Security Officer Requirements in Alabama

The Alabama Security Regulatory Board licenses the state’s security officers and armed security officers. Prospective security guards must clear background checks and meet training requirements.

An individual must be at least eighteen to work as a security officer, at least 21 to work as an armed security officer. An armed security officer will hold a Board-issued certification and a pistol permit issued by the county of residence ( The latter will come from the sheriff.

The Alabama Board also recognizes Certified Trainers and Qualifying Agents. Qualifying Agents are professionals who take responsibility for regulated activities carried out by their Contract Security Company.

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Security Officer Training Requirements

Security officers must meet training requirements described in Section 34-27C-8. An unarmed security officer will need eight hours of initial/ basic training from a Certified Trainer unless exempted on the basis of other equivalent training or on the basis of employment within the field.

Training offered by a Board-approved trainer will cover, at minimum, the following:

  • Fire prevention
  • Legal information
  • Handling of crisis situations
  • Detention procedures
  • Crowd control
  • Equipment usage

The individual can expect a test at course completion.

An individual can be exempted from the standard initial training if he or she has completed security training through a military or governmental entity or through a security training institute within the prior three years. He or she may also be exempted on the basis of employment with a Contract Security Company that provides training at at least the level required for licensure in Alabama.

Peace officers, whether sworn or retired, are exempted from the initial basic training requirement. This is also the case with security officers who meet requirements for continuous employment. Exemptions are summarized in application materials.

Armed Security Officer Training Requirements

An armed security officer will need 14 hours of training. He or she will need to pass a qualifying course as part of his or her training. There are several options. The course may be offered by the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission or the National Rifle Association. If it is an NRA course, it must be approved by NRA Law Enforcement Activities Division as appropriate for private law enforcement. It the NRA course is offered by a Contract Security Company, the company must be in an affiliate relationship with the NRA and in compliance with rules. The Alabama Security Regulatory Board offers an approved course. There are separate qualification standards for handgun, shotgun, and rifle; these are described in Alabama rules and regulations.

Background Check Requirements

An individual would be excluded from licensure based on registration as a sex offender or on conviction of certain criminal offenses. Felony offenses are disqualifying unless the individual has been granted a pardon. Some misdemeanor offenses are also disqualifying. Violent misdemeanor offenses, for example, are disqualifying for a period of ten years.

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Fingerprints are to be made through a law enforcement agency. They are to be made on an FBI-approved fingerprint card or printout. The application packet includes instructions for officials who carry out fingerprinting. Those with questions may call (334) 353‐4340.

The Application Process

Application forms can be downloaded from the Board website (

An individual must provide two passport-style color photos.

Citizenship status can be documented by a state-issued driver’s license or ID. The licensing agency can also accept a passport, military ID, or United States Citizenship and Immigration Service Documentation. Age must also be documented; a copy of a driver’s license would also suffice for this purpose.

Applicants who are seeking training exemption from the usual training must provide documentation.

Those who have been arrested or charged with violations (including traffic citations) must provide details.

An applicant who has served in the military will need to provide a copy of DD-214 or equivalent document.

The applicant must make several sworn statements, declaring, among other things, that he or she is neither addicted to narcotics nor habitually drunk and has not been declared incompetent by a court. The Board reserves the right to require that an individual have alcohol or drug testing.

The application packet includes multiple forms that require notarization. In the case of the criminal history release form, the licensing agency can accept the names and addresses of two witnesses as an alternative to notarization.

The credentialing agency assesses a $50 license fee and $39.75 background check fee.

The Board may issue a temporary license to a security officer pending completion of training requirements.

Additional State-Recognized Credentials

In order to be designated as a Qualifying Agent, one must hold licensing as a security officer or armed security officer. A professional who will be serving as a Qualifying Agent must submit, in addition to the standard application materials, a cover letter from the Contract Security Company that he or she will be providing services for.

Alabama law stipulates that, in order to be approved for licensing, a Contract Security Company must have at least one Qualifying Agent who has at least three years of supervisory, management, or administrative experience in security or law enforcement.

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Board Certified Trainers must be at least 21 years of age. They must have two years of supervisory experience; this may be in law enforcement or security. They must either 1) complete a two-week instructor course or 2) demonstrate a year of security-related instructional experience.

To be certified as a Certified Trainer 2, one must also be certified as a law enforcement firearms instructor by an approved organization. Approved organizations include the following:

  • Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
  • National Rifle Association

Additional Information

Licensing information is available from the Alabama Security Regulatory Board ( The Board can be reached by email at ‘SecurityBoard at’ or by telephone at (334) 269-9990.

Professional association provide additional career resources. Alabama has several chapters of the American Society of Industrial Security; among them is ASIS North Alabama (