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What does a Personal Security Guard do?

By Cassie L. Damewood
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A personal security guard, also commonly referred to as a bodyguard or close protection officer, shields her client from harm. This protection may include guarding against physical harm as well as emotional or psychological injury from personal affairs and private information being made public. A personal security guard may work for a security firm or offer her services as a private contractor.

High profile people, such as movie stars, professional athletes and political figures, are the most likely group to enlist the services of a personal security guard. Occasionally a person in the midst of a media scandal or high profile criminal trial may hire a bodyguard. The threats ordinarily feared by the client of a bodyguard include stalking, assault, harassment, kidnapping and assassination.

Protecting her client from physical harm commonly comprises the bulk of a bodyguard’s job. She is customarily expected to ensure her client’s home and grounds are protected by sophisticated and reliable electronic security systems. Similar scrutiny normally also applies to the client’s place of business as well as to the frequently visited homes of friends, relatives and associates.

Outside of buildings and offices, a personal security guard is generally required to check vehicles for tracking and listening devices as well as explosives. She is typically expected to check the undercarriages of her client’s vehicles to guarantee no vital systems or parts have been tampered with or altered to cause accidents or collisions. The bodyguard may ride with her client to provide protection or follow behind in an unobtrusive car to observe the environment during travel.

Less common jobs of a personal security guard are often complex and require specialized training. A person in this position may educate her client in basic survival skills in the event of kidnapping or abduction. A security guard also is sometimes expected to use software programs to map out routes for travel that provide more safety for her client than traditional paths. Being able to detect surveillance bugs on telephone lines and computer systems is also a skill frequently required of a personal security guard.

A person seeking employment in this field is typically required to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Experience in the military or law enforcement is given extra consideration by many potential employers. Professional training in armed and unarmed protection tactics as well as first aid is a common requirement for the position. Acute attention to detail is strongly preferred for candidates for this job. Assertiveness and discretion are normally part of a successful bodyguard’s demeanor.

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