What Does a Security Alarm Installer Do?

Security alarm installers are the problem-solvers who keep your home or business safe.

Security alarm installers — also called security system installers, home security technicians and security alarm technicians — install home security systems, fire alarms and other safety devices, such as carbon monoxide detectors. 

Installers follow blueprints and building plans to determine the most efficient way to install the necessary equipment. 

In today’s smart homes, a security system has many elements, including control panels, door and window contacts, sensors, video cameras and the wiring needed to connect the components. Security alarm installers install all these elements, following safety codes and ensuring they work together.

The ability to trouble-shoot hardware, software and network issues is a key skill for success in this career. Good customer service skills are also important to make sure the client is happy with the installation and understands how the system works.

If you’ve got good technical skills and think this could be a good fit, keep reading to learn more. 

$ 34,700 - $ 75,400
$ 50,500
A security alarm installer adjusts a surveillance camera
The demand for security system installers is expected to grow quickly over the next decade. (Credit: ALPA PROD/Shutterstock)

Job Responsibilities

  • Read blueprints and sketches 
  • Install electrical components and equipment
  • Feed cables through access holes
  • Wire low-voltage circuits
  • Mount and fasten security equipment 
  • Test backup batteries and all security features
  • Diagnose malfunctions
  • Ensure clients know how the system works

How To Become a Security System Installer: FAQs

What steps do I need to take?

First, you need to earn a high school diploma or equivalent.

Then, it’s time to get training. You can do that by earning a certificate or diploma at a technical school or community college or through on-the-job training. The most common certificate is the low-voltage electrician certificate, but there are many other certificate and diploma options, including integrated telecommunications and security systems. Some companies offer apprenticeships so you can earn while you learn. You can also earn an associate degree.

You may need to get a license and national certification. The rules on low-voltage licensing and certification vary by state and even by city. For example, in Georgia, you would need a low voltage license, but in New Jersey, you would need an electrical contractor license, which would require more training. 

In addition, in some states, you must have an electrical license to wire into electrical panels.

The lesson from these confusing regulations? Check the state and city rules where you plan to work to make sure you meet the requirements.

Once you’ve been working for few years, you can earn certifications to increase your knowledge and earning potential. There are many specialties to consider, including video surveillance, closed-circuit television (CCT) and electronic security networking.

What other qualifications do I need?

You’ll need a driver’s license to get to job sites, and you may need to pass a criminal background check.

How long does it take to become a security system installer?

Most certificate and diploma programs take from six months to a year. An associate degree takes two years. 

Is there a demand for installers and technicians?

Yes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 5% job growth between 2021 and 2031 with about 3,900 job openings per year.

What skills and qualities would make someone a good fit for this job?

Successful security alarm installers tend to possess these traits: 

  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Good math skills
  • Able to communicate well
  • Skilled with hand and power tools
  • Able to see the full spectrum of colors — meaning, not color blind, because installers need to identify wires by color
The bottom line:

As houses get “smarter,” the need for security system installers will only grow. This is a career that requires one or two years of education yet delivers a career with plenty of room for growth and little to no debt. If that sounds appealing, check out the SkillPointe training options near you. 

Security System Installer: A Day in the Life

Casey Williams, security alarm tech, stands by a security system in ADT offices

Security System Installer: A Day in the Life

Casey Williams first started working at ADT in the mailroom when he was 18. It didn't take long for his curiosity to kick in.

He soon began training to become a security technician and then worked his way into management.

"That’s when I realized that training, coaching and mentoring were my passion," he says.

Now he's an accomplished senior technical training specialist who helps others learn the ins and outs of the trade.  

Learn why he thinks becoming a security system installer is a good career move.

Security Alarm Tech / Installer Training in Your Area

Palm Beach State College logo

Low Voltage Technician Certificate

Palm Beach State College
Lake Worth (0.0 Miles)
Cape Fear Community College logo

Fire Alarm Systems Training

Cape Fear Community College
Wilmington (0.0 Miles)
Wilkes Community College logo

Home Automation Certificate

Wilkes Community College
Wilkesboro (0.0 Miles)
Earn + Learn
Palomar College logo

Inside Wireman Apprenticeship

Palomar College
San Marcos (0.0 Miles)

IT Controlled Electronic Systems, A.A.S.

North Seattle College
Seattle (0.0 Miles)

IT Controlled Electronic Systems Certificate

North Seattle College
Seattle (0.0 Miles)

Electrical Systems Technology, A.A.S.

Wake Technical Community College
Raleigh (0.0 Miles)

Electrical Systems Technology Diploma

Wake Technical Community College
Raleigh (0.0 Miles)

Electrical Systems Technology Certificate

Wake Technical Community College
Raleigh (0.0 Miles)

Wiring Methods Certificate

Wake Technical Community College
Raleigh (0.0 Miles)

Telecommunications and Security Technology Diploma

Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
Valdosta (0.0 Miles)

Digital Home Technology Integration Certificate

American River College
Sacramento (0.0 Miles)