Security guard positions are quite abundant and can be a good source of income in the Houston area. Security guards have a wide range of responsibilities, like patrol building, patrol parking lots, manage gate access to fabrication plants and exclusive apartments complexes, as well as security at construction sites to protect infrastructure and building supplies. Although all one really needs is a high school diploma to work security, there is a desire for folks in security who have studied criminal justice in the college or university systems. Having a degree can lead to better positions in the company, like supervisor, hiring manager, or even a position in sales.
The most common type of guard is an unarmed guard, who have to be registered with the Texas Private Security Bureau. This agency makes a check on your criminal background as no registered security guard can have a conviction of any sort on their record, especially a felony. Fingerprints are also taken and sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation before being given a registration card that you must keep with you at all times while on duty. Most companies can do all this registration in-house but others require you to attend a one-day class that specializes in this type of registration.
Just like unarmed security guards, armed guards must be registered with the Texas Private Security Bureau, and most take 40 extra hours of training to received his license as a commissioned officer. A commissioned position is not necessarily a more dangerous position, but requires training and testing in firing a weapon, which is typically administered by a third-party company. Most security companies require that you be licensed and have all your gear (gun, ammunition, holster, etc) before you can even get an interview. It is not uncommon in security to interview at 8 a.m. and be on duty that day at 8 p.m.
The pay for a security guard can vary greatly. Normally, noncommissioned officers are paid $8 to $9 per hour, while commissioned officers get somewhere from $10 to $15 dollars per hour. Of course, if you are lucky, you can get a really sweet deal that pays much more – how much you are paid mainly depends on the account and what the client is willing to pay. Security companies operate on low profit margins, so they make their money based on having several accounts.
Richard Carranza is a reporter from the Houston, Texas area and published his first work in 1990. His education includes a bachelor of arts in chemistry from Cornell College, master of science in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University, and a masters of business administration from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. In addition to writing, Richard is involved in the design of petroleum refineries, petrochemical plants, oil/gas facilities and ethanol plants. He also carries out writing assignments for publications like Chemical Processing Magazine, Maritime Executive Magazine and Chemical Online.