How to Become a Security Officer in Texas

Learn about the duties of security officers in Texas, the educational and training requirements, as well as the salary and expected job growth down the track. Schools offering Criminal Justice & Security degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career at a Glance

Security officers protect anything from buildings, property, offices and retail stores, to students and teachers, or money and equipment. They may work stationary at entry and exit points of premises, or patrol areas to ensure safety. Find out more details in the table below.

Degree Required High school diploma
Key Skills Communication, good judgment, observation, patience
Licensure or Certification Required in most states
Job Growth (2016-2026) 6%*
Mean Annual Wage (2018) $30,090*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do Security Officers Do?

Always on the lookout for something unusual, security officers monitor their environment for threats to keep people and property safe. They can work anywhere that property, equipment, money and people need to be kept safe from crime and vandalism. These security professionals may check CCTV footage, patrol buildings and grounds, control access to premises, conduct security checks and respond to emergencies. If required, they call for help from law enforcement, fire, and ambulance services.

Depending on their employer, they may also develop safety procedures and ensure these are adhered to. They check the credentials of visitors and protect areas against unauthorized access. In retail stores, they may collaborate with store detectives to detain thieves.

What Education Do I Need to Become a Security Officer?

Security officers need at least a high school diploma. In addition, applicants have to pass a background check and provide fingerprints to evaluate any potential criminal history. Background checks for armed guards are more extensive than for non-armed guards. Depending on the position, a driver's license can also be required. For security officers who wish to take on management positions, an associate or bachelor's degree in a field like criminal justice can help pave the way.

What Are Training and Other Requirements?

Security guards in Texas need to complete training approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety, which includes subjects such as state law and report writing. They have to be physically fit and cannot have been dishonorably discharged from the military. Candidates who have been indicated or charged with felonies, Class A or B misdemeanors, or who are registered sex offenders anywhere in the USA are not eligible.

Do I Need to Get Licensed?

Armed security guards in Texas must be licensed. In order to obtain certification, candidates have to complete an approved training course, pass an exam, demonstrate competency with firearms and meet other skills requirements. The licensing agency then issues a Level II or Level III certification to successful candidates as long as it considers them to be of sound judgment and mentally stable.

What Income and Job Growth Can I Expect?

As of May 2018, the mean annual income for security guards in Texas was $30,090, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS expects job growth of 6% between 2016 and 2016 for security guards across the nation, which is roughly in line with the average outlook for all occupations.

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