Being a security guard can be a rewarding and satisfying career. You have the opportunity to keep people in your community safe. To become a California security guard, you must follow specific steps and successfully pass several training programs.

Getting Started. First, you must be at least 18 years old and have completed high school or received your GED.

Next, you need to complete an 8-hour basic course and receive 100 percent on the written exam. The course is made up of two sections: Powers to Arrest and Weapons of Mass Destruction. Once passed, your fingerprints will be taken so they can be submitted to the California Department of Justice and the FBI for a criminal background check.

After your background check comes back clean, you’ll now be able to apply for a guard card and go to work for a security guard company (although you won’t take on full guard duties). To become a fully trained guard, you’ll need an additional 32 hours of course work, completed within the first 6 months of employment.

Your training doesn’t stop there. Security guards are required to take 8 hours of continuing education each year. Security guard companies, such as Access Control Security, often require more training depending on the type of security assignment.

Guard cards are good for only two years. When you reapply with the state through the Bureau of Security and Investigative Service, your continuing education requirements will be checked to make sure you are up to date with your training.

Access Control Security provides online guard licensing options. To find out how you can become a security guard in California, go to or call 877-482-7324.