Training the Tough: The Skills You Need to Be a Personal Security Guard

Personal security guards, also referred to as bodyguards, are hired to protect people in high-profile occupations or high-risk situations. Common industries that frequently require this level of security are entertainment, politics, and domestic or criminal court cases. For celebrities and entertainers in the public eye, a bodyguard may be called on to safeguard them from stalkers or overeager fans. For a husband and wife going through a particularly contentious divorce or increasingly bitter custody battle, one of them may fear for his or her safety and require round-the-clock protection. In the white-collar business world, prominent status or political affiliation may render certain people prime targets of harm or extortion-type plots, prompting them to up the ante when it comes to personal safety,

The requirements for becoming a private security guard differ from state to state, but the majority of those pursuing this career path should count on two things: toning and training. Certain companies may prefer those who have certain qualifications or achievements under their belts, such as college degrees, law enforcement training and/or military experience.

People who want to pursue this career path should first become familiar with the laws in the jurisdiction where they reside, or plan to reside. Certain places may require security guards to obtain licensing; if this is required, a licensing application and fee may also be necessary.
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Some areas require bodyguard candidates to pass an exam and/or complete a course of study approved by their jurisdiction. Background checks and firearm permits are also common requirements.

Regardless of whether a person has to seek licensing to become a professional protector, he typically has to be fit. Many people prepare for this career by performing regular workouts to ensure they have the stamina required to run and fight when necessary. Some may go the extra mile and include things such as martial arts practices in their daily workouts.

Though an intimidating, well-muscled stature is effective for deterring many physical threats, an ideal bodyguard will also possess a basic psychological know-how and the people skills necessary to diffuse a variety of scenarios. Because celebrities and powerful figures are susceptible to being watched and scrutinized under the harsh lens of the public eye, they require a multi-tiered team of solid handlers who are capable of adapting to the extreme circumstances that their lifestyles may present. Although communication skills may not be required to excel in this line of work, individuals who do have a firm grasp on human behavior – and the red flags to watch for – are offering their clients and employers a beneficial incentive.

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