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Bodyguard Job Description, Career as a Bodyguard, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training:— High school graduation is necessary. This should be coupled with specialized training in various protection techniques.

Salary: Median— $55,000 annually

Employment Outlook:— Excellent

Bodyguards, also known as close protection officers, are professionals who protect people from loss of confidential information, and physical threats like assassination, assault, harassment, kidnapping, and stalking. These highly trained security personnel are generally employed by high profile public figures like politicians, movie stars, professional athletes, and other celebrities.

The primary responsibility of bodyguards is assessing security threats and providing the necessary security measures. However, contrary to popular belief, the role of a bodyguard can be very complex. For instance, bodyguards employed by multi-agent units may have to perform varied tasks like communication protection, analysis and assessment of risk, threat, and vulnerability, detection of chemicals and explosives, operation of different security measures, as well as mob screening and control. They may also be required to search areas for possible threats, and prepare travel routes.

Education and Training Requirements

Persons wishing to become bodyguards need to have at least a high school education. A military background or knowledge of law enforcement procedures is preferable. Prior to becoming a professional bodyguard, candidates must undergo rigorous training. These programs teach students about first aid, armed and unarmed combat techniques, as well as firearms tactics. Some courses also focus on martial arts training. There are a number of colleges and universities in the United States that offer courses in this field.

In addition to these qualifications and trainings, it is extremely important for bodyguards to posses certain qualities. A bodyguard should be able to detect suspicious movements at a glance, be prepared for hand-to-hand combat, have a strong sense of duty, and be comfortable with the use of firearms. Needless to say, fearlessness and courage are the most crucial aspects of a bodyguard’s psyche. Over and above these, a bodyguard needs to be in excellent physical condition.

Getting the Job

Agencies that recruit bodyguards look for candidates who are physically fit, have experience with firearms, and know self-defense techniques. Employment opportunities are often advertised in newspapers and job portals on the Internet. One can also directly approach security service agencies for suitable job openings.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Bodyguards can advance their careers by choosing to specialize in certain areas. For instance, with further training, bodyguards can become protection specialists who are hired to protect clients in both unarmed and armed situations, and also keep a control over the situation until proper authorities can arrive at the spot. In recent years, internet security training has also become popular because of the increasing rate of cyber crime.

According to recent research reports, the employment of bodyguards is expected to increase by about 17% in the next ten years. Statistics predict that by 2016, around 175,000 new jobs will open up for people in this profession. Employment opportunities will be particularly favorable for firearms training specialists, former federal agents or police officers, martial arts practitioners, and intelligence officers.

Working Conditions

Providing security to a high profile figure is almost always a 24/7 job. Bodyguards usually work 6-hour shifts on a rotation basis. The job profile calls for a significant amount of traveling. Irregular hours are also not unusual. However, the work schedules generally depend on the bodyguard’s employer or agency.

Though danger is an inherent part of a bodyguard’s job, people who enjoy physical action find the work very satisfying. There is also an element of glamour attached to the role of a bodyguard. Close protection officers have to frequently work for famous personalities like actors and rock stars. This can be an added attraction for a lot of people.

Bodyguards must be able to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings at all times. Often, bodyguards may spend several uneventful hours guarding a location or watching their client. A successful bodyguard must not become bored by this activity, but rather must always be ready to take action when needed.

Where to Go for More Information

Association of International Private Investigators and Bodyguards
Corporate Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA

Bodyguard Training International
2219 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Suite 267
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

Central Intelligence Agency
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, D.C. 20505

U.S. Secret Service
245 Murray Drive,
Building 410,
Washington, DC 20223

Salary, Earnings and Benefits

The median annual earnings of bodyguards in the US are about $55,000. The average pay in most entry-level positions ranges from $20,000 to $37,000. Experienced bodyguards who work for VIPs can earn as much as $180,000 per year. And some former bodyguards for high-profile celebrities have reported earnings much higher than that.

Professional bodyguards typically enjoy a host of benefits like medical and life insurance coverage, paid vacations, and sick leaves. Additionally, they get to work alongside eminent personalities, and travel to different places across the world.

Additional topics

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