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?

Please visit the following pages to find out more about:

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

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SJD Accountancy

SJD Accountancy are the UK's largest specialist provider of fixed fee, Limited company accountancy services to contractors; we've been acting for contractors across the UK since 1992 and have more than 15,000 clients.

We are the only national specialist firm of contractor accountants with offices nationwide. SJD Accountancy has more qualified staff than any other firm in our market with qualifications from the following major tax and accountancy bodies - ATT, AAT, CTA, ACCA, CA, ACA and FCCA.

  • Unlimited face to face meetings. This is a unique service only SJD Accountancy offers - unlimited face to face meetings across the UK - tax is complicated and sometimes only a meeting will do.
  • UK's largest contractor accountants with more qualified staff. No call centres, no outsourcing, no automated call handling. Simply telephone, email or meet your own dedicated accountant face to face.
  • Our Customer Promise. Respond to any question sent to your accountant or any dedicated department within 24 hours.  If we need more time, we will update you as soon as we can and we promise to keep you informed of the progress we are making in answering your question.
  • Outstanding reputation. We have won more awards for customer service and accountancy excellence than any other firm in our market, including: Best Accountant for Contractors, Accountant of the Year and Best Professional Service Team to name just a few.
  • All inclusive low cost fixed fee accountancy package which includes completion of accounts*, payroll bureau, dividends and corporation tax computations, personal taxation, free bookkeeping software, your own dedicated accountant* and all company returns for a fixed fee starting from £120 plus VAT per month. Check our packages for more detail.

If you have any questions about contracting or would like any further advice please call our new business team on 01442 275789 or email: Our new business team is open Monday to Thursday (8am to 8pm), Friday (8am to 7pm) and Saturday (10am to 4pm)

Appoint SJD Accountancy and never worry about your tax or accountancy affairs again.

Form your own limited company with SJD - our same day online company formation service includes company bank account set up, VAT/PAYE registration and advice on optimum share structure. 

You may also find the following pages, guides and case studies useful:

*If you would like us to complete your company year end accounts we simply ask that you have been a client of SJD for one year or have made 12 monthly payments. All accountants are part or fully qualified.