A security systems installer needs:
- good communication skills
- the ability to follow plans and instructions, and solve problems
- good hand-eye coordination
- to enjoy and have an aptitude for technical and engineering activities
- to be honest and trustworthy
Security systems installers work in a range of settings, including residential, commercial, industrial and public buildings and premises. They work both indoors and outside. When working indoors they may be required to work in roof spaces, which can be dark, cramped and dusty. When working outside they work in a range of weather conditions and may be required to work at heights. Most security systems installers work standard business hours during the week, however some on-call work may be required to deal with any faults occurring outside normal business hours, this may require working nights, on weekends and/or public holidays.
Security officers and guards, which may include security systems installers, can expect to earn between $700 and $1,091* per week, depending on their level of experience and the organisation they work for.
*ABS Census (2006)
Security systems installers work with equipment designed to detect and monitor the presence of intruders, including motion sensors, closed-circuit television (CCTV), infrared and alarms. They also use cables, radio system links and/or fibre optics to connect the system to control panels, electricity supply and telecommunications networks. There are rapid technological advances in this field and security systems installers will need to continually update their knowledge to stay current. They use tools such as drills, pliers, wirecutters and other hand and power tools to install the system and make connections. They will also need to use ladders or elevated work platforms to carry out some work. Uniforms and company vehicles are often supplied.
To become a security systems installer you will need to complete a traineeship in Technical Security and hold the appropriate licences and registration.
A traineeship in Technical Security (Level 2) will qualify you to install CCTV systems and work effectively in the security industry. After completion of the level 2 traineeship you can begin a traineeship in Technical Security (Level 3). The level 3 traineeship covers more advanced skills, allowing you to design and program systems and install a wider range of security equipment. As a 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. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification. Each of these traineeships generally takes 6 months to complete.
As a security systems installer you will also need to be registered as a cabler with the Australian Security Industry Association (ASIAL) or another Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) approved registrar. Completion of the above Level 2 traineeship will qualify you for restricted registration, while the Level 3 traineeship qualifies you for open registration. For full details of the cabling registration requirements contact ASIAL or ACMA.
In Western Australia, a security systems installer must also be licenced by the Western Australia Police. Licensing will require you to complete a test to determine competency, provide a set of your fingerprints and pass a criminal history check. For full details contact the Police Licensing Services section of the WA Police.
You may also be required to hold a licence to carry out restricted electrical work. Contact EnergySafety for full details of licensing requirements.
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.
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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.