Physical Security Certification and Certificate Program Information

Oct 20, 2019

Private security certificate programs are specifically designed to train individuals to become entry-level security guards. Students will get the basics of criminal law and learn principles of public safety.

Essential Information

Security guards are responsible for protecting individuals from physical harm and protecting properties from potential theft or fire. While there are no strict educational requirements for the career, some individuals pursue a certificate in private security. The curriculum provides students with a basic background in criminal law, criminalistics and measurements of public safety. Program length varies. Candidates must be in good physical condition, have a high school diploma and pass a background check.

Some programs also allow students to transfer credits over to associate's degree programs in law enforcement or criminal justice. After completing an approved educational program, students might qualify to become licensed. In addition, they could apply to become professionally certified.

Certificate Programs in Private Security

Students in these programs receive training in the various methods of identifying potential threats, overseeing physical security operations and communicating threats to police officers. Course examples include:

  • Introduction to the criminal justice system
  • Criminal law/criminology
  • Basics of criminal investigation
  • Physical security concepts
  • Physical security operations
  • Police, law and ethics

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a certificate program in private security have the education and training necessary to gain several different positions in the security field. Some options might include:

  • Security guard
  • Retail security patroller
  • Armored car guard
  • Private protection guard
  • Gaming surveillance officer

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), security guards and gaming surveillance officers should see 4% employment growth during the 2018-2028 decade ( The BLS also reported that these professionals earned a median salary of $28,490 as of May 2018.

Certification Options

Several states do require that security guards gain licensure by completing a training program and passing a background check. Those security guards who carry guns must gain additional licensure. Security guards can also elect to gain national certification from ASIS International.

A certificate in private security will provide individuals with credentials in threat identification, criminology and security procedures. Graduates may go on to pursue licensure or work in various areas, like private protection or gaming surveillance.

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