Southern California provides much of the country's positions for VIP/celebrity bodyguards because of the concentration of VIPs in the area. Plenty opportunities abound for executive protection specialists. Another term for this type of work is "close protection agent" or "close protection officer". Pay is considerably higher (as well as the skill requirements) than for the round-the-block nightclub bodyguard. These are the recommended steps in working professionally and legally as a bodyguard in California. Some are optional but highly recommended.
1. Get the California Guard Card
To legally work as a bodyguard in California, at minimum you need to register as a California security guard. You will need a guard card and are required to obtain the 40-hours of training, as required by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services. These are the same courses to meet the requirements of the California security guard. This training is provided by GuardCard.net.
2. Get the California Security Exposed Firearms Permit
This permit from BSIS is optional, as not all bodyguards are armed, but it is highly recommended for this line of work. It shows your prospective employer that you regard your occupation as a bodyguard in a professional manner by possessing a credential that is vital in some situations.
You will need to take a 14-hour BSIS-approved firearms course and qualify with a weapon. GuardCard.net provides this training.
3. Get the Certification in First Aid and CPR
This is an often overlooked area of knowledge but is important. #1 - As a bodyguard responsible for protecting and ensuring the lives and safety of clients, knowing first aid and and CPR is crucial; the fact is, you may be called upon to save a life with this skillset. #2 - In a competitive marketplace in the occupation of bodyguard, this shows your prospective employer or client that you have special expertise of benefit to them, and this will give you an edge in obtaining your contract or employment. One day investment in time for training is all you need.
The most recognized providers of this training are the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association.
4. Unarmed Fighting Skills
Gaining proficiency in a martial arts is highly recommended. We do not endorse one particular style, as the effectiveness depends on the individual. Unarmed combat skills are required for the job of bodyguard.
5. Get the Guard Permit for OC Pepper Spray
Non-lethal options are necessary in escalation of force scenarios.
GuardCard.net provides this training.
6. Tactical Firearms Training
GuardCard.net will provide advice on how to effectively improve one's skillset in this area. Close quarters combat (CQC), gun-knife-unarmed fighting interaction, firearms retention and take-away techniques should also be included. Be sure to ask during your yearly qualifications.
7. Concealed Firearms Permit
The optimal scenario is to obtain a California CCW gun permit. However, it is difficult to obtain. In the case of executive protection specialists and VIP bodyguards who travel often, a multi-state, non-resident CCW is highly recommended and is more easily attainable.
GuardCard.net has instructors who are certified to provide training for multi-state, non-resident CCW permits.