How Much Do Commercial Access Control Systems Cost?

Your company’s physical security is just as important as your digital security. You want to know that only your authorized employees and personnel are able to access your building.

Without the right access control system, you could be leaving the door wide open, literally.

Here comes the uncomfortable question: how much does a quality access control system cost? It can be easy to say that the more you pay, the more secure your building will be. But it can be hard to understand exactly what you’re paying for and it’s easy to look over the additional fees that come with installation and security software.

By understanding all the options available to you, you can make an informed decision that suits your specific security needs.

What Factors Affect Your Access Control System Price?

In general, you should expect to spend somewhere between $2,000 and $10,000 for a quality and durable access control system.

Just like all technology, there are many factors that determine the price of hardware or software. Each system comes with its own bells and whistles, but the important thing to remember is what you need in an access control system.

By understanding your security goals, you can determine which factors you’re willing to pay for and which you can save on.

These factors include:

  • Type of access control system
  • Complexity of the system
  • Type of material
  • Size of the business
  • Level of security


The 6 Common Types of Access Control Systems

When it comes to physical security, there are 6 main types of access control systems. They vary in complexity and features, but they all are designed to keep your building safe.

  • Door Lock and Key
    • This is your most standard option, but is often not used due to how easily keys can be copied or locks can be broken.
    • You’ll pay for the key and the lock mechanism, along with installation and replacement keys if one gets lost.
    • Average cost per door: $100 – $400
  • Number Pad Lock
    • Another popular option, number pads benefit from their simplicity and ease of use. This simplicity is a double-edged sword though. Over time, numbers can wear, showing outsiders your code. Others can also watch your personnel input the code, or break into the hardware with a screwdriver.
    • You’ll pay for the hardware, wiring and installation. On the bright side, you don’t have to pay to change the code.
    • Average cost per door: $400 – $1,500
  • Intercom (Buzzer, Telephone, Screen)
    • Intercoms are particularly useful for larger buildings, as they allow outside users to directly interact with trusted personnel inside. Depending on the level of security you want, your price can skyrocket quickly.
    • When you’re installing an intercom system, you can choose between a buzzer button, phone, or even a video system. Of course, each option is more complex than the last, which means the price will go up.
    • Average cost per door: $450 – $10,000
  • Biometric
    • As one of the more advanced security measures used by businesses, biometric access control systems can get costly very fast. But if you want a high level of security for your building, it’s difficult to find a better, more affordable option in the long run.
    • Costs include the scanner itself, electronic locking system, software integration and installation. You’ll also pay for the software service from most manufacturers.
    • Average cost per door: $2,500-$10,000
  • Key Card and Key FOB Systems
    • For larger businesses and enterprises, key cards and key FOBs are becoming increasingly popular options. These physical items stick with your personnel and can be easily replaced and programmed. The only issue is that it’s recommended you have a staff member on-site who can program these items. If you need a new card or FOB last minute, it can be difficult to expedite the process.
    • Costs include the card reader, software, installation and employee training, along with the individual cards and monthly service fees.
    • Average cost per door: $1,500-$2,500
  • Smartphone Access
    • For those looking to make their access control systems even more convenient and personal, there are smartphone access systems. These involve installing the device reader and paying recurring fees for the service. The main cost saver is relying on your employees’ smart devices rather than providing physical cards.
    • Costs include the reader device, installation and service costs.
    • Average cost per door: $600-$1,200


Access Control System Complexity

One of the main factors that determine the cost of your access control system is the complexity of your system. Whether your system operates through a multi-wired connection or individual devices, can make a huge difference in the hardware and software you need.

There are two main types of access control system complexity:

  • Traditional Wired System
  • Standalone Access Control System


Traditional Wired System

This is your basic access control system consisting of a wired framework, which features a controller, software and power supply. These allow you to add components like cards, key FOBs and codes.

Installation can get costly since you have to install multiple electronic components per door. These systems require multiple devices to talk to each other across your building, so you need quality hardware, software and materials you can rely on.


Standalone Access Control System

This is an affordable option that still offers a decent level of security. Everything you need to control the security of access is contained within the door lock or a single device. You can control each access point individually, including key cards and key FOBs.

The main downside is that if you need to make changes you can’t make that change for every access point. So if you’re operating a larger building and you need to change the passcode on a number padlock, you have to change it for every individual lock in the building.


Miscellaneous Factors

Material Type

Costs can vary depending on the type and quality of materials used in your system. These can include:

  • Power supplies
  • Locks
  • Wiring
  • Electronic components


Building and Business Size

The size of your business determines the scope and number of buildings you operate in. For smaller businesses, you most likely will need fewer security systems than a multi-national enterprise.

When considering the cost of your access control system, it’s important to consider these aspects of your building:

  • Number of doors
  • Possible electrical system upgrade
  • Number of cards or FOBs that need to be programed
  • Training for your staff
  • Hiring a full-time access control manager/IT professional
  • Level of necessary security


Additional Costs

While you’re worried about the type of security system you need and how many doors need an access control device, it’s easy to forget about the smaller details. Yet this is where your bill can add up quickly.

These smaller costs can include:

  • Device installation
  • Labor
  • Installer insurance, travel and parking
  • Software license and maintenance
  • Buying and shipping cards and FOBs
  • Ordering replacement parts
  • Performing regular maintenance or repairs.


Secure Your Business in Richmond, VA

The cost of your access control system depends entirely on your security needs.

For lower-security needs, you can save some money on standalone systems that are easy to control and less complex to install. When protecting more precious data or items, you’ll have to spend more on complex systems with monthly or annual service fees.

If you’re still unsure which option is best for you or you want to get started right away, we can help. NTS’s access control team has decades of experience helping businesses of various sizes keep their physical locations safe and secure.

Learn more about our access control system services and give NTS a call protect your physical location from nefarious threats.