Armed Bodyguard: Job Description & Career Requirements
Research the educational and skill requirements needed to become an armed bodyguard, as well as the job description and employment and salary outlook. Read on to decide if this career is right for you.
An armed bodyguard is a personal security officer who protects clients from such threats as assault, kidnapping and stalking. Armed bodyguards protect by assessing threats, planning routes and searching cars and buildings. Ideally, preparation and presence are all that are necessary to prevent an attack, but armed bodyguards also must be prepared to use force if necessary. Oftentimes, armed bodyguards also serve as drivers for their clients. Individuals who elect to hire armed bodyguards include those frequently in the public eye such as celebrities and politicians, and they may be at a higher risk than civilians. Very wealthy individuals may also elect to hire protection for themselves or their family members. Employment opportunities may be found through private security companies or with an individual client.
No formal education or degree is typically required of those who want to become armed bodyguards, but training in defense, weaponry and combat are required in almost every case. An education in criminal justice gives armed bodyguards an advantage in obtaining job opportunities. Training for armed bodyguards may be provided by private security companies to their current or potential employees and includes classes in unarmed combat, threat assessment and first aid.
In order to carry a weapon, a firearms permit must be obtained. Weapons licensing varies per state, with some regions of the country disallowing private security officers from carrying concealed weapons.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that armed bodyguards must exhibit the following traits:
- Experience in the field of combat and defense
- Excellent vision and hearing
- Strong physical shape
- Familiarity and knowledge of a wide range of weapons, both from an offensive and a defensive perspective
- Active thinking, critical analysis and communication skills
Employment and Salary Outlook
According to the BLS, security guard positions were expected to increase by about 19% from 2010-2020. As budgets for police departments are reduced, many large corporations and individual clients are expected to hire private security to compensate with elevated surveillance. The BLS also reported that in May 2012, the median annual salary for security guards was $23,970. Although salaries for entry-level armed bodyguard positions may be relatively low, high-paying jobs for private clients may pay more. Hours are typically set for guards working at a security company, while personal armed bodyguards are sometimes required to be on call 24 hours a day, every day.
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