

The first one is the armed guard license, while the second is a firearms certificate

You will also need training in the following topics:

  • Legal limitations
  • Handgun safety
  • Handgun maintenance
  • Handgun fundamentals
  • Night firing

You should train under an instructor that is certified by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC).

You will also need to pas a shooting test as well as a written test.

You will need to pay a $100 firearms certificate fee.

While you don’t need to renew the firearms certificate, you will need to renew your armed status.

Applying for a Security Guard Certification in Washington

To apply for a security guard license, you need:

  • To be at least 18 years of age
  • To pass a drug test
  • A background check based on your fingerprints
    • There is a fingerprint fee you must pay as well
  • A high-school diploma or GED
  • EMT certification
  • Training diploma signed by your supervisor
  • To pay the registration fee:
    • $121 for armed guards,
    • $111 for unarmed guards

If you are not a US resident, you have to get an alien firearms license.

Becoming a Company Principal

This position enables you to be the head of a company or develop a new security guard agency.

To be able to apply, you need to:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Be an American citizen
  • Have a good character
  • Not have any addiction
  • Have a clean background record
  • Not have any mental illness
  • have or get liability insurance
  • Have at least 3 years of experience

If you don’t meet the experience criteria, you will need to take and pass a written exam.

The fee for the exam totals $75, which you will submit to DOL.

If you want to submit the principal application and company application, you have to pay a $350 fee.

The fee is only $100 when a current company changes its principal.

Salaries for Security Guards in Washington

Security guards in Washington have average salaries compared to the rest of the country.

Generally, if you have some experience, you will earn more than someone with an entry-level position.

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Additional Information

If you have a security guard license in another state, you will have to get it verified.

This will allow you to practice in the state of Washington.

For more industry updates and changes, you can contact the Washington Department of Licensing.

If you need info about firearm permits, you can reach out to the Criminal Justice Training Commission.

USA Security Guard License by State


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