How to Become a Security Guard in Texas
In Texas, a person who is working security needs to be registered with the Texas Department of Public Safety. This cannot be done unless a person has been hired by a security company. Once hired, a person will go through the necessary steps of being fingerprinted, trained and apply for registration. The entire security guard training and licensing process can take between one and two months from the time a person is hired, to when they receive their registration card (pocket card) from the state.
The first step to becoming a security guard in Texas is applying for open security guard jobs with Texas security companies. These jobs are often listen on local job search engines, or some people just go to the actual company site and request an application. Most security companies in Texas like a person to be at least 18 and having successfully completed high school prior to applying with the company. They also must be able to pass a background check screening and fingerprinting.
Once a person is hired by a Texas security company, they will need to complete either level II or level III training. The company will inform you of what requirements they have. In Texas, security guard training may take place at the site of the where a person was hired, or a security guard may be required to complete their training elsewhere. Upon completing level II or level III training, a person will receive a certificate of completion. This will be one of the items needed when applying for a registration card through the Texas Department of Public Safety. Along with the certificate showing that you completed security guard training in Texas, you will also need to provide a receipt showing that you have completed fingerprinting/background check. There are instructions for how to schedule a fingerprinting in Texas on this website: www.dps.texas.gov .
Along with the certificate, and receipt of fingerprinting, a person applying for security guard registration card (pocket card) in Texas will also need to submit a photocopy of their driver’s license or state ID card. You can then apply for the license online at: www.txdps.state.tx.us or print and mail all the corresponding documents. Even if you apply online (and pay the fee online) you will still need to send in the required documents.
The pocket card in Texas is good for 2 years. At that time it will need to renewed, either by mail or online. Online requires that the earliest a person can renew is 60 days before expiration. If you are renewing by mail it can be done up to 90 days before expiration. A person can renew their pocket card up to a year after it expires, but late fees will be applied. Otherwise, a person will have to begin the process from the beginning.
For more information on unarmed security guard training and certification in Texas, visit: www.txdps.state.tx.us
Texas Department of Public Safety
Private Security Bureau
5806 Guadalupe, Building I
Austin, Texas 78752
Houston Texas Security Guard Requirements
In Houston the requirements are the same for security guards as they rest of the state. A person needs to be employed before they can apply for their registration and pocket card. Some people opt to complete their security guard training certificates prior to applying for work. Keep in mind that these courses cost money, and a person may still need to undergo individual company training upon being hired by a security company. This said, completing a security guard training course in Houston prior to applying may make a person a more desirable candidate.
In Houston there are actual security guard training academies and programs. These are offered to people who are wishing to pursue a career in law enforcement, beginning at the security level. These training academies will equip a person with basic knowledge and skills needed to work security. Some of the sites offer weapons training as well, though there are more requirements of people who want to work as an armed security guard, than those without weapons. Houston has a great need for security guards. Lots of businesses, schools, and hospitals need security guards to protect and serve their sites. Houston security companies employ guards to work these sites.
Armed Security Guard Training in Texas
The basic requirements for unarmed guards in Texas also apply to armed guards in Texas. A person needs to be employed by a security company and registered through the Texas Department of Public Safety. In addition, to work as an armed security guard in Texas a person has to be at least 21, and have completed their firearms training courses which include firearms safety, use, and laws. A firearms permit needs to be acquired within Texas, and the registration card through the state must show that they are approved to carry a weapon on the job. The training requirements in Texas for armed guards mandate that a person complete all three levels of training prior to receiving armed guard clearance.