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Security and Fire Alarm Systems Installers

At a Glance

  • Install security and fire alarm systems
  • Often deal with customers
  • Work both indoors and outdoors
  • Train on the job
  • Use a variety of hand tools

Career summary

Security and fire alarm system installers configure and mount security and fire alarms in private homes and businesses.

Security and fire alarm systems installers help people protect their property.

Before installation, installers talk with clients to discuss what type of security system would work best and to provide cost estimates. They install the system referencing building plans and system manuals. They drill holes in walls, ceilings, and floors so that wires can be threaded through and connected. They mount cameras, sensors, and control panels.

After installation, installers program and test the security system and make adjustments as needed. They teach clients how to use the system.

Installers also perform maintenance and repairs on installed security systems. They examine systems to locate problems such as loose connections or broken insulation. They may order replacement parts.

Installers also stay up-to-date on new products and technological developments in the field.

Related careers

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to security and fire alarm systems installers.

Common work activities

Security and fire alarm systems installers perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, security and fire alarm systems installers:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Security and fire alarm systems installers frequently:

It is important for security and fire alarm systems installers to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for security and fire alarm systems installers to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Security and fire alarm systems installers need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with things

Perceive and visualize

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as a security and fire alarm systems installer, you typically need to:

Education after high school

Some security and fire alarm systems installers complete formal training programs. Professional-technical schools and two-year colleges offer programs in electrical systems (usually low voltage). In these programs, you learn the principles of electricity and electrical circuitry. You also learn the specifics of installing different types of systems as well as local area building codes.

On-the-job training

Most security and fire alarm systems installers learn their skills from experienced workers on the job. Installers can also take online classes or attend training sessions provided by manufacturers. Training of this type may last up to one year.

Washington apprenticeships

In Washington, entry level electrician apprentices usually must:

For further information on apprenticeships in Washington, contact:

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Apprenticeship Program (external link)

PO Box 44530
Olympia, WA 98504-4530

#Checked info 4/7/09, 4/6/11 & 4/30/13, 3/30/15, 1/24/17, 3/18/19 cj.

Helpful high school courses

You should take a general high school curriculum that meets the state's graduation requirements. You will be required to take both math and science classes to graduate.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Most employers prefer applicants who have technical knowledge of electricity and electronics. Employers prefer applicants who acquired this knowledge through formal training. Employers look for applicants with a basic knowledge of math and mechanical ability.

In addition, applicants should be strong, coordinated, and have good communication skills. The ability to distinguish colors is necessary, because wires and cables may be coded by color.


Security and fire alarm systems installers must be certified by the Department of Labor and Industries. They also must have a residential or limited energy specialty electrician training certificate during the training period. 

For more information, contact:

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Electrical Section (external link)

PO Box 44460
Olympia, WA 98504-4460


Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


#In Washington, the average entry-level wage for security and fire alarm systems installers is $2,806 per month ($16.19 per hour).

#Updated ES wage info 07.16 sd

Security and fire alarm systems installers (SOC 49-2098)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $15.82 $17.96 $24.78 $29.82 $35.31
Monthly $2,742 $3,112 $4,294 $5,168 $6,119
Yearly $32,900 $37,360 $51,540 $62,020 $73,450
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $16.26 $18.49 $26.32 $31.12 $36.77
Monthly $2,818 $3,204 $4,561 $5,393 $6,372
Yearly $33,825 $38,447 $54,728 $64,718 $76,469
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $15.98 $18.50 $23.00 $28.03 $31.54
Monthly $2,769 $3,206 $3,986 $4,858 $5,466
Yearly $33,237 $38,472 $47,850 $58,289 $65,605
    Vancouver Hourly $17.77 $21.68 $27.63 $32.97 $37.04
Monthly $3,080 $3,757 $4,788 $5,714 $6,419
Yearly $36,947 $45,079 $57,473 $68,569 $77,043
United States Hourly $14.21 $17.52 $22.69 $28.54 $34.28
Monthly $2,463 $3,036 $3,932 $4,946 $5,941
Yearly $29,560 $36,450 $47,190 $59,370 $71,310

Wages vary by the installer's level of experience. Wages also vary by area of the country and employer.

Security and fire alarm systems installers generally receive health insurance, paid vacation, and retirement benefits.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook

The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Security and Fire Alarm Systems Installers (SOC 49-2098)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 1,370 24.7% 16.1% 234
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 11 18.2% 13.4% 1
    Benton and Franklin Counties 63 23.8% 15.0% 10
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 56 25.0% 15.2% 10
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 61 16.4% 14.1% 9
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 63 17.5% 14.6% 9
    King County 270 27.8% 19.6% 48
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 34 26.5% 13.8% 6
    Pierce County 303 22.4% 15.2% 49
    Snohomish County 272 16.9% 12.4% 41
    Spokane County 81 25.9% 13.9% 14
United States 76,400 11.3% 5.2% 10,500

National employment

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand for this occupation will be very strong. Many new homes, office buildings, and factories are being built. These new buildings will need to have security or fire alarms installed. Some home or building owners will need alarm systems added to existing buildings. New fire codes may also spur demand for this occupation.

Other resources

Electronics Technicians Association, International (external link)
5 Depot Street
Greencastle, IN 46135
Independent Electrical Contractors (external link)
National Fire Protection Association (external link)
1 Batterymarch Park
Quincy, MA 02169
National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (external link)
5001 Howerton Way, Suite N
Bowie, MD 20715
Security Industry Association (external link)
8405 Colesville Road, Suite 500
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Washington Business Week (external link)
PO Box 1170
Renton, WA 98057


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Holland occupational cluster