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.

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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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is 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), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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