Are you looking for a solid job in a stable, growing industry? Or maybe you’re looking to make the transition from law enforcement, military, police work or a non-related security profession to the private sector? If so, the PSTA can provide you all of the training you need to help you launch your new career…and we’ll help you get placed with a great company. The PSTA offers the complete curriculum and training necessary to help Protective Services Officer (PSO) candidates get started quickly on their new careers. The PSTA has a record of success in helping newly certified PSOs find gainful employment.
The PSTA offers individuals who are looking for full or part time employment the opportunity to get trained and certified in the ever-growing Protective Services field at minimal cost to them. We'll even provide you with job placement assistance when you graduate from our Protective Service Officer (PSO) Candidate Program, at no cost to you. Our client companies hire hundreds of certified PSOs each year to meet the growing demand for PSOs in the Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia area for PSO services.
The current minimum wages and benefits for PSOs working on Federal contracts in the local area are shown below. Many, if not most, of our client companies' contracts are governed by Collective Bargaining Agreements, which can provide even higher wages and benefits. If you already have or are able to obtain a security clearance, you can earn even more.
Not everyone will qualify for admission to PSTA — we have limited seats and our admissions process is competitive. While PSO standards can vary from one company and work location to some degree, the requirements in order to be considered for admission to the PSO Candidate Program generally are:
PSO candidates can be certified at the Federal and/or State levels. The certification programs offered by PSTA and the number of training hours required for each are shown below. Training hours required can vary based on additional contract requirements, such as First Aid and CPR certification. In general, the more certifications you earn, the more options you have for gaining employment upon graduation since certification requirements are different from one location to another. The largest number of opportunities in the local area involves Federal Protective Service (FPS) certification - in fact some locations require both FPS and State certification in order to work as an Armed PSO.
If you already have completed any part of a particular program's requirements (i.e. First Aid, CPR, etc) and are current on that credential (i.e. it is not expired), you may be able to be granted credit for that requirement and your training hour requirement will be decreased accordingly on a case-by-case basis. And if you have current clearance eligibility, it is a big plus for admission, provided you meet the other requirements as well.
Before the actual training courses required for certification can be started, a process called "suitability adjudication" must be initiated by PSO Candidates for most programs. The requirements vary based on the certification program to be attempted. The time required to complete this step varies from agency to agency (Federal, Maryland, DC, Virginia).
Current Department of Labor Wage Determination Minimums
|Armed PSO Wage||$20.57/hour|
|Benefits (Health and Welfare)||$3.71/hour|
|Unarmed PSO Wage||$12.51/hour|
|Two-Four Weeks Vacation Annually|
PSTA PSO Certification Programs
|Federal Protective Service||(~120 hours)|
|Maryland Armed Guard||(~8 hours)|
|DC Special Police Officer||(~40 hours)|
|Virginia DCJS Armed Security Officer||(~40 hours)|
|First Responder Certification||(~10 hours)|
|Non-Lethal Weapons Training||(~8 hours)|
Current Third-Party License and Certification Fees
|American Red Cross First Aid||$19.00|
|American Red Cross CPR||$19.00|
|Maryland Armed Guard||$164.50|
|DC Special Police Officer (SPO)||$54.00|
|VA DCJS Armed Security Officer||$60.00|
Upon (or near) graduation, PSTA will coordinate with one or more of our client companies to help find you a post-graduation position as a PSO. Our current client companies' demand for graduates is ~500 per year and we align the number of candidates we admit to the Academy with that number. This makes the placement rate for graduates very high — over 95% at this time. In short, while there is no guarantee of employment, your chances are very good upon or shortly after you complete the program.
If you are admitted to the PSTA, you will be responsible for a $125 non-refundable enrollment fee and, in some cases, the cost of any licenses or certifications issued by third parties. The current license and certification fees are shown below. In return, we require that you allow us to exclusively represent you for 60 to 90 days after graduation (you can only accept employment with one of our client companies during that time). If you have not been offered employment after the 60 to 90 days have passed at no fault of your own, you will be authorized to purchase training credentials at a discounted rate of a $1000.
Still interested in applying? If so, follow the instructions below to apply online.
You must submit an application to be considered for our program. If interested, please click on the link below.
If you already have company sponsorship or choose to conduct your own job placement, you may want to choose our "Pay As You Go" training program that allows you to attend the training at your own expense with no commitment to PSTA. You must still meet the minimum requirements and pass each class in order to receive training documents. If this program is your preferred option, please click the link below and be sure to mark the Pay As You Go block on your application.
The classes are available on a first come first serve basis. To be considered for a seat, you must meet the same criteria as above.
ALL PAYMENTS MUST BE MADE IN FULL PRIOR TO BEING SCHEDULED. TRAINING CLASSES ARE PASS/FAIL. REIMBURSEMENTS WILL NOT BE GIVEN FOR FAILURE OF ANY TRAINING. COMPLETION OF THE TRAINING COURSES DOES NOT GUARANTEE STUDENTS A JOB AND IT IS UP TO THE STUDENTS TO VERIFY IF THEIR PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYER WILL RECOGNIZE AND ACCEPT PSTA TRAINING.