The national average cost for bodyguard protection is $20 to 30 per hour. However, a bodyguard can cost anywhere from $75 per hour for one guard at a one-day private event to $150 per hour for executive protection that may require bodyguards on-site 24/7.
We all love to go about our lives feeling free from danger, but occasionally situations arise that make this impossible. Worrying about your personal security, or that of your loved ones, can be a terrible strain. Set your worries aside, and find out more about professional protection. Let’s look at what bodyguards do and how to choose the right service to ensure your safety and your peace of mind.
What’s in this cost guide?
What do bodyguards do?
Bodyguard services, also referred to as personal protection services, are available for personal security and physical protection, for executive protection for situations where corporate or commercial security is required, and for events and other gatherings that require professional protection. You can hire a bodyguard on a one-time or recurring basis, depending on your needs. 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.
Bodyguard hourly rates
Here are some examples of hourly rates for commercial and private clients from Credible Security Solutions:
- Commercial client: Fortune 100 resort in downtown Houston provided security for NFL affiliates staying there during Super Bowl weekend.
- Cost: 100 billable hours at $150 per hour = $15,000
- Staffing: Two bodyguards onsite 24/7 for duration of event ($150 per hour, per bodyguard)
- Private client: 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.
- Cost: 8 billable hours at $75 per hour = $600
Bodyguard cost factors
Different protection jobs will have different rates, so it’s important to clearly explain to the company what you are looking for when requesting a quote, says Jay Abiona of Credible Security Solutions in Houston, Texas. Factors that affect the cost of a job include:
- The perceived threat level of the situation: Risks can range from an emotionally touchy situation, such as family conflict or corporate layoffs, to known threats of violence.
- The number of personal protection officers needed: Costs go up with more guards in place.
- Duration of contract: You may need ongoing protection or a one-time service.
- Location and/or geographic region: Costs can vary depending on where protection is required.
Security guard vs. bodyguard
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. They may offer event security for a day or evening, rather than round-the-clock surveillance. Bodyguards 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.
Specialized security services
Bodyguards may provide specialized services such as evasive driving, close-quarters protection, weapons training for clients who may need an armed guard, 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.
Questions to ask when hiring a bodyguard
“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, ask about these requirements:
- Training in your areas of need: Ask whether the bodyguards have weapons training, surveillance experience, evasive driving skills, or other abilities that fit your situation. More rigorous training may mean a higher cost.
- Complete background checks, drug tests, and psychological profiles: Find out what screening your security service does, and ask about specific areas of concern.
- Licensure within your state: Make sure your bodyguard meets any applicable state requirements.
How much do bodyguards make?
Once the company provides you with 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. For example, Credible Security Solutions pays 62 percent 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.