Bodyguard vs Security Guard: What Is The Difference?

Written by Holly Savage

30th March 2021

Bodyguards and security guards are often viewed as being similar because they both provide security protection services and sometimes their job obligations overlap. But there are actually many differences between the two such as their main roles.

So, bodyguard vs security guard – what are their differences? We’ll be discussing this and more, such as what a bodyguard does all day, who can hire a bodyguard, and how much bodyguards get paid in the UK.

What Is A Bodyguard?

Before we begin uncovering the differences between security personnel and close protection officers, let’s first discuss what a bodyguard is.

A bodyguard, who is also referred to as a close protection officer, is someone who is allocated the job of ensuring one specific individual remains safe and secure, despite the fact that there might be a few people appointed to their care. The main duty of a bodyguard will be to protect clients from different threats that they may face such as stalkers, political opponents, terrorism, or over-enthusiastic fans.

What Does A Bodyguard Do?

As we mentioned above, the main duty of a bodyguard will be to ensure the protection of their client, but they will also have many other tasks and responsibilities. Some of the most common bodyguard duties are:


  • Driving clients to and from venues.
  • Identify any suspicious behaviour or unauthorised people.
  • Stop any threats of harm from hurting their client.
  • Attending social and business events with their clients.
  • Check out venues or events before their client arrives.
  • Being constantly vigilant.
  • Scanning all areas for potential danger.
  • Making sure that no unruly people get too close to their client.
Security vs bodyguard

Who Require A Bodyguard?

There are many different people who may require bodyguard security services. Some of these people are:


  • Celebrities.
  • Government officials.
  • Wealthy individuals.
  • Individuals who have been threatened in some way.
  • Anybody renowned.
  • Politicians.

Can Anyone Hire A Bodyguard?

Although it’s mostly the rich and famous who hire bodyguards it is possible for anyone to hire a bodyguard to protect them. And bodyguards can be hired for temporary, part-time, or full-time protection.

Can A Woman Be A Bodyguard?

Yes, women can be bodyguards, however, the security industry is still quite male dominated. According to Government statistics, at the moment there are 14,399 close protection officers in the UK but only 985 of these are female.

difference between bodyguard and security guard

What Do You Call The Person A Bodyguard Protects?

A common question asked about bodyguard security is what do you call the person that a bodyguard is protecting? And well, a bodyguard will typically refer to this person as a client or the principal.

How Much Do Bodyguards Make?

According to National Careers, the average salary for an entry-level UK bodyguard is currently £17,000 per year. While more experienced positions can earn up to £50,000 per year.

Can A Bodyguard Touch You?

Like security guards, a bodyguard won’t be able to touch you without consent being given. However, bodyguards may be allowed to restrain or detain someone if they believe they are causing harm to their client.

personal security bodyguard

Bodyguard Vs Security Guard – What Is The Difference?

So, we have discussed what a bodyguard is and what they do, but how are they really different to security guards? We’ve listed some of the main differences between the two.


Bodyguard Vs Security Guard: What They Protect

The first major difference between close protection officers and security guards will be what they protect. As we mentioned above, a bodyguard’s main focus will be providing protection for their individual client or clients.

While security guards definitely do protect people, this isn’t the core of their job. And instead, security guards will mainly be hired by a business to protect a site or building.

For example, construction security is a very common area that security guards can be found working in. Security guards who work on construction sites would be tasked with ensuring the safety and security of all those who are also within their area of patrol. They will also be responsible for ensuring equipment, tools, and materials on the site remain where they should be, spotting and reporting any kinds of active vandalism.


Bodyguard Vs Security Guard: What They Carry

Both bodyguards and security officers will carry security equipment to help them with their daily tasks. Some of the equipment they carry will be the same, such as communication tools like walkie-talkies.

However, security guards will typically carry normal objects that will help them such as a torch, notepads, and security duty belts. While bodyguards tend to work in more dangerous environments so they will often carry security protective equipment like body armour.

In the UK, both security guards and bodyguards won’t be allowed to carry armed security equipment or weapons due to the UK’s strict laws on firearms.

security guard vs bodyguard

Bodyguard Vs Security Guard: Their Security Licences

To become both a bodyguard and a security officer in the UK it is essential that you have a security licence that is approved by the SIA, but these licences will differ. Bodyguards will need an SIA close protection licence, while security officers will require an SIA security guard licence.


Bodyguards Vs Security Guards: Media Portrayal

Finally, the last main difference between security officers and bodyguards is the way that they are portrayed by the media. Most people know the general gist of a bodyguard in its more glamourised form. A personal bodyguard is a person who may come face to face with those willing to deal harm to an individual, whilst this is definitely a threat, it isn’t nearly as common as it is made out to be.

On the other hand, security guards typically won’t see much in the way of danger. Instead, security guards are encouraged to spot the crime and either handle it themselves or contact local authorities, such as the police, to deal with the situation.

Are Bodyguards And Security Guards The Same?

Although both bodyguards and security guards both work in security, it is safe to stay that they aren’t the same as they have many differences. Bodyguards will often work closely with their clients, and they may drive them to different social events. While security officers will protect people, their main focus will be providing protection to a business that has hired them, and instead, security personnel will mainly protect buildings.

bodyguard v security guard

So, Security Guard Vs Bodyguard

Overall, the main difference between a security guard and a bodyguard will be what or who they are protecting. Bodyguards will be responsible for the safety of one or more individuals, whereas a security guard is more likely to be responsible for the safety of one or more premises.

If you would like to stay up to date with the latest security guard news, why not check out our blog? Where you can find articles about how to become a security guard and the different types of equipment that security guards use.

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