Certificates in executive and personal protection introduce students to a bodyguard's role in the protection of a client's life. There are several types of certificate programs that offer training for bodyguards, but all are similar and consist of only a few courses. Some programs only accept students with professional security experience.
Students learn about a bodyguard's professional responsibilities, which include developing escape plans and methods of dealing with threats of bodily harm. A bodyguard may be armed with a gun, device delivering an electric shock, stun gun, baton, or pepper spray. Laws regarding who can possess and use these devices vary according to state and locality.
Entry-level, private security services, and criminal justice administration certificates all exist for this field. In order to enroll, students will need to have a high school education and be at least eighteen years old. They will need to pass a background check and may need to take a placement exam. For the criminal justice certificate, students will likely have to provide ACT or SAT scores.
Entry-Level Certificate in Executive Protection
The certificate program consists of four courses and prepares graduates for entry-level positions in the profession of executive (celebrity or diplomat) protection. Students learn about threat assessment, professionalism, and logistics. Other areas covered in the program are global protective services, bodyguard/client relationships, legal issues facing bodyguards, and codes of conduct.
Courses in the program prepare future bodyguards to make ethical decisions, provide protection services to dignitaries and other notable figures, and develop action plans based on both potential and real security threats. Course topics include:
- Self-defense maneuvers
- Protection management
- Defensive tactics
- Protection methods
- Conflict resolution
Private Security Services Career Studies Certificate
Certificate programs are designed for currently employed security personnel who are looking to advance to supervisory and management positions or for individuals looking to enter the profession. Students complete 21 credits of coursework. Private security services courses include a comprehensive survey of criminal justice and the U.S. justice system. Students also learn about:
- Private detectives
- Unarmed/armed security officers
- Criminal evidence
- Criminal conduct
Criminal Justice Administration Private Security Certificate
Certificate is made up of four classes for a total of 11 credit hours. Students learn to safely use firearms and follow procedures like collecting evidence, maintaining records. and securing a perimeter. A first-aid course trains students to perform life-saving techniques like CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). The 4-course curriculum trains students to act ethically and professionally in the role of an armed bodyguard, including responding to and investigating security breaches. Students also explore subject matter like:
- Security history
- Physical protection principles
- Firearm maintenance
- Security audits
- Security insurance
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that security guards, including bodyguards, earned an annual median salary of $28,490 in 2018. The BLS predicted 4% employment growth for this occupation from 2018-2028, which is about average. Job candidates with computer skills or law enforcement backgrounds may have the most opportunities, the BLS states.
All states have firearm laws regulating the possession of various types of guns. ASIS International administered the Certified Protection Professional (CPP) credential. Candidates need a bachelor's degree and seven years of experience, or nine years of experience. Experience must include a minimum of three years' experience supervising a security operation. Candidates must pass an exam. CPPs must take continuing education courses and renew their certification every three years.
Through various certificate programs, such as executive protection, private security, and criminal justice administration, students can learn about the principles of bodyguarding and protection. For those using firearms and electric shock devices, licensure may be necessary, and voluntary certification is available for those with the right amount of education and experience.