Personal Protection Specialists

What Personal Protection Specialists Do

Personal Protection Specialists (also known as Executive Protection or ‘bodyguards’) provide close personal protection from body harm to their clients.  This can entail any security measures taken to ensure the safety of clients or other individuals who may be exposed to elevated personal risk because of their employment, business dealings, notoriety, economic status, associations or geographical location.  Personal Protection is its own highly specialized field within the private security industry. Executive Protection professionals in Virginia require specialized certified training in executive protection, driving, first aid, and marksmanship though a 60 hour course including “real-world” practical exercises (and require additional advanced firearms training if the agent is to be armed while on duty).

Work Environment

Personal Protection Specialists work in a number of environments, depending on the client and location in which they are working.  Much time is spent in preparation for your client’s upcoming meetings, events, and activities where his/her personal security may be at risk. On other occasions an agent may be escorting a client, on foot or by motorcade, through an area where his/her safety may be in jeopardy.  This is usually with a team of agents, but on rare occasions the client’s well-being may be the responsibility of one or two agents.

How to Become a Personal Protection Specialist

Personal Protection Specialists in Virginia are required to be registered with the Department of Criminal Justice Services.  In order to become a registered Personal Protection Specialist in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a person must be 18 years of age, complete the required 60 certified course (32E), and be a citizen or legal resident alien.  To be able to carry a firearm as a PPS Agent a person must also complete the required entry level (07E) and advanced firearms (09E) courses.


The rates associated with this type of work vary widely, depending upon many factors to include prior experience, skills and training, client profile, level of risk/danger, political climate, amount of travel required, locale and circumstances of the detail, and range of duties for the position.  Pay may range from $350 per day to $700 a day. Every contract is different.  Many agents earn in excess of $80,000 annually.


Job Outlook

As a Personal Protection Specialist, you have a Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services registration which means you can work for any licensed private security business that has personal protection classification.  The demand for executive protection agents has continued to rise, both domestically and internationally, for the last several years and it has been predicted that this will continue for many years to come.

Similar Occupations

Some other occupations that are similar to Personal Protection Specialists are Private Investigators that perform investigations on a multitude of reason for their clients, Bail Enforcement Agents that locate, arrest and turn over custody of wanted fugitives, and Armed Security Officers who safeguard and protect the lives and property of others.


Call us at 757.673.4704 or see our website, if you would like more information or you would like to register for class to become a Personal Protection Specialist.