What is a bodyguard?
This is a question we are often asked when we give lectures on the security industry.
A bodyguard is a person who has received specific training and is hired to protect another person. On this page we answer some of the most common questions about the job as bodyguard and how to become a bodyguard. If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Information about the job as a bodyguard
Bodyguard in the private sector vs. the public sector
There can be a huge difference between working as a bodyguard in the private sector and working as a bodyguard for the government. A bodyguard working for the government is often a police officer who has received extra bodyguard training. In general the government salary is low to medium, and the officer is guaranteed a monthly pay. He has access to other public resources and he is issued with a certain amount of equipment, including a pistol.
As for the private security industry you can be employed by a security company or you can work as a freelance bodyguard. A freelance bodyguard may have a very high salary; but he might only work one week per month, and thus the salary needs to cover for the weeks you are off duty. The privately employed bodyguard needs to take care of all the practical things himself.
The bodyguard will need to be qualified to handle things like planning, information gathering, budgeting, insurance etc. – and he has to acquire parts of his own equipment.
The job as a bodyguard requires a good basic training. You often see big guys who work as bodyguards without having any kind of training. The principal might feel safe but in case a real threat occurs it may be fatal. There are many providers of bodyguard training, but unfortunately a lot of them are very unprofessional. Today, it is very easy to setup a website and write that you provide bodyguard training. It might give some kind of prestige to train bodyguards. When you find a training provider it is very important that you take a closer look to find out if there is a real company behind the website.
Make sure the company has the right skills to provide bodyguard training. Some companies setup a bodyguard course but never really run any courses or they are limited to only run a few courses a year. It is important for you that you have the opportunity to further development later in your career therefore look for more than one type of course.
You can read more about our various courses on this website.
The majority of our courses are held at SIRAS ACADEMY in Denmark. The training camp is the largest training camp in Europe and has more than 3000 m2 of indoor training area. The camp has all required facilities such as classrooms, driving area, sleeping quarters etc. It is also possible to train with the vehicles inside the buildings.
What kind of skills are required when you want to work as a bodyguard? First of all, the job requires a good physical and mental condition. Another very important skill you need to master is situational awareness. The list is almost endless, but a good dose of experience and a basic common sense will take you far.
Depending on the specific assignment, the bodyguard should at least master the following areas of expertise:
• Hand to hand combat
• Weapons knowledge
• Financial understanding
• Tactical driving
• Search for bombs & bugs
• Surveillance and surveillance detection
• Knowledge about the Law
• Good ethics and morals
Bodyguard on the job
Working as a bodyguard the daily tasks are very different from day to day depending on the type of client you have. In Europe where most countries are threat level low, the bodyguard often work alone. Working alone demands a lot from the bodyguard. If the threat is medium or high risk you often work in a team of several bodyguards and you might have drivers or other attachments.
Duties of a bodyguard
As a bodyguard your main task is to protect the client’s life. If possible it should be done in a way so the client feels safe, secure and comfortable. The bodyguard should also try to protect the client’s lifestyle and values. The bodyguard needs to protect the client against threats like kidnapping attempts, stalking, ordinary crime, assassinations and minor threats such as intrusive fans etc.
A bodyguard has received special training, so he will often recieve a higher salary than an ordinary security guard. The salary depends on the job and varies from time to time. In Europe the salary is approximately GBP 20 and up per hour. Working as a bodyguard in high-risk areas like Afghanistan and Iraq is obviously dangerous and therefore the salary is often very high. The salary is between GBP 5,000 and GBP 15,000 per month.
If the bodyguard is employed directly by the client, it will also be possible to negotiate a similar salary in several places around Europe depending on the experience and qualifications of the bodyguard.
As a bodyguard you can work for many different categories of clients. Some of the clients will be public figures, businessmen or ordinary citizens who are threatened or feel threatened, for one reason or another. It is important that the contract you have with the clients clearly state who the main client is. There is a big difference between having the responsibility of one person and of being responsible for the person and his family as well. Basically, one bodyguard can only be responsible for one client. If the job includes more than one client, there should be more than one bodyguard on the job.