Being a body guard essentially means coming to the aid of a person who feels that their personal safety is being threatened, and who believes themselves to be dangerously targeted. The client of the body guard is not secure about being alone without assistance in public, and this fear is most likely based on past and present experiences that may have been strictly verbal, but could also have been violent, and which lay beyond their ability to control.
Skills & Educational Requirements
The specific skills and education required for a body guard position depend most of all on the client the bodyguard is protecting, and in most cases, solely rely on the individual discretion of the client to decide which abilities, education, and experience are the most desirable. The skills a body guard might begin with the most basic requirements of physical strength, such as what might be expected in the case of a talent protection client (actors and singers). More advanced, executive protection, positions, such as those which would be required to protect a government official or dignitary (similar to the Secret Service), may require specialized, advanced skills.
While in most states there are no legal requirements for working as a body guard, there are legal requirements for working as an armed body guard, which pertain only to weapons licensing. The armed body guard must obtain a fire arms permit to carry a weapon in public. That said, specific types of training are more than likely to be expected by any client performing basic types of physical security, for example, the way a body guard must physically position themselves at all times to protect the client, how to conduct security research prior to the clients arrival to certain venues and events, specialized driving skills, and fighting skills for physical defense.
What Employers Typically Look For in a Body Guard
Because many security and bodyguard positions involve on-the-job training, employers may want to ensure that the body guard is competent in certain intellectual areas that will correspond with their training or with the special requirements of the job. To become more competitive in the field overall, a body guard should have a high school diploma or GED, obtain body guard certification, and earn credits in criminal justice courses such as criminology, psychology and sociology, forensic science, and investigative techniques. These courses are generally recommended in order to help prepare the body guards for interrogation, criminal investigations, and evidence preservation which may be necessary to function proficiently in their positions.
There are also many employers who think highly of body guards who have served in the military, as military training not only prepares a body guard for combat, it also prepares the body guard mentally and physically for personal security. Former military personnel have a reputation to be more respectful and conduct themselves in a self-disciplined manner.