How To Become A Bodyguard


The Job

Close protection officers, or bodyguards, protect their clients against threats such as personal attack, harassment and kidnapping. Bodyguards tend to work on a contractual basis, and may be taken on for a particular situation or hired during a period of high risk.

The most successful bodyguards tend to be extremely resourceful individuals, with the ability to recognize potential threats, stay calm under pressure and react quickly to rapidly changing situations.

As well as client protection, the role could involve planning routes in advance, securing destinations, driving clients to and from engagements and accompanying clients on business trips or holidays.

Annual Salary

Bodyguard Salary

Minimum Education Level

Level: Level - 3

Minimum Qualifications

Level 3 + First Aid

Recommended Qualifications

Level 3 + First Aid

Other Qualifications Needed

To work as a bodyguard in England and Wales you must hold a Security Industry Authority (SIA) front line close protection licence. To apply for a licence you will need to have a Level 3 Certificate in Close Protection. Several awarding bodies offer this qualification, including City & Guilds and Edexcel.

In addition to holding this qualification, you will need to be aged 18 or over, pass identity and criminal record checks and hold a recognized First Aid award, such as the HSE First Aid at Work course.

Average Working Hours Per Week = Hours vary, long shifts likely


Common Working Pattern

Common Working Pattern

Time Taken To Qualify

140 Guided Learning Hours (GLH)

What Next/Career Development

As an experienced bodyguard you could develop your career in a number of ways. Options include taking on a managerial role in a security company, specializing in a particular area, such as surveillance, or becoming a security consultant for a company or large organization.

Facts And Figures

It is a criminal offence to work as a bodyguard without an SIA licence.

There are nearly 300,000 SIA licences held in the UK.

(Source: Security Industry Authority)

The first Royal bodyguards, known as the Yeomen of the Guard, or Beefeaters, were formed in 1485 by King Henry VII.
(Source: Historic Royal Palaces)