Security Integrator Hourly Rates 2013

Author: John Honovich, Published on Dec 18, 2013

The median security integrator hourly rate charged is $90 to $100 USD per hour with 90% of integrators charging between $75 and $125 USD per hour, uncovered in a unique IPVM integrator survey. In this note, we break down the key factors impacting pricing, share color commentary from integrators and explain how to best make use of these results.

[UPDATE: New version - Security Integrator Hourly Rates 2016]

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Comments (16)

The actual cost per hour for a technician runs between $65 to $80 per hour. This includes his time, training, inefficiency, vehicle (gas and insurance, depreciation, maintenance), etc.

That is why hourly rates need to be as high as possible to recoup the funds associated with a scare resource - - quality technical labor.

How many people base the hourly rate on the type of work done, not just the person doing it? For example, maybe a level 2 or 3 tech is the only one available to do some level 1 work. Are you going to charge the customer the level 2 or 3 rate just because the person is an advanced professional? Or only charge the rate based on the level of work done?

If one person goes out and spends an hour moving a dome (level 1) and then spends an hour setting up advanced analytics for crossed line with email and SMS alerts (level 2), would you charge the customer 1 hour for level one work and 1 hour for level 2 work, or the same rate for both hours?

I know what I would do, I would only charge the rate applicable to the work being done. (1 hour level 1 and 1 hour level 2 in the example above.) How is it fair charging the customer for work done at a pay rate almost half of what your paying a system specialist, and why would I spend the money sending two people (a level 1 person and a level 2 person) out to a jobsite if one is capable of getting all the work done in one shot, which is more efficient.

I'm curious if anyone had any other varying opinions.

BTW, great poll!

Good question, most often I see a rate based by person, rather than type of work. The main reason I have seen is that it is simpler to manage, avoiding debates or analysis on what the charge should be for each hour.

Indeed, as some of the respondents note above, the rate is often flat across the company or at least across a category, i.e., all service techs get charged out at $100, even if one service tech is far better than the others.

I doubt that people pay based on work done, rather than the total skill of the person doing it.

If a customer wants to complain that 1 hour was spent moving the dome, and 1 hour for configuration, and wants to pay the lower rate for 1 hour, then implement a miniumum - most places do.

So, if they want to pay a minimum 2 or 4 hours for a service call times two people, then ok.

Companies I worked for used to bill me out at $65-$75 an hour for installation work (depending on the difficulty of the work, the distances traveled, and how much demand I had on my time in general), and $45 an hour for troubleshooting, with a minimum of 8 to 10 hours, maximum of 20 hours. Of course, I haven't been an installer in 7 years.

I used to like troubleshooting. It's like doing a puzzle blindfolded. I like puzzles. But my goodness me, was it ever time consuming.

That's funny!

I stopped paying contractors hourly a long time ago (other then for really small service jobs), we do it all by the job now.

I had one idiot of a tech come out and deploy an Arecont system years ago. The customer called me and told me that one of the cameras never worked, I was out of the country and didn't have any employees at that time so I told the tech to go back and fix it. I told him to check the RJ45 crimps first and then troubleshoot from there. Well the idiot swore up and down that the RJ45 was done correctly and started to troubleshoot randomly. He called me 7.5 hours later and said the "camera is broken," I told him to redo the RJ45 crimps and reluctantly after 30 minutes of arguing he did it and 2 minutes later the camera was working. I told him I would pay the bill but he was never going to get another job from me and that he gets a bad name for his garbage inept service.

We should have a thread called dumbest tech moves.

Why not, I have the day off tomorrow.

Like the time a tech drilled a hole in the wall without looking to see what was on the other side, like an idiot, and when I went to the next room it turned out I'd drilled a hole right through the center of a painting. There was even a snake sticking out!

and it looked like this:

Undisclosed, thanks for the story!

I started a discussion on this.

I have been a tech in the security business for almost 30 years. As a field service tech I was not exposed to the Business side of the Business. After being laid off 9 months ago, I started my own Company in South Carolina (Now I get to wear all of the hats). I find the rates that are being listed here are above what I can charge by 30-60 percent. Most of the companies offering subcontract work will grumble if I add mileage to a job.

What am I missing here? Building a customer base is tough in this economy. When I bid work out, as a subcontractor, my rate is 50/hr. And yes, I do loose the work and bids if I ask for more.

Any suggestions from those of you that are more succesful than I am at Business?

Robert, my suspicion is that the cost of living is lower in your area (see cost of living index report) and that results in lower wages.

Also, it appears your rates are not to end users but to integrators who you are subcontracting for. To the extent you subcontract, expect the integrators to want to mark up your rates significantly so they can make a profit. p.s. - Subcontracting As A Career? is tough.

John: As I'm fairly new to IPVM, I'm just now seeing this poll. I don't imagine rates have changed much in the two years since the poll, but I haven't seen rates this low since I started in this field 25 years ago (I'm an end user), so I'm wondering whether there has been a poll/study on how much rates vary by region. I'm in Orange County (Calif), and a reputable integrator here will generally charge about $140/hr for basic labor give or take a few dollars. I did see the COLI document linked above, but COLI by State section doesn't seem to tie to the labor rates I'm seeing. Very curious. Thx!

That's because everyone in Orange County is a millionaire.... I kid :)

$140 for basic labor sounds high to me, and I am familiar with rates in Honolulu and NYC, and $140 is definitely far more than basic labor there, and those are extremely expensive locations as well.

I started a new discussion as I am sure there are people with experience in your area that can provided feedback: $140 Per Hour For Basic Labor In Orange County, CA - Really?

Millionaires - YES! But I'm still trying to figure out how that ship sailed without me. I'll take a look at the other discussion. I appreciate your starting it. Should be helpful.

David

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