Why Most Integrators Use the Same Techs for Video and Access

By Brian Rhodes, Published on Aug 12, 2014

With so many differences between video surveillance and access control designs, how commonly do integrators train and employ technicians specially skilled in one area? Is the most common approach to develop technicans that can do anything, or is it smarter to avoid training techs to be 'jacks-of-all trades, masters of none'?

We asked over 80 integrators "Do You Use Different Technicians for Access Control than for Video Surveillance work?"  In this note, we break down their answers and color commentary.

Key Breakdown

When it comes to technicians, most integrators use the same employees to install and service both video surveillance and access control. Almost 3/4 of all integrators reported this is the case:

Most Cross Train Technicians

Most integrators train installers to competently work on both video and access, citing the benefits of assigning one technician to do either task. The majority of comments stated this flexibility is critical to operations:

  • "Our technicians are trained to do both. We are not large enough to specialize employees to that extent. Our technicians must be flexible enough to service both systems."
  • "All our techs do both. Some are more adept with one versus the other, but can do either. Eliminates need for multiple techs on one job that has both systems."
  • "Our techs are all qualified to work on all products. This allows us to schedule any tech on any job."
  • "It seems that we have been able to cross train and that the quality of the work is excellent. We have been able to bring in a "door" guy that actually has helped us to expand into the door and storefront business and have cross trained him for Video and Access."
  • "All of our techs are well versed in CCTV as well as access control. This allows for quicker installation times and easier integration between the two when the occasion arises."

Small Size is a Factor

While flexibility was cited as the key driver for combining skills, the small size of most integrators force the point. Many comments plainly stated that in order to get work done quickly and affordably for smaller firms, techs need to be multi-skilled:

  • "No, we don't run a large enough install department to need dedicated techs."
  • "We aren't big enough to just have Access techs and video techs, but if we were, we still wouldn't restrict it that way. Get good at something but learn as much as you can on as many things as possible."
  • "We are a small company, so if we want to keep everyone working, they have to be skilled at everything."

The Case for Separate Installers

However, the flip side generally cited the increased complexity of access as the prime reason to use separate techs. The purely mechanical skillsets and craft experience access control requires lends itself to a different type of tech than those specialized in hanging cameras and optimizing NVRs:

  • "In general our access techs can work on video, but video techs cant really work on access..."
  • "Lock hardware personnel know doors. Also locksmiths should not normally be doing video especially IP based."
  • "We use the same techs for wiring both but for configuration we have a few that have training in access control so they do the final configuration and commissioning."
  • "We use different techs for the fieldwork required with access control because it requires more mechanical ability then installing a camera."
  • "Access control requires a more diverse skill set, so access control is best entrusted to more senior technicians. We start younger techs out on video, and get them exposure to access over time."

Case-by-Case Evaluations

While multi-skilled technicians are preferred, they are not easy to find and develop. While the ultimate goal is to have technicians generally capable of any task, the reality is that work is often planned according to the individual strengths of workers on the job. 

  • "It takes talent to be able to do both area well. When we hire those people, we encourage them to be great in either so they can be assigned anywhere."
  • "Everyone has different abilities, some are more self-sufficient than others."
  • "Yes and No - depends on the techs - we have several that are competent with both but a few only work on one or the other."
  • "For field install, no. If it gets into programming & training, then some are better than others."
  • "All techs know a little about all areas, but they have their expertise in certain areas."
  • "If they show promise, they can work in both. We do not hold them back."
Comments (0) : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Access Control and Video Integration Statistics 2020 on Oct 08, 2020
Video Surveillance and Access Control are two of the most common security...
Use Access Control Logs To Constrain Coronavirus on Apr 09, 2020
Access control users have included capabilities that are not commonly used...
Video Surveillance Business 101 on Mar 30, 2020
This report explains the fundamental elements of the video surveillance...
Verkada Access Control Tested on Sep 09, 2020
Verkada raised $80 million earlier in 2020, expanding from video into access...
Ubiquiti Access Control Tested on Oct 21, 2020
Ubiquiti has become one of the most widely used wireless and switch providers...
Video Analytics 101 on Mar 16, 2020
This guide teaches the fundamentals of video surveillance...
Uniview Deep Learning Camera Tested on Jul 14, 2020
Uniview's intrusion analytics have performed poorly in our shootouts. Now,...
OnTech Smart Services Partners With Google and Amazon To Compete With Integrators on Sep 25, 2020
A pain point for many homeowners to use consumer security and surveillance is...
Integrators Avoiding Coronavirus Air Travel on May 29, 2020
IPVM asked integrators if air travel is part of their 2020 plans to see how...
Risks Of Managing End User Passwords (Statistics) 2020 on Sep 11, 2020
Alarmingly, most integrators used spreadsheets to manage passwords, IPVM...
SafeZone Tech Presents AI Gunfire Detection on Jun 15, 2020
Safe Zone presented its AI gunfire sensor the May 2020 IPVM Startups...
"Fever Camera" Online Show June 2020 - On-Demand Recordings on Jun 03, 2020
IPVM has successfully completed the world's first "Fever Camera" show....
Fever Camera Sales From Integrators Surveyed on Jun 01, 2020
Fever cameras are the hottest trend in video surveillance currently but how...
Remote Network Access for Video Surveillance Guide on Jul 27, 2020
Remotely accessing surveillance systems is key in 2020, with more and more...
Camera Course Summer 2020 - Last Chance on Jul 18, 2020
This is your last chance to register for the Summer 2020 Camera Course. This...

Recent Reports

Bedside Cough and Sneeze Detector (Sound Intelligence and CLB) on Oct 28, 2020
Coronavirus has increased interest in detecting symptoms such as fever and...
Fever Tablet Thermal Sensors Examined (Melexis) on Oct 28, 2020
Fever tablet suppliers heavily rely on the accuracy and specs of...
Verkada Fires 3 on Oct 28, 2020
Verkada has fired three employees over an incident where female colleagues...
Recruiters Online Show LIVE Thursday! on Oct 27, 2020
IPVM's 7th online show resumes Thursday with 12 recruiters presenting...
Eagle Eye Networks Raises $40 Million on Oct 27, 2020
Eagle Eye has raised $40 million aiming to "reinvent video...
Hikvision Q3 2020 Global Revenue Rises, US Revenue Falls on Oct 27, 2020
While Hikvision's global revenue rises driven by domestic recovery, its US...
VICE Investigates Verkada's Harassing "RawVerkadawgz" on Oct 26, 2020
This month, IPVM investigated Verkada's sexism, discrimination, and cultural...
Six Flags' FDA Violating Outdoor Dahua Fever Cameras on Oct 26, 2020
As Six Flags scrambled to reopen parks amid plummeting revenues caused by the...
ISC Brasil Digital Experience 2020 Report on Oct 23, 2020
ISC Brasil 2020 rebranded itself to ISC Digital Experience and, like its...
Top Video Surveillance Service Call Problems 2020 on Oct 23, 2020
3 primary and 4 secondary issues stood out as causing the most problems when...
GDPR Impact On Temperature / Fever Screening Explained on Oct 22, 2020
What impact does GDPR have on temperature screening? Do you risk a GDPR fine...
Security And Safety Things (S&ST) Tested on Oct 22, 2020
S&ST, a Bosch spinout, is spending tens of millions of dollars aiming to...
Nokia Fever Screening Claims To "Advance Fight Against COVID-19" on Oct 22, 2020
First IBM, then briefly Clorox, and now Nokia becomes the latest Fortune 500...
Deceptive Meridian Temperature Tablets Endanger Public Safety on Oct 21, 2020
IPVM's testing of and investigation into Meridian Kiosk's temperature...
Honeywell 30 Series and Vivotek NVRs Tested on Oct 21, 2020
The NDAA ban has driven many users to look for low-cost NVRs not made by...