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Career Story: Service Manager For A Fire Alarm Company

Service Manager For A Fire Alarm Company

Job Title: Service Management

Type of Company: I work for a fire alarm company that operates and maintains fire alarm systems in commercial buildings.

Education: BA, Business, Suffolk University (Boston, MA)

Previous Experience: I have been at the same job for the last 19 years, through college to the present.

Job Tasks: I work as a service manager for a fire alarm company. We service and maintain fire alarm systems in commercial properties. I handle the accounts payable, accounts receivable and scheduling of the fire alarm technicians. We employ seven telecom technicians and 4 electricians. Each day we receive alarms - real or false - and calls about problems that we need to dispatch a technician to within a certain amount of time. At the end of the day, I email each technician his schedule for the following day with assignments that can range from routine system testing to troubleshooting ground faults or upgrading or replacing existing systems. I am also involved in bidding for public contracts. Each contract has a stipulated length and gets awarded, primarily, to the lowest bidder.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I really enjoy the people I work with in the office. When I first started I worked with the owner of the company and we were the only two employees in the office. Since then, we have hired another employee and she and I work extremely well together. It really is a pleasure to come to work on a daily basis. I have flexible hours and have been fortunate to be able to bring my babies into the office for the first 6-9 months of their lives before having to send them to daycare.

Sometimes dealing with the technicians can be exasperating, but for the most part everyone I work with is great. The only other negative aspect about my job is the commute. I have a 1 + hour commute to and from work everyday.

Job Tips: My job is really just a typical office job, however, if you are interested in becoming a low-voltage telecom technician or electrician, the union is definitely the best way to go. The benefits far exceed any benefits you would get from a non-union contractor. The techs receive a raise every 6 months and also at age 58 are eligible for retirement with a full pension and deferred income.

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