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Florida Community College programs of study

Workforce Certificate

Private Security Officer Program (5500)

This program prepares students for certification and state licensure as private security officers in a wide range of security related fields to include commercial and industrial property protection, retail property theft prevention and recovery, prisoner transportation to and from medical treatment, bank and armored car guards, and bodyguards in the State of Florida.

Officers have two licensure options. To become a state licensed unarmed security officer, the student must successfully pass a state background check, pay the appropriate state licensing fees, and complete the Unarmed Private Security Initial and Renewal Courses of instruction anytime within a two year period. Successful officers will also receive two workforce credit certificates.

For successful program completion and to become a licensed armed security officer, the student is required, at a minimum, to complete the Unarmed Private Security Officer Initial Course as a prerequisite to completion of the Armed Security Officer qualification course. In order for the student to retain both the Unarmed and Armed Security license, the successful officer must then complete the Unarmed Private Security Officer Renewal course anytime within two years of the initial license. Successful officers with program completion will receive three workforce credit certificates.

Expected Job Growth: Employment is expected to grow faster than the average as concern about crime and terrorism continue to increase the need for security. Demand will also grow as private security firms increasingly perform duties which were formerly handled by police officers and marshals.

Starting Salary: $19,000

Certification and Licensing:
Graduates of this program who pass a state background check and pay the fees will be licensed as Armed Security Officers. Students also have the option to become licensed as an Unarmed Security Officer. To maintain licensure, students must take a renewal course within two years of initial licensure.

Application Procedure

Selected Entry Prerequisites (Unarmed License Applicant):

  1. Must be, upon date of program entry, 18 years of age.
  2. Must be U.S. citizen or legal resident alien with work permit from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  3. Must submit fingerprint card for proof of good moral character.
  4. Must not have disqualifying criminal history.
  5. Must not have disqualifying history of mental illness, or alcohol or controlled substance abuse.
  6. Must have current residence address in Florida and five year residence history.
  7. Must have five year prior employment history and/or military service record (if applicable).
  8. Must have signed employer's approval statement for hire (to be completed on last day of training)
  9. Must sign a personal inquiry waiver and notarization statement to allow the state to conduct an investigation of the applicant's background statements to include any criminal history, school records, employment history, financial records and any history of controlled substance abuse, alcohol abuse, or mental incapacity.

Selected Additional Entry Prerequisites (Armed License Applicant):

  1. Must meet all prerequisites of the Unarmed License Applicant listed above with exceptions that follow.
  2. Upon date of program entry be 21 years of age.
  3. Must have health certificate signed by an examining physician stating that the person has no physical impairments to preclude performing duties in an armed capacity.


  1. Applicants provide proof of an earned high school diploma or equivalency degree.
  2. All applicants must complete College-Student Membership Contract.
  3. All applicants must satisfactorily complete a legible pre-test English Language Reading Comprehension and Written Report Exercise, administered during the first hour of each course.


Professional Courses
SCY 0501 Private Security Officer Unarmed Level 1 (24/1)
SCY 0502 Private Security Officer Unarmed Level 2 (16/.5)
SCY 0503 Private Security Officer Armed Level 1 (28/1)

Total Credit Hours: 68 contact hours/2.5 workforce credits

Estimated tuition is $135 (for Florida residents as of 7/04).


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