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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 joined SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in October 1998 and has distinguished himself by producing award-winning, exemplary work. His editorial achievements have included blockbuster articles featuring major industry executives, such as Tyco Electronic Products Group Managing Director Gerry Head; Protection One President/CEO Richard Ginsburg; former Brink’s Home Security President/CEO Peter Michel; GE Interlogix President/CEO Ken Boyda; Bosch Security Systems President/CEO Peter Ribinski; and former SecurityLink President/CEO Jim Covert. Scott, who is an NTS Certified alarm technician, has become a respected and in-demand speaker at security industry events, including presentations at the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) Annual Meeting; California Alarm Association (CAA) Summer and Winter Conferences; PSA Security Network Conference; International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC); and Security Industry Association (SIA) Forum. Scott often acts as an ambassador to mainstream media and is a participant in several industry associations. His previous experience as a cable-TV technician/installer and running his own audio company -- along with a lifelong fascination with electronics and computers -- prepared Scott well for his current position. Since graduating in 1986 with honors from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Radio-Television- Film, his professional endeavors have encompassed magazines, radio, TV, film, records, teletext, books, the Internet and more. In 2005, Scott captured the prestigious Western Publisher Maggie Award for Best Interview/Profile Trade for "9/11 Hero Tells Tale of Loses, Lessons," his October 2004 interview with former FDNY Commander Richard Picciotto, the last man to escape the Ground Zero destruction alive.
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Industry Research, Research - Security STATS, Security Industry Demographic Census