A State by State Security Guard License Guide

Security Guard Requirements in Wyoming

Wyoming does not currently license security guards. However, some security guards are subject to local law. Casper, for instance, licenses both individual security guards and the security companies that they work for.

Where there are no laws in place, requirements are set by the individual employer. Some security guards are hired directly by stores or other businesses. Many work for security agencies. Some agencies that hire in Wyoming operate across state lines. While requirements will depend on the contract, they can be quite high. Still other security guards work in the public sector. They may be hired to safeguard public properties and the citizens. Security guards may also be hired by federal agencies. An example would be those who work at airports. Public sector employees are subject to regulations set at the state or national level.

Even when there are legal mandates governing hiring, they often represent a minimum standard for public safety. The basic requirements for licensure as a security guard in Casper include a clear background check and signed information release form. The guard is not licensed until there is intent to hire. This is also the case in many states where registration is mandated at the state level. Once the employer has selected a preferred candidate, the state evaluates his or her background to make sure it meets standards. Training is usually required, but the state often does not actually require that it be completed until post-hiring.

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Requirements for Security Guards Hired by Major Contract Security Companies

Security guards are generally expected to clear criminal background tests and demonstrate acceptable work histories. Some contract security companies also check motor vehicle records and/ or require drug testing. There may be a comprehensive physical examination. Security agencies may, at the request of a client, require assessments such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI).

Requirements for Security Guards in the Public Sector

Civil service jobs represent a small portion of the security guard industry. However, state job classifications typically follow a well-defined career ladder, and human resource agencies provide a set of generic job descriptions which may provide some insight into expectations in the private sector as well. Wyoming Human Resources lists multiple security-related positions, among them Security Guard I and Security Guard II (http://agency.governmentjobs.com/wyoming/default.cfm?action=agencyspecs). The educational expectation at the Security Guard I is a high school diploma. A Commercial Driver's License is among the other requirements. At the Security Guard II level, the expectation is an associate's degree and progressive experience as a Security Guard I. The stated preference is for a degree in criminal justice. However, additional experience may substitute for education.

Among the highest paid security-related public service roles is State Hospital Security Guard Manager. At this level, the educational expectation is a bachelor's degree. Criminal justice is listed as the typical degree. Again, some substitutions are allowable. A professional could be considered after three to four years climbing the ranks as a security guard.

Actual job postings may stipulate additional requirements. A recent job posting for state security officer in Cheyenne noted that candidates were to have knowledge of the security industry and that preference would be given to those who had experience in roles such as civilian or military police or corrections.

Armed Security Guard Expectations

Wyoming is an open carry state and has, as of yet, set no specific eligibility or training requirements for armed security guards. However, employers may set standards at the generally accepted national standard. A recent posting on a local job board illustrates this. The candidate was expected to be at least 21 years and hold a high school diploma or the equivalent. He or she needed to be willing to have a criminal background check and a drug test.

This is similar to what is required in many states. Drug use or excessive use of alcohol is typically listed as a disqualifier, though drug testing is typically not mandated at the registration or licensing level. One difference: States that license or register armed guards do typically require training. Often this involves more than just training in actual handling and usage; the individual may be required to have instruction in legal limitations of powers and in moral and ethical issues. Training culminates with the prospective armed guard firing one or more qualifying rounds. The armed security guard generally needs to requalify on at least an annual basis.

A contract security agency will likely have its own training program in place. However, previous knowledge and training may be valued.

Some employers favor candidates with military or police backgrounds as they have had comprehensive training that includes firearms usage. This experience may also be valued in situations where only nonlethal devices are used. A recent posting for hospital security officer in Sweetwater County is a case in point: The individual was to know how to use handcuffs and restraints. Previous experience was valued, but might be in security, military, or law enforcement.

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