Control Room Operator

As a Control Room Operator, you will have many duties that include but are not limited to things like Customer Support Services, alarm management, CCTV Monitoring and Technical Administration. Some of your duties may also see you scheduling the rotation of security officers, as well as monitoring check-ins from the rest of the team who may be out on patrol and reporting back. You will also have the responsibility of providing backup through communication to other security officers who may radio in if they detect suspicious activities. Some of your work may also require you to write various reports of events that occurred during your shift. You will join a team considered the communication hub of the security team and will respond to incoming calls as well as dispatch calls. You will be expected to be great at multitasking as you will be responsible for many parts of communication within your security team.

Wage rate hourly


Typical hours

20 to 48 hours a week usually includes weekends


SIA CCTV Licence

Total cost

Between £350 and £450 including your licence fee

How to become a Control Room Operator

The first step in becoming a Control Room Officer is to get the correct certifications required to do the job. That means you will have to get your SIA CCTV License. The only way to do this is by completing the SIA CCTV Operator Training course. In some cases, your company may also ask that you have your Security Guard or Door Supervisor License as well.


Course cost

The SIA CCTV License is a three-day course that includes two multiple-choice exams and practical assessments. The SIA CCTV License starts at £179.99 and has a license fee of £190.00, and is also valid for three years. It may cost about £370.00 to complete the entire process.

If you are also interested in the general security guard course it costs £179.99 and lasts four days. The SIA door supervisor license is a six-day course that also features multiple-choice exams as well as practical assessments. The training for the license starts at £199.99. For only an extra £20 and two days, we think it’s best to cover your bases and be licensed for venues and positions which involve the sale of alcohol. 

There is also a license fee to pay after training of £190.00 and it is valid for three years.

You can apply and pay for your license, at a local post office or online. The total cost of the course and the license is £439.99.


Legal Requirements

The SIA License requires you to:

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Have proof that you are allowed to work in the UK (such as visa)
  • A criminal background check
  • A mental health check
  • Have passed you SIA course

You can find out more about the mental health requirements as well as the criminal background check in other blogs on the site. 

Become a Control Room Operator

Start a successful career as a Control Room Operator by following these steps:

Book your CCTV Operator Training course

This is the first step to become a Control Room Operator.

Pass the course

The course consists of two multiple choice exams and a practical assessment.

Apply for your SIA Licence

You can apply for your licence through the postoffice after passing the course

Apply for jobs in your area

Once you have your licence, you can start applying for Control Room Operator jobs in your area






3 years

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Typical job description and responsibilities

Control Room Operator Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Handle incoming calls
  • Monitor Control Room Systems
  • Provide customer service when called upon to do so
  • Handle crisis and emergency situations calmly and with confidence
  • Ensure all safety and emergency procedures are followed
  • CCTV monitoring

This job does not require as much time on your feet as other sectors of security. It does however require a lot of mental sharpness. That means your eyes will have to be sharp to pick up suspicious activity on camera if that is your assignment. In other Control Room settings, you will be the go-to for all types of communication. For example, if an officer needs to get in contact with someone out on the field. 

You may also be needed to field incoming calls and direct them to relevant departments. A lot of this work is based not just on your training but on your communication skills as well. The better you are at understanding modern communication systems the better you will be at this job.

Control Room Operators are also responsible for:  

  • Being able to recognize suspicious behavior 
  • Ensuring that your Radio Base Station is functional
  • Tracking company vehicles 
  • Issuing security alerts as needed

Working Conditions

It’s important to understand the crucial role that a Control Room plays in security. It is considered the heart of security communication. That’s because it brings many different aspects of security monitoring in one room.

It can be demanding work as most modern-day Control Rooms are never shut down and constantly have someone monitoring activities on a 24-hour basis. It also requires a level of trust from your employer since you will be exposed to sensitive information in the carrying out of your duties.

Your professionalism may be on display at all times as well as many Control Rooms are often monitored for ensuring that certain protocols are followed. The job can be very rewarding as you continue to learn more about communication systems and coordinating with personnel.

Skills and personal qualities required: 

A Control Room Operator needs to be:

  • Always alert of their surroundings
  • Understand modern day communication systems
  • Understand how to operate CCTV 
  • Respond quickly to requests from other officers
  • Respond quickly to emergency situations
  • Dedicated to observing the behavior of individuals on camera
  • Detail-oriented 
  • Physically fit
  • A quick problem solver
  • Able to quickly communicate with the rest of the team and coordinate appropriately
  • Knowledgeable of licensing laws and health and safety regulations
  • Able to write basic reports and detail events accurately

Education required

There are no specific qualifications such as GCSEs required to take your SIA course. However, because all you need is your SIA qualification you will be competing with a lot of people from countries around the world who have the right to work in the UK. You should have at least a strong command of English and be able to handle technology.


Benefits of the jobs:

  • Management of security responses and detail
  • Real-life experience with technology integration
  • Developing real investigative skills
  • Shifts often help with life/work balance
  • Developing teamwork skills
  • Developing better communication skills 

Life skills they would acquire:

As a Control Room Operator, you will get the opportunity to learn to use the right technology to ensure that your team and client is safe. This may expose you to new opportunities in terms of learning about unique technological equipment. You can also look forward to gaining the skills that can help keep you calm when dealing with an emergency situation.

You can also expect to:

  • Learn about working in the Private Security Industry
  • Learn about working as a CCTV Operator

You’ll also improve several skill sets including: 

  • Communication
  • Decision-making
  • Observation
  • Concentration

How much does a Control Room Operator actually earn

Wage rate and hours

While each company has their own shift system for this role, many companies use a four-day on four-day off basis. Within the four days on you may be required to work various shifts so you should be prepared to work long hours. It’s also important that you are physically fit since a lot of your job will require that you are alert and able to respond quickly to situations that may arise.

Starting off as a Control Room Operator you may make about £9.00 per hour. With time and experience, you could work for up to £17.00 an hour.


How much does a Control Room Operator earn?

Typically a Control Room Officer works anywhere between 20-48 hours a week. It is expected that you are prompt when relieving other officers on duty as a lot of the job involves communication which requires focused concentration. The shifts are designed to ensure that each officer on duty gets ample time to rest and can face their duties with a fresh mind.


The table below shows how much you could earn: 



Typical weekly (40 hours) 

Typical annually (40 hours per week) 


£9 to £13

£360 to £520

£18,720 - £27,040


£13 to £18 

£520 to £720

£27,040 - £37,440





Even though most wages for a Control Room Operator start at between £9.00 to £13.00 there is room for growth and better pay as you put in the time. If you are able to carry out the duties and remain dedicated to your role you can eventually make as much as your senior counterparts. However, when starting out a safe annual salary to expect is around £23,000 - £24,000. There is a great chance for advancement as you begin to learn the job. Senior Control Room Officers are valued because their experience can help if an emergency situation arises. It’s due to this that the more you learn on this job the more likely you are to bring in more money for the role.

Which personality traits suit this career the most

  • Team Player
  • Multitasker
  • Attention to Detail
  • Trustworthy
  • Punctual
  • Dedicated

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