If you are a security cleared IT contractor, then your unique skillset is in great demand. The good news is that as the demand for Security Cleared Contractors increases, so does the average daily rate of pay. That means that not only will you be increasingly well compensated for your work, you will also find it easier to receive a steady stream of work and minimise any periods of unemployment.
There are a lot of checks and other vetting processes involved in becoming a security cleared contractor, which makes many individuals reluctant to pursue the industry. However, there are many advantages of choosing to work as a contractor via your own limited company, particularly if you already have added security clearance, to appeal to potential high level clients. It is important to note that you don’t have to have already secured your security clearance in order to apply for Security Cleared Contractor roles, but it will certainly make you a much more appealing prospect to future employers, if you have.
Thinking of entering the freelance arena as a Security Cleared Contractor? Allow plenty of time before making the switch; it can take anywhere between 2 weeks and 3 months to obtain the security clearance you will need and until your clearance has been approved, you shouldn’t give up the security of the position you already hold. There are many different security bodies and depending on the roles you are looking for, you may need to apply for clearance with more than one of them. Those bodies are:
- The Defence Vetting Agency
- National Security Vetting
- Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- Metropolitan Police Service
Enhanced Rates of Pay
It may seem like a lot of hard work and hassle to secure the security clearance needed to become a Security Cleared Contractor, but the payoff is that Security Cleared Contractors are paid a significantly higher rate, than their non-cleared counterparts. Recruiters estimate that the difference in average rates of pay, between the two kinds of contractors, is around 24%. Depending on the length and complexity of the contract, your level or experience and the level of security clearance that you have, rates of pay for Security Cleared Contractors can vary from between £250 and £1,000 per day. By contacting specialist recruiters and discussing your specific experience and the types of roles you are looking for, you will be better able to assess what kinds of daily rates you could command, were you to make the move into working for yourself as an independent contractor.
These figures may seem high, but it is worth noting that your take home pay will be a lesser amount than the full daily rate you are paid. If you work through an umbrella company that you will take home between 60-65% of your income, whilst if you work through your own Limited Company then you will take home between 75-80% of your daily income.
The average net pay that you will receive when working through a Limited Company is higher than any other option available to an independent contractor, which is why so many freelancers and contractors choose to establish their own Limited Companies. Many new contractors wrongly assume that this is a process that will be complicated, but the reality is it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to create your own company. After that, you will need to allocate just 15-20 minutes a month to organising the paperwork and administration needed to administer your company, provided you hire a good accountant. The payoff for this minimal amount of work is that you will retain a much bigger percentage of your annual salary, making setting up as a Limited Company the most financially lucrative option for almost all contractors.