A bodyguard or close protection officer (CPO) is a professional security guard who is responsible for providing escort and protection services. Their primary job is to provide safety to individuals and protect them from any violent or harmful situation.
If you have keen observational skills, patience to stay calm under pressure, excellent decision making skills and can quickly react under stressful situations, this job could be ideal for you.
In order to be in this profession, it is vital that you must be at least 18 years old and hold a close protection license, issued by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). You must also hold a valid driving license. You must be physically fit and some employers may seek military experience for recruitment in high risk areas. Once into the job, you need your license renewed every three years.
Your job as a bodyguard may involve working as part of team or offering individual services. Your clients may include the royal family, public figures or celebrities.
The various tasks you are expected to perform include:
- Providing complete protection to your clients from various possible threats
- Inspecting venues before the arrival of clients
- Timely identification and prevention of potential threat or disruption
- Driving clients to and from venues
- Accompanying clients on all their visits
If you are planning to take up this job, you should be prepared for numerous challenges it may offer. The job of a bodyguard may involve:
- Attending social events like conferences, political meetings, rallies
- Long working hours
- Late evenings or weekends
- High risk
Your earnings as a bodyguard may vary significantly depending upon your experience, client and the risks involved in the job.
As per nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk, daily rates for CPOs in low risk areas can be around £100 to £150 plus expenses.
CPOs with high levels of responsibility or working in high risk areas can earn around £500 a day.
Education and Training
No specific qualifications are needed for this profession but it is advisable to earn at least a high school diploma or GED to demonstrate your proficiency in basic Mathematics and English.
Although bodyguards often receive on-the-job training, but it may help you if you have prior experience in strength and endurance training.
You may consider completing a bodyguard-training program, or a two-year or four-year degree program which covers personal security, police science or criminal justice.
If you aim at becoming an armed bodyguard, you need to earn firearms permit and be trained in shooting.
Various organizations approved by the SIA that provides certification in close protection:
- Buckinghamshire New University
- City & Guilds
- Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance
You may work as a private individual as well as for state or private organizations. With experience you may be able to move to a managerial position in a protection agency. There are opportunities to work in risk assessment consultancy work as well. You may also start your own close protection agency.
Finally, all you need is a bull’s eye and a strong determination to safeguard people to master this profession.