Security Business

MAR 2019

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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March 2019 / / Security Business 99 different laws and requirements for licensing; and there are some states that have no licensing requirements at all for alarm installers. The states provide some level of control of the security industry and their services through licensing requirements. The licensing requirements are typically established at the state or jurisdictional level via the work of licensing boards, and the goal of the requirements is to decrease liabilities from poorly-installed alarm systems. This may include incorrectly located system components, cabling and battery backup that cannot meet system electrical demands, and inappropriate maintenance. Licensing By the Numbers Some argue that licensing and continuing education requirements are not equitable for smaller security firms vs. the larger regional, national and global firms. As in other industries, approximately 80 percent of security firms employ 1-9 employees, while approximately 70 percent of the employees of security firms are employed by companies with 100 or more employees. Regardless of the company’s size or the number of technicians they employ, the licensing requirements for that firm are the same. Another consideration that impacts licensing is what functions are outsourced by security firms. Alarm installation and repair is outsourced 69.4 percent of the time, and alarm monitoring services are outsourced nearly 69 percent of the time. Still, it is the responsibility of the security firm – whether outsourcing jobs or not – to make sure that all employees who need a license do, in fact, have a one. In all, 44 states and the District of Columbia require a license to work as a security alarm installer. Getting that license is not always an easy task – on average, the requirements to get a license cost aspiring security alarm installers 535 days of education and training, $213 in licensing fees and require them to pass one exam. To put this in some perspective, licensing requirements for an alarm installer are just short of those required for an EMT, and are more than those required of a dental assistant. License requirements for security alarm installers vary widely across states. For example, Delaware only requires the installer to register, whereas Vermont has the most burdensome requirements at more than five years of time given to experience, $250 in fees and one exam. In 17 of the 45 locations requiring a license, security alarm installers are required to have a year or more of experience – often to obtain a level of electrician’s license – while another 14 states do not require any education or experience at all. Except for Pennsylvania, the 10 most populous U.S. states require that firms be licensed. Licenses are valid for between one (Texas and Ohio) and three (Florida and Illinois) years. In terms of security managers, all of the most populous states except Pennsylvania have experience requirements. Seven states require an exam to become a manager (Pennsylvania, Michigan and North Carolina do not). Only eight of the most populous states have a minimum age requirement to be a security manager, ranging from 18 (California, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina) to 25 (New York and Michigan). 44 states and the District of Columbia require a license to work as a security alarm installer. On average, the requirements to get a license include 535 days of education and training, $213 in licensing fees and require installers to pass one exam.

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