AVERAGE YEARLY SALARY: $55,000
WOW FACTOR: 9
PARENTAL PRIDE QUOTIENT: 7
DANGER INDEX: 8
IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?
If after this past decade of scandals, steroids, and sex tapes, you’re among the minority of Americans who still hold our hypocritical politicians, shameless star athletes, and exhibitionist celebutards in high regard, a job as a “close protection officer” (as it’s known to insiders) could be right up your alley.
And if you’ve long been itching to dole out a beat-down to those camera-toting douchebags from TMZ -- well, that’s bonus.
The Latin word “bodyguard” means literally “one who shoves.” Simply put, your job is to protect your client from harm, through a combination of threat assessment analysis, crowd control protocols, and when necessary, actual hand-to-hand combat. And if your client is an athlete, recording artist, or movie star, it’s understood that you will also buy them drugs.
WHAT TRAINING DO I NEED?
When you boil it down, a bodyguard is really just a bouncer without the earring and the clipboard. Both positions require a poker face, an eagle eye for shady behavior, and some martial arts training, if only for show. But bodyguards must also be adept at coming up with cool covert nicknames for their clients, like “Joker” or “Falcon.” Don’t worry. A couple viewings of “Top Gun” will get you in the right mindset.
Currently, there are a few colleges and universities in the U.S. that offer courses in the bodyguard sciences. Spoiler alert: Harvard is not one of them.
HOW DO I GET THE JOB?
More than perhaps any other occupation, being a bodyguard is a position of trust, so most jobs are gotten through referral. Case in point: Mr. T got his job protecting Joe Frazier in the 1970s through their mutual friend, Joel Grey.
Experienced bodyguards who work for high-profile personalities can make 180 grand a year, and often a lot more. Working that closely with the rich and famous can be glamorous, and it’s not unheard of for bodyguards to wind up in romantic relationships with the people they’re protecting. I saw a movie about that once.
When you sign up to be a bodyguard, you’re making a vow to protect your client at all costs, even if it means putting your life on the line. And as noble as that sounds, when you’re bleeding out from a bullet meant for Khloe Kardashian, there’s gotta be some second-guessing going on.