3.15.21 – Democrat and Chronicle
We struggle in the security field to find qualified people.” The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates job growth for “security and fire alarm systems installers” through decade’s end at 10 percent, or “much faster than average.”
About the job
Alarm installers handle all the set-up and “prep” work involved with alarms – from pulling the electrical wires to hanging the device, to programming the system and testing the device. Another part of the job is instructing the customer how the device works. The alarms could be for security reasons, including motion detectors and/or those with cameras, or smoke detectors to detect fire.
Tim Critchlow, service manager for Doyle Security, said Doyle’s clients are about 60 percent residential and 40 percent commercial. Doyle is based in Henrietta, with offices in Syracuse, Buffalo and other areas. Some firms have installers who also handle service calls, Critchlow said, but Doyle splits those responsibilities. Monitoring of the alarm systems is also done separately, he added.
Alarms can be “hard-wired” or set up via wireless installation, with systems that run online and can be programmed remotely.
“Attitude is huge,” Critchlow said. “We want someone who gets along with everyone else.” Part of that is because installers are going into people’s homes and into businesses and dealing with clients. With Coronavirus concerns, of course, that means utilizing safety protocols that include wearing masks, gloves and shoe covers.
Critchlow also said installers should be prepared to work hard and be willing to work a “flexible” schedule. They also need to have a valid driver’s license, as they will be traveling from job to job. (Doyle has a fleet of about 60 vehicles, company-wide, he said.)https://c6daa850219a92e156481b5c3a3ea85f.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
A high school diploma or equivalent is necessary. Installers should have some familiarity or background with what he called “wire-pulling” – such as electrical contractors or those who have worked in the telecommunications field.
Doyle Security trains its installers through training modules and sends newbies out with experienced employees initially. “Most of the training is in the field,” Critchlow said. “We see where they’re at. Some pick it up in six months. For some, it takes longer.”
What the job pays
Critchlow didn’t offer any salary range but said salary is based on experience. Switching from installer to service technician would be a lateral move, he said. According to the New York State Department of Labor, the median salary for a security- and fire-alarm installer in the Finger Lakes region is about $51,500.
The job picture
“There absolutely is (a demand),” Critchlow said. “We’re part of an organization with 40 security companies in the U.S. One of the biggest topics we talk about it hiring new people, that there’s a lack of people out there for us. We struggle in the security field to find qualified people.” The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates job growth for “security and fire alarm systems installers” through decade’s end at 10 percent, or “much faster than average.”https://c6daa850219a92e156481b5c3a3ea85f.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
Business has “ramped up” in the past year, Critchlow said, largely because of Coronavirus and social unrest and protests. “People are a little more nervous with what’s been going on,” he said. Systems with doorbell cameras have become more popular because so many people are getting more deliveries.
Where to learn more
For information about the industry, Critchlow suggested the National Fire Protection Association website, at www.nfpa.org
Doyle’s website is www.godoyle.com