Alarm, security or surveillance monitor

What they do

Alarm, security or surveillance monitors protect people, organisations and property and make sure they are kept safe. They observe security alarms and surveillance equipment to prevent crimes from happening and contact mobile security guards when problems occur. They also notify supervisors, police or fire brigades if security is breached or fire is detected. Alarm, security or surveillance monitors may also be required to respond in person or perform patrolling duties.

Working conditions

Alarm, security or surveillance monitors may work in a control room located on site within a building, or in a central control room located off site where they may monitor numerous sites from the one office. They may work shiftwork, including weekends, public holidays and evenings.

In Western Australia, they work mainly in metropolitan areas.

Tools and technologies

Alarm, security or surveillance monitors use closed circuit television (CCTV) systems and video and audio intercoms to watch over the premises they are monitoring. They may also monitor security and fire alarms at residential and commercial premises. They use radios to communicate with mobile security officers who then check on reported problem areas.

How do I become one?

Education and training

It is possible to work as an alarm, security or surveillance monitor without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in security operations.

The Certificates II and III in Security Operations are available at registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. Browse courses through the My Skills website or the Western Australian Police Licensing Services website to find a registered provider near you.

You can also undertake a traineeship in security operations (level 3). The traineeship usually takes months to complete.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Required registration and licensing

To work as an alarm, security or surveillance monitor in Western Australia, you will need to obtain a Security Officer – Control Room/Monitoring Centre licence from the Western Australian Police. To obtain a Security Officer – Control Room/Monitoring Centre licence you will need to be at least 18 years of age.