Security is an important job sector with applications in a variety of settings. Shopping malls, music venues, and hotel casinos serve very different purposes but they all employ security guards. Security personnel are vital to maintaining order, as well as providing a sense of comfort and peace of mind to others in the area. Large areas like parking lots and garages feel much safer when a security guard is patrolling the property. The United States Department of labor reported an expected six percent growth in security related jobs by the year 2026. This growth offers new opportunities for people who are interested in entering the field as a security guard. Here is some information to help explain exactly what it looks like to be employed in security.
The Security Services Industry At A Glance
A general job description for a security guard would be an individual who patrols and surveys property in order to protect it from illegal actions such as graffiti or theft. Guards are employed in a wide variety of work environments such as stores, hotels, and office buildings. They can even be hired for special occasions such as fairs or sporting events. It is common for employers to schedule security personnel in rotating shifts, so night hours are to be expected periodically. If projections for growth in this industry are met, there should be excellent job opportunities for security guards.
Working as a Security Guard in Texas
As a Houston security guard, you are responsible for upholding laws and maintaining a safe environment for anyone who enters the facility. The specific duties assigned to a guard can vary greatly depending on the employer. Nationwide Investigations & Security, Inc. is one of the leading employers of security officers in Houston. Positions in a place like a retail store will involve monitoring merchandise, ensuring customer safety, and protecting against shoplifting. However, a security guard at an office building or corporate park would be in charge of verifying the credentials of people entering the property and keeping the facility secure. A security guard could be given a more stationary role where they watch surveillance cameras and man a guard booth, or an active role where they conduct security checks in a given area.
The United States Department of Labor reported the median annual salary of security guards to be $25,770 in 2016. The lower ten percent earned $18,860 and the upper ten percent earned $47,260. The state of Texas is a good place for security guards, as their average annual income was reported at $28,620 in 2016. Security guards employed at casino hotels earned a median annual salary of $35,420. In order to reach the higher paying levels within security, it is important to obtain certifications and training. These achievements help showcase knowledge and experience that enables security guards to get hired at higher pay scales.
Job growth in the security sector in projected to grow six percent by 2026. This is a healthy pace of growth that aligns with the average for other job categories. Vandalism and criminal activity are still big concerns to the public, and this means that security guards are going to remain in demand. Security is a large field, and many people leave positions as security guards each year. This means that vacant positions, as well as new openings, are available for applications. People with experience in law enforcement or surveillance technology are usually sought after in security positions.
How to Become a Security Guard in Texas
While a license is not always required to work as a security guard in Houston, it helps in distinguishing an applicant and can lead to promotions. Each state has different requirements to obtain a security license, but the focus here will be on the process for Texas. There are two types of security guard licenses available in Texas, unarmed and armed.
The requirements for an unarmed license are less intensive than for an armed license. To obtain an unarmed security guard license, the applicant must meet the following:
- Be at least eighteen years old
- Possess a high school diploma or equivalent
- Must be legally allowed to work in the United States
- Submit to a drug screening
- Undergo an extensive background check
- Have a record that is free of felony charges
- Complete thirty hours of training at a certified facility
If applying for an armed security guard license, the applicant must meet the requirements for the unarmed license. Additionally, the applicant must pass examination tests in firearm training, emergency first aid, CPR, crowd dispersing, criminal detainment, legal and civil issues, and report writing.
Texas Security Guards In the News
Working as a security guard can be a very rewarding profession, but it also comes with inherent risks. Texas security guards are often featured in the headlines and can experience a wide variety of situations while on the job. Here are a few recent news stories covering security guards in action:
CCPD looking for two men suspected of assaulting security guard
Corpus Christi police officers were sent out on November 2, 2017 in response to a reported assault around 9:30 in the evening. A security guard was filling out an incident report when he was pushed from behind by the suspect. Security footage shows two men leaving a store and getting into a SUV. One man then leaves from the passenger side of the vehicle and rushes behind the guard, throwing him to the ground. The men are facing charges for Assault on a Security Officer and Assault Causing Bodily Injury.
McDonald’s security guard kills shooting suspect in parking lot
A security guard at a Houston McDonald’s fired on a shooter in the parking lot of the restaurant. Sources say that a fight broke out between two men in the parking lot around 10:30 PM on a Saturday night. As the fight escalated, one man took out a gun and shot the other combatant in the stomach. The security guard responded by exiting the building and firing on the man with the weapon. The suspects were both taken to the hospital and investigators don’t expect the security guard to be charged for his actions.
Woman charged in stabbing of worker, security guard at NW Side Walmart
In December of 2017 a security guard was injured by an unprovoked attack inside a San Antonio Walmart. The suspect, Angel Rios, attacked a customer in the store and she called for help. A security guard came to help and was cut with a knife by Rios. Witnesses say that several people rushed Rios in an attempt to control her. Police arrived at the scene and took Rios into custody.
Student facing charge after taking gun to Houston Can Academy
A seventeen-year-old student was taken into custody on February 15th when he was found carrying a gun into school. The student was caught with the weapon by a school security guard found the weapon inside his jacket. The school was placed on lock down for several hours as authorities were called to detain the student and ensure the premises was secure.