How Much Does it Cost to Get a Security Guard License?

Learn how much it costs to get a security guard license, including training, exam, and application fees. Plus, how to get started and make the most of your job training investment.

Getting your security guard license is a way to invest in your future by unlocking employment opportunities with the pay, benefits, growth opportunities, security, and personal fulfillment you seek. Like any investment, you must carefully research various cost elements to properly plan and budget your educational journey.

Introduction to Security Guard Licensing

To accurately evaluate the level of investment it will take to earn your security guard license, you need to know how the process works. For first-time applicants, the licensing requirements include:

Why You Need Your Security Guard License

To legally work as a security, you need to hold a valid (not expired) security guard license in the jurisdiction in which you work. For instance, aspiring security guards in Ontario, Canada, must have a license issued by the Government of Ontario. If you move or start working in a different place, you may need to transfer your license to stay employable.

Getting licensed assures employers of your training, knowledge, and adherence to industry standards. Beyond legality, earning your security guard license shows employers that you have professional credibility they can trust. Without this credibility, they can’t be confident that the security guard they hire is adequately trained. And if they’re not satisfied with you, they won’t hire you — so your license is the most critical step to kicking off your security guard career successfully (or at all, for that matter).

You also need a security guard license to prove you can hold up to the pressures of the job — and keep people safe. Part of the reason the license is required is to protect people from unqualified individuals being improperly trusted to guard their safety. Obtaining a security guard license requires training in emergency response, first aid, conflict resolution, and the legal aspects of security work. This comprehensive training ensures that licensed guards are well-prepared to handle the demands of their roles effectively. It not only equips them with the necessary skills but also instills confidence in their ability to protect property and people and respond appropriately in critical situations.

Just like the public places its trust in police officers, utility workers, firefighters, and other professionals with responsibilities to protect from danger, so does it trust that a certified security guard can keep things under control at their place of employment.

The Main Costs of Obtaining a Security Guard License

No matter where you live or plan to work, you’ll need to spend at least a few hundred dollars to obtain your license.

Criminal Record Check

A Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check (CRJMC) in Canada will cost about $25-$60 if you apply through the police service. You can get a list of Ontario entities providing CRJMC checks in our blog entry. Here is where to get a CRJMC check in Ontario.

Security Guard Training

While still widely affordable, paying for training through a certified provider is the most significant investment in your security guard career. Depending on the provider, this training can range from about $100 to close to $1,000. Choose the program that fits your budget, but remember that the quality of this training investment can impact your entire career.

Ontario Security License offers budget-friendly programs with the Exam Pass Guarantee, payment plans, and the option to access job readiness and placement services.

The Basic Guard Training is only $99.99 + HST and is available online, so you can learn and take practice quizzes from your phone, computer, or tablet. Over 33.5 hours of instructional content, it covers all 12 modules, including:

  • Licensing process overview

  • Overview of private security roles and responsibilities

  • The Private Security and Investigative Services Act (PSIS) Act and MCOC

  • Basic security procedures

  • Report writing best practices

  • Health and safety

  • Emergency response preparedness

  • Canadian legal processes

  • Canadian legal authorities

  • How to communicate effectively

  • Sensitivity training

  • Use of force theory

The Exam-Ready Guard Training with CPR is $199.99 + HST and includes everything in Basic plus emergency first aid with CPR (level C) training. Trainees also get access to an easy-to-use resume builder and exposure to hiring partners that prefer Ontario Security License graduates. The CPR training adds 7.5 hours to the 33.5 hours of security guard training, for a total of 41 hours. The CPR training is in-person training so that you can get the hands-on guidance necessary to learn this life-saving skill.

Finally, there’s the fast track to maximizing opportunity, earnings, and success as a security guard, the Complete Package Guard Training (CPR + Use of Force) + 1 on 1 Exam Prep is $569.99 + HST, packing in an exceptional value for the money. For the aspiring security guard who wants to ace their exam and walk into their first role with extraordinary levels of confidence, elevated capabilities, and a head start on a thriving career, this package offers 1-on-1 exam preparation and Use Of Force training. It also includes a 100% Job Placement Guarantee.

The personalized exam training means that candidates receive direct, individual attention focusing on their specific growth opportunities and reinforcing their strengths. This tailored approach ensures a deeper understanding of the material, equips candidates with effective test-taking strategies, and significantly increases their chances of passing the licensing exam on the first try.

Use Of Force training benefits security guard trainees by providing them with the necessary skills and knowledge to handle potentially dangerous situations safely and effectively. This training covers the legal aspects of using force and how to apply it appropriately and responsibly, ensuring that security guards are prepared to protect themselves and others while minimizing the risk of harm and liability. This kind of hands-on training gives guards confidence in their physical abilities to use force while minimizing harm and protecting life.

Exam

The Ontario Ministry exam for a security guard license costs $39.95. The 60-question test can be booked online but must be taken in person, so you should also factor in transportation costs to and from the testing center. You must pass the exam with a 63% score or higher, or you will need to retake it, including paying the fee again.

Application

In Ontario, it costs $80 to apply for a security guard license. The government licensing body accepts credit cards, debit cards, bank drafts, money orders, and certified cheques. The process takes about two business weeks if submitted online — and more like two months if you do it by mail, so if you want to get to work sooner, sticker it with online submission.

Because you will need a passport-sized photo for this application, you may also have to spend a few dollars to get that done locally. Smartphone apps are another option — these can take, upload, print, and mail your photos.

Getting Started on Your Security Guard Career

If you’re planning to get your security guard license and want to budget money to pay for all the costs involved, including training, exam fees, and application fees, a safe amount would be $500-1,000, depending on which level of training you’ll be taking. Providers like Ontario Security License offer payment plans to help make the cost more manageable.

If you’re finding it hard to budget or aren’t comfortable taking on a payment plan, here are two things to consider:

  • If you saved about $50 a week for less than three months, you’d have the cash to complete your licensing requirements. That’s about the cost of eating out at a restaurant — give that up for 10 weeks, and you’re on your way to a new career.

  • The increase in income you can achieve by becoming a licensed security guard. While budgeting or committing to payments can seem daunting, keeping your mind focused on the outcome — a rewarding, good-paying career — makes it easier to get it done.

Leveling up your skills and career opportunities is one of the best things you can do to improve your life and your family’s. In the case of becoming a security guard, you’re actually making a choice to put in the work needed to protect others, too—that’s another compelling reason that can help you stay committed to the financial investment.

Luckily, security guard training is one of the more affordable professional upskilling options, and the job opportunities are abundant. Once you’re confident in your finances, the next step is to sign up for security guard training courses.

Quinn Smith ·

Get trained and land a job as a security guard!