Security Clearance Rates of Pay

The good news is, as a security cleared contractor you can earn up to 24% extra than a none SC contractor, so recruiters have told us. Becoming security cleared isn’t difficult but it can take a while, certain levels basic levels can be done within two weeks whilst 'developed vetting' can take as long as three months (DV clearance is the highest level of Security and is required if you have unsupervised access to top secret information).

As with all contract jobs, rates vary wildly, however rate typically start around the £250 per day and go all the way through to £1,000, of course it all depends on the contract, SC level, length of contract, location and skills required.

As of May 2010 there were roughly 3,000 security IT cleared contracts on offer, with an average rate of pay of £350 per day (according to, obviously this doesn’t include all the other sectors but it does give you a rough idea.

With the heightened level of security both on a corporate and government level, it is unlikely for this sector to see headcount reductions, after all can you think of any company that is seriously considering spending less of security?

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Contracting rates of pay and limited companies

Basically, if you are a contractor working through your own limited company your take home will be anywhere between 75% - 80% of your contract value, for example:

  • Daily rate £200 take home between £150 - £160
  • Daily rate £300 take home between £225 - £240
  • Daily rate £400 take home between £300 - £320
  • Daily rate £600 take home between £450 - £480

If you compare your current rate with the ‘average net pay through a limited company’ and find that you’re not taking home as much as you’d like, going limited is something you might like to consider. For an illustration of take home pay through a limited company you could also try our contractor take home pay calculator.

Working through an Umbrella company can be the easiest option when getting contract work through a recruiter (check out the differences between umbrella and limited company take home pay). However, in this economic climate, most contractors will want to maximise their earnings. Any accountant will tell you that working through your own limited company is the most tax efficient.

I know what you’re thinking – setting up your own limited company is complicated. Well, you may be surprised to know that it takes under five minutes to form a limited company and it’ll only take around 15-20 minutes a month to administer your company with the help of a good accountant.

If you're interested in finding out more about going limited, you may find the following pages useful:

If you'd like to speak to one of our experts, call us on 01442 275789 or email