What Training Is Necessary to Become a Personal Bodyguard?

Training to become a personal bodyguard can start in high school via fitness and self-defense classes. An aspiring personal bodyguard can benefit from military training and from a degree in criminal justice or law enforcement, in addition to taking special classes and field training in protection. Get more info on your training options here. Schools offering Criminal Justice & Security degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Training Options

A high school diploma or the GED equivalent is essential for becoming a personal bodyguard or close protection officer, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). Bodyguards use several skills obtained in high school, such as social, communication, decision-making and critical-thinking skills. Being physically fit is important to the job as a personal bodyguard, as are self-defense techniques such as judo or karate. The following are a few common routes to preparing for a personal bodyguard career beyond high school:

Military Experience

Going into the military after finishing high school can provide needed training as well. Military training can help one acquire the right mindset for being a personal bodyguard, such as the ability to assess correctly and quickly what is happening, as well as instilling a sense of duty and dedication.

Formal Education

Obtaining a criminal justice or law enforcement degree will give you a good background on which you can build. A personal bodyguard also needs specialized training in areas that include defensive techniques, disarming, weapon use, driving, CPR, first aid, and communication, some of which may be included in your degree program.

Special Training

Aspiring bodyguards need training under the supervision of professionals, as well as field experience. Many private institutions offer training of this nature in the form of short courses conducted in classrooms and in the field. A few institutions offer bachelor's and master's programs in areas that include personal protection management, intelligence management, and counterterrorism and terrorism studies. Students learn how to protect their client and obey laws concerning protective security. They are taught to respond to threats, to develop procedures to protect clients, and to protect clients without opening themselves up to civil or legal liability.


Some states require that personal bodyguards obtain licensure. Licensure requirements vary depending on the state. In addition, a bodyguard may need to secure authorization to carry a concealed weapon.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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