How much does private security Cost?

A Framework for Thinking About Private Security Options

When hiring a bodyguard or private security, answering the question, “How much does private security cost?” is a strategic and comprehensive process. The initial goal for any professional private security agency is to thoroughly assess the client’s needs based on several factors. While some for-hire uniformed guard companies may pair you with a “bodyguard” for a standard rate based on length of service and type of security needs, at Global Risk Solutions, we use a much more compressive process to recommend our specialized services.  We’ll discuss many aspects that factor into answering “How Much Does Private Security Cost?” and provide some ballpark numbers, including 24-hour security guard cost.

What Type of Private Security You Need?

The initial and most crucial factor in determining the cost is based on the type of security you need. Each type of security requires specific skill sets, experience, and advanced tools to be as effective as possible.

The cost of a security guard

How much does a security guard cost? First, it’s essential to differentiate between the types of security.  The cost of a security guard can refer to anything from a uniformed, unarmed retail security guard to an Executive Protection agent operating under a professional security firm (e.g., Global Risk Solutions).

  • Many businesses employ security guards with minimal experience and capabilities as a visual deterrent to petty crime.  These uniformed security guards can start at around $45/hr depending on the cost of living in the area – you will be responsible for the additional liability and appropriate insurance coverage.
  • Off-duty police officers and more experienced security guards can typically charge $60+/hr but probably don’t work under a licensed and insured security firm at this price.
  • Executive Protection companies start at around $85/hr and go up to $125/hr (Bay Area) for a single, qualified agent working under a licensed company that will repay you (protect you from damages).  Indemnity is extremely important if you do not carry the appropriate insurance or do not want to pay lawyers to prosecute a case involving the use of physical force. Executive Protection provides agents trained to respond appropriately to an actual security threat.

Cost of Executive Protection at Global Risk Solutions

Security tailored towards VIPs such as high-profile CEOs, celebrities, politicians, and athletes must be assessed based on their unique level of exposure.

  • Requires a comprehensive threat assessment based on past and current threats. This may include stalkers, adversaries, rivals, and even suspected friends and partners. This assessment may also analyze the VIP’s day-to-day routines to recognize better vulnerabilities that may need to be addressed.
  • Identify VIP’s threat level to scale security efforts properly. This will impact the amount of personal security, the skill sets and experience necessary, the length of time for coverage, and additional security measures to deploy.
  • Establish a communication relationship and protocol with the VIP, their trusted partners, and their family.
  • Strategic response protocols for potential threats to the VIP.
  • Providing a reduced 24-hour security guard cost if signing a long-term contract
For more information, please read the article “What is Executive Protection?”
A residential threat assessment determine how much private security costs

Cost of Residential Security

The scope of home security (or private estate security) can vastly range based on several factors. Every situation is different for this type of security. And while the average resident will make do with DIY or big-box security surveillance systems, GRS’s approach aims to provide the most comprehensive security coverage based on your unique living situation.

  • A comprehensive threat assessment of your residence will expose vulnerabilities that should be corrected. For example, the security vulnerabilities between a large estate and a high-rise condo will differ significantly.
  • The routine interactions between the residence, its inhabitants, and outside actors (e.g., deliveries, guests, solicitors, loiters, etc.) can determine additional security threats.
  • We will determine a combination of undercover, visible, and technological surveillance tools to protect the residential space.
  • Establish communications, processes, and procedures between the security team and the residents.
  • Private estate security can work in tandem with insurance providers to keep premiums down and keep you safer at the same time.

Cost of Commercial/Event Security Detail

Event Security entails an enormous scope of surveillance with the support of technology and guards on the ground.

  • Requires a comprehensive location threat assessment ahead of the event date.
  • Screening checkpoints at the entrance and exits of the event location. Screening may be scaled anywhere from heavy surveillance to direct contact screening based on the specifics of the event.
  • Establish communications, processes, and procedures between the security team and the event staff.
  • Undercover and covert monitoring from low to high-impact areas at the event space.
  • Strategic response protocols for any possible impending threat to that specific event.

Additional Security Types

GRS is equipped and experienced for additional specific security needs, including the following:

  • Extended Travel – e.g., VIPs on vacation, traveling to international locations, air & boat travel, etc.
  • Transport of luxury goods – e.g., Movement of valuable fine art, jewelry, super-cars, etc.
  • Corporate Security – e.g., Office building security, including entry/exit points, employee theft, and interior protection.
You can read more about the different types of security services we offer.

How Much Security Coverage Do You Need?

Determining a timeline for security coverage is essential to supporting higher risks at certain times of the year and times of the day. Some situations may only require temporary security coverage based on an imminent threat, while others may need ongoing 24-hour coverage. After conducting a comprehensive threat assessment, GRS will determine a recommended length of coverage.

An executive protection agent performs a threat assessment on his tablet device as he determines the cost of a security guard

Threat Assessments

Each type of security requires a threat assessment unique to that location, the situation, and several other variables. Upon completing this assessment, GRS will present its findings and recommendations to the customer.

  • Size of location, including entry and exit points.
  • Determine the net worth of the individuals, location(s) owners, and other property owners.
  • Frequency of known and unknown visitors in and out of the location.
  • The threat surrounding the specific geographic area of that location.
  • Current and previous threats posed to the location and its primary inhabitants.
  • Identify security vulnerabilities at the location (e.g., perimeter protection and surveillance, bottlenecks, weak entry and exit points, etc.).

The GRS Difference

While some big-box security firms may have a blanket approach to security, GRS proudly consists of a tailored solution to best fit your needs. This can help keep costs efficient and accurate to the specific threat level we protect against. In addition, GRS prides itself on the following…

  • A veteran-owned business employing trained military and law enforcement professionals from various agencies.
  • GRS agents and seasoned investigators have a combined 100 years of industry knowledge and the highest level of expertise in leadership and protective service management.
  • GRS knowledge and insight translate into industry best practices with proven strategies woven into our daily execution.

The cost of private security? Ballpark figures


  • HOURLY RATES. On average, it can range
    anywhere from $85 to $125 per hour (Bay Area) to hire a single and experienced
    bodyguard with a military background, Police Officer, or the equivalent.
  • MONTHLY RATES. That means if you need a security detail that works one at a
    time on 8-hour shifts, you will be spending approximately $46,800 to $86,400
    per month.
  • ANNUAL RATES. For year-round and 24/7 protection, you are looking at
    $561,600 to $1,036,800 per year. This is the 24-hour security guard cost for
    single-agent coverage, working 8-12 hour shifts.
  • If you are interested in a short-term contract, you must commit to at
    least 6 hours of security. And that means committing to $510-$750 for one
    experienced security agent. Clients are also vetted in advance before a security
    guard is committed.
  • A more extended contract will usually mean a better hourly rate overall. Of course, that
    will depend on a lot of different factors. Here, we show a 10% discount for a
    monthly rate and a 20% discount for a yearly rate.

Pricing Expectations

  • You can generally expect the cost of private security to fluctuate with the local cost of living.
  • The Greater San Francisco Bay Area has a high cost of living, so Bay Area security rates are higher per hour (see interactive chart).
  • The qualifications and experience of the individual security agents will influence pricing.
  • The capabilities of the security detail (e.g., armed vs unarmed) will also influence cost.
  • 24-hour security guard cost differs from part-time coverage (e.g.,  12 hours/day coverage – 50% coverage – will be half the cost. 


Hopefully, you come away from the article learning more about how security companies price their services. “What is the 24-hour security guard cost?” may seem simple, but it depends on essential variables to your well-being.  The goal is not to build a one-size-fits-all package but to keep each client safe!

While there are many options for security services, GRS is laser-focused on every individual’s unique situation to provide the best possible security solution. This attention to the individual and the surrounding situations gives us a massive advantage over other routine and big-box security services.

The best way to know how much private security costs is to receive a custom quote based on a complimentary threat assessment.  You can call or send us a note below to get started.  You can also read more about hiring Global Risk Solutions.

Do you have questions about private security?