How Much does A Security Guard Cost

The average cost of hiring a security guard can be between $22 to over $100 per hour, depending on your needs. For instance, if you need a guard to watch over a retail store for lurking shoplifters, the price will fall toward the cheaper side. In contrast, if you’re an executive that requires full-time exclusive security personnel, it can cost you as much as $1500 daily.

Besides that, the costs of hiring security guards depend on several factors, including shifts required, the number of guards you plan on hiring, level risk at the area, the guard’s experience, and whether they’re armed. Another difference in the prices is if they are on your payroll as a full-time employee or contracted.

To help you understand what you’re paying for and determine what level of protection you need, here’s everything you know about the expenses of hiring a security guard, including the types of security guard services and how much does a security guard make.

What Is A Security Guard

Before hiring these professionals, it pays to know what exactly they do. Security guards are responsible for protecting the public or private properties by patrolling these areas and apprehending any suspicious or unlawful individuals. They usually monitor entrances and exits of buildings or residences to prevent illegal activities, such as violence or theft. These individuals need to have an extensive working knowledge of firearms and self-defense to protect the properties, the individuals, and themselves during an incident.

Additionally, these individuals also need to have a basic understanding of technology as digital monitoring equipment is becoming the ‘norm’ in surveillance in today’s modern law enforcement operations. Other skills that they should have are being able to stand for long periods and efficient communication skills to reach out to other law enforcement departments and officers. This profession’s educational requirement is a high school diploma, and a security guard can either work independently or work for security companies.

Factors that Affect the Cost When Hiring a Security Guard

Although the costs for hiring these individuals vary and determining how much you’ll need to pay can be challenging to estimate, here are the different factors that can affect their fees to give you a better idea.

Armed Security vs. Unarmed Security

Armed guards cost more than an unarmed guard, charging around $5 to $10 more per hour. That’s because armed security is in great demand, the cost of purchasing or maintaining firearms, licenses, and intensive training these individuals undergo. Fortunately, if you’re looking to hire private security, you most likely won’t need armed guards unless you live in a high-risk area or have expensive items to protect. However, if you want to keep your costs down, hiring a mix of armed and unarmed guards is the best option.

Training of the Security Guards

Another factor that affects the cost is the extent of training the individuals have received. For instance, off-duty police officers looking for additional income can charge a minimum of $40 to $60. Besides active officers, some guards are former law enforcement or military that have garnered tons of experience training over the years, making them uniquely qualified. These security guards may be expensive, but it’s worth every penny if you think your safety and security are at risk.

Experience of the Security Guard

If you’re planning to hire a security guard, one of the most significant factors that affect the cost is experience. An experienced guard with advanced skills can cost around $35 to $50 per hour, whether you’re hiring them from a security company or on your own. When referring to ‘experience,’ this includes the officer’s time on the job and the type of experience. If your security needs aren’t drastic, you can hire a young and inexperienced guard long as they have an efficient security agent’s attributes. However, if you’re hiring private security for a high-risk executive, it’s best to go for experienced armed guards.

Independent Vs. Private Security Companies

If you want to hire security guards but don’t want to place them on your payroll, you can pick between hiring an independent security guard to save you money. Since they won’t require as much overhead as a security company, but doing this means there are no checks and balances, or if they get sick, you have no security for the day. But if this situation is acceptable for you, make sure the guard has a clean background, personal insurance, any licenses required by the state.

On the other hand, when you hire guards from a security company, they will take care of everything for you, and you’ll need to pay for the service fees. Hiring from security companies gives you the advantage of flexibility, meaning you can change your security level accordingly. However, the cost of hiring from a security company can be more expensive.

Time of Day You Need a Security Guard

When you need a guard may also affect the cost. For example, if you were to contract armed or unarmed guards after-hours parties, you can pay between $30 to over $50 per hour. So, if you want protection but at minimal costs, it’s best to hire guards during the day as it can cost less than hiring overnight guards. Emergency response guards are also more expensive than those who you can regularly contract within your area. Although temporary contract security guards may seem costly because their per hour rate is high, it’s still a more cost-effective solution than adding a full-time security guard to your payroll.

Your Location

As with most things in life, from housing to utilities, the cost of hiring a security guard varies per location. For instance, employing a security guard in most humble small towns in the USA’s midwestern area is more likely to be more affordable than the bustling coastal cities. Another example is security guards may be more in demand in densely populated locations, making their fees more expensive. It would be best if you also considered the state and local tax burden regulations as it can add to the costs.

Although the costs vary depending on these factors, the average hourly rates for a security guard from a security company include the following:

  • Standard Unarmed Guard – $20 to $30 per hour
  • Standard Armed Guard – $25 to $35 hourly
  • Unarmed Guard with More Experience – $30 to $35 per hour
  • Armed Guard with More Experience – $35 to $45 hourly
  • Most Experienced Armed Guard (Usually Off-Duty Police Officers or Former Military Personnel) – $60 to over $100 per hour

Types of Security Guard Services

The cost of hiring security guards can also depend on the types of security guard services you may need, and here are the most common ones that you should consider.

Event Security

Event security guards can cover a broad spectrum, from controlling who enters and leaves the event space to protecting any targeted valuables or individuals. For instance, an anime convention will have a different security level than events with celebrities, politicians, or influential figures. These established individuals may travel with personal security staff, but you’ll still need to ensure full security coverage and protect the event space’s interests. The kinds of event security guards you need to hire also depends on the people you want to keep out, from people who have unpaid tickets to unlawful individuals wanting to harm attendees.

Residential Security and Patrol

If you’re considering protecting your condominium complex or a rural, exurban gated community, the costs may also vary. For instance, if you’re planning on hiring security guards for the latter, an unarmed guard will do. However, wealthy homeowners should consider more premium security to ensure their safety.

Corporate and Office Security

There are plenty of variables that affect the fees for security services in this niche. For instance, if your commercial establishment resides in a quiet business park where crime is unlikely to happen, you can expect to pay low fees. However, if your office is located in a high-crime area or is part of a controversial industry, you’re likely to pay premium prices for the appropriate security.

Manufacturing and Industrial Security

In the world of manufacturing, there can be an array of guarding needs. For instance, if your site resides in a high-crime area, you may need a security guard for the parking lot to protect staff walking to their vehicles and their cars from property theft. Also, if you have expensive raw materials, like copper or are in-demand, you’ll need security. The most sought niche by thieves is electronics and pharmaceuticals.

Healthcare Facilities Security

The medical industry is an expensive one, making it eye-candy to thieves and other unlawful individuals. There may also be instances when uncooperative patients get out of hand, refusing to leave or assaulting healthcare professionals. Hospitals and clinics can prevent these scenarios from happening by having a couple of security guards on-site, depending on their size.

How Much Does Security Guard Make

Whether you’re considering starting a career as a security guard or wondering how much do security guards make and getting the compensation they deserve. The salary of a security guard can range from $16,000 to $24,000 annually. It depends on their education attained and experience.

However, the salary a security guard receives also varies per location. For instance, these professionals can receive the highest amount if they’re assigned in Louisiana, allowing them to earn an average job salary of $40,000. Other factors include if they’re working as armed security or unarmed security, working independently, or with a security company, and what niche they’re working at. These professionals can make the most money in Professional Scientific and Technical Services, where they can earn an annual paycheck of $47,000.

However, the salary a security guard receives also varies per location. For instance, these professionals can receive the highest amount if they’re assigned in Lousiana, allowing them to earn an average job salary of $40,000. Other factors include if they’re working as armed security or unarmed security, working independently, or with a security company, and what niche they’re working at. These professionals can make the most money in Professional Scientific and Technical Services, where they can earn an annual paycheck of $47,000.

Benefits of Hiring Security Guards

Besides providing adequate protection you need, here are the different advantages of employing a personal security guard.

  • Detering Unlawful Individuals: Having a professional security guard around your facility significantly mitigates several risks, including vandalism, robberies, and assaults. That’s because the presence of armed guards will alert unlawful individuals not to continue with their endeavors.
  • Providing a Sense of Better Security: These professionals also provide facilities with a sense of safety to owners, employees, and clients, allowing staff to perform better and customers to keep coming back.
  • Keeping Properties Under Stringent Surveillance: Part of their responsibilities is patrolling your property, monitoring security cameras, responding to alarms, and operating security gates to keep your property safe.

Whether you’re running a business or an executive that requires protection, having security guards can ensure your safety and security, allowing you to continue life without worry.

Hiring a Security Service

Whether you’re hiring from a security company or an independent agent to keep your property, event, or family protected. Generally, you should ensure that these entities have the appropriate licenses, training, and clean background.

If you plan on working with a private security company, find a firm that does intensive background investigations on their employees and routinely performs drug tests on all their staff. It’s also best to research their hiring guidelines before signing with them, especially if you plan on having the guard with you long-term. It would be best if you also verified that the company you plan or working with is compliant with state and regional requirements and provides adequate liability insurance coverage.

However, if you’re considering independent guards, they should prove their background investigations besides the mentioned requirements. You should also see if your state allows these professionals to operate on their own. Finally, to ensure you’re hiring reliable firms or individuals, it’s wise to read past client reviews and follow up with references to ensure you get the protection you deserve.


If you hire a security guard by yourself, besides the service fees, you’ll need to provide training, taxes, insurance, other benefits, and uniforms if necessary, costing you more. However, if you hire a guard through a security firm, you’ll only have to pay for the services as the company will be responsible for all the other incentives these guards need. They allow you to replace security guards that you’re not happy with or change the number of officers deployed in your area, depending on your needs.

If you’re having a hard time finding the right deals, you can always hire a security consultant to help you have an adequate level of security coverage at minimal expenses. These professionals will make suitable suggestions by visiting your location, assess your risk level, ensuring your security needs are met. Besides the number of guards you’ll need, they can also suggest what protective equipment suits your situation the best, from standard locks to high-tech cameras and alarms.

Now that you have the answer to how much does a security guard cost? It’s best to take your choices into careful consideration. However, your safety is the number of priority of these security agents, so whichever kind of guard you hire, regardless of the security guards’ salary, your safety and security are ensured.

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