Bodyguard services, also referred to as personal protection services, are available on a one-time or recurring basis, depending on your needs. Bodyguard services are available for personal physical protection, for situations where corporate or commercial security is required, and for events and other gatherings that require professional protection. Bodyguard services can be for one person or a group of people. A security company can provide everything from a protective presence during an event to transportation, location security, and operational logistics as necessary.
Who needs a bodyguard?
Clients who hire bodyguards are typically people who aren’t feeling safe or are planning for the possibility of an unsafe event, explains Jay Abiona of Credible Security Solutions in Houston, Texas. Requests may be for personal or commercial protection, such as an employer who has to lay off workers and anticipates challenges. Abiona of Credible Security Solutions explains that when when large-scale layoffs took place in the oil and gas industry in Houston a few years ago, the owner of one company wanted a personal protection office onsite in the case of anger or retaliation by any laid-off workers. Personal bodyguard requests may be to provide protection during an event such as a wedding, to provide ongoing security for someone who is feeling threatened, or to protect a client’s valuable assets such as jewelry.
Bodyguards or personal protection officers provide a different service than security guards. Security guards wear a uniform and provide a visual presence to maintain peace and deter crime during events or on properties such as businesses, apartments, and parking lots. Bodyguards, on the other hand, don’t wear a uniform. They are typically dressed in a suit and are "covert," meaning they are not wearing a visible earpiece or displaying a shield or badge. A security guard service generally is less expensive than a bodyguard service, and is a better choice for someone who just needs a physical presence to maintain safety and order at a location; a bodyguard is a better choice for someone who needs protection from an actual or potential threat.
Some areas that bodyguards may excel in include evasive driving, close-quarters protection, weapons training, first aid, surveillance and crowd control. All these skills are critical, but Abiona of Credible Security Solutions explains that the critical work of bodyguards is prevention and planning. Personal protection work "consists mainly of planning routes, pre-searching rooms and buildings where the client — also known as the principal — will be visiting, searching vehicles which will transport the principal, conducting background checks on people that will have contact with the principal, and attentively escorting him/her during their daily activities," Abiona explains.
Rates for services
Each job will have a different rate, so it’s important to clearly explain to the company what you are looking for prior to receiving a quote, explains Abiona of Credible Security Solutions. The perceived threat, duration of the contract, and requirements of the job all impact cost. Here are some examples of questions Abiona of Credible Security Solutions might ask:
Threat level of situation
Number of personal protection officers needed
Duration of contract: ongoing protection or a one-time service
- Location and/or geographic region where protection is required
Here are some examples of hourly rates for commercial and private clients from Credible Security Solutions:
Fortune 100 resort in downtown Houston providing security for NFL affiliates staying there during Super Bowl weekend.
100 billable hours at $150 per hour = $15,000 from Credible Security Solutions.
- Two bodyguards onsite, 24 hours per day for duration of event ($150 per hour, per bodyguard).
Individual needed a bodyguard for one day to protect her at a family funeral where she feared that high emotions could result in a threat.
- 8 billable hours at $75 per hour = $600.
"If you’re looking to protect someone or something that is valuable, you need to research who will be providing the protection," says Abiona of Credible Security Solutions. When requesting a quote, confirm that the bodyguards are trained in your areas of need; that they have completed background checks, drug tests and psychological profiles; and that they are licensed within your state.
Once the company provides you a rate, ask what percentage of it is paid to the personal protection officer, recommends Abiona. "If the company is charging you $50 per hour, and the officer only gets $10 of that, what type of officer are you getting?" Abiona asks. As an example, Credible Security Solutions pays 62 to 66 percent of the hourly rate to the officer. For a job billed at $75 per hour, the officer would receive $49 per hour. The remainder goes toward insurance, workers’ compensation, payroll and other business overhead.