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Alarm, security or surveillance monitor

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Summary of occupation

​Alarm, security or surveillance monitors protect people, organisations and property and make sure they are kept safe. They observe security alarms and surveillance equipment to prevent crimes from happening and contact mobile security guards when problems occur. They also notify supervisors, police or fire brigades if security is breached or fire is detected. Alarm, security or surveillance monitors may also be required to respond in person or perform patrolling duties.

ANZSCO description: Monitors security alarms, CCTV and other surveillance equipment, and contacts supervisors, police or fire brigades if security is breached or fire is detected. Registration or licensing may be required.
Alternative names: Control room operator
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

​An alarm, security or surveillance monitor needs:

  • good communication skills
  • good negotiation and conflict resolution skills
  • analytical and problem solving skills
  • to be trustworthy and responsible
  • the ability to work independently and as part of a team.
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Working conditions

Alarm, security or surveillance monitors may work in a control room located on site within a building, or in a central control room located off site where they may monitor numerous sites from the one office. They may work shiftwork, including weekends, public holidays and evenings.

In Western Australia, they work mainly in metropolitan areas.

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Salary details

​On average, alarm, security or surveillance monitors can expect to earn between $1 000 and $1 249 per week ($52 000 and $64 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.

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Tools and technologies

​Alarm, security or surveillance monitors use closed circuit television (CCTV) systems and video and audio intercoms to watch over the premises they are monitoring. They may also monitor security and fire alarms at residential and commercial premises. They use radios to communicate with mobile security officers who then check on reported problem areas.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become an alarm, security or surveillance monitor you usually need to complete a formal qualification in security operations.

The Certificate II in Security Operations is offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

You can complete a traineeship. The coordinator of control room operations traineeship usually takes six months to complete.

To work as an alarm, security or surveillance monitor in Western Australia, you need to be at least 18 years old, hold a current Provide First Aid Certificate, and must obtain a Security Officer licence, issued by the Licensing Services Division of the Western Australian Police. You will also need to undergo a reference check and National Police History Check conducted by Licensing Services (Security). Contact Licensing Services for more information.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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