Step into the breach and be a bodyguard

Bodyguards, often known as personal protection or close protection officers (CPOs), protect individuals or groups from risk of violence or kidnapping, or any situation which could be harmful to them.

As a bodyguard, your clients could include politicians, heads of industry, TV, film and music celebrities, and royalty.

Your work would typically include:

protecting clients from threats, for example from terrorists, political opponents, stalkers or over-enthusiastic fans

checking out premises before clients arrive

l planning and research to identify and prevent potential threat or disruption

keeping constantly alert to react to threatening situations

accompanying clients on business and social visits

driving clients to and from venues.

You could specialise in residential security, making sure your client’s premises are secure. Alternatively, you could train to be a chauffeur, specialising in defensive and evasive driving techniques.

You may have to work long shifts including evenings and weekends, to offer 24-hour protection. You may work at indoor or outdoor venues such as conferences, political meetings and rallies, and corporate and social events.

There is likely to be a lot of travel, and you may have to spend time away from home, sometimes overseas.

Most close protection officers (CPOs) are self-employed. Earnings depend on the client or company, the length of the contract, the officer’s experience and the risks involved.

Daily rates for CPOs in low risk areas can be around £100 to £150 plus expenses.

CPOs with high levels of responsibility, or working in high risk areas, can earn £500 a day.

You must be at least 18, and would need to be physically fit, with good eyesight and hearing, and a presentable appearance. A driving licence is essential.

It may be useful to have knowledge of one or more foreign languages.

To work as a contracted CPO in England and Wales you are required by law to have a Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence. To get a licence you will need:

identity and criminal record checks

an SIA approved Level 3 qualification in close protection

a recognised first aid certificate.

Most CPOs have a background in the Armed Forces or police, although this is not essential. To work in the high risk, most highly-paid areas of the industry you will usually need to have been in the Special Forces or specialist police units.

You would usually be self-employed on long- or short-term contracts, which can be anything from a few days to several years. Most contracts are negotiated by close protection companies and agencies.