Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Can I make money as a Gate Guard?

I thought I'd revisit the whole gate guarding job thing. It seems ages ago, but we once were neophytes who had heard that there were opportunities in Texas and Louisiana for folks who had an RV to work as gate guards. We did a lot of research; primarily on the internet, and remained doubtful till we actually met some gate guards. So the answer to the first question is that there are indeed opportunities to make a decent income as a gate guard. For us the next hurdle was getting a license through the Depart of Public Safety in Texas. Actually a department called the Private Security Bureau handles the licensing. Texas licenses almost everyone who performs security work from mall security to private investigators. For a lot of guards (including us) it was easier to find an established company to help us through the process. Even though I have heard you cannot do it through the mail anymore, we completed the process that way. You will have to call a gate guard company or the Private Security Bureau to establish how to get licensed. Basically you will have to take a test (very few have a problem with it), submit fingerprints and enclose a passport sized photo. There is a fee of less than $75 to process the paperwork and complete a background check. Once you have  passed the test, you can go to work as the licenses take a while to process. I have heard of a temporary license, but have never seen one. Selecting a company to work for goes hand in hand with getting licensed. You can always move on if your first choice does not meet your expectations.The rate of pay varies from $100 to $200 plus dollars a day for a couple. The average is somewhere around $150 a day. Most pay you as a contractor (1099) meaning you're responsible for paying your taxes. There are a number of sites that list information regarding gate guard companies (including my blog) which you can find by searching the internet. Also, there are opportunities for singles out here. The work isn't as plentiful and the hours can be taxing. I have done it and you can read the blog I posted about it. A word of warning here. This can be hot, dusty, muddy, wet, tiring work; to name just a few things. Gate guard companies usually have there choice of guards to employ and frown upon folks that aren't self reliant. You won't last long down here if you feel the need to constantly bother your company over trivial problems. Your first posting is more than likely going to be way out in the boonies and a ways down a rough lease road. The nearest town and supplies are apt to be an over 50 mile round trip. So be prepared. Though it is not necessary, I highly recommend an RV with a generator. You will be dependent upon support wagon(s) with a generator and non potable water and septic tanks. It is rare, but generators do break down and you will love your generator should that happen. The summer heat is very debilitating in South Texas and fewer folks do the gate guard thing that time of year. Conversely, finding work in the winter months can be difficult; especially as gate guarding becomes  more and more popular. Plan on getting here as close to Labor Day or before if you are a winter Texan/gate guard. Finally, there have been a lot of questions concerning the supplies and amount one has to invest. I counsel you to avoid companies that require you to purchase a ton of equipment. Most companies will help you out with light and alarms. That said, we own our own halogen work lights and driveway alarms. It is a legitimate deduction and cost way south of $200 for everything. Good luck on you job search!


  1. Don't forget the copious amount of sunscreen and "play" items to pass the time.