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How to Get into the Executive-Protection Business

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Someone with an ax to grind can pose a threat to corporate executives. Such real-world dangers provide opportunities for trained, motivated protection specialists -- professionals formerly known as bodyguards. Worldwide, the security industry is a trillion-dollar enterprise. If you can make the cut, there's always work in executive protection.

Training

Most enter the executive protection trade by getting training at an executive protection training academy. These usually are intensive courses that demand a high level of fitness and attention to detail. Courses provide training in several types of firearms and hand-to-hand fighting techniques, but they also emphasize preparation, surveillance, risk assessment and de-escalation techniques. Seek a reputable school that does not just train and pass everyone. A protection specialist's job is to be the difference between a safe client and bodily harm.

Non-school Routes to a Career

Many executive protection specialists are former military police officers or veterans of combat or security roles in the military. Many others are former uniformed police department veterans who traded their badges for a private career. Still others are former Secret Service agents. The main thing executives seek in a protector is the ability to prevent trouble and to overcome it and keep the client safe when prevention doesn't work.

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Start Modestly

The first job for those entering executive protection is often a nonprotection job in a protection services agency. Many companies that supply protection specialists have other security departments, such as uniformed guards and armed bank guards. These divisions are powerful steppingstones for those who aspire to full-time executive protection work. If a company feels you lack protection experience, a job as an executive assistant is a traditional way to learn about a company and its executives while you hone your skills in advanced training classes.

Guard Your Reputation

Breaking into full-time executive protection work is all about your reputation. Executives, high-profile or not, literally trust you with their lives every day. And their trust depends on believing you can help them live their lives and conduct their business without having to worry about being attacked or harassed. Build your reputation as you gain experience and continue your training in security work, and doors will open in your chosen field.

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