How to Become a Security Guard in West Virginia

How to Become a Security Guard in West Virginia

Not many people realize that security guards can actually have a career.

They are also needed in many different sectors.

Read on to learn about this occupation and how to become a security agent in West Virginia!

Security Guard Job Description and Requirements

Security guards have many duties to complete during their working hours.

These include:

  • 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

In West Virginia, private security guards and security firms need a license, whereas employed security guards do not.

To get hired, the most important requirements to meet are related to one’s character and background, while training is not.

Training or experience is needed by those who have higher positions, such as qualifying agents.

Other requirements are:

  • Age over 18
  • A U.S. citizen or resident alien
  • No addictions
  • A clean criminal history
  • No unfavorable professional history
  • Being competent in the view of a court of competent jurisdiction

Chapter 30 of the state code has all the events that could disqualify an individual.

You will not file applications with the state, but the employing agency must inform the licensing agency of all the employees.

Be prepared to be asked for a set of fingerprints and a passport-style photograph that the employer will keep.

No agency can hire individuals who do not meet all the requirements.

Becoming a Private Security Guard

This professional offers security services personally and does not employ other guards.

For this position or license you need:

  • To meet all the general eligibility requirements
  • 1 year of qualifying experience or training

The experience can be:

  • Accrued in the security business, at a private investigative firm, law enforcement, or elsewhere deemed substantially equivalent
  • 50 weeks of 32 hours can be considered as 1 year of experience

Another way to qualify is by completing 30 semester hours of course work in investigative studies, law enforcement, or a related field.

You can combine education and experience, such as 15 semester hours of coursework with half a year of full-time work experience.

Applying for the Private Security Guard License

You’ll need an application form that you can either download or request by telephone.

If you download the form, you’ll need to request fingerprint cards from the Licensing Division as these need to be done on official West Virginia cards.

Additionally, you can get fingerprinted at any law enforcement bureau from in or out of state.

You’ll also need a few other documents:

  • 5 references on forms supplied by the Board, from people you know for at least 5 years
  • Proof of qualifying experience or education
    • Through sworn statements by principals
    • Through school transcripts
  • Proof of a surety bond of $2,500
  • Paying the application fee:
    • A West Virginia resident pays a $150
    • A nonresident pays $550

There is a special form provided for the bond.

This form has to be notarized.

If the application gets rejected you’ll receive $50 from the application fee back.

The whole application requires notarization as well.

These applications must be mailed to the Licensing Division in Charleston.

Licenses must be renewed annually.

Qualifying Agent Requirements

Security service companies need a qualifying agent.

This professional is a supervisor and is responsible for the daily operations of the agency.

The qualifying agent will meet the requirements that are on a par with those of a private security guard.

The other members will need reference letters as well as fingerprints.

Security Guard Salary Information

Experience, actual position, and employer are some of the factors deciding how much you’ll earn as a security guard.

In some cities, salaries are on average, higher as well.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Charleston $37,110
Huntington $36,389
Morgantown $39,885
Parkersburg $36,177
Wheeling $39,885
Weirton $39,748
Fairmont $39,885
Martinsburg $45,148
Beckley $36,784
Clarksburg $35,851

Regional Salary in West Virginia

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Beckley, WV480$21,320$10.25$27,430$18,200
Charleston, WV3,300$23,670$11.38$30,440$18,200
Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH620$27,740$13.34$38,400$19,710
Morgantown, WV220$29,360$14.12$37,440$18,200
Parkersburg-Vienna, WV150$24,040$11.56$29,230$18,200
Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH110$31,080$14.94$39,220$20,220
Wheeling, WV-OH310$25,780$12.39$32,760$18,480
* 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

If you want to know if the laws and rules for this occupation change, check out the website of the West Virginia Secretary of State.

The Business and Licensing Division can offer further information for those with more questions or peculiar situations.

If you need to carry a concealed weapon, you’ll need a license.

For this license, you must be at least 21 years old and undergo training.

Those under this age can also receive this license for work purposes.

USA Security Guard License by State

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