What Does It Take to Become a Fire Alarm Technician?

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Nov 14, 2018

Nov 14, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

Looking for a job that helps people, pays great, and allows you to work just about anywhere? Becoming a fire alarm technician might be the right career for you.

If you've never heard of this career path before, you're not alone. Many people don't realize that fire alarm installer jobs exist.

But this industry plays a critical role in keeping buildings and people safe. You can easily make over $20 an hour and find jobs all over the country. After all, people need fire alarms everywhere.

In this guide, we'll tell you everything you need to know about becoming a fire alarm technician. Keep reading to find out if this industry is right for you!

What Does a Fire Alarm Technician Do?

As a fire alarm tech, your job is to install, maintain, repair, and test fire and security alarm systems. This includes fire suppression systems, like sprinklers.

Your supervisor might be the Facilities or Maintenance Manager of the building. You'll get assignments from your supervisor, or you might need to work in a more self-directed way. You'll need to stay familiar with the local regulations and codes to make sure your work meets them.

Let's take a closer look at all the tasks you might be required to do.

Alarm Installation

Installing alarm systems is one of the primary tasks required by these jobs. You'll need to install other devices and systems as needed, too. This can mean traveling to different building locations and programming the alarm panels properly.

You'll need to be able to use a certain number of tools and to follow installation directions. You might also need to teach your clients how to properly use and maintain their alarm systems. Find more info here about the types of systems you might encounter.

Inspect and Test

When you install a new fire alarm or security system, you'll also need to know how to test it to make sure it's working right. You may also need to come back for routine inspections of the systems that are already installed.

You'll need to check that the alarm works and also all the different functions and features of the system to make sure it all works well. This means using testing equipment, including analyzers, and meters.

Meet Regulations

There are many different fire safety regulations and codes which can change depending on where you live. Meeting regulations is critical for a fire alarm tech.

You'll have to know both the local and federal laws so you can make sure you or your clients don't get fined for not meeting them.

A familiarity with OSHA safety standards is also important. You might even need to get certifications or licenses to operate legally in your state.

Perform Repairs

Fire alarms and other systems won't work properly all the time. You'll be in charge of making repairs to the systems you've installed and possibly to existing systems as well.

You'll need to help your clients fix their devices and perform regular maintenance tasks they don't know how to do. You might also need to replace old devices if they can't be fixed.

As a fire alarm tech, you can educate your clients on the most important things they can do to keep their systems running well. You might also upgrade their systems and devices to the latest ones as needed.

Make Reports

Finally, your job involves making a service report for the different locations you've visited. This paperwork can involve recording the work performed, problems addressed, and materials used. The status reports will keep you organized and keep your employer up to date on the status of your projects.

Why Become a Fire Alarm Tech?

Becoming a fire alarm technician can offer a great deal of job stability. Your services will be needed in many different places and it's an effectively recession-proof industry. The need to prevent fires is constant.

This can also be a very rewarding field. You'll get to see the results of your work right away, like when you install a new alarm system or fix an old one. You can work with your hands and solve interesting problems as they come up.

Perhaps most importantly, you're helping to keep people safe. As you teach your clients how to maintain their alarm systems, you're empowering them to keep their buildings safe all the time. This job offers a nice balance of independent work and communicating with others.

Fire Alarm Technician Training

To become a fire alarm technician, you'll typically need to complete either an associate's degree or a relevant, equivalent course. This training offers training in the different fire alarm systems, plus fire alarm codes, electrical codes, and basic electrical wiring.

In fact, there are many overlaps between fire alarm tech training and electrician training. If you're interested in becoming an electrician, this is another field that might appeal to you.

You'll need to learn to repair and install systems, use the right tools, and read building blueprints. To become a Certified Fire Alarm Technician, you'll need to complete a written exam after your training is complete. Depending on your state, you may also need to get a license to work.

Fire Alarm Installer Jobs

There's some variety in the type of fire alarm tech jobs you can get once you're done with training.

Alarm companies and other security services are the main employers for fire alarm tech jobs. You might also work for a building equipment contractor.

Your job might also be tied to specific buildings or industries. For example, fire alarm technicians who work for hospitals tend to command higher pay, since fire alarms are essential for protecting vulnerable patients there.

Is a Fire Alarm Technician Job in Your Future?

Becoming a fire alarm technician isn't for everyone. But if you love working with your hands, fixing problems, and teaching people, it might be the perfect job for you.

Wondering how to make your job search successful, for a fire alarm tech job or any job? Social media can actually help you - learn more here.