Alternative titles for this job include Close protection officer (CPO)

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

Average salary (a year)


Typical hours (a week)

46 to 48 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become a Bodyguard

You can get into this career by:

  • applying directly

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 complete the Level 3 Certificate for Working as a Close Protection Operative. This is available through training providers approved by the Security Industry Authority. Older qualifications may be acceptable, depending on when you got them.

Some employers may prefer you to have experience of working in the police or the armed forces.

More information

Career tips

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

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • concentration skills
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • protecting clients from threats like terrorism, or from political opponents, stalkers or over-enthusiastic fans
  • checking out premises before clients arrive
  • planning to identify and prevent potential threats or disruption
  • staying constantly alert to react to threatening situations
  • accompanying clients on business and social visits
  • driving 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'll travel often and spend nights away from home.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

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

Training 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

Certificate in Public and Security Services 2 x GCSE re-sit - Level 2

  • Provider: DERBY COLLEGE
  • Start date: 01 August 2019
  • Location: Ilkeston

Principles of Providing Security Services

  • Provider: Gloucestershire College
  • Start date: 18 March 2019
  • Location: CHELTENHAM

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