What Does a Security Guard in Atlanta Cost?
Factors that influence the cost of a Security Guard:
Guard Wages: The pay rate of the security guard is the largest expense for a security company. At least two-thirds of the rate that the customer pays is likely going directly to the security officer. In today’s economy, pay rates are rising quickly and the commonly quoted “living wage” in most areas is now around $15/hour. Security Officers have families to feed, rent to pay and gasoline to purchase just like everyone else. Without a fair wage, they may have to work a second job to make ends meet and this means they may be tired or distracted when they get to work protecting your facility.
Unarmed vs. Armed is the #1 cost differentiator for security guards: Hiring an armed guard brings significantly more risk and requires higher wages as well as substantially more training and equipment. Training to carry a firearm should be double the training required for an unarmed security officer and requires frequent practice to stay fresh on skills. Giving a security officer a firearm also necessitates giving them less lethal response options and training also. You don’t want the officer’s only choice in response to be killing someone when OC spray (aka pepper spray) or a taser would diffuse the situation and save a life. Weapons and ammunition are expensive. Finally, liability insurance for an armed security guard is significantly higher than unarmed. All these armed guard costs are passed along to the customer.
Training: The best security companies provide PAID training to their Security Officers. There are some unscrupulous firms that don’t pay their officers during training or only pay their officers minimum wage during training. BOS Security pays our Officers their regular wage during training.
Experience: Experienced Security Officers cost more than inexperienced just like an experienced mechanic can justify higher wages than one that is right out of school.
Uniforms & Equipment: Uniforms and equipment cost money that goes into the bid price for your security services. The more equipment you require, the higher your cost. Things like flashlights, pepper spray, batons, firearms, first aid kits can all add to the cost of your project.
Vehicles: Some sites require that a security company provide patrol vehicles, whether in the form of a full-size automobile, SUV or pickup truck, or smaller golf carts, four wheelers or Segways.
Payroll Taxes, Employee Benefits, Workers Compensation Insurance, Liability Insurance and General Overhead: Every business has those hidden costs that you rarely consider. Security companies must pay payroll taxes and provide competitive benefits
Cost-Saving Strategies for your security budget:
Unarmed vs. Armed: 90% of all security officers in our country are unarmed. Possession of a firearm is simply not necessary for a security officer in nearly all cases. Only when they are protecting items of extremely high value does an officer require a weapon. Unarmed Security Officers are much less expensive than armed officers.
Virtual Security Officers: A new way to protect your business at a lower cost today is through virtual guarding or remote guarding. A security officer at a remote command center can access your business’ camera systems and virtually patrol your buildings and grounds and then respond to issues by calling an on-site security guard, a company representative or local law enforcement. BOS Security provides this service through our VirtuGuard™ program.
The worst place to cut security costs:
Guard wages: Purchasing security services is one of the worse places to use “low bid” procurement strategies. The wage of the security officer is 2/3 of the guard company’s expenses and the first place that unscrupulous security companies will cut to get their bid price lower. Discuss the guard wages with your security provider, make your expectations clear and hold them accountable. While they may not be your direct employee, your security officers are an important part of your business’ team. Require that your security officers receive no less than your comparable employees receive.
BOS Security has been serving North Georgia for more than a quarter century. Contact us today to discuss your business’ security needs.
More Resources in Selecting a Guard Company: