When your company is looking to hire a security firm and you are wondering “How much should a good security guard cost?” You are asking the wrong question! Why? Well, “good” is relative.
In this circumstance, “good” is an adjective describing:
1. To be desired or approved of: “a good quality of life”
2. Having the qualities required for a particular role.”the schools here are good”
“Good” will mean different things to different people! Instead ask, “Does the security guard company meet my expectations, and do they meet the requirements that I need to provide the services on my property?”
Depending on a company’s needs. an average security firm will charge anywhere between $16 – $120 an hour. Here at BPS Security our lowest package starts at $26 an hour, and our highest package is $153 an hour. (As of May 24th, 2021 — This is subject to change). Now the bells and whistles of these two packages are completely different.
- the items/tools that we use to provide security are different
- the skill set of the guard is very different!
Why are these factors different? Again, the price will vary depending on the type of security a company needs for their property. For example, does the company need a guard with the skill sets of an executive security officer? If so, the hourly price will be higher!
Same Price but Different Standards
To put this into perspective we are going to use the cost of jeans as an example. (Note that, we are using jeans just to prove a point, and we are not actually picking one brand over another). Say you are looking to purchase great quality jeans that cost $250.
Factors to consider:
- The company selling the jeans. A large department store has an extremely generous return policy should anything happen to the jeans. Whereas, a small mom and pop boutique will have a strict return policy simply because they cannot absorb the costs of a return on a pair of jeans purchased a year ago.
- Where are the jeans made? Are they made overseas? Or are they made here in America? Depending on the location, there are different production standards. Though it is often less money to produce a garment overseas, some companies will do so, but still charge a premium amount of money simply to make a higher profit.
- The material used. Believe it or not, denim can have a blend of various fabric and materials! So no, not ever jean is made with 100% cotton. Sometimes different blends will be used for different purposes (the addition of spandex can make a jean stretchy) and that is why a brand will decide to use various materials. Whereas sometimes brands are sneaking in different materials simply to cut costs.
The same can be said for security! Just because two companies are charging $20, $30, or $40 an hour, does not mean each company provides the same quality of service! It is important for companies to do their due diligence and make sure that the security they are getting is actually the quality they are expecting!
How much should a good security guard cost? Let us compare the different standards!
- What are the qualifications the security firm requires?
- What training does a guard need to have to fill a role?
- How does the security firm select the guard for their client?
- If there is an incident, how does the security company respond?
- What kind of insurance does the security company have?
- Does the security firm provide workers comp for their guards? Or do you have general liability? Do you have both or just one
The answers to these questions will make a big difference in cost AND quality of service! Especially in states that do not provide regulations or insurance at all! (For example, Colorado does not require a securit firm to provide insurance!)
Note that: Here at BPS, regardless of the state’s regulations, our guards are still held to the same standards of the states with the most strict regulations! Now yes, our guards will differ based on the needs (again, does a company need an executive security officer. This position requires a different skill level!)
Just remember, two companies may charge the same hourly rate but this does not mean they offer the same quality!
Is the Price Inclusive?
Sure, the hourly cost of a security officer may be “lower” from one company, but the charges are a la carte! Again, to put this into perspective, here is an example outside of the security industry! Let us compare airline tickets.
Delta will charge a price for a ticket and then charge a fee for each checked bag. Southwest will charge a price for a ticket but the ticket includes two free checked bags that weigh under 50 lbs. Whereas Frontier will charge a price for a ticket (often less money than other airline companies), charge a price for each checked bag, and charge a price for carry-on luggage!
Sometimes, Southwest and Delta will both offer a ticket at the same price, but the luggage fee will make the difference! However, Southwest has a unique boarding process with no assigned seats, and does not offer first class. Whereas Delta offers first class, and has assigned seats. The choice really comes down to what the paying customer wants!
In the security industry, a good security company with an all inclusive price will be anywhere between $35 and $55 an hour. Now if the company separates the benefits and and additional costs (like Delta and their baggage fees) the hourly rate should be between $26 and $30 an hour. (Each security provider is different and that cost can vary depending on how they split the costs and how they bill their customers).
How companies might split costs (after the hourly rate):
- The cost of benefits. Are they rolled into an hourly rate or does the security firm require a direct pay of benefits
- Billing for overtime.
- Charging for equipment or is it included in the hourly rate?
Here at BPS Security, we offer both options: Direct billing, and an all inclusive. So a lot of our clients go with the billing because it gives them the possibility of saving money. And some of our clients go with the all inclusive rate because they know they will never pay more than that price. So it’s a give or take. It depends on your circumstances which one is better, but we give our clients both instead of just one option. When you get security services, make sure you compare apples to apples and ask all the same questions from all your vendors.
For more information check out the article: “What if My Guard Does Not Arrive For Their Scheduled Shift?“