Frequently Asked Questions


1 - Can I start working right after I take the NYS Eight Hour Pre-Assignment       Class?

 2 - What other training is required by law?

 3 - What do the courses cover?

 4 - Where do I get fingerprinted?

 5 - Do I need to be fingerprinted if I already have fingerprints on file?

 6 - How much does it cost to get the security guard license?

 7 - Is your certification valid only where the course is taken?

 8 - How about certifications from other states?

 9 - Are companies hesitant to hire women?

10  - What type of jobs are available with this certification? 

11 - Do you offer other courses that I can take? 

12 - How much do security guards make?

13 - How much do Executive/Dignitary Protection Agents (bodyguards) make?

14 - What about job placement assistance?

Q. Can I start working right after I take the NYS Eight Hour Pre-Assignment Class?

A. Yes, after you successfully complete the Eight Hour class, receive your certificate, and get electronically fingerprinted it is possible to start working temporarily for any employer authorized to hire security guards by New York State.  We tell you more about this in class or you can check with the New York State Department of State Division of Licensing Services.

Q. What other training is required by law?

A. Besides the NYS Eight Hour Pre-Assignment Course for Security Guards other mandatory training is as follows:

1. Sixteen Hour On-the-Job Training Class for Security Guards (required to be taken within 90 days after you start working).

Note: Some employers may require that you take the Sixteen Hour OJT Course before they will hire you.  

2. NYS Eight Hour Annual In-Service Training Class for Security Guards (required to be taken each year you are licensed, within one month before your anniversary date). 

To become an Armed Guard:

3.  For the special armed guard registration card (armed guard license) in addition to the above classes, you are required to take an initial NYS Forty Seven Hour Firearms Training Course (1X) and an Eight Hour Annual In-Service Class for Armed Guards each year. 

Note: In order to take the Forty Seven Hour firearms course to obtain an armed guard license, you must meet the following prerequisites in accordance with the current rules of the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services and NYS law: 

1. An unarmed security guard registration card (not just the training certificate, but the license card itself).

2. A valid NYS pistol license. If you do not have one, you must apply to your local licensing authority (in New York City and Nassau County it's the police department; in Western Suffolk it's the county police, in Eastern Suffolk it's the Suffolk County Sheriff).

3. A duty type firearm of at least 9mm or higher caliber (can sometimes be rented at the range but recommended you buy one first).

If you do not posses all three of the above, you may not take the Forty Seven Hour Firearms Course by order of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

Q. What do the courses cover?

A. For more about New York State Certification Courses please go to our Courses, Fees, Schedules and Enrollment page.

For those taking the NYS Forty Seven Hour Firearms Training Course, as well, training includes more intensive law regarding the use of physical force -- particularly deadly physical force -- pursuant to Art. 35 of the New York State Penal Law, firearms handing and safety, firearms proficiency, et. al.  The NYS Eight Hour Annual In-Service Course that Armed Guards are required to take review these subjects each year as well.

Q. Where do I get fingerprinted?

Contact IdentoGo at (877) 472-6915 or go to their web site at to sign up. A list of locations is also available on their page. They will ask you for an "ORI" number or code word and the ORI is "SecGuard".  S-E-C-G-U-A-R-D.  Spell it out for them, and tell them and they will make an appointment for you at the nearest NYS authorized electronic fingerprint location. If asked for a service code it's 1545R1.

Q.  Do I need to be fingerprinted if I already have fingerprints on file?

A. The answer is YES unless you are an active duty police officer as defined under NYS CPL 1.20 (retired does not count), but if you have further questions about this you may call the New York State Department of State Customer Services unit at (518) 474-7569.

IMPORTANT: If you try sending in your prints on ROLLED INK CARDS it may delay your license application for weeks or months and you will still have to pay the electronic fingerprint vendor's fee anyhow. You save nothing; you gain nothing! You only will waste precious time.

Q. How much does it cost to get the security guard license (total fees including fingerprints)?

A. (1) The 8 Hour Pre-Assignment Course tuition fee is $60 ($55 for some special categories, see our training  school page for details).

(2) In addition, you will still need to get fingerprinted by the authorized fingerprint vendor, "Safran Morpho Trust ($99* as of 7-1-17) electronic fingerprint fees)". 

(3) You must also apply for a license to the NY State Department of State ($36 license fee for two years). 

So the total cost is $60 (8 hour course tuition) + fingerprint ($99) and license fees ($36) = $195*. 

Note: All fees are as of November 1, 2018. Vendor Fee is subject to change in January and July of each year.

Q. Is your certification valid only where the course is taken?

A. The training certificates we issue are for state certifications and are valid anywhere in New York State.

Q. How about certifications from other states? 

A. Certifications from other states are not recognized by New York State for the purposes of security guard licensing.  The only prior training recognized by NYS can be found on the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services web site, and their link may be found on our home page.

Q. Are companies hesitant to hire women?

A. No way!  Companies are eager to hire women as security professionals because they are a valuable asset, in some cases they can be more valuable than men!

Q. What type of jobs are available with this certification?

A. The initial Eight Hour Pre-Assignment Course allows you to work only unarmed. If you would like to work armed you will need to take an additional 47 hours of firearms training and need to be at least 21 years old (minimum age of 18 for working unarmed). That is because you first need to posses a valid NYS pistol license before even handling any handgun. Note: Honorably discharged military veterans may be able to apply for a pistol license at 20 years old. Check with your local licensing authority for more information.

Q. Do you offer other courses that I can take?

A. Occasionally we may offer courses to our students or their employers for subjects like handcuffing and self defense tactics at alternate sites, advanced report writing, Interpersonal Communications Skills (Verbal Judo), self defense, Executive/Dignitary  Protection (for qualified individuals) Homeland Security (for organizations only), Special Security Forces (for qualified individuals)  for other courses like First Aid, CPR, and AED; also Self-Defense Tactics and Tactical Fitness Training by US Navy SEALs here and in other locations in the us and world. 

Q. How much do security guards make?

A. At the entry level UNARMED security guards generally earn between $12 and $18 per hour, and can earn up to (or over) $20 per hour (in certain cases) especially in schools and hospitals. This can depend on the company or organization that you work for; additional certifications you may have like first aid, AED, et. al.; time on the job; shifts worked, and your particular assignment, union membership, etc. 

NOTE: We do not normally recommend any one individual company because there are a number of good ones out there, but once you are working for an excellent company you should stay there. You may be picked for better assignments and get raises. As the old saying goes, the grass is not always greener someplace else! If you follow the guidelines that a good company gives you, and our ongoing training, you may have a very satisfying career in security, be it F/T or P/T.

(We talk more about all of this in class.)  

ARMED guards -- not to be confused with ARMORED CAR GUARDS which is a different type of state registration and is generally a lower paying job  -- usually earn more than UNARMED guards obviously because they carry weapons, have more required training and screening, additional licensing requirements (NYS pistol license), and more responsibilities/risks.  The pay for ARMED guards usually (but not always) falls in the $20 - $30 per hour range, and at times is even over $30 per hour. Most armed positions are in urban areas like New York City although there are some ARMED positions available outside of these areas, mainly in the suburbs.

In addition, both ARMED and UNARMED positions may also offer comprehensive benefit packages that may include health, dental, Rx, tuition assistance, life insurance, paid vacation, sick days, job security, etc. That is especially when working FULL TIME  for the better companies, institutions, or organizations or if you get a union job. In fact, working security in these cases can be a very good career in an ever-growing field. 

As a final thought, there are a number of more sophisticated branches of advanced positions in private security especially in certain critical and sensitive areas that go well beyond any of the above pay or benefit rewards mentioned above!

Q. How much do Executive/Dignitary Protection Agents (bodyguards) make?

A. Certified Executive/Dignitary Protection agents can normally earn anywhere in the range of $400 to $800 per day depending on the client and particular assignment, and can earn up to and over $1000 per day especially if traveling with the client.

Q. What about job placement assistance? 

A. We get a lot of inquiries about this. We offer exclusive FREE ongoing job placement assistance to those who complete any of the NYS Security Guard Training Courses with us. We will help you in your efforts find a job with employers we may refer you to, but we do not guarantee it. If the employers do not feel that you are a good match for their company or the positions they offer no one can force them to hire you.  Landing a job is more than 80% between you and prospective employers, and less than 20% us. 

We are also not an employment agency that charges you weeks or months worth of your salary in exchange of finding a job for you, and remind you that the service is ongoing and free as long as you stay in our affiliation. We perform this service as volunteers and you do not get paid by anyone for it.

It is up to the individual student to do the following: 

(a) Keep in touch with us. We do not have the time or resources to keep after students for this free service we offer.

(b) Follow the New York State Division of Licensing Services procedures to get your security guard registration card in a timely manner.

(c) Follow our instructions to the letter.

(d) Follow the prospective employer's instructions to the letter.

(e) Check our exclusive and private Facebook page (once you are our student member you may request friendship) regularly for exclusive new job postings in the private and public sector. We also post new local, state and federal government sector jobs, and can help you obtain these positions as well.

Remember: It is up to the individual to keep in touch with us!