How to Become a Security Guard in Sacramento, CA

How to Become a Security Guard in Sacramento, CA

Becoming a security guard in Sacramento, CA, can lead to a rewarding career in a critical industry. Folks who are passionate about protecting their communities can excel in a career as a security guard. Most of all, demand is increasing as more and more organizations in California rely on private security services to safeguard their critical assets.

In recent years, crime rates have increased in the Sacramento Area, and many organizations in the city have responded by deploying private security guards. The summer months, in particular, require additional vigilance due to events, concerts, and outdoor activities taking place throughout the region. Security personnel are now ubiquitous at large public gatherings, increasing the demand for guards and creating opportunities for folks interested in the profession.

2024 is an excellent time to enter the security industry as an armed or unarmed guard. You’ll likely be able to find work quickly, and by deepening your skillset with experience and education, you’ll be able to secure higher-paying roles in short order. We’ve put together this guide on how to become a security guard in Sacramento so you can start working in the field as soon as possible.

How To Get Your Security Guard Registration In Sacramento, CA 

Compared to many professions, the certification process for becoming a security guard is actually quite simple and straightforward. You must meet certain basic criteria, and complete all required tasks in the proper order. The state agency responsible for issuing licenses to security guards is the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services. BSIS rules require guards to renew their guard registration every two years.

To apply for a Guard Card in Sacramento, applicants must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older at the time of submission
  • Pass background checks from the FBI and California DOJ
  • Complete a ‘Power to Arrest’ training course

Again, the order of operations matters—prospective guards should be able to prove they have a clean criminal record before taking a training course. As a necessary first step in becoming a security guard in Sacramento, be sure to submit all required background and fingerprint checks.

One final crucial component is having a high school diploma or GED. While neither of these is required by the State of California, many employers in the industry list them as basic requirements. Find out about security guard companies hiring in the Sacramento area, and confirm your education credentials are in order.

Two TGA guards on blue background with white text

Training Requirements For Security Guards In Sacramento

California law requires security guards to be trained by state-approved instructors following best practices outlined by the BSIS. There are many certified trainers in Sacramento and throughout the state. The most reputable guard training companies will help you through the entire process and connect you with prospective employers once you’ve completed your training.

Every state does its licensing a bit differently. California’s approach allows you to get registered quite quickly, but emphasizes ongoing training that you’ll need to keep up with if you’re serious about becoming a security guard in Sacramento.

The steps involved in training to become a registered security guard in Sacramento are:

1. Complete a Power to Arrest Training Course

You’ll need to do this before submitting your application. Many organizations offer different versions of this course. Some versions can be taken online, but most require at least some in-person component to cover topics related to the “Appropriate Use of Force.”

Learning from experienced security professionals in a classroom environment is crucial since you’ll need several hours of practical instruction on physically intervening in a crisis. It’s important to note that “Use of Force” training is designed to inform you of the limits of your liability, and proper protocol for emergencies. Most of your time as a security guard will be spent observing and reporting – not strongarming wrongdoers.

2. Submit Your Application and Supporting Documents

Following this guide to the letter, you will have completed your background check before beginning your training. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to submit your criminal record check and fingerprint requirements to the FBI and DOJ before completing the application for security guard registration.

The application can be completed online via the BSIS website. Applicants are responsible for a small application fee and any fees that may be incurred from the criminal record check and fingerprinting processes. If you’ve taken your training with a reputable security guard instructor in Sacramento, they should be able to assist you through the application process.

3. Complete 32 Additional Hours of Training Within 6 Months

The BSIS has set up the licensing process in such a way that prospective guards can get registered and connect with employers within a few short weeks. This comes with the expectation that guards will complete an additional thirty-two hours of officer skills training within six months of registering with BSIS.

The mandatory topics covered in officer skills training are:

  • Public Relations
  • Liability & Legal Aspects
  • Observation & Documentation
  • Communication & Its Significance 

To complete the thirty-two required hours of training, Individuals in the process of becoming guards in Sacramento must take elective courses in addition to the mandatory topics listed above. You should consider your career goals, and what aspects of security work you’ll want to cultivate when selecting elective courses in:

  • Laws, Codes, Regulations & Ordinances
  • Introduction to Executive Protection
  • Employer Policies & Orientation
  • School Security Guard Training
  • Preserving the Incident Scene
  • Post Orders & Assignments
  • Arrests, Search & Seizure
  • Parking & Traffic Control
  • Handling Difficult People
  • Evacuation Procedures
  • Courtroom Demeanor
  • Work Place Violence
  • Fire Safety Course
  • Radio Procedures
  • Chemical Agents
  • Access Control
  • Crowd Control
  • Officer Safety
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Driver Safety
  • Supervision
  • Trespass

Applications take approximately 4-6 weeks to process – completing all of your required training in that time is possible. Once BSIS has processed your application, your security guard registration will be viewable online. A hard copy of your registration card (Guard Card) will be sent by USPS and typically arrives within three weeks of BSIS processing your application.

Guards must always have a registration card on their person while on duty. The state allows you to begin working as a guard while waiting for the hard copy to arrive by mail, so long as you have a print-out of your registration on the BSIS website and a piece of photo ID.

Renew Your Registration & Take Additional Training 

Security guards in Sacramento, CA, need to renew their registration every two years. This requires a separate application and marginal fee. Renewal can be done online and must be completed at least 60 days before the expiration date listed on the registration.

The City of Sacramento and the State of California want to ensure that security guards deployed throughout the region do not become complacent. The BSIS requires registered security guards to undergo eight hours of continuing training annually. This training could include topics from the list of electives mentioned in the previous section of this guide or related topics that meet BSIS criteria.

One training category yet to be mentioned involves courses and certifications related to weapons handling. Armed guards are in increasingly high demand throughout the state, and hourly rates for guards certified in the use of firearms are substantially higher. It’s essential to do thorough research before pursuing BSIS-certified courses in:

  • Firearms Training
  • Baton Training
  • Course in the Use of a Stun Gun or Air Taser

Once certified to work with firearms, you’ll need to renew your certification annually. BSIS’s Annual Firearms Requalification course can be completed in less than four hours. While taking care of your annual re-certifications, you should consider taking on as much additional training as your schedule and budget allow. Employers prefer security guards with skills beyond minimum state requirements; pay typically reflects this.

Become a Security Guard in Sacramento With The Guard Alliance Inc.

The Guard Alliance is state-licensed, fully insured, and has been proud to serve Sacramento for over a decade. Our armed, unarmed, vehicle patrol, and fire watch guards protect commercial and residential properties across California. We hire the best guards in the state – preferring to onboard military veterans, former police officers, and security guards who have shown a commitment to ongoing training.

If you’ve already received your guard certification from BSIS, we’d love to add you to our growing team of security professionals. Visit our Careers Page to fill out a job application. One of our team members will contact you with security guard opportunities in Sacramento.

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