Unarmed Security Guard Requirements For Illinois

Security Guard & Officer Legal Requirements In Illinois

Here on SecurityGuardTraining.io we want to provide you with all of the information you need to successfully become an Unarmed security guard in the state of Illinois!

Illinois. The Prairie State. The Land of Lincoln. You know, Illinois is not just the land of Lincoln. Although Abraham Lincoln was the first U.S. President from this State, he wasn’t the only one. So far, three other people from Illinois have become President: U.S. Grant, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama! Really, there must be something in the water here. The list of famous folks is also quite long. Among others, Illinois can claim Walt Disney, Cindy Crawford, Ernest Hemingway, Quincy Jones, Wild Bill Hickok, Charlton Heston, Bill Murray, Bob Newhart, Richard Pryor, Raquel Welch, Carl Sandburg, Miles Davis, Jimmy Connors and Ray Bradbury! And that’s just the short list.

Did you know that Abraham Lincoln wasn’t even born in Illinois? He was actually born in Kentucky, grew up in Indiana, and moved to Illinois as an adult. This means that Lincoln chose to live in Illinois. One of the greatest men our country ever produced didn’t just live in Illinois, he CHOSE Illinois. It makes you think, doesn’t it? That says a lot for this State. If you want to CHOOSE a new place to live, you should check out Illinois. It’s also a great place to find work as an unarmed security guard.

Minimum Requirements

Each state has different rules for unarmed security guards. In this state – like many other things in Illinois – you have to jump through a few extra hoops. It’s not a big deal. The rules in Illinois say that you have to have 20 hours of training before you can be certified. This is actually a good thing, because you will need all of this information on your first job anyway. Plus, once, you are fully certified you are all set to apply for positions that only accept certified security personnel! And in Illinois, those jobs could be anywhere and in any type of field. This State is so diverse, when it comes to jobs and industry, it really does seem to have it all.

Must be at least 18 years old
High school diploma, G.E.D or equivalent certificate

Helpful Additions

Training Curriculum

Illinois has Chicago and since 9/11 the reality is everyone is extra vigilant. Even a simple loss-prevention officer at a retail establishment is going to be required to keep their wits about them not just to protect company assets but also to protect the public in attendance. This is a representative example of some of the training you will undergo, though it varies from one classroom environment or unarmed security guard certified training center to the next.

Training Requirements

The State of Illinois has a pretty easy application process, though of course, the legal permission to be a employed as a security guard being controlled by a government bureaucracy, there's a few hoops to jump through.

Some employers will have specific training requirements, e.g. supervising dangerous chemicals or providing first responder services. Once you have your PERC card and are applying for a job, check with the company to see if they offer or require additional training. It never hurts your career to go above and beyond the minimum requirements.

Application Process

To obtain your PERC card you will need to download and completely fill out the application form from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation website. This is a government agency and a bit of stickler for details, so of course they won't accept a partially filled out document. Make sure you cross all of your tees and dot all of your ayes before you send in your form and your money. Also, being a government bureaucracy, be prepared to wait... and wait... and wait... it takes anywhere between four to six weeks for most people to get their PERC card from the date they apply.

Fees Schedule

There is only one official fee that is due, though you will also need to pay fees for a Livescan fingerprinting and for the security clearance check by your local police department. These costs vary depending on your city and county, though they are usually about $20. Because of how many cities and counties there are I can't detail the prices for everywhere so I suggest you be prepared to spend an additional $50 getting your fingerprints taken and the security clearance wrapped up. This website has further details on fingerprint processing fees

Permanent Employee Registration Card

Due when application is submitted

This fee is payable to the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and it is non-refundable.

Replacement Permanent Employee Registration Card


If you have the bad luck to lose your PERC card, or have it defaced, e.g. you washed it in your work pants, or the old one is out of date and has simply expired, you will need to re-apply. Generally the replacement card is processed a lot faster than the initial application.

If you aren’t familiar with Illinois, you might picture Chicago and farmland – that’s it. Well, there is some truth there, but that’s not the whole story. First, Illinois is the fifth most populous state in our nation (population 12,800,000). Second, despite all the farmland, Illinois is heavily Democratic, which in this case means “big government.” Third, Illinois has more government units than any other state – approximately 6,000 between town, township, city, county and state – all major sources of employment in any section of the state!

Much of the history and wealth of the State of Illinois was originally built on the agri-business model. There are still many large corporations in Illinois that are part of that story including John Deere in Moline, Archer Daniel Midlands in Decatur and Caterpillar in Peoria. Illinois also has over 900 food manufacturing companies that take those crops and livestock and turn them into food and other products. Ethanol (from corn) and bio-diesel (from soybeans) are just a few examples of that industry. Chicago, the former “Hog Butcher to the World” is still one of the biggest concentrations of food related businesses, not just in the U.S., but in the world. These manufacturing and processing plants are located near Chicago and elsewhere throughout the State, and all use varying levels of security.

In such a large state, with this much food, products and people being moved around, you would expect a large transportation network – and you would be correct. The largest rail gateway in the U.S. can be found in Chicago. Illinois has the second largest airport system in the country including heliports, landing strips and actual airports (public and private). Chicago’s O’Hare airport is the busiest airport in the world and has remained so for decades. Goods are transported in containers on barges on the Illinois River and Mississippi River (on the western boarder of Illinois), trucks and trains. Because of Illinois’ central location in the country, and one of the most important cities, it has one of largest rail and road infrastructures in the country as well. Illinois even has service by Amtrak for a large portion of the State which is unheard of for most of the country. For a person interested in transportation, Illinois is the Golden Ticket! Of course you can’t talk about Illinois without mentioning the weather. Folks from all over the country have heard about “Chicago winters.” First, there are two sides to every coin, and second, not all of Illinois is the same – at all. Yes, the northern part of Illinois is cold and snowy in winter, but not all security work requires you to work outside. Then, in summer, the weather is temperate and fabulous! Plus, if you don’t want to work in northern Illinois, you can try out the warmer parts. Illinois is such a long state that it can be 10, 11 or 12 degrees warmer at the bottom than in Chicago. You can imagine what a difference that makes in winter. While many places in the northern part of the state average 30-plus inches of snow per year, Cairo average less than 5 inches!

Sports fans are never disappointed when visiting Illinois. Professional sports are played in Chicago and nearby St. Louis for folks living in the Belleville area and there are minor league teams in a number of other cities. College sports are just as popular in Illinois as anywhere else. The University of Illinois Illini are based in Champagne, the DePaul University Blue Demons in Chicago, Illinois State University (Redbirds) in Normal and Northwestern University Wildcats can be found in Evanston. All these schools also have great campus security teams that might be worth looking into!

If you are looking for a great place to work as an unarmed security guard, you should consider the State of Illinois. It's a great place to live and lots of different opportunities.


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