A bodyguard is a kind of security guard who offers protection and escort services to an individual. They are generally engaged with people who are high-ranking public officials, celebrities or wealthy individuals and provide them protection services in areas ranging from theft, assault, kidnapping to assassination and loss of secret information.
Those bodyguards who are employed for the protection of a VIP are generally known as the VIP’s security detail. Examples of high-ranking people and influential figures who are given bodyguard protection are heads of state, governors, heads of government—the bodyguards of these individuals are often recruited from the armed forces.
Bodyguard protection has become immensely important in the contemporary period, and now the trend is such that even the less-prominent individuals employ bodyguards. Since bodyguards are generally recruited for the rich, it is to be expected that they earn quite a sum. So, if you think you are capable enough to become a bodyguard and put your life at stake for the protection of another person, then you will, most probably, have a successful career.
The freelance community is open to all kinds of professions in the world, and, therefore, bodyguards can very well connect with this community and expand their career prospects. However, it is not that easy to become a freelance bodyguard, and one has to go through the essentials required in the making of a successful freelance bodyguard.
Here are four points you must know before commencing a career as a freelance bodyguard:
1. Educational qualifications required to become a freelance bodyguard
There is no strict educational requirement for the freelance bodyguards, but due to the rising number of freelancers and increasingly stiff competition, employers have started insisting on certain levels of formal education, physical requirements, and training on the part of the applicants. To know more on this, read below carefully:
- The minimum educational qualification is the successful completion of 10+2 from a recognized school in India.
- Upon the completion of 10+2, one can go for courses in bodyguard protection. For example, the Tripod provides a number of certificate courses in VIP protection. It usually organizes two types of courses: Executive Protection Course and Advanced VIP protection Course.
The former involves basic bodyguard training and lasts for three months; the latter steps up the level of training and usually lasts for five months. Similarly, there are other portals and institutes offering such courses in India.
- The syllabus of these courses usually contains physical training, obstacle crossing, mob control, access control and monitoring, interview and telephonic sops, vehicular inspection and carjacking, close quarter combat techniques, explosive detection, etc.
- Certificate courses will not be enough since employers give impetus to experience, and one can gain experience only through work. There are many part-time jobs you can take for the purpose of building experience, for example, bars and restaurants, where bodyguards and bouncers are usually employed. Upon gaining enough experience, you will have to draft a portfolio of skills or resume, whatever you wish to call it, according to the requirements of the freelance job applied for.
2. Skills needed to become a freelance bodyguard
Bodyguards are responsible for the safety of really important and influential personalities, and, therefore, certain skills have to be compulsorily exhibited in order to achieve faith and credibility.
- Communication skills: Exemplary communication skills are extremely important since the guard has to maintain communication not only with his principal but also with the team members and other officials. A bodyguard will often find himself in situations where he’d have to deal with all kinds of people, and that is where communication skills will come into play.
- Common Sense: A bodyguard must have a monumental amount of common sense. The job of a bodyguard invariably requires assessment of situations and working out the most plausible actions to deal with them.
- Professionalism: Throughout the job, the bodyguard must maintain professionalism and exhibit the same through conduct. Poor professional mannerism will adversely affect your career prospects.
- Confidence: It is absolutely necessary that the principal has trust in your abilities and feels secure in your presence. If you show confidence throughout, the principal will gradually build faith in you and this will help you more in the discharge of duties.
- Observational skills: What good a bodyguard is if he does not possess keen observational skills? Well, no good at all. The eyes and ears of the bodyguard must be everywhere; nothing should be left unseen and unheard or else you may jeopardize the safety of the principal.
- Miscellaneous: Apart from the aforesaid skills, a bodyguard must possess really good driving skills, which include defensive driving skills; computer literacy, which is essentially a basic understanding of computers; fitness and sound health, without which a bodyguard would not be a bodyguard in the first place; the ability to handle arms; martial art skills.
3. Work opportunities for a freelance bodyguard
Bodyguards are in huge demand, and therefore, there are a lot of work opportunities available. You can associate with VIP protection-providing agencies, which may get you work with the wealthiest and most influential people on this planet. If not this, then you can start up your own agency and offer VIP protection services.
The freelance community has become nearly universal since the advent of a number of freelance websites such as freelance.com, worknhire.com, linked.in.com, and upwork.com. These websites have been designed to bridge the gap between the freelancers and employers, and this creates a more convenient professional atmosphere. To keep yourself updated with latest job openings, create an account on any or all of these websites and update a properly drafted resume or portfolio of skills. Upon the creation of the account, you will automatically receive updates.
4. Pay scale of a freelance bodyguard
There are a number of factors which determine the pay scale of a freelance bodyguard such as the status of the principal, the contract with the agency, professional experience, etc. Those bodyguards who have considerable years of experience will usually secure lavish assignments such as those with big-time celebrities and politicians and may earn in lacs. However, individuals starting fresh in the field may not find much discretion in the determination of the pay scale.
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