How Much Does a Security Guard Cost?

How Much Does a Security Guard Cost

If you’re wondering how much it costs to hire a security guard, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. However, several factors affect the cost of hiring security personnel. Below we take a closer look at these factors and what they mean to you.

What Type of Security Guard do I need?

There are a variety of security guard types and each one specializes in different duties. Furthermore, how much it costs to hire a security guard always depends on the level of training and type of security you need—armed vs unarmed.

In-House Security

You typically hire in-house security directly to work as employees in your organization. Depending on the compensation package, they may receive a range of hourly or salaried payment as well as other benefits.

Contract Security

Contract guards work for a third-party security company. When your organization hires the security company, the company provides you with the number of guards you require.

Patrol Guards

These security guards provide a roving presence. They typically patrol on foot or in a vehicle and check on multiple areas, including business parks, shopping mall parking lots, apartment complexes, or housing developments.

Personal Security

Personal security guards, also known as bodyguards, may wear a uniform such as a dark suit or appear in plain clothes. They typically cost more than other types of security service.

Loss Prevention

Retail stores often employ loss prevention security guards. These guards help prevent theft and apprehend shoplifters. They sometimes also detain a thief in a store security office until law enforcement arrives.

Event Security

Event security guards help you with things like crowd control at concerts, sports, festivals, and other large events. They also keep guests safe by checking bags for firearms, knives, and dangerous items. Additionally, they keep athletes and talent safe from any unruly fans who might try to get backstage or into a locker room.

Why Choose Get A Security Quote

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What Factors Influence Security Guard Pricing?

Many elements go into the pricing of security guard and patrol service. The average rate for general security runs between $25 and $ 50 per hour.

For example, the website posits that event security pay wage for a security officer can range from $15 to $100 per hour.

The range is so extensive because event security can come in a wide array of forms, including uniformed and plainclothes guards of differing experience levels.

Prices can also fluctuate based on what the event is, how large the event’s venue is, how many guards are needed to cover it, and what the guards will do at the event.

Below are three of the most common factors that go into determining how much a particular type and level of security costs.

Do You Require an Armed or Unarmed Guard?

Infographic: Security Guard Essential Items to Carry at All Times

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Because of the training, equipment, and experience needed to carry firearms safely and legally, armed security guards typically cost more to hire than unarmed personnel.

Another factor driving up the cost of armed guards is the insurance necessary to cover them. For example, estimates that typical unarmed security guards pay wage is $12 to $20 per hour; while armed guards wages started at $18 and could cost as much as $38 per hour. However, other factors can drive the price much higher.

If you require utmost security, then an armed guard may be worth the price. However, an unarmed guard can often serve as a visual deterrent without needing a weapon, thus saving you money.

Experience of the Guard

Another factor in the cost of a security guard is their experience level. For instance, as covered on, an unarmed guard with an advanced skillset may cost more than a novice armed guard. As you might expect, though, experienced armed guards fill out the most expensive ranks of security personnel. At the very top are former military personnel and police officers who can command $100 or more per hour.

If a Company Provides Additional Services

Adding any extra services will also factor into the price. If you’re not quite sure how to secure your business, home, or event, then many security companies can provide helpful advice and other services. For instance, aside from hiring out security personnel, security companies might offer background checks on potential employees before you hire them. Additionally, security companies can come to your home or business to perform a security check, and then give input on security solutions that will work for your needs.

Choosing the Right Guard Solution

How Much Does a Security Guard Cost - Choosing the Right Person

To wrap up, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you choose a security guard or company:

  1. Brush up on local laws. For example, in some states, including California and New Mexico, it is not legal to directly hire a security guard. Instead, you will need to go through a private patrol operator.
  2. If you’re considering hiring a specific security agency, research their hiring methods. At a minimum, you’ll want a company that performs background checks and drug screenings on its employees. Also, look into the company’s licenses and insurance.
  3. A top-of-the-line, armed, highly experienced security guard can bring great peace of mind and expertise. However, they will come at a much higher price. Evaluate your needs before going all out.
  4. Like other businesses, security agencies often have reviews that you can read online. Also, check any available references. For instance, if you’re an event planner, try asking other people in your field about their experiences with different security providers.
  5. Security agencies still need to provide excellent customer service, as pointed out on If that is lacking, stay away.
  6. Also, stay away from security agencies that are tacked on to other businesses. Instead, focus your search on companies that solely provide security.
  7. If you are hiring a security guard directly, check up on their license, background check, and certifications. Other considerations include their physical ability and temperament. For more tips on directly hiring a guard, check out this helpful article on
  8. The lowest rate is not necessarily your best option. Remember, what goes into the cost of security depends on several factors. Furthermore, do you really want to risk your safety and the security of your valuable assets to a bargain, fly-by-night outfit?


Security guards come at many different tiers of expertise and price. That’s why, here at Get A Security Quote, we recommend you always get a risk-assessment from a risk management professional. They will spend time inspecting your facility, project, or venue. They will also conduct research on a host of factors, including crime in the area to provide you with accurate advice, so you can make an informed decision on the correct level of security for your business, property, or event. Contact us today to learn more and to solve your security needs or click here to get an instant security guard quote online.


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