Security Guard, Unarmed Licensing

States Licensed


of 50 states and D.C.


Burden Rank


for average burdens 1st is worst


Combined Rank


for states licensed x average burdens 1st is worst

Change from 2017 to 2022, if any:
Burden increased
Burden decreased
Mixed burden change
New license
Eliminated license
2022 Licensing Burden Rank
Lower Burden Rank
Higher Burden Rank
No state license

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Security guards guard, patrol or monitor premises to prevent theft, violence or infractions of rules.

2022 Snapshot

  • 17 unlicensed states
  • Days lost range from 0 (8 states) to 243 (North Dakota)
  • Fees range from $5 (Rhode Island) to $228 (Connecticut)
  • 19 states require 1+ exam
  • 27 states set minimum age
  • 4 states set minimum grade

Changes Since 2017

  • No licenses created or removed
  • Fees changed most often and changes were evenly split between increases and decreases; Montana increased education, while Utah lowered it
  • Burden rank and combined rank stayed the same, largely because of burden changes in similarly ranked occupations

2022 Licensing Burden in Detail

N New License
E Eliminated License

Data Notes: 2022 data collected between February 3, 2020, and March 18, 2022. Fees include charges for application review and license issuance; exams; background checks, credit reports and fingerprinting; recovery fund contributions; third-party certification; and certain fees for training courses. Calendar days lost were estimated based on required education and experience; except for amounts smaller than one day, days lost are rounded to whole days and thus may not reflect very small changes between 2017 and 2022. Appendix A details methods for estimating days lost and calculating burden ranks. Complete data, including revised 2017 data, are available at

Additional Resources