How to Become a Security Guard in Illinois

The road to becoming a Security Guard in Illinois is a little confusing.

  • You first need to apply for what is called a Permanent Employee Registration Card

  • Then you can apply for an IL Security Guard License.

  • A PERC is just a verification of a clean criminal record.

Furthermore, to get a Security Guard license in Illinois, you need to take a government approved IL Security Guard licensing course.

  • This is a 20hr hour IL security license training course.

In Illinois, the government body that controls an IL Security Guard's license is called "The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation."


So, it is the IDFPR that will have to approve your IL Security Guard licensing course.


The IDFPR will accept the 20hr security training course if it is taught by an IDFPR authorized security academy.

  • Just make sure your 20hr course is taught by an IDFPR licensed school.

Once you submit your PERC and training proof to the IDFPR, you will get your Illinois Security Guard license called Private Security Contractor.

Investigator Aptitude Test



Illinois Security Guard License Requirements

  1. Age: You must be 18yo or older.

  2. PERC: You must first get a document called Permanent Employee Registration Card. A PERC is a verification that you have passed a state and federal criminal record check.

  3. Fingerprints: Your PERC records check will be performed on you via a fingerprinting service. Your fingerprint documents will be summited in your PERC application.

  4. Passport Photo: You need to submit a passport photo for your PERC application.

  5. U.S. Citizen: To qualify for a PERC, you need to be an American citizen or be legally allowed to work in Illinois. You will have to submit a copy of US or IL state government ID in the PERC Card application.

  6. Apply for PERC Card: Complete you PERC Card application. This costs around $55 USD.

  7. English: You must be able to speak and write in English.

  8. IL Approved Security License Course: You need to take an Illinois approved 20hr security licensing course called Unarmed Security Officer Certification Course. You will have to submit an IL security training verification document in your application. The security course will need to be administered by an approved instructor.

  9. Specialized IL Security Guard: There are multiple specialized IL security fields you can enter, such as armed security. These fields require approved education.

  10. Application: You can apply for an IL Security Guard License via an online portal.

PERC Application
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What Does an Illinois Security Guard Do?


Illinois Security Guards Patrol Vacant Locations

Illinois Security Guards will do foot patrols of locations for a set number of times per shift.


A common task for an Illinois Security Guard will be checking mechanical rooms for any unusual signs or potential health and safety issues.


Illinois Security Guards watch for hazards and fill out hazard reports (Illinois Guards write a lot of reports).


Guards in Illinois document and report maintenance issues to supervisors.


Many Illinois security sites require Guards to monitor fire extinguishers to ensure that they are not overdue for inspection (official reviews are done by maintenance personnel).


Illinois Security Guards write a lot, including filling in logs as their shifts progresses with what activities are being done at what times. Illinois Guards will have their own security notebooks and will constantly note all unusual sightings, occurrences, and incidents.


Illinois Security Guards will respond to alarms and act accordingly as per the Emergency Response plan set in place by supervisors. This may include,

Evacuation of the security site.

Checking alarm system on the way out for information about where the problem is occurring.

Contacting supervisors.

Responding to incidents and completing all reports as necessary.



Illinois Security Guards Protect Sites with Customers

If an Illinois Security Guard is working in a team environment, they will usually meet for a pre-shift briefing at a set location. Once the meeting has been completed the Illinois Security Guards will go directly to their designated sites.


In Illinois security site locations with customers, Guards will do a lot of patrolling. This can be in a building or outside in places such as parking lots.


Illinois Security Guards are usually responsible for site cleanliness when there are no designated cleaning staff. This means as an Illinois Security Guard, expect to be cleaning a lot of trash.


Monitoring CCTV cameras will be a big part of an Illinois Security Guard’s job. This will be on a continuous basis with follow ups on issues seen.


When it comes to security sites in the service industry, Illinois Security Guards will have to assist customers in various non-security ways. This can be giving them directions or carrying items for them. Furthermore, Illinois Security Guards will often be expected to be friendly, outgoing, and talkative with customers in their security sites.


A constant security issue for Illinois security sites with customers will be smoking, alcohol consumption, and narcotics. Illinois Security Guards will often be making sure people aren’t smoking in non-smoking areas, consuming alcohol, or narcotics. For the latter, an Illinois Security Guard will usually report the issue to local police.


If the Illinois security site is a residence, responding to noise complaints will be a big part of the job.


Of course, catching shoplifters will be a constant for an Illinois Security Guard in a site with customers.



Illinois Security Guards Work at Security Gates

Illinois Security Guards will patrol parking areas to make sure vehicles are registered at that security site.


Every person entering through the security gate will produce valid photo ID to the Illinois Security Guard. The Guard will determine if the individual may pass.


During medical emergencies, the Illinois Security Guard will direct traffic to allow easy access for Illinois EMS vehicles.



Illinois Security Guards Deal with Medical Issues

Emergencies at an Illinois security site can happen at any time, day or night. On going communication will be key for all Illinois Security Guards involved to get through the emergency with the best possible outcome.


Illinois EMS/ ambulances will often be called by Illinois Security Guards.


The Illinois Security Guard that places the 911 call will relay info regarding who, what, where, why, and when.


Illinois Security Supervisors will usually take lead on these incidents and direct other Illinois Guards to specific tasks to perform during the emergency.


Illinois Security Guards will always remain calm and professional. Furthermore, they will assist however they can.

About the Author

IL security

Peter Sandru is an Instructor & Co-Founder of NDIL with over 15 years working in security. Peter has spent more than a decade conducting security operations throughout the world, primarily for corporations, law firms, and government agencies. Peter has assisted in the creation of numerous security training programs in various capacities.