A CCTV (closed circuit television) operator works in a central control room, monitoring and controlling a bank of screens. These are linked to surveillance cameras placed in public places, buildings and places such as construction sites, to detect and prevent crime, and protect people.
You could be:
sitting in front of a bank of up to 15 screens, constantly monitoring the live pictures that come in from the surveillance cameras
operating the position of the cameras, for example if a cash machine is about to be emptied, you would focus the camera on the security guard
monitoring anyone acting suspiciously, and alerting security staff or police if you see an act of theft, vandalism or any other crime
monitoring cleaning staff working in large empty buildings for their safety
notifying the police of any anti-social behaviour
keeping a log of all incidents to pass onto police
called to give evidence in court as a witness.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting pay is often based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or the National Living Wage (NLW).
As of 1 April 2023 the National Minimum Wage is £5.28 an hour for workers under 18, £7.49 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20 and £10.18 an hour for workers aged 21 to 22. The National Living Wage for those aged 23 and over is £10.42 an hour.
With experience, you could earn up to £11.00 an hour. You may get a shift allowance.
You would work indoors in a central control room in front of a number of screens.
You would be expected to work shifts to cover 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many jobs advertised are for 12 hour shifts with 4 days on and 4 days off.
You may work in a team of operators or on your own.
You would keep in frequent contact with colleagues through telephone and radio contact.
Previous experience in a security position may be useful but is not necessary.
A Public Space Surveillance (CCTV) Licence from the Security Industry Authority (SIA) is required to work as a CCTV operator. Some employers will expect you to already have this licence.
To qualify for this licence you must be aged 18 or over. You will also need to pass an identity check, a criminal record check and have achieved an SIA approved Award for Working as a CCTV Operator (Public Space Surveillance) in the Private Security Industry (Scotland) at SCQF Level 6.
To achieve this you must study three mandatory modules, which take 32 hours to complete.
See the SIA website for a list of accredited Public Space Surveillance (CCTV) qualifications.
Jobs are often with local authorities which will be advertised on myjobscotland website. There are also jobs with Police Scotland in some areas. See their website for current vacancies.