Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Becoming a Security Guard in California and the Guard Card

Security guards have never been in higher demand in the state of California. This is an excellent career opportunity for anyone looking for a challenging and reward line of work. Becoming a security guard allows one to work in a multitude of different environments, both independent and as a part of a team as well as interact with the public and protect valuable persons and property.

But before you can get started in this field you will have to make sure that you have received the proper security guard training. In order to be employed as a security guard in California you will need a state license, better known as a guard card. The guard card provides employers with the reassurance that they are hiring quality individuals who are properly trained.

To apply for your guard card you will need to contact The Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS). This agency governs the licensing of security guards within the state of California. As is typical in most states there is an age requirement of 18 years in order to apply. There are no exceptions to this rule so it would be a much better use of your time to just wait it out if you are a minor.

The next requirement for applying for your guard card is that you complete an 8 hour power to arrest training program. These courses can be taken at several BSIS approved security guard training centers around the state. Once you have completed the course you will be required to write and pass a short exam.

The next stage of processing is a criminal background check. BSIS requires that you send this information to the FBI for processing. The best way to go about this is to get a digital copy of your fingerprints at any live scan center. You will usually need to book an appointment and possibly pay a small fee. Please note that there is also a $79 non-refundable fee that you must send to the Federal Bureau of Investigation along with your fingerprint records.

The final step in pursuing your guard card is filling out a written application and sending it by mail or electronically to BSIS. The best way to get the application form is to go to the BSIS website and download and print an electronic version of it. Once you complete your application you should expect to wait about 2 or 3 weeks for it to be processed before you receive your guard card in the mail.

In the meantime it is advised that you begin the process of looking for a potential employer. You can simply inform them that your guard card application is pending and they will usually be happy to begin the interview process concurrently. Please note that in order to keep your guard card up to date you will be required to participate in some periodic renewal tasks. These are done on the job in California so there is no further requirement on your time or money.

Becoming a security guard is a fantastic and challenging career for the right individual. As you can see, the training requirements in California are not that difficult. You just have to go through the right steps and obtain your guard card and you will be on the way to becoming a security guard before you know it!


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