A REAL canary in the electronic security industry coal mine is the jobs market and the word at the coal face is that management wages are stagnant, quality techs are enjoying wage growth and employers are becoming more positive. 

According to Justin Long of Just Professional Recruitment as 2013 draws to a close there’s certainly more confidence from employers looking to recruit new staff when compared to Dec 2012 when he says doom-and-gloom about the future of our industry was almost a daily conversation. 

“At the moment there are many more active job seekers than positions to put them in, especially in the corporate security sector,” Long says. “And there certainly needs to be a surge of security integrators willing to develop technicians through apprentice programs. The shortage of Concept and Tecom qualified technicians is crippling some access control businesses and impacting on the industry in general, leading to some companies resorting to using unlicensed techs on working holidays.”

When it comes to installers are integrators looking for tech staff with IP capability?

“Definitely, the electronic security industry is developing closer ties with the IT industry due to the changes in technology with some employers opting for only IT/ IP experience as primary skills required and the security aspect of the position (CCTV, access control) being taught in-house as a secondary consideration,” Long says. “Preferred IT industry skills relating to edge devices, networking, storage, integration and cloud technologies suggest this trend will only continue and the sooner the security and IT industries find common -ground the better.” 

You’d expect wages to be static just now, given the protracted financial flat spot we’ve endured and Long agrees while that’s what the evidence suggests in management positions, it doesn’t apply to highly qualified techs.

“Salaries and packages have barely moved for most in 2-3yrs and your general sales executive can expect to earn between $A15-25k less than his or her counterpart in the IT industry, with the electronic security industry offering a base of $A75-95k plus vehicle or allowance of around $A15k plus commission, which varies dramatically,” says Long. 

“But salaries for security technicians have increased on a regular basis due to the lack of skilled technicians and over the last few years have risen from $A65k average to an average of $A80K + vehicle or allowance. Some highly skilled commissioning technicians with Cardax, Lenel and similar skills are commanding over $A100K.

“Finally – middle to upper management throughout the industry, salaries have remained very static for some 3yrs now and in some cases bonuses/commissions have been reduced in light of the GFC.” 

There is good news ahead, however. Long says there’s a much more positive feel to the market.

“I’ve noticed that things are picking up and I’m sure it suggests a stronger start to 2014, with growth in the electronic security business leading to increased job opportunities and growth in remuneration.”