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.
- 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