Become a Professional Bodyguard: Education and Career Roadmap
Professional bodyguards work in the private sector of law enforcement safeguarding. While on the job they could be required to apply their skills of observation to assess a potentially dangerous situation, perform arrests and use force when necessary. Bodyguards may also receive training in security services and may find work in hospitals, retail, industrial and government.
Step One: Attain a Certificate or Degree
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), aspiring security officers and bodyguards are often required to hold a high school diploma or GED and complete on-the-job training (www.bls.gov). However, those individuals who are interested in gaining certification as a bodyguard will likely be required to complete a degree program in a field such as criminal justice or political science. These programs often provide relevant courses in criminology, forensic science and psychology.
Some schools, for-profit institutions and vocational training centers also offer certificate programs in bodyguard training. Such programs can prepare students to go on to work in the fields of personal as well as property security. Threat assessment, arrest techniques and diffusing situations are a few areas that could be covered by a certificate program.
Step Two: Gain Experience in Security
Gaining experience as a security guard in a hospital, government facility, retail establishment, school or other organization can provide an individual with the skills and knowledge necessary to advance to the position of a professional bodyguard. Security guards may have to undergo additional training and education for employment, which can be applied to a bodyguard position. A majority of states require that security guards be licensed, which requires a background check, drug testing and classroom training.
Step Three: Become Certified
ASIS (American Society for Industrial Security) International offers the Physical Security Professional (PSP) designation. In order to qualify, applicants must have either a bachelor's degree and four years of physical security experience, or a high school diploma or associate's degree and six years of physical security experience. Applicants must also pass an exam.
Step Four: Advance in Your Career
The U.S. Department of State offers the Security Protective Specialist position. Specialists aid Department of State agents in safeguarding individuals at embassies, consulates as well as regional offices. Security Protective Specialists could also be deployed internationally to areas such as Afghanistan, Israel and Pakistan. Some of the qualifications for becoming a specialist include at least three years of experience in security, a fitness test, defensive and evasive driving abilities and knowledge of firearms.
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