This episode is a continuation of episode 206, where we continue to look into security driver salaries.
While curating Security Driver job opportunities for our International Security Driver Association members, we data mined the salaries offered on LinkedIn and Employment Websites. Our goal was to get an idea of the Security Driver’s Pay Scale.
Listen to the Podcast
One of the issues we had was the definition of a Security Driver. It seems that Security Driver can be used to define a person patrolling a parking lot while unarmed- to a person responsible for supplying safe and secure transportation for an executive- and everything in between.
We also noticed that not all job offers for a Security Driver are called Security Driver. Job offers looking for a person to supply Secure Transportation have a few titles. Here are some of the Job titles we found – Security Driver – Executive Chauffeur – Executive Protection Driver -Law enforcement chauffeur – Armed Security Executive Driver – Executive Protection Agent / Driver.
Along with the different job titles, there is a substantial difference in the salaries offered.
We took the salaries and worked out some numbers.
We found that the average salary offered for a Security Driver – Executive Chauffeur – Executive Protection Driver is – $40.20 Hourly – Daily – $321.60, Weekly – $1608, Yearly – $83,616. The numbers are based on an 8-hour day and a five-day week. The highest-paid job offer we found was $114,400 per year, and the lowest was $52,000 per year. Most all include benefit packages. We don’t have data to back up the following. Still, our experience tells us that in the Corporate and HNW sectors of the profession, the $114,400 is about average and, when considering over time, may even be below average.
High-end Salaries Offered by Corporate and HNW Markets
The data indicates that the high-end salaries are offered by the Corporate and High Net Worth markets, and we, the International Security Driver Association, find that not surprising. For the many decades we have been working in the Secure Transportation profession, these two market segments have demonstrated their wiliness to pay for services that mitigate their risk. As a side note, they are also the market that has no problem with sending their employees to training programs that also mitigate their risk.
Contrary to Social Media Beliefs
We are pointing out that there are markets that have demonstrated their willingness to pay for Secure Transportation services because there seems to be an abundance of social media posts that mention that the client or market won’t pay for protection. That may be true in the sub – subcontracting sector of the workplace. One of the problems is the definition of client. We will be discussing that issue in future podcasts.
Some of the job offers we curated were from sub-contractors searching for Security Drivers. Our observation was that the pay scales offered by the sub-contractors were below average.
We have no data to verify why the salaries are below average, but the following scenario may be the answer.
A company executive from the west coast is flying to a location on the east coast; the company contracts a west coast security provider to supply Secure Transportation – that contractor hires a sub-contractor on the east coast – the subcontractor hires a sub-subcontractor to do the driving. The money given to the original contractor needs to be shared with two other entities. The result is that the person driving the executive receives a portion of what the company paid for the service. Before everyone gets cranky, that is not a criticism. It is an observation.
Searching for Answers using BLS
To find how Security drivers’ and Executive protection agents’ salaries compare to the salaries of the average US citizen and those that work in the “Protective Services” profession. We went to the source of all information concerning wages in the US, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
When you consider that BLS data are commonly used as a guide when business owners and human resource professionals choose the provisions for their benefits, it is not only an excellent place to start; it is the only place to start.
So, what did we find? The only metrics we could find from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that would remotely relate to Security Drivers are numbers based on the job title Passenger Vehicle Drivers. The salary is $37,540 per year, $18.05 per hour.
Passenger Vehicle Driver
We found that the pay scale for a Passenger Vehicle Driver does seem to conform with the security driver job description that is looking for a person to patrol a parking lot. Although the job title says security driver, it is by no stretch of the imagination that a security driver and the description of the experience, skill, and knowledge required in that offer indicates that all the applicant needs are a driver’s license.
So, when looking at the BLS data, how do those numbers compare to the salary of the average worker in the U.S? According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage for a full-time wage or salary worker in the United States is $53,490 per year or $1,028 per week (for a 40-hour workweek). Or $25.70 per hour.
Comparing the average US worker’s pay of $53,490 to that of the average Security Driver’s salary, which from our research, is $83,616. That makes the Security Drivers’ salary 56% higher than the average US worker.
Since there is little to no employment data concerning Executive Protection and Security Driving, our number is no way near the accuracy of the BLS number, so this comparison is not statically accurate. It should be used only as a guide.
BLS data on “Protective Services”
The BLS does have a designation called “Protective Services” with the definition of:
“Employment in protective service occupations is projected to grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average, and will result in about 286,400 new jobs.
Protective service occupations had a median annual wage of $46,590 in May 2021, which was slightly higher than the median yearly wage for all occupations of $45,760.”
We have links to BLS Protective Services data in the show notes.
According to the BLS, the top-paying Protective Services salaries are:
|First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives||$98,760/Year||$47.48/Hr.|
|Detectives and Criminal Investigators||$90,370/Year||$43.45/Hr.|
|First-Line Supervisors of Law Enforcement||$90,110/Year||$43.32/Hr.|
|First-Line Supervisors of Firefighting and Prevention||$83,270/Year||$40.03/Hr.|
|Supervisors of Protective Service Workers||$81,010/Year||$38.95/Hr.|
Of course, it must be mentioned that the BLS has no Protective Services designation for Security Driver, Secure Transportation, or Executive Protection.
2013 White Paper – ASIS Career Opportunities
The difficulty finding data concerning Secure Transportation and Executive Protection was also evident in an ASIS-produced white paper titled ASIS Career Opportunities. The 2013 ASIS Paper listed 21 Security Specialty areas and provided a brief description of the specialty and prerequisites for entering those specialties. They also supplied information concerning the duties of mid-level management and non-management personnel in those specialties.
Absent from the list was Secure Transportation. Executive Protection received a mention in the category called other – this is what ASIS wrote about Executive Protection:
“Individuals who work in the executive protection field can perform a range of functions, from conducting a risk assessment of a protectee to performing trip and site advances for a protectee’s movements and coordinating plans to deal with a range of contingencies. The roles and responsibilities can extend well beyond the visible physical protection function that many people associate with this specialty.”
Also, as an idea of what the High Net Worth (HNW) market pays, we looked at a Business Insider article. The article mentioned that a Chauffeur/Driver salary range is $80,000 – $100,000 and an Executive Protection Agent salary range of $90,000 – $125,000. Compared to what we see in job offers, those numbers appear accurate.
When we looked at Indeed Salary Trends, we found a wide variance in pay depending on geographical location. There is as much as a 22% difference in salaries offered for the job title of Executive Protection, depending on the job location.
For Executive Chauffeur, there was a 23% difference. Executive Chauffeur jobs are at an all-time high, but keep in mind that the definition of Executive Chauffeur can vary in accordance with the job.
The major question that needs answering – is the market willing to spend money on Secure Transportation?
Here are some excerpts from a recent EPST podcast episode titled “Spending for Secure Transportation Continues to Increase”:
Since 2018 Facebook/Meta has increased their spending on residents’ security and secure transportation by 87%.
It is not just Meta increasing Secure Transportation Spending. In 2021, we analyzed the 2020 SEC filings of six Fortune 100 companies and came up with total spending of a little over 21 million dollars on personal security, which works out to $57,770 a day (365 days) and $2407/hour (24 Hours).
The six-company sample increased a whopping 64% from 2018 to 2020 and 42% from 2019 to 2020. As with Meta, these six companies spent most of their security budget on residential security and secure transportation; as with Meta, the catalyst for these companies was IRS 132.
Our research results are that the Corporate Community spends a considerable amount of money on residential security and secure transportation. Executive Protection – Secure Transportation has and, in our opinion, will always be their business model, and it has been that way for decades.
Like all other professions, salaries are linked to an individual’s level of Experience, Skill, and Knowledge (ESK) in their chosen profession. So, what are the ESKs that the higher-end jobs are demanding?
Skills Gap in Executive Protection and Secure Transportation
To answer that question, a few years back, the International Security Driver Association looked at the Skills Gap in the EP and Secure Transportation Community.
We assumed that if a practitioner has five-plus years of experience, they have received the required training/education in Executive Protection, Security Driving, and Medical, which accounts for the low numbers requiring that type of training.
For the Experience portion of the ESK
The average experience required was five years. 99.93% of the companies required experience. The years of experience ranged from no experience needed to 15 years. The type of experience varied by the position.
This should be no surprise. Common sense dictates that you need the experience to get work in this sector or, for that matter, any sector of the security profession. It is unfathomable to think that a Director of Security for a corporation or HNW individual would hire an inexperienced individual to drive the company’s most significant asset – the CEO.
So, the question becomes, what kind of experience?
The type of experience most often required was a combination of LEO and Military or combinations of both. They represented close to 50% of the type of experience required.
By far, the most sought-after education was a college degree – 40.7%. This was the most sought-after requirement other than experience. This should not be a surprise. All higher-level positions require a college education. We strongly suggest that those using their GI Bill for education consider a college degree. What we found interesting was that most of the job descriptions did not specify what type of degree.
We curate publicly available Security Driver Job descriptions. Based on that job data, here are Security Driver job requirements from the Fortune 100 Companies and HNW individuals.
These are the most sought-after requirements for high-end positions.
- Reads and understands specific vehicle operating manuals and can operate every device in the car.
- Reads and understands roadmaps; employs available Global Positioning Satellite navigational devices.
- Obeys all traffic laws and limits.
- Masters “vehicle dynamics,” defensive and escape and evasion driving skills in a scored and evaluated training program; re-trains and re-certifies every two years.
- Advances routes to be followed and alternates. Performs and documents route surveys, identifying safe havens and emergency resources, “choke points,” “danger zones,” and “zones of total predictability.”
- Learns and practices surveillance detection and pre-attack recognition and avoidance skills.
- Maintains automobile in clean, polished, flawless operating condition.
- Visually inspects and manually tests vehicle pre-departure and before accepting passengers. Employs vehicle bomb-search protocol when necessary.
- Maintains and operates communications devices, emergency response, and contingency equipment, including a fire extinguisher, flares or reflectors, chains, a shovel, blankets, survival supplies, and defensive and diversionary devices.
What is required:
- Must be able to pass an extensive background check and drug screening
- Route Planning / Contingency Planning experience
- All applicants must be able to pass a Physical Agility Test (SPAT), with or without reasonable accommodation, before the scheduled start date.
- Valid U.S Passport
- A graduate of a reputable executive protection training school, or
- 5+ years of corporate and high net worth experience
- Have an operational understanding of today’s technology across all platforms
- Strong writing and interpersonal skills
The Type of Experience Most Often Required
|High Net Worth||6.5%|
LEO and Military or combinations of both represent close to 50% of the type of experience required (48.4%).
21.5% of the job offers required Security Driver Training. When Security Driver Training was required, the job description was specific as to the type of training, i.e., it was required that skills be measured to a documented standard. What we, the International Security Driver Association, found interesting was that measurement to a standard was not required for Executive Protection Training.
Join the International Security Driver Association
If you have an interest in going much deeper into this type of topic, I invite you to check out the International Security Driver Association’s website and consider joining the only organization dedicated to supporting the advancement of professional Security Drivers and other protection practitioners with data-driven research and other professional development tools.
For more information on all member benefits, head over to https://isdacenter.org.