Job type


£25k - £35k

Typical salary

18 – 48

Hours per week

Bodyguards protect individuals or groups from the risk of violence, kidnapping or any other harmful situation.

More info

  • Requires the ability to adapt in different situations and to stay calm in potentially dangerous situations
  • With experience, you may have the option to specialise in surveillance, driving, or residential security
  • The job will often require travel, which may mean time spent away from home, sometimes overseas

Bodyguards, also known as "close protection officers," are responsible for protecting a person or persons (usually celebrities, important government officials, wealthy individuals, and others) from dangerous situations such as assassination, kidnapping, harassment, theft, and so on.


  • 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


As a bodyguard you could work at a client's business or at a client's home.

You may travel with clients, spending nights away from home. Your working hours may have to be adaptable to suit the needs of your client. Your work may often be outdoors and you may need to wear a uniform.

You'll need

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.

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 (SIA).

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.

You could also do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant courses include the Level 3 Certificate for Working as a Close Protection Operative.


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