Security and Fire Alarm Systems Installers

Install, program, maintain, and repair security and fire alarm wiring and equipment. Ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes.

Sample of reported job titles: Alarm Technician, Fire Alarm Technician, Home Security Alarm Installer, Install Technician, Installation Technician, Installer, Security Installation Technician, Security Installer, Security Technician, Service Technician

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Install, maintain, or repair security systems, alarm devices, or related equipment, following blueprints of electrical layouts and building plans.
  • Mount and fasten control panels, door and window contacts, sensors, or video cameras, and attach electrical and telephone wiring to connect components.
  • Demonstrate systems for customers and explain details, such as the causes and consequences of false alarms.
  • Test and repair circuits and sensors, following wiring and system specifications.
  • Feed cables through access holes, roof spaces, or cavity walls to reach fixture outlets, positioning and terminating cables, wires, or strapping.
  • Examine systems to locate problems, such as loose connections or broken insulation.
  • Test backup batteries, keypad programming, sirens, or other security features to ensure proper functioning or to diagnose malfunctions.
  • Drill holes for wiring in wall studs, joists, ceilings, or floors.
  • Inspect installation sites and study work orders, building plans, and installation manuals to determine materials requirements and installation procedures.
  • Consult with clients to assess risks and to determine security requirements.
  • Mount raceways and conduits and fasten wires to wood framing, using staplers.
  • Adjust sensitivity of units, based on room structures and manufacturers' recommendations, using programming keypads.
  • Keep informed of new products and developments.
  • Order replacement parts.
  • Prepare documents, such as invoices or warranties.
  • Provide customers with cost estimates for equipment installation.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
  • Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Telephone — 99% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 77% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 67% responded “Very important results.”
  • Contact With Others — 72% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 82% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work
  • Deal With External Customers — 53% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 54% responded “Extremely important.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 82% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 46% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week
  • Electronic Mail — 21% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 44% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Time Pressure — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 24% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 59% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 29% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 60% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 44% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 31% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 36% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Consequence of Error — 43% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Letters and Memos — 43% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 54% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Spend Time Climbing Ladders, Scaffolds, or Poles — 35% responded “About half the time.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 43% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 45% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Level of Competition — 22% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 47% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Exposed to High Places — 37% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 62% responded “Important.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.
SVP Range
1-2 years of preparation (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Installation — Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

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Knowledge

  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
  • Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 49%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required
  • 41%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 8%
     
    responded: Some college, no degree requiredmore info

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

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Interests

Interest code: RC
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$23.23 hourly, $48,320 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
73,400 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Much faster than average (15% or higher)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
9,200
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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