Online Security Guard Certification and Certificate Program Information

Find out about online security guard courses and in which training programs they're most commonly offered. Get course descriptions, program info and online requirements to make an informed decision.

Essential Information

For individuals interested in online training to become a security guard, many schools offer private security certificate programs. The curriculum may include classes in security measures, crime prevention, white-collar crimes and criminal investigations. Online programs can prepare individuals for jobs in private and corporate security. They also prepare graduates to apply to become a Certified Protection Professional.

Online Availability Online-only programs are available
Online Requirements Audio/video software may be required

Security Guard Certificate

A private security program covers topics such as loss prevention, cultural diversity, crime prevention and the U.S. criminal justice system. Emphasis is placed on protecting both property and individuals against theft or other illegal activity. Graduates should be equipped with the knowledge and skills to interview witnesses, identify potential security issues, prepare reports and protect proprietary information.

Program Information and Requirements

Online private security certificate programs can run anywhere from approximately 10-30 credits and can typically be completed entirely through distance learning. Online students can communicate with professors and fellow students via platforms such as discussion boards and e-mail. They also have access to electronic library materials, career counseling, interactive classes and online seminars.

Technical requirements for online private security students may include an updated operating system, a sound card, speakers, a microphone and a Web camera. Students may also be required to have software such as Microsoft Office, AOL Instant Messenger, Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash Player.

Course Topics

While enrolled in an online certificate program, prospective security guards will receive an overview of the security field and the processes of the criminal justice system.

Crime Prevention

An online crime prevention course looks at prevention techniques used by security firms, police departments and more. The course covers topics such as tertiary prevention, community action groups and deterrence.

Criminal Investigation

A criminal investigation course emphasizes the importance of evidence, as well as the organization of various investigative agencies. The course also covers how to investigate varying types of offenses and the use of techniques such as interviewing and photography.

Criminal Justice Law

This course emphasizes legal aspects of the U.S. criminal justice system. Topics covered include American criminal law, various forms of evidence, how criminal justice agencies function, constitutional concepts and the trial process.

Private Security

An online private security course provides students with an introduction to the functions and philosophy behind the security industry. The course covers technological advancements in private security, security systems, risk analysis, basic security goals and computer security.

Career Information

Graduates of an online private security certificate program are prepared to work as a security guard in a variety of private and public settings, including department stores, hospitals, office buildings, storage facilities, banks, retail stores, laboratories and government buildings. Additional career opportunities may be found in the court systems, law enforcement and corrections. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for security guards was expected to increase by 12% between 2012 and 2022. The BLS also reported that security guards had median annual earnings of more than $24,410 in 2014 (

Continuing Education Information

According to the BLS, there are no set educational requirements for security guards. Most states, however, require that guards are licensed. Licensure can be obtained through classroom instruction in areas such as emergency procedures and property rights.

Although it is typically not required, security guards can also seek certification as a Certified Protection Professional through the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS) International. ASIS International has produced a set of voluntary training guidelines for security guards, which include passing a test covering topics such as the handling of evidence, emergency response procedures, report writing and crime prevention. For those looking for further advancement in the security industry, there are a number of online and campus-based criminal justice or criminology undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

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