How Much Does Security Cost? A Budget Tool

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When discussing the total value of a contract security program, it is important to remember that along with the security budget, there are other costs that are more difficult to quantify. Even without a specific dollar amount associated with them, indirect costs require time, attention and expertise. In most cases, the cost of an outsourced security program initially seems comparable to an in-house budget. However, the additional protection provided by a contract provider, combined with the elimination of other hidden costs may actually serve to reduce your long-term expense. Consider the typical costs associated with a security program:

Direct Costs

Also known as “hard costs”, these are fixed costs that would be accounted for directly in pricing or the bill rate.

Payroll, Taxes & Benefits:

  • Taxes
  • Insurance/Liability
  • Vacation
  • Medical Benefits
  • Holidays, Sick Time, Personal Days
  • Retirement Benefits
  • Overtime
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Paid Break Time


Office Space

Recruiting, Testing, Screening & Hiring

  • Classified advertising space
  • Drug testing
  • Applicant tracking system
  • Background screening
  • Conduct previous employment verification
  • Skill assessment testing


Training Costs

  • Training Time
  • Trainer’s Time/Salary
  • Training Materials and Learning Management System
  • New Hire and Ongoing Training
  • Management Training

Indirect Costs

Also known as "soft" or "hidden" costs, these are ongoing expenses that may be more difficult to quantify, but are part of the overall program.

  • Scheduling
  • Develop Training Materials
  • Quality Assurance Process
  • Payroll Processing
  • Administration
  • Emergency Response Resources
  • Special Events Coverage/Availability of Manpower
  • Develop Post Orders
  • Review Resumes from Ad Responses
  • Telephone Screen Candidates
  • Outline Discipline Programs
  • Security and Industry Expertise and Access to Best Practices
  • Conform to Regulatory Standards and Laws
  • Recognition Programs
  • Employee Development
  • Create Job Specifications
  • Conduct Assessment Testing
  • Bonuses
  • Schedule, Prepare for, and Conduct Interviews
  • Program Performance Measures
  • Uniform and Equipment Sourcing


Download the full article to view the budget tool to help you analyze the actual costs of your security program.