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What Is a SORA License?

  Reviewed by: Michelle Seidel, B.Sc., LL.B., MBA
  Written by: Brian Bass      Updated January 13, 2019

SORA is the New Jersey Security Officer Registration Act. The Act requires security guards working within New Jersey to have a SORA license. SORA is a training and certification program that not only allows you to work as a security guard but can also prepare you for other careers related to security and law enforcement.

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  • A SORA license is a credential that allows you to work as a security guard in New Jersey. To obtain this license, you complete approved training, submit an application and get fingerprinted.

What Is SORA Certification?

Individuals receive a SORA license after completing an approved training program. The SORA license allows you to work as a security guard anywhere within New Jersey. SORA licensing requires training in terrorism awareness, first aid, gangs and the state’s use of force policy.

Due to the evolving nature of modern threats, the SORA training program changes from time to time. The SORA license is valid for two years, after which, you have to renew the license by completing the training process again.

Apply for a SORA License

The New Jersey State Police website accepts applications for SORA licensing online. You will have to pay a $75 fee at the time you complete the application, as of 2019. After you apply, you have 30 days to finish your SORA classes from an approved training program and pass a certification test. During this time, you must also get fingerprinted. The State of New Jersey recommends you allow two to three weeks for the fingerprinting process.

You cannot legally work as a security guard in New Jersey until you actually receive the card in the mail that proves your certification. Therefore, when renewing your license, you should allow sufficient time for recertification prior to the expiration of your current card.

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SORA Salary Expectations

Salaries for individuals with the SORA certification can depend on whether you work as a security guard, teach others who want to become certified or occupy an administrative role that requires certification.

As of January 2019, PayScale reports individuals with SORA certification earn a median hourly wage of $12.00 as security supervisors, $11.79 as security dispatchers and $14.69 as public safety officers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported in May 2017 that security guards in New Jersey in general made on average $15.05 an hour.

Post-Certification Career Options

Beyond the traditional positions of security guard or instructor, there is a range of career options that you can pursue after obtaining your SORA certification. Once you receive your SORA certification, you can also work as a private detective either independently as a contractor or for a private company.

In addition, individuals with SORA certification can obtain certain kinds of government work in security and related fields. In addition, SORA certification can lead to higher positions in the police force or other policing agencies such as a sheriff’s department or the New Jersey State Highway Patrol.

About the Author

Brian Bass has written about accountancy-related topics and accounting trends for "Account Today." He works as a senior auditor specializing in manufacturing and financial services companies for one of the Big 5 accounting firms. Bass hold a master's degree in accounting from the University of Utah.

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