Bodyguard • Job Description, Salary & Benefits

Bodyguarding is a risky profession. Think Butler in the Artemis Fowl series, or those big blokes that go everywhere with Justin Bieber. Their purpose is to protect highly valued individuals from assault or kidnap, and they are employed by celebrities and by the very rich in order to look after themselves or their loved ones.

If you have a nose for danger, relish the thought of keeping someone out of harm’s way and thrive under pressurised conditions where trouble could strike from any angle at any time, this could well be the job for you.

Salary & benefits

Most bodyguards are self employed, and therefore their earnings vary depending on the importance of their client and the riskiness of the job.

Working in a low threat environment, a bodyguard could earn around £150 a day, whilst in a high risk job, that figure could rise above £500. This makes the job lucrative but the obvious hindrance of immediate danger at any point does justify these high wages.

If you’re under contract to a company or to a particular family, an annual wage may be paid to you, which would be more of a steady income but doesn’t have the financial perks of working freelance.

Working hours

There are no set hours for a bodyguard. You might be put as part of a round-the-clock security protection unit, which might involve 8 to 10 hour shifts at varying times of the day and in the week, including late nights and weekends.

At big events, such as concerts or rallies, you might be expected to work for days with minimal sleep and without losing concentration, so this is not for the faint hearted, but some people are born to do this and thrive under the pressure of looking out for someone else. We can imagine the financial rewards help as well!


To work as a bodyguard in Great Britain you need to gain an SIA licence, which involves having a clean criminal record, a first aid qualification and then the completion of a Security Industry Authority training course, where you will learn the skills needed to become a bodyguard of the highest calibre.

Many Bodyguards come from an armed forces background. although this is by no means necessary, it can help, especially with high pressure and dangerous environments. You’ll need to be in peak physical condition and be adaptable in terms of your appearance, as there are times you will need to fit in and times you will need to stand out! A knowledge of foreign languages is always useful, especially if you’re looking to work for an international figure or celebrity, and a full, clean driving license is a must.

Training & progression

Whilst you need to be SIA approved to even begin in the profession, there’s always more to learn, both on the job and in courses. There is a foundation degree in Protective Security offered by at least one UK University, and more courses are opening up in terms of developing the nous of the industry.

You will learn to spot danger and hone your instincts along the way – ultimately there is no right and wrong ways to be a bodyguard, but the best are highly sought after and act almost without thinking about it – practice, as they say, makes perfect.

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