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2014 Security Industry Demographic Census

While life is generally better for those owning and operating installing and monitoring security businesses than it was two years ago, it has become more onerous for their subordinates. SSI’s fifth biannual Security Industry Demographic Census shows owners/operators are experiencing post-recession…

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If you’re feeling a little more relaxed and less preoccupied with paying the bills of late, you’re not alone. Amid a subsiding recession, those who own, operate, manage or supervise within installing and/or monitoring security systems companies are working shorter hours, feeling less stressed, not traveling as much and earning more money than they were two years ago. While that’s good news for those individuals, it contrasts with less favorable trends regarding their organizations and the rank and file. Among them are reduced outsourcing that places greater burden on internal staff and resources, stagnation in racial diversity, cuts in financial assistance for education and training, and slashing of benefits — especially health care and other types of insurance. These observations reflect the profusion of developments concerning both people and businesses exposed by Security Sales & Integration’s fifth biannual Security Industry Demographic Census. Conducted by the research team at SSI’s parent company EH Publishing — with assistance from the Electronic Security Association (ESA), PSA Security Network and Reed Exhibitions (ISC organizer) — the 2014 study polled 375 security professionals from all levels of installing dealer and systems integration firms.

Launched in 2005, the Census aims to tackle a number of salient questions and quantify trends that enable tracking the industry’s evolution. The objectives include answering: Who are the people dedicated to promoting safety and protection, and who possess the business acumen and technical know-how that has elevated the industry and continues to drive electronic security forward? Where do they come from? What is their experience? What are their beliefs? How do they run their businesses? What are their commonalities, and differences?

From a managerial standpoint, other profound changes include higher levels of education; political affiliation migration away from both Republican and Democratic parties; greater prevalence of IT experience; and a shift in workplace priorities favoring short commutes and telecommuting over traditional virtues like base salaries and challenging tasks. Zeroing in on the organizational results, additional notable findings include: a pronounced upswing in solely owned and limited liability providers; the Web, social media and agencies gaining on referrals and classifieds for recruiting new hires; an uptick in female employees (now one-fifth); a stronger push for sustainability; and elevated distress about customer retention, health-care costs and finding and training employees.

As much as security continues to rapidly evolve — particularly from operational, business model and technological perspectives — the fabric of the industry as embodied by the people who comprise it exhibits subtle changes by comparison. The majority of installation firm owners and managers are college-educated, Republican, 55-year-old white males who are married with two to three children and have spent at least 20 years in the business. Get better acquainted with the composition of your colleagues and competitors through the comprehensive graphs and charts ahead, courtesy of the 2014 Demographic Census.

View the 2014 Security Industry Demographic Census.

Article Topics
Systems Integration · Industry Research · Security Industry Demographic Census · All Topics

About the Author
Scott Goldfine
Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration, directing all editorial aspects of the magazine brand in print, electronically, online and in person. The voluminous, innovative and award-winning body of work he has distinguished himself with since joining the publication in 1998 includes groundbreaking research, landmark features, leadership roundtables, high profile case studies, and many industry exclusives. Well versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is a nationally known figure in demand as an industry presenter and subject matter expert to mainstream media. He is responsible for developing many unique products and programs, including the SSI Industry Hall of Fame, Control Panel (industry’s first E-mail newsletter), Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ), Marketing Marvel, Installers of the Year, Integrated Installation of the Year, Security Industry Census, Systems Integration Study, Installation Business Report, Operations & Opportunities Report, Commercial End-User Study and Security’s Fantastic Fleets. Recognized for his relationship building, integrity and lead-by-example ethic, Goldfine is a solutions-oriented team player who advises and collaborates with industry dealer/integrator, consultant, distributor, central station and manufacturer icons, luminaries and executive business leaders on a daily basis. He is also actively involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), PSA-Tec, SAMMY Awards, International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC), Electronic Security Technology Summit (ESTS), Mission 500, Electronic Security Expo (ESX), ASIS Int’l, Honeywell CONNECT and other supplier conventions. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee and PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council. A certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast, Goldfine graduated with honors from Cal State, Northridge with a management degree in Radio-Television-Film. His professional media endeavors have encompassed magazines, Internet, radio, TV, film, records, teletext and books. Goldfine resides in the Charlotte, N.C., area with his wife, son and three cats.
Contact Scott Goldfine: [email protected]
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