How to Become a Body Guard

Body Guard Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year $27,670
Avg. Pay / hour $13.31
Education 2-4 Years
Job Outlook 4%

A body guard’s main responsibility is to avoid and prevent conflict that is capable of endangering or harming their client.

A popular belief regarding a body guard’s profession is that they usually resort to violence in order to protect their client, but that is usually not the case unless there is an immediate threat to the person they are protecting.

A body guard has to use their intellectual and planning skills in order to prevent or avoid any violent behavior.

A scenario that leads to violence can have a lot more negative consequences on their client’s well being.

This is why a body guard is more concerned with planning a trip ahead of time.

A security team, such as the Secret Service can sometimes cause a hassle for the average person.

Someone can be stuck in traffic with no idea as to why it is happening, but little does the driver know that a security team had to close some streets in order for the President to make it to one side of town to another.

This is part of the planning that a security guard does in order to protect their client, in this case, the President.

In order to become a body guard and be successful in the field, a prospective body guard doesn’t necessarily have to exude violent behavior in order to accomplish their task of protecting clients.

Because of the nature of their work, body guards do need defense tactics in order to protect their client and themselves.

Some qualities that make a good body guard include being observant, having good reflexes or quick reactions, be able to make decisions in a short amount of time and be able to remain calm under any situation.

Some of these skills are inherent and some can be learned by those whose goal is to become a body guard.

Education Requirements to Become a Body Guard

An interested individual doesn’t necessarily have to take a traditional educational route in order to become a body guard.

Candidates who want to go into this field need some basic skills that will help them become a body guard.

Candidates can also acquire certification from a program that teaches the necessary skills in order to succeed in this position.

There are some highly desired skills that are sought including having a controlled temperament, ability to plan ahead of time and of course, having defense mechanisms to use spur of the moment and being physically fit.

Candidates who want to attend a certification program can learn a variety of information regarding the trade.

Some programs can offer courses that can include a number of the following courses:

  • The roles a body guard plays in the safety of others
  • Basic protection techniques or defense tactics and when to use them
  • Ethics courses such as protecting their client’s privacy
  • History regarding protective services
  • First Aid

Certification can be completed within a few months time.

Body Guard Job Description

A body guard can work for and be employed by a variety of entities such as individuals, corporation or by a government sector.

Body guards must also use discretion when talking about their clients and must guard their privacy in order to protect their well being.

For example, a body guard cannot go around saying they are protecting a certain celebrity as that might attract unwanted attention.

In addition, body guards can expect to work at random hours, maybe sometimes overnight.

Some common responsibilities can include:

  • Study layout of surroundings in order to plan a route
  • Escort individuals to planned destination
  • Prevent and keep clients from any harmful situations or people
  • Protect clients from imminent harm when the need arises
  • Constantly keep awareness and cautiousness of surroundings

Professional body guards may need to be available 24/7 in order to keep their clients safe from harm.

They use a variety of skills, from intellectual to defensive skills in order to keep their client safe.

Body Guard Salary and Career Path

The job outlook for people in the Armed Body guarding sector can expect healthy growth throughout the next decade estimated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to be around 18%.

The growth is believed to come from raised security measures and privacy concerns.

Competition for jobs, however, is expected to be highly competitive due to the profession’s lucrative nature.

The national median income for professionals in the industry is approximately $48,000 with some individuals making up to $100,000 annually.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$52,840
New Hampshire$38,590
New Jersey$36,240
New Mexico$32,560
New York$41,810
North Carolina$33,340
North Dakota$34,580
Rhode Island$35,630
South Carolina$29,920
South Dakota$33,660
West Virginia$28,290
Puerto Rico$19,150
Virgin Islands$30,710

The top earning state in the field is District of Columbia, where the average salary is $52,840.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

District of Columbia - $52,840
Alaska - $49,040
Washington - $43,720
New York - $41,810
Idaho - $40,970
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Security Guards, OCC Code 33-9032, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Body Guard?

Body guards offer protection to people and try to avoid situations that can put their clients in danger of injury, kidnapping, assassination, assault, harassment or embarrassment.

In order to be efficient at their jobs, bodyguards must be in great physical shape and be able to manage stressful situations.

Additionally, they also need to be trustworthy people and have good tactical skills.

In many cases, body guards complete shifts of 6-8 hours but some positions require working overtime.

How much does a Body Guard make?

How much a body guard makes per year depends on his or her employer, skills and level of experience.

The average pay for a bodyguard is $55,000-$65,000 per year but some of them earn as much as $180,000.

How much does it cost to become a Body Guard?

In order to become a body guard you must be over 18 years of age and hold a high school diploma or GED.

Although college is not required, a 2 or 4-year college program can help you improve your skills and can give you an advantage over your competitors on the job market.

In order to become a body guard you also need first-aid and CPR certification.

A course that teaches you CPR can cost around $25-$35, depending on the program.

In order to best protect your client, you will also need to learn tactical skills.

You can learn this a part of a certificate program in criminal justice or by taking separate classes in areas such as risk-assessment, unarmed combat, anti-terrorism, and conflict avoidance.

Depending on the program you choose, the body guard training can range between a few hundred dollars to more than $5,000.

What is the demand for Body Guards?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for security guards, in general, is expected to grow by 4 percent from 2018 to 2028.

Body guards will continue to be needed to protect people who are exposed to a variety of dangers.

Moreover, as the number of VIPs grows the demand for body guards is expected to rise.

How long does it take to become a Body Guard?

In order to become a body guard you must be at least 18 years of age and hold a high school diploma or GED.

A college degree is not necessary but a 2 or 4-year program can help you develop your tactical skills and increases your chances of getting a better-paid job.

Body guards also need CPR and first-aid training, which can usually be completed in a few days.

The certification card is usually available for one year.

Having military training is also a plus as this means that you are in great physical shapes and you have knowledge about safety protocol.

You can learn the tactical skills needed to protect your client by taking classes in fields such as risk-assessment, unarmed combat, dispute resolution, anti-terrorism.

Certificate programs in bodyguard training are also available at some vocational schools.

Many states require bodyguards to possess a license.

In some states, you will have to complete a training class that can be between 20-40 hrs long.

If you want to become an armed bodyguard you will also need to complete a firearm training course.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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