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Security and Fire Alarm Systems Installers
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Description: what do they do?
Install, program, maintain, and repair security and fire alarm wiring and equipment. Ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes.
Also known as:
Alarm Technician, Fire Alarm Technician, Home Security Alarm Installer, Install Technician, Installation Technician, Installer, Security Installation Technician, Security Installer, Security Technician, Service Technician

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
    Transcript: When a building fire breaks out, or a burglar breaks in, the people involved want to be alerted as soon as possible. Security and fire alarm systems installers ensure that alarm systems operate correctly and provide the margin of time that home and business owners need to set emergency procedures in motion and prevent major damage. Installers use electrical layouts from blueprints and building plans to connect sensors, video cameras, and control panels into the electrical system of the building, making sure that fires or burglars are unable to escape detection. They mount wiring, program the system, test circuits, and install backup batteries, to create an airtight security or fire prevention system. Customer service and communication skills are important, as installers frequently work in customers’ homes, and need to understand the unique aspects of a property or of owners’ habits. Home and commercial security firms are the predominant employer for security and fire alarm systems installers. A high school education is typically required, and many installers have a related technical credential.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

This occupation is:
  • Expected to grow much faster than average


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Please note that this does not account for the impacts of the current pandemic. Many occupations are likely to have very different outlooks due to the rapidly changing economy. When new outlook information is developed, it will be reflected here.

    Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings". This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET Bright Outlook occupations and My Next Move career outlook designations (based on Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections 2020-30). Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Massachusetts
1,690
2018 Employment
1,780
2028 Employment
5%
Percent change
220
Annual projected job openings
United States
73,400
2020 Employment
85,500
2030 Employment
16%
Percent change
9,200
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2018 (for states) or 2020 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2028 (for states) or 2030 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and State Labor Market Information offices, 2018-28.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2020-30.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Security and Fire Alarm Systems Installers in Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH Metro Area
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationBoston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH Metro AreaUnited States
10%$46,290$32,280
25%$58,670$39,240
Median$72,960$50,940
75%$84,560$63,050
90%$98,570$76,690


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Program, May 2020 survey. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • No work experience
  • 1 to 12 months on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:
Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2018-19.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Install electrical components, equipment, or systems.
  • Position equipment using hand tools, power tools, or heavy equipment.
  • Repair electrical components.
  • Explain use of products or services.
  • Test electrical circuits or components for proper functioning.
  • Repair electrical circuits or wiring.
  • Lay cables to connect equipment.
  • Inspect equipment to locate or identify electrical problems.
  • Inspect safety equipment to ensure proper functioning.
  • Drill holes in parts, equipment, or materials.
  • Determine types of equipment, tools, or materials needed for jobs.
  • Plan work procedures.
  • Document operational activities.
  • Confer with customers or users to assess problems.
  • Run wiring to connect equipment.
  • Adjust equipment to ensure optimal performance.
  • Estimate costs for labor or materials.
  • Maintain knowledge of current developments in area of expertise.
  • Order materials, supplies, or equipment.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • 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.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Installation - Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or computer programs.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - Keeping your arm or hand steady.
  • Manual Dexterity - Holding or moving items with your hands.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical 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.
  • Prepare documents, such as invoices or warranties.
  • 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.
  • Provide customers with cost estimates for equipment installation.
  • Keep informed of new products and developments.
  • Order replacement parts.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.