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The Changing Faces of Security

Slowly but surely installing North American security contractor companies are becoming more diverse. SSI’s fourth biannual Security Industry Demographic Census shows that changes along gender, race, ethnicity and other lines are transforming this historically homogenous business. The 2012 Census not only profiles and reveals the practices of a typical manager working in the industry today, but also operational facets of the businesses themselves.



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Diversification has been a buzz term for the installing security systems contractor community for some time. Never more so than the past few years when the recession has often rewarded those companies with irons in a multitude of fires rather than just eggs placed in a single basket. This, of course, is speaking to diversification of markets, products and services. However, there is another type of diversification that, while a bit more subtle, is also nevertheless taking place. It’s the changing composition of the industry’s managers and general personnel.

That trend along with many others pertaining to both people and businesses are revealed by SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION‘s fourth biannual Security Industry Demographic Census. Conducted by the research team at SSI‘s parent company Bobit Business Media — with assistance from the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA), PSA Security Network and Reed Exhibitions (ISC organizer) — the 2012 study polled nearly 700 managers from all levels of installing security dealer and systems integration organizations.

Launched in 2005, the Census’ intent is to address 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? What types of individuals possess the business acumen and technical know-how to elevate electronic security and continue to drive the industry forward? Where do they come from? What is their experience? What are their beliefs? How do they run their companies? What are their commonalities and differences?

From a managerial standpoint, some of the most interesting developments revealed in the data include: more women, Hispanics and blacks in supervisory roles; a higher incidence of single managers with no children; a declining affiliation with the Republican party; a rise in those new to the industry; more varied past work experiences; a drop in those planning career in security; and a decline in owning and having monitored security systems. From a business standpoint, findings of note include: a sharp upswing in minorities throughout organizations; a strong push for sustainability; fewer family owned companies; and more community service efforts.

While the complexion of the industry’s people is changing, overall, security installation firms continue to be college-educated, Republican, 50-year-old Caucasian males who are married with two kids and have spent at least 16 years in the business. Get the full picture of where we’ve come from and where we’re heading as the 2012 Demographic Census unfolds in the ensuing graphs, charts and statistics.

View the 2012 Security Industry Demographic Census.

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Article Topics
Business Management · Research · Industry Research · Research - Security STATS · 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: sgoldfine@ehpub.com
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