CHOOSING A CAREER / FEB. 26, 2015
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How to Become a Security Systems Installer in the US

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Security systems installers play an important role in curbing crime in residential, commercial and industrial establishments. They install and configure closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs), alarms and other security systems in these settings. If you have an aptitude for practical work, and you love staying abreast of technological developments, then this could be the career for you.

What Do Security Systems Installers Do?

  • Visiting clients’ premises to assess the kind of equipment needed to perform an installation
  • Installing the security systems at the premises
  • Testing whether the installed systems are working efficiently
  • Explaining to clients how to operate the systems
  • Educating clients on basic troubleshooting practices and informing them on incidents that could trigger a false alarm
  • Performing maintenance practices on existing systems and repairing faulty ones.

Work Environment

Although security systems installers typically work from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, weekend work is common. Those who work at companies that provide 24-hour emergency services may work on a shift basis.

The work can be physically demanding since it may involve climbing ladders and working on scaffolding.

Salary

Security systems installers earn as follows:

Job Title

Annual Average wage

Security systems installers

$25,733 - $60,541

Source: Payscale

Entry Requirements

Perhaps the best thing about this profession is that you don’t need advanced credentials to qualify for employment. All you need to do is join a community college, technical institute or trade school and pursue a certificate program.

The Electronic Security Association, for instance, offers a program that can get you started as a security systems installer. The program provides training in areas such as:

  • Residential fire alarms
  • Electronic access control
  • Video systems technology
  • Advanced intrusion systems
  • Troubleshooting, service and maintenance

You could also enter the profession through on-the-job training. Some companies that manufacture security systems offer apprenticeship programs that last up to two years.

Important Qualities

To be a competent security systems installer, you need:

  • Normal color vision
  • Manual dexterity
  • Strong practical and technical skills
  • Basic blueprint reading skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to follow instructions
  • Good problem-solving skills
  • Knowledge of occupation health and safety practices
  • A methodical approach to work
  • Clear communication skills
  • Good teamwork skills
  • A head for heights

Career Advancement

As a newly-hired security systems installer, you will learn the job skills from veteran installers. After gaining practical expertise, your employer will start assigning you individual assignments. With several years of experience, you could advance to become a supervisor – a position that involves supervising the installation crew.

If you have a good business acumen, nothing will deter you from establishing a company that provides security system installation services.

If you are very ambitious, consider obtaining a bachelor’s degree in security engineering. Ensure the program has courses in physical security. After graduating, you can qualify for employment as a physical security architect or engineer.

The Electronics Security Association also offers membership opportunities that enable you to gain access to industry publications, ensuring you are always updated on product releases.

Job Opportunities

The employers of security systems installers include:

  • Providers of electronic utility services
  • Manufacturers of security systems
  • Sellers of security systems
  • Security firms

So, how good are your employment prospects? Is this career in demand? Well, according to data compiled by Recruiter, the profession is thriving. Between 2012 and 2018, there will be about 25,000 new positions for security system installers. Also, don’t forget the fact that you can easily start your own business and be your own boss.

Fancy a career that helps you prevent burglary without being a law enforcement officer? This is it!

 

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