What is the average Bodyguard Salary?
Many individuals who are new to this line of work frequently ask, “What is the average Bodyguard Salary?” Well, let me offer you some advice but, please note there are no hard and fast rules. This is based on my 20+ years of Executive Protection work.
First of all, there are no set fees for bodyguard services. All fees are arranged by negotiating with the client. Obviously, the more skills you have, the more experience, the more training–the more you can earn. An experienced bodyguard may earn $100,000 per year plus bonuses, but these are often positions with distinct requirements and skill specifications, and the work may be located half-way around the world!
Like many other trades, your geographical region can significantly have an impact a bodyguard salary. For example, a bodyguard working for a top agency in New York will typically make a lot more than a bodyguard in Minneapolis. Of course, your cost of living will also be much higher in New York. But normally, the highest-paying executive protection positions will be based in mega metropolitan areas where the famous and influential live, work and play: Los Angeles, New York City, Las Vegas, Washington DC, Miami and Atlanta.
also the rates associated with this type of work vary widely, depending upon many factors:
- The Economy
- Prior Experience, Skills & Training
- Client Profile (Celebrity vs. Dignitary, National vs. International etc.)
- Level of Risk/Danger
- Political Climate
- Amount of Travel Required
- Locale & Circumstances of the Detail
- Range of Duties for the Position
Bodyguards have varying levels and types of experience. For example: I know of a bodyguard earning six figures. The job locale is the Middle East–Saudi Arabia. This individual speaks fluent Arabic, and has a keen insight into the cultural and religious morals and societal rules of the region. This bodyguard served 8 years in the United States Marine Corps, and so an expert with weapons and highly skilled in martial arts. The ability to speak other languages meant this particular EPS served as an interpreter when the client traveled. Lastly, this bodyguard was a female. Those are extremely valuable skills, plus, the fact that there are so few females with this skill set all add up to a very high paycheck.
Former Secret Service agents acquire some of the finest training in the world–and garner the most extensive on-the-job experience. In the private sector, these individuals can demand the highest fees. Someone with extensive security experience, but virtually no close-personal protection experience will be earning significantly less, and the contracts are negotiated based on the factors mentioned above. Pay may range from $350 per day to $700 a day. Every contract is different. Many bodyguards earn in excess of $70,000 annually. Sometimes an inexperienced but well trained individual will be given a valuable opportunity to gain experience working in association with other bodyguards on an assignment such as a red carpet detail. Sometimes, newer bodyguards are called upon to provide an authoritative presence to act as a deterrent. The pay scale for a beginner is going to be lower, but remember, you are building a resume and contacts.
Right now, being a paramedic is extremely attractive to individuals seeking bodyguards, and this skill set means the potential is there to reap some high paying assignments, even with limited EPS experience. This demand means some companies are even willing to train paramedics in the PSD/EP skills needed to supplement their valuable medical training, which in turn will pay a higher bodyguard salary.
Remember, virtually any bodyguard employment in the private sector boils down to self-promotion. You can have the foremost training and experience, but you must also be ingenious at marketing your skills. Get to know other professionals to build a network. An associate of mine (who is currently working as a bodyguard to a high-profile performer) has superlative skills when it comes to creating an awareness of who he is and what he does. He has a presence on the world wide web and a network of friends on both the bodyguard and the client sides of the business. Develop contacts, keep your eyes and ears open to opportunities, and develop the confidence necessary to successfully market yourself. These are all key to opening the doors that may seem locked.
Founder of Bodyguard Careers
Harlan (Hucky) Austin