Full-time Certificate 2915cert

SST - A Career for Our Ever Changing World

Have you ever considered a career in security? This is an area which has seen incredible growth in the past decade with no signs of slowing down. A security systems technician installs, maintains, and repairs systems designed to protect people and property. In addition to home alarm systems, security technicians or techs also work with hand or fingerprint scanners, intelligent cameras, card access systems, and much more.

Security techs work mostly with low-voltage 12 volt wiring, but sometimes with 120 volt alternating current, standard telephone lines, even internet systems for communication. Security techs use many specialized tools for installing cables, programming systems, and testing communications.

The need for security in our society is increasing and the demand for qualified security systems technicians has reached the critical stage. The Security Systems Technician training program is the first full-time program of its kind in North America and provides the training needed for graduates to excel in this growing industry.

The Program

The program is divided into two levels. Level 1 deals with basic installation techniques and the theories and codes which govern the security industry. Level 2 involves installing and troubleshooting complete alarm systems and advanced security equipment. This level includes a mandatory four-week work experience practicum with a licensed alarm company.

The program includes a total of seven courses, each requiring a passing grade of 70% and a grade of Satisfactory in TELC 2220 (practicum). Students must pass all Level 1 courses to advance to Level 2, and must complete all courses to graduate from the program.

Program Entry

Attributes that make students successful are an interest in how things work (Do you like to take things apart?) and mechanical aptitude (Can you put them back together again?). Good colour recognition is important, since you will be working with electrical conductors where different colours mean different things. Physical mobility is important, since alarm installers have to climb ladders, move around in crawlspaces and attics, and just generally stay active. Due to the customer service nature of the work, excellent English language skills (both speaking and listening) are required.

Application processing

Applications are accepted throughout the year.

Entrance requirements

Applicants must meet all entrance requirements and will be accepted on a first qualified basis as long as space remains. When available intakes are full, qualified applicants are wait-listed.

Applicants must meet all entrance requirements prior to applying to this program. If you are uncertain or don’t meet the requirements we strongly recommend you complete any applicable Trades Pre-entry Tests before applying.

Read more about how to meet BCIT’s entrance requirements

Additional requirements

If you have been conditionally accepted to BCIT you will be notified and the following information will be required in order to be accepted into the program:

  • Security Worker Licence*

Once these and any other outstanding conditions have been met, you will receive notification of your full acceptance.

*The Security Services Act of BC requires all security alarm installers in the province to hold a valid Security Worker Licence (Licence type: Security Alarm Installer - under supervision). Once you have provided all other prerequisites you will receive a conditional acceptance package with details on how to obtain your licence. For further information, please refer to the Ministry of Justice Qualifying for a Licence and Applying for a Licence webpages.

Recommended for success

  • Applicants should possess good health and physical mobility in order to meet the demands of the work.

  • Good hand/eye coordination and communication skills in both verbal and written English are recommended.

  • Potential students with medical or physical difficulties should contact the Disability Resource Centre to arrange an interview (telephone interview if out of town) with the institute's rehabilitation specialist: 604-451-6963.

Trades Discovery
Trades Discovery General and Trades Discovery for Women are full-time programs designed to prepare participants to successfully enter and complete a Trades Training program.

Apply to program

BCIT accepts only complete applications. In order to apply:

  • Include proof of meeting all entrance requirements prior to submission
  • Convert all transcripts and supporting documents to PDF files
  • Have a credit card ready to pay the application fee
Apply Now

You can check the status of your application online at any time using the Student Information System.

Scheduled intakes

April, September and November

*Scheduled intakes are subject to change


Within two business days of submitting your completed application, BCIT will send a message to your personal and myBCIT e-mail addresses. All correspondence regarding your application will be posted to your online myCommunication account at my.bcit.ca. We'll send you an e-mail when a new message is posted. It's important to watch for these e-mails or regularly check your account online.

You can expect to receive communication concerning the status of your application within four weeks.

Costs & Supplies

Quality of work can be judged by the training received and by the tools used. And like most trades the SST program will require each student to purchase their own tools and safety equipment.

Required during the first week of class:

  • Safety boots: CSA-approved, steel toes, etc.
  • Safety glasses
  • Wire strippers: K Millers or equivalent
  • Flat blade screwdrivers: small and medium-sized blades
  • Multimeter: 10 A scale, mounting bracket, audible continuity tester
Instructor will provide information as to which items to purchase on the first day of class.

Required by sixth week of program:
  • Electrician's tool pouch and belt or tool case
  • Robertson #1 and #2 screwdrivers
  • Phillips small and medium screwdrivers
  • Lineman's pliers: for heavy-duty use; with cutting blades and crimpers
  • Wire jumpers with alligator clips
  • Utility knife with replacement blades
  • Drywall saw
  • 16' Tape measure
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Putty knife
  • Mini Flashlight
  • Small level (Torpedo level)
  • Audible circuit tester (will be built in lab)

Tuition fees

Please see the Fees, Payments and Refunds section of the website for information on full-time tuition fees.

Books and supplies

$1,080 (general estimated cost, and subject to change)

Financial assistance

Financial assistance may be available for this program. For more information, please contact Student Financial Aid and Awards.


The 28-week program is divided into two levels. In Level 1, you will learn how to interpret regulations and codes (such as the Canadian Electrical Code) and to apply these regulations to real situations. You will also learn how electrical and electronic devices work and how to recognize when they don't work to increase your success as a troubleshooter. You will also learn to use the tools of the trade, many of them familiar ones and many you've probably never seen or heard of before. Don't worry if you've never done any electrical or electronic work before…we'll show you what to do.

In Level 2, you will learn about the various types of detectors used in intrusion alarm systems: how they work and how to install and test them. Imagine installing a device which can detect you simply by sensing the warmth of your body! You will then learn how to program microprocessor-based control panels. These boxes are the brains of the security system, with hundreds or thousands of program options, allowing you to modify almost any aspect of their operation. You will learn how to connect these controls to a telephone system, so that signals can be sent to a remote monitoring station which will then call the police or a guard to respond.

Class hours

0730–1430, Monday through Friday

Program matrix

Level 1 (12 weeks) Credits
  TELC 1105 Introduction to Security Installations 4.0
  TELC 1110 Fundamentals of Electricity and Electronics 10.0
  TELC 1120 Wiring Methods 10.0
Level 2 (16 weeks) Credits
  TELC 2210 Intrusion Alarm Systems 14.0
  TELC 2220 Practicum 7.5
  TELC 2230 CCTV and Access Control Systems 8.0
Total Credits: 53.5

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

Program Details

The Security Systems Technician Program focuses on hands-on training, using real-life situations. As a student, you will work with tools and equipment in a variety of settings, including a client's house.

You will spend some of your time in class, but slightly more than half your time as a student here will be spent on practical activities. Many of the tests are practical exams, where you will demonstrate your competence in a trade-related task.

The SST lab, in the Electrical Training Centre, is a facility dedicated to this program. A keyless entry system controls access to the inner supply room, stocked with specialty tools and security components. The showcase of this lab is ASPEN, a fully-functional monitoring station with its own independent telephone system.

Four weeks of your training will be spent on a practicum with a licensed security company, working under the supervision of a qualified technician (most likely a BCIT grad).

Program length

28 weeks, full-time


A passing grade of 70% in each course and a grade of Satisfactory in TELC 2220 (practicum) is required for successful completion of the program. Students must successfully complete all courses in Level 1 in order to advance to Level 2.

Program location

Burnaby Campus
3700 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, BC

Graduating & Jobs

Job opportunities

The demand is high for grads of the BCIT Security Systems Technician program. You can begin working immediately upon graduation. Many students end up being hired by their practicum company, so you could even be working before you graduate.

After 18 months of work experience, you will be eligible to write the B.C. Certificate of Qualification exam for Security Alarm Installer. Once you've earned your C of Q, your options expand dramatically. For example, you could start your own business. Or, if you're considering relocating, you'll find your credentials are accepted just about anywhere you could think of moving to.

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

The two instructors in this program have extensive backgrounds in the security industry, with a combined total experience of over 45 years! Both instructors hold Certificates of Qualification in the trade and B.C. Provincial Instructor Diplomas. The positions held by either or both instructors in the past include installation (residential and commercial), service/maintenance tech, Service Manager, Project Co-ordinator, counter sales/distribution (including technical support for dealers), security consultant, and business owner/operator.

Both instructors are active in the security industry as members of the Canadian Security Association and sit on the editorial advisory board of Security Products & Technology News magazine.

Peter Burleigh,
T: 604-456-8194
E: peter_burleigh@bcit.ca

Ted Simmons,
Chief Instructor
T: 604-453-4045
E: ted_simmons@bcit.ca

Michael Zecchel,
T: 604-432-8699
E: michael_zecchel@bcit.ca

Advisory committee

  • Stu Armour, Affordable Security 
  • Peter Hodgson, Orion Security Systems
  • Michael Jagger, Provident Security 
  • Barry McGowan, Independent
  • Peter Moore, Moore Security 
  • Tim Neill, Atlas Alarms Ltd. 
  • Jim Porter, Price's Alarms
  • Mark White, Intelligent Security Solutions
  • Jeff Jodoin, Accurate Security
  • Bryan Sweeney, SOS Security Solutions Ltd.

Contact Us

Link to BCIT's ask an advisor and receive an immediate response to general questions. Give it a try, it's pretty cool.

Getting Around the BCIT World

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The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Information Access and Privacy.

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"Going to BCIT changed my life. I went from having a dead-end job to one with a future. I graduated three years ago; now I'm the B.C. manager of one of North America's largest security companies. To date I have hired 10 grads of the Security Systems Technician program and would absolutely hire more. I know they have had the best training."

"Whatever happens anywhere else, this is a field that continues to steadily grow. There will always be a need for electronic security protection."

Jan Hedmark, B.C. Quality Manager & Electrical Inspector, Vivint (formerly APX Alarms)


"I acquired the skills and knowledge to operate a security company on my own. I did my practicum with Kamloops Alarm, and six months after graduation I bought the company. I've since hired two BCIT grads and would definitely hire more." Ryan Moffett; graduated March 2004 and currently owner and President of Kamloops Alarm & Electric, Ltd.

Apprentice to CEO

Exciting NEW COURSE developed especially for trades and apprenticeship students.

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