Alternative titles for this job include Close protection officer, CPO, personal bodyguard

Bodyguards protect individuals or groups from the risk of violence, kidnapping and other harmful situations.

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter


£50,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 51 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a bodyguard

You can get into this career by:

  • a college course
  • applying directly


You could do a Level 3 Certificate for Working as a Close Protection Operative.

You can search for approved training providers who offer this course through the Security Industry Authority.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information

Direct Application

You can apply to an organisation directly to work as a bodyguard or go through a recruitment agency specialising in security work. You'll need a Close Protection licence issued by the Security Industry Authority.

To get a licence, you'll usually need to have completed the Level 3 Certificate for Working as a Close Protection Operative. If you've previously done older security qualifications, check whether they are still acceptable. If you need additional training you can find an approved training provider.

More Information

Career tips

Many people enter this career after working in the police or the armed forces.

It may be useful if you can speak more than one language for certain jobs, for example diplomatic work.

Further information

You can find more details about training to be a bodyguard through the Security Industry Authority.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • concentration skills
  • leadership skills
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day tasks you could:

  • protect clients from threats like terrorism, political opponents, stalkers or over-enthusiastic fans
  • check out and secure premises before clients arrive
  • identify suspicious behaviour or unauthorised people
  • prevent potential threats or disruption
  • stay constantly alert to react to threatening situations
  • accompany clients on business and social visits
  • drive clients to and from venues

Working environment

You could work at a client's business or at a client's home.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and you may spend nights away from home.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could specialise in surveillance, driving or residential security, or move into risk assessment consultancy work.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a bodyguard right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Are you interested in becoming a bodyguard?

Search for training courses near you.

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.