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Security Guard Cost

How Much Does a Security Guard Cost?

low costUnarmed Security Guard: $12-$20 Per Houraverage costArmed Security Guard: $18-$25 Per Hourhigh costOff-Duty Police Officer: $40-$60+ Per Hour
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Security or undercover guards may be hired for ongoing service at apartment complexes, small businesses, restaurants or clubs, among other locations. An armed or unarmed security guard may also be contracted to work a special event, such as a concert, public gathering or rally.

Typical costs:

  • Depending on the type of event and the level of security needed, security guards can cost $10-$100 per hour. Guards in the higher price range typically work for a proactive agency like Denver-based Code-3 Protection & Security, which contracts security guards who can work effectively in high-threat situations and detain people if necessary. Inexpensive guards typically work for an "observe and report" agency, which contracts security guards who are not trained to act in high-risk situations, but report events to the police.
  • An unarmed security guard typically costs $12-$20 per hour, while an armed security guard costs typically costs $18-$25 per hour. An unarmed guard from 21st Sentry Security in Dallas-Fort Worth typically costs $14 per hour, while an armed guard starts at $18 per hour.
  • The time of day also affects pricing. Security guards working at a late-night party in the city may cost $30-$50 per hour, for example.
  • An off-duty police officer typically costs $40-$60 per hour for security guard services. Interested clients can contact a local police department for availability and rates, which can be expensive because the officer is working overtime.
Related articles: Liability Insurance, Event Planner

What should be included:
  • Security guards working with an agency should be trained and their backgrounds should be checked.
  • A standing security guard may be armed or unarmed, and stays on site throughout the service period or day. At each location serviced, 21st Sentry Security assigns a set of post orders, a set of mandatory duties for officers to execute each shift. Each security guard must submit a daily activity report, detailing the guard's activities during each shift, and additional forms detailing any suspicious activities on the property. Each agency varies in duties assigned during each shift.
  • Unlike a standing guard, a uniformed patrol officer visits the property a specific number of times each day, as determined by the client. Each visit includes a written security report. At C.S.I. Patrol Service[1] , multiple small business owners may share one patrol officer's services, splitting the costs and services evenly. Patrolling guards are helping in the ongoing prevention of fire, theft and vandalism.
  • If requested by the client, security guards arrive in uniform. Security guards provide their own equipment, including but not limited to handcuffs, batons, pepper spray, stun guns, firearms and bullet-proof vests.
Additional costs:
  • Hiring armed security guards generally costs more than hiring unarmed guards because their agencies must pay higher insurance rates. Security guards working independently and not through an agency may be an insurance liability, so it's important to check into liability insurance before an event.
Shopping for a security guard:
  • A guard service company acts as a broker for assigning security guards to a number of clients, making sure they are paid fairly and are adequately trained. The Security Guard Services Guide[2] discusses the benefits of hiring a guard through an agency.
  • When hiring a security guard, think about the area that needs to be protected and the level of protection needed. For instance, a nighttime patrol officer may be preferable to a 24-7 standing guard in some situations.
  • When hiring through a security guard service company, make sure that the agency is licensed and bonded. This will often affect how its employees are trained, background checked and insured. Also, some states like Colorado do not require security agencies to be licensed, so use caution when making an inquiry.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Security Officers
Amount: $32.00
Posted by: Alvin in Alexandria, VA.Posted: June 15th, 2018 03:06PM
Level of Security: 1Agency: Blue Raven,
Very good officers, a bit more than the rest but worth it when you want punctuality and results
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Private Personal Protection
Amount: $1,400.00
Posted by: Sal Raymon in Las Vegas, NV.Posted: May 5th, 2017 04:05PM
Level of Security: Access DeniedAgency: ∆LERON•OMEG∆ Inc.
These guys are it! I mean i want stock in these Men. The "Warranty" as they called it comes in a variety of packages. But all are custom to the client. For me i needed someone for 48hrs to Blend in as a long time friend. You look a man in the eyes you know what your getting in this buisness. I gave bonus of 600 at the end because i thought it was a long time friend that i had been with. To real. Located where called to service. LoL. Good Luck on locating. Jimmy thanks for referal
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Amount: $0.00
Posted by: [email protected] in Indianapolis, IN.Posted: January 16th, 2017 03:01PM
Level of Security: GoodAgency: Home
I want a guard to watch my home for 8 hours.
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new guatd service
Amount: $24.00
Posted by: anthonygleicher in palm springs, CA.Posted: August 24th, 2016 03:08PM
Level of Security: xlntAgency: atc patrols
This is what we will charge, it can be divided among customers professional courteous service, patrol vechile, back up if necessary
Around the clock, patrol, private security.
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On-Site and Patrol Services
Amount: $18.00
Posted by: BigHoss in Dallas, TX.Posted: July 12th, 2016 09:07AM
Level of Security: ExcellentAgency: TEXAS PATROL
Texas Patrol is an excellent service they were really reasonable for Patrol Services and Priced $18.00 Unarmed and $19.00 Armed On-Site. I would recommend them to anyone needing Security Services in Texas. Call the Office at (903)350-7096 or email them at [email protected]
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Fast and Professional
Amount: $30.00
Posted by: Elizabeth Prop MGR in Rancho Bernardo, CA.Posted: April 12th, 2016 11:04PM
Level of Security: UnarmedAgency: Stalwart Beacon Security Solutions
Saturday night just after midnight, the fire alarm in one of my commercial buildings malfunctioned and the fire department said I needed a security guard to watch my building until it was fixed. Well my alarm company said they couldn't fix it until Monday morning.
I started calling security companies in my area and none of them had anyone available to send out.
A friend of mine recommended a small local security company "Stalwart Beacon Security" here in Rancho Bernardo who she had used a few months ago for the same problem I was having.
I called and within 1 hour and 15 minutes a uniformed security guard was on my property. The guard was polite, professional and was armed with a small handheld thermal imaging camera that was able to see heat through walls, I was impressed!
The cost was a bit high, but worth every penny to get immediate service!
I recommend this company to anyone in Rancho Bernardo area who needs a reliable security company.
Elizabeth P,Commercial Mgmt Svcs.
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Unarmed Security
Amount: $19.00
Posted by: SDpropMgr in San Diego, CA.Posted: March 22nd, 2016 08:03PM
Level of Security: Mid-levelAgency: Magnus Security, Inc.
We'very dealt with many of the corporate security companies, and they were all just okay at best. Came across Magnus Security private security guards San Diego, and although we paid a little more they do an exceptionally well job. They are a veteran owned company which showed in the demeanor of their private security guards and reports. You can tell they take their time in hiring the right people, no more deserved looking guards on my property!
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Security Services
Amount: $500.00
Posted by: Richard Fultz in Covington, KY.Posted: February 26th, 2016 08:02PM
Level of Security: ArmedAgency: Phoenix Security Group
This is a new company, owned by former police officers. We just needed a weekend detail, and they were awesome. Very professional and glad we called them instead of the typical guards. Great job.
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Surprisingly good.
Amount: $21.50
Posted by: Bill Murray in Staten island, NY.Posted: February 13th, 2016 12:02AM
Level of Security: UnarmedAgency: Reliable security and safety services
I was looking for a company that offered securtity as well as complied with the fire safety rules and regulations for the New York area. I was just about to close the deal with a well known security company but decided to go with the sole proprietor of Reliable Security and Safety Services. I was impressed by the 40min conversation so I decided to give him a shot as he made it clear the company was new but he himself has been providing security and fire safety services for quite some time now and had all certifications as well as insurance information on hand. I was promised site specific detailing where fire and emergency action plans were concerned as well as optimal flexibility (no binding contract) with his services. I loved cutting out the middle man and would definitely subcontract him for more private projects. If your trying to cut out the middle man but want a high standard of professionalism he's your guy. He can be contacted at 3476858769 -ask for Mr Bradford.
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Security guard company
Amount: $28.50
Posted by: Alex R. in SAN JOSE, CA.Posted: January 20th, 2016 09:01PM
Level of Security: Unarmed guardAgency: Embark Security
After dealing with big security guard companies we decided to look at some smaller companies. We approached embark security and requested a price for a small business center. We were contacted within the hour by Jas. He said they were a small family run company. The whole process was a breeze. He told us that they keep 40 to 50 guard files on hand to find the best fit for different properties. We met him at our property and by the time we got there he had already don't a free inspection and was inquiring about and special requests that we had. We asked for a guard 24 hours 7days a week. He said okay but, hesitantly responded we only needed security from 5pm to 9am since most of the center was closed. For the weekends he recommended a mobile patrol since it was more cost efficient than having a guard on site when most of the businesses were closed. He gave us a better deal with a 1 year contract and included a no charge 2 week cancellation option. Great guy to work with.
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Amount: $13.55
Posted by: Ozzie Marin in Miramar, FL.Posted: December 17th, 2015 08:12PM
Level of Security: UnarmedAgency: Dalama Protection LLC
We hired this company for our community, the guards look just like cops very professional looking. From our experience in hiring companies here in south Florida the going price is from 13.25 to 15.00 unarmed. Good luck!
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Average rate in Sacramento Ca
Amount: $22.00
Posted by: My life is not cheap! in Sacramento, CA.Posted: October 1st, 2015 07:10AM
Level of Security: Medium to HighAgency: N/A
Expect to pay A lot for good service. You buy cheap, products you get cheap products. This is even more true with the service industry!
I have worked for cheap companies. And I gave them cheap work. If you expect me to chase thugs off your property, or run up to a fight without 'personal protection' you're nuts! If you give me $10 an hour my duty belt stays home, and if it's too shady of an area I won't pick up the site. I will say no! We get paid to protect your property, employees, and patrons. How much are they worth to you?
Hate to be a duche but it is very true. won't even touch a contract that won't pay me the person taking the most risk 'my life' less than $15 & that's still selling myself short. Just a heads up/ if a ppo in ca states they can give you a contract for armed or unarmed under $22 an hour in any metropolitan area, run! run fast! Because the only thing that will get you is a high turnover rate! Low quality service!
So your a shady apartment,or business you end u
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Amount: $180.00
Posted by: Ted Jorden in Tucson, AZ.Posted: August 7th, 2015 03:08PM
Level of Security: 10plusAgency: EagleForce Security
We use EagleForce Security for Armed Patrols of our properties
The guards are well trained .Our Need for calling 911 has dropped since using EagleForce
Armed Patrols cost us $180 per month for 12 patrols best deal and best officers
Find them on Facebook eagleforceAz
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Hotel party
Amount: $90.00
Posted by: Eliot in Silver spring, MD.Posted: July 17th, 2015 11:07PM
Level of Security: 2Agency:
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Professional Security Services
Amount: $14.00
Posted by: Ghalib in Panorama City, CA.Posted: May 6th, 2015 03:05PM
Level of Security: UnarmedAgency: WM Security Solutions
Guards are very polite, reliable and highly trained..very courteous to their clients. Hired for my apartment building in Panorama city & Canoga park... Feel very secure around such services... Would most definitely recommend to anyone seeking private security guards in Los Angeles
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Great quality and professional
Amount: $400.00
Posted by: a user in Gulf Coast, MS.Posted: April 23rd, 2015 11:04AM
Level of Security: HighAgency: Global Security Jackson County MS
These guys were dressed neat and looked like paramilitary. They worked a detail for a party of 100 plus people. It turned out excellent. They were very considerate and calm. Also the price was very low for the time spent.
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Private patrol service
Amount: $125.00
Posted by: Mr. Johns in Crest Hill, IL.Posted: March 28th, 2015 04:03PM
Level of Security: Licensed agencyAgency: 1st American
Great company. Exceeded all of my expectations. Not the sterotypical security guard. More like a private police. Highly reccomended. Well worth every penny.
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great company to use in los angeles
Amount: $18.00
Posted by: maverick in reseda, CA.Posted: December 6th, 2014 09:12PM
Level of Security: armedAgency: armored protective services
I used armored protective services to protect my business and I have to say they are the best. I have tried some other companies and they failed to meet my expectations.
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Security Guard Rate
Amount: $12.25
Posted by: Sam Cohan in Los Angeles, CA.Posted: November 28th, 2014 07:11PM
Level of Security: UnarmedAgency: WM Security Solutions
Hired them for construction site in Downtown Los Angeles, Services was OKAY but as compare to other companies i would give them 9 out of 10, i had cheaper quote too but to save some pennies i would not risk my project so I gave WM try since they had all insurance and licenses in place i was on safe. I guess this is by far inexpensive company i know in regards to carrying all licenses in insurances..
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24/7 Security Services
Amount: $1,200.00
Posted by: Dispenary in Denver, CO.Posted: November 22nd, 2014 04:11PM
Level of Security: Unarmed/ ArmedAgency: Reaper Patrol Security, LLC (R.P.S.)
This guys were great to have. Both unarmed & armed. They Had some old police interceptors and armed security looked like cops, uniforms were super clean. Their service was on point and cost was discounted VIA The Owners Sky & Steve. The Customer Service was great The Supevisir Nick (Lt.) & The Company Manager Mya We're super helpful and made should my builds and Employees were protected and safe, along with my money and products :) Can't wait renew our contract.
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Security Guard Services
Amount: $25.00
Posted by: Regis Moore in Atlanta, GA.Posted: November 19th, 2014 03:11PM
Level of Security: ArmedAgency: Apogee Security Services, LLC
Great company that is professional and the Officers are well dress and sharp. I like that fact that the owner of the company is hands on and always reachable. I highly recommend them
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Charging for non-worked hours
Amount: $87.66
Posted by: Anonymous Consumer in Tucson, AZ.Posted: October 15th, 2014 10:10AM
Level of Security: unarmedAgency: Frontier
Frontier only charges 14.61. The security guard sits in his vehicle and reads a book. The guards is only needed 3.5 to 4 hours; however Frontier is forcing us to pay a minimum of 6 hours. Is this legal.
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Security Services
Amount: $18.00
Posted by: Sarah FP in Manchester, NH.Posted: August 5th, 2014 09:08AM
Level of Security: Strike/HighAgency: Salerno Protective Services
This company looked and acted like cops! Uniforms were sharp. They were very professional. Thorough reports were given.
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Securiy service
Amount: $19.75
Posted by: [email protected] in Denver, CO.Posted: January 6th, 2014 10:01AM
Level of Security: unarmedAgency: Boss Dog Crime Prevrntion inc
Boss Dog Crime Prevention inc.
This company was very professional . and even though this is a small newer company all Expectations were met and I would recommend this company. We will continue to use this company when needed.
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Security Rate
Amount: $20.00
Posted by: Memphis guy in Memphis, TN.Posted: October 31st, 2013 04:10PM
I also wanted to chime in about the "sky high" rates for armed guard liability insurance. This is an urban legend or an assumption from someone who has never purchased guard service liability insurance. Yes - it's true, liability insurance for armed guards is higher than for unarmed guards. **BUT** In my experience (20 years owning a guard service) the rates are not that much higher. Large guard companies (people mills) who are all about the profits and could care less about clients or their officers help perpetuate that falsehood so they can steer unwitting clients into unarmed guards where the risk to them is minimized and profits can be maximized.
Armed rates are higher because the guards are paid a little more, etc. In today's liability climate, families of deceased unarmed guards who were murdered on the job are suing for wrongful death and winning huge judgements. It is something to consider before you hire unarmed security personnel.
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Amount: $20.00
Posted by: Memphis guy in Memphis, TN.Posted: October 31st, 2013 04:10PM
Level of Security: ArmedAgency: N/A
Rates for security officers vary widely depending on where (City/State) the site to be staffed is located. The hourly rate is based in part on local prevailing wage rates. In areas where the cost of living is higher, the wages have to be higher and thus the price will be higher. Rates are also based on volume. If you need coverage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week your rate will be lower than someone who only needs coverage 4 hours per night, 5 days a week. There are many variables that go into formulating a security officer billing rate.
In Memphis the average billing rate for armed run between $ 18 - $ 22 per hour. Unarmed runs between $ 13 - $ 16 per hour.
Expect to pay more for temporary or short term assignments as opposed to long term contracts.
My advice when selecting a guard service - find a local based company and do not choose on price alone. You get what you pay for is very true... with security guards - you get 60% of what you pay for.
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Cost of security guards in CA
Amount: $20.00
Posted by: Mitchel in All, CA.Posted: April 5th, 2013 12:04PM
Ca. labor code 2810 requires security companies to charge an hourly rate that covers all payroll, taxes and insurance required by law. And any other mandated employee cost. All duties and hours must be included in contract before any one arrives on site. Any changes made requires an new contract If a client dose not request a contract it is assumed they know the rate is too low to cover reqired expenses and can be sued buy the service employee or the state on their behalf. You can be mid contract and have stae, fedral taxes increase or insurance rates increase to security company and you will have to resign contract or switch companies.

The client location, type of bussines,type of event, insurance claims against client property, or crime reports for area/location can affect vendor's insurance rate. If you hire an armed guard then all insurance rates sky rocket.

If you are quoted $16.00 an hour for an unarmed officer be very suspicious. If the guard is paid $8.00 per hour that leaves the company $8.00 per hour to cover all required cost.

In CA. hiring an off duty police officer or a retired officer gets you nothing special. The stae views them as regular security guards. They have no police powers. The only way they have police powers they must be in department uniform and you must have a letter from the department accepting all liability for the officer's actions.
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Security Services
Amount: $18.75
Posted by: Mrs. Martin in Westwood, CA.Posted: October 8th, 2012 01:10PM
Level of Security: UnarmedAgency: Guard Pros Security Services
This company was very professional from top to bottom. Expectations were met and I would recommend this company. We will continue to use this company when needed.
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Security Guard? Try an Off-Duty Officer!
Amount: $20.00
Posted by: BSpoon in Birmingham, AL.Posted: December 15th, 2011 07:12AM
Level of Security: 10Agency: Local
I am, like many officers, available for off-duty, around-the-clock, armed protection. Off-Duty officers cost the same, but offer a completely different level of expertise and safety.
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