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How to get a Guard Card

A New Guards starting pay is $20 an hour, more with experience. It is also more likely that you can achieve 30 hrs plus a week and become a full time team member with benefits. How do you become one? Read More:

Though it isn’t difficult to get a guard card in the state of California, you will have to put in some hours before and after you get your license to qualify for the position. Before you apply, the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) has a few requirements you should know about before you get started.

Before you apply for a Guard Card:

  • You must be 18 years old or over.

  • You cannot have a violent felony or misdemeanor on your record.

If you have a conviction for something other than a crime of violence, the State will consider the circumstances and any evidence of rehabilitation. You’ll have the opportunity to explain your situation on the Guard Card application. Be honest and you should be fine.

The BSIS also requires you to take 8 hours of training classes before you can apply for a California Guard Card. The two mandatory courses are:

  • Power to Arrest (4 hours)

  • Weapons of Mass Destruction (4 hours)

After you’re done with your initial classes, you will need to get your Livescan fingerprints

taken and the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will do a criminal background check.

There is:

  • NO drug test – The BSIS does not require one.

  • NO education requirement – You don’t need a high school diploma or GED to apply for a Guard Card.

After you get your Guard Card…

BSIS has a few more training requirements you need to follow to keep your Guard Card in good standing order.

Continuing Education

California BSIS requires a total of 32 hours worth of continuing education after your guard

card is issued:

  • 16 hours – Within the first 30 days.

  • 16 hours – Within the first 6 months.

Annual Refresher Courses

Every year after your first year, you only need to complete 8 hours worth of training in the form of “refresher” courses. The usual refresher courses are, but are not limited to:

  • Anti Harassment (2hrs)

  • Continuing Education (8hrs)

The time requirements are not absolute. The requirements are based on outdated systems. You used to have to attend a class in person, but now you are able to take your classes at your own pace online.

Hopefully this post has given you a better understanding of what it takes to get, and maintain, a California Guard Card. It takes time, and it can be confusing especially when it comes to the training requirements so if you ever have any questions, please contact Hannah Holliday will be able to guide you through the process.

Frequently Asked Questions about Guard Cards:

Q: I'm confused, do I have to pay for a guard card renewal only or do I have to take courses as well? I already paid for the renewal fee on the BSIS website. Do I need to also take more courses?

A: You do not have to take any courses in order to renew your card. The continuing education that you must take yearly is a different thing. You must have already taken your continuing education and get a certificate as proof. You will attach that to your renewal if asked.

Q: Do I need to take a firearms qualification?

A: You do not need a firearms qualification to work for Praetorian USA. We do not offer armed security as a service.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: Praetorian USA offers training online and the prices are comparable to most other training sites. However you may qualify for free training if you have worked at least one shift in the last 30 days and are a team member in good standing. Go to for current pricing.

Q: Do I really have to put in 40 hours of education before I can be a Praetorian Guard?

A: You used to. You used to only be able to take a class in person and the proctor was supposed to take the entire time so it was fair to the whole class. Now you can take classes online at your own pace. This may reduce your time greatly.

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