Man I don’t want to go back to my full-time job at google on Monday
What are WEEKEND TACTICAL JOBS?
I know what you are probably thinking right now, “don’t you have to be former Secret Service, Police or Special Forces to work as a bodyguard?” That may have been true 20 years ago but now just about anyone with the right training and licensing can find some part-time pick-up work in EP (EP = Executive Protection).
In fact - the majority of all EP work (in the US) is part-time, not many guys work full-time in EP and the few that do are on high profile jobs working for people like Bill Gates or Snoop Dog or they get on with one of the big EP firms.
But for the motivated guys who are willing to spend a few bucks, take a few courses and get licensed can generally find pick-up EP work or even a regular part-time EP job.
I worked part-time EP gigs for over 3 years (wile I was working an office gig during the dot-com boom), it even eventually lead to a full time EP job where I traveled all across the US for a year (after the dot-com bust and my stock portfolio was raped).
What Type of Training Do You Need for EP work?
Many states require some sort of license to work as an Executive Protection Agent, this may be an actual EP license, a PI (private investigator) license or just a security guard license. Some states do not require any license or training at all. But you can count on having to take some sort of firearms training if you want to work armed.
Check with your state to see what the licensing requirement are, the best wayto find out is by calling a local security company and asking them.
TRAINING If you live in a state that requires a license for Executive Protection Agents then you will probably have to take some sort of mandatory training to receive a license. Depending on the state this can be as little as a four hour class or over a month of evening classes.
ADDITIONAL TRAINING If you are in a state that doesn’t require specialized EP training then you will need to take an EP course nonetheless. You have the option of online training, attending a seminar locally or taking licensing course in a neighboring state that requires EP training.
Its up to you witch route you go in your EP training but eventually taking a ‘live’ EP course should be your goal. You can learn allot by taking an online EP course but acquiring EP muscle memory can only be learned by practicing with a team.
Even after taking your required licensing class or entry level EP training you still need to add a few things to your ‘EP skills toolbox’ to increase your chances of employment. Attending a Red Cross Basic first aid and CPR course should be the very next class you take, make sure this is a class where you will receive your Basic first aid and CPR card.
You need to learn CPR in case your liquor flask has a heart attack
After you start getting some work you should recycle your EP job cash into more classes like advanced firearms training, tactical emergency medicine and tactical driving. Additional training will increase your chances of getting more EP work. Plus, they are hot-shit fun classes to take, especially tactical driving.
A NOTE ON FIREARMS If you want to work in armed EP work (believe it or not, a huge amount of EP work is unarmed) you will need to acquire a concealed carry weapon permit (CCW). And even if you are not carrying a firearm you will still need a CCW if you conceal collapsible batons, knives or even in some cases pepper spray. Generally speaking you should get a CCW no matter what, plus it will be another thing to put on your EP job app.
Depending on the state you live in CCW requirements can be as easy as just buying a shoulder holster (Alaska) to completely impossible (like Hawaii). If you live in a Shall-Issue state you will probably have to show proof of some sort of firearms training. If you live in a May-Issue state you will have to go through the security company you work for to get a CCW.
Here is some info on the requirements for being issued a CCW in the US: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concealed_carry_in_the_United_States
If you wish to be an EP driver you may have to have a limo license or CDL.
WHERE TO FIND PART-TIME EP WORK
First of all you will need to write an EP resume for yourself, take your current resume and add your newly acquired EP related training (place it above your non-EP education). Because you don’t have any EP experience at this point cut the employment history job summaries in half (recruiters will only scan over your past jobs if you don’t have past EP experience).
If you are former military or have been employed in any related vocations expand those areas. In your cover letter make it clear that you are looking for part-time work and you are serious about starting a part-time career in EP.
For those of you who live in a medium to large city finding part-time EP work is just a matter of dropping off your resume to all of the security companies in your area and waiting for a call. Companies that offer EP services will be listed under “security services” or "security guard services” in the yellow pages.
If you live in a small town your chances of finding paid part-time EP work is unlikely, but you may be able to find some unpaid part-time EP work (see below).
But no matter where you live the first EP work you get will be sporadic at best, after you have shown yourself to be competent, responsible and reliable (that is the most important employee 'skill' for most security companies) the gigs will come more steadily.
UNPAID PART-TIME EP WORK
After you are licensed and trained-up one of the options for gaining some experience is to find somewhere you can volunteer as an Executive Protection Agent.
I know several guys that started out in EP by going to a local battered women’s shelter and volunteering to protect battered women from their piece of shit abusive husbands and boyfriends.
This will consist of escorting battered women when they return to there homes to pick up their belongings, providing residential EP (sitting in your car in-front of a house) and ‘real’ EP work escorting them around town.
Not only is this a great way to gain some experience, you will be helping someone out. Look in the yellow pages under “women’s shelters” and check with your local churches. You may need to get bonded to do this type of volunteering, also make sure that you will come under the shelters liability insurance.
CLOTHING The first thing you will need is a decent dark navy blue suit, make sure the jacket is roomy enough to conceal a weapon. You will want to get one in summer weight even if you live somewhere cold.
If you are working outdoors you can just wear a jacket if it is cold out, but when you are running around with someone in a heated building 10 minutes later you will sweat your ass off in a wool suit (I learned this the hard way).
For the lower profile jobs just pick out something you already own that will make you blend in and run an iron over it. Avoid wearing flashy ‘hip’ clothing, Glock t-shirts and jewelry (including your wedding ring).
great for EP and strippin'
When you wear a suit, wear a comfortable pair of leather shoes - I wore orthopedic kicks. For low-profile dress assignments just wear whatever shoes you normally wear but give them a scrub with Woolite and a damp washcloth. Do not wear cowboy boots or slip-on shoes.
HOLSTER If your are working a standing or walking EP gig a strong side belt holster is your best choice. I recommend leather holsters because they become more comfortable the longer you use them. I also suggest that you have a thumb-break or some sort of manually operated retention on whatever holster you choose.
This isn’t a SWAT team job so the chances of you “quick drawing” are far less than your gun falling out wile sitting in your car or someone trying to snag it.
For residential EP, EP driver or any other EP work where you are sitting down 99% of the time you should pick up a cross-draw belt holster or shoulder holster. Again I suggest that you buy a leather holster, especially if you’re choose a shoulder holster.
On the subject of EP firearms and firearm selection in general I could write a 184 part article so I will keep it simple for you.
Use the handgun that you like and are most proficient with.
Also please don’t carry 4 guns, twelve mags and 9 knives - you will scare your client and give EP a bad name.
OTHER WEAPONS I have used ASP batons, stun guns, pepper spray, knives and even a baseball bat when doing un-firearmed EP (yes, I made up the word “un-firearmed”). The ASP baton is probably my favorite non-firearm weapon for EP work. If you decide to use any of the above make sure to get certified and keep your CCW on you.
OTHER Carry a mini-flashlight, 2 good ‘click’ open pens, notepad, 100 bucks in cash (small bills), a business card from the company you work for (with a 24-7 contact number), cell phone, 2-way radio (if you work in a team), folding knife, energy bar, capri-sun (if you have the room) and a pair of sunglasses.
Some guys who work residential EP, EP driver or lo-profile (casual clothing) gigs carry a man-bag. If you use one get it in black and not coyote brown, tan or cammo.
NON-WEAPON, WEAPONS Back when I started in EP they didn’t have things like tactical flashlights with impact heads or metal pens like the surefire EP-01. Now EP guys stateside are now using these tools in places where they are not allowed to carry traditional weapons.
CREDENTIALS If you are working in a state that issues EP or security licenses you will already have a state picture ID. But many guys also carry an EP police style badge, I had a badge that I carried on a belt clip holder (in my pocket, not on my belt). These are great for identifying yourself quickly and a must-have if you are working with a firearm, be professional at all times with your EP badge.
This does not make you a cop, it is just an ID
If you do buy an EP badge do not carry it in a badge wallet so you can flash it every time you pay for a Big Mac. Only show it when identifying yourself.
BUSINESS CARDS Have a stack of business cards made up for yourself with a skype number and an email address.
Besides having a cool part-time job working as an Executive Protection Agent this line of work has many fringe benefits that you wouldn’t have in a ‘normal’ job.
FREE GEAR (SORT OF) If you are employed as an Executive Protection Agent any gear (including firearms) and tactical training classes that you take are tax-deductible expenses. Don’t attempt to figure this out yourself, save your receipts and hire an accountant. I used an accountant that specialized in doing returns for cops.
CCW IN MAY-ISSUE STATES When I was working in EP I had CCW’s for notoriously hard to get CCW states like Delaware and New Jersey (it was pretty much impossible to get a CCW in New Jersey then). I know guys now that have been sworn in as special police in Washington DC so they can legally carry a handgun there.
I also had PI and Armed Security licenses in 18 states, and the best part was - I didn’t pay for shit, the companies I worked for paid for everything.
This is pretty much only way your wallet will ever see a CCW in most May-Issue states without any hassle or massive personal expense. If a security company you work for has a lawyer put in the paperwork along with the company vouching for your need to carry a concealed firearm as a job requirement you can almost count on getting issued one.
WHAT THIS PART TIME TACTICAL JOB IS NOT
Unlike Executive Protection Agents in the movies and on TV you wont be protecting big time movie stars or jumping over cars with your piece drawn yelling "freeze you jive-turkey!" The majority of EP work is just walking around, sitting around and sometimes flying around.
That’s not to say EP is uneventful or you won’t ever see any action, it is probably one of the most interesting and challenging jobs you will ever have.
Just don’t expect to get in shoot-outs with Russian gangsters or bang rock star groupies in green rooms.
CAN I GO FULL TIME IN EP WORK?
If I wrote “yes” on one side of a coin and “no” on the other, then flipped the coin in the air, whatever side it landed on would be your answer.
Finding full time EP work is pretty much luck and networking, most of the few full-time EP gigs go to guys with high-speed backgrounds, years of experience or who are in the loop. The full-time EP job market is not unlike the “bubbas club” in civilian contractor circles.
But I do know a few guys besides myself that have gone from part-time EP to full-time gigs so it is not impossible. I even know one guy that didn’t have a military or police background that went from part-time EP work in the states to a high speed PSD gig in the Middle East.
So keep adding training to your EP skill-box and keep in touch with everyone you work with (be a nice guy, because people do favors for people they like in EP) and maybe you can change careers.
If not - no sweat off of your back, you will still have an bad-ass part-time gig that will get your mind off of your weekday TPS report writing.
EP is a great option for guys who live in a decent sized city that could even lead to a new high-speed career. But even if you don’t go full-time, EP makes for an interesting and cool part-time job for high speed guys stuck in a low-speed job that they can’t quit.
Authors Note: If there are any active stateside EP guys reading this please chime in with your suggestions for guys looking to break into part-time EP work.
I not a lawyer or accountant, so check your local laws before doing anything in the above article. Read our Disclaimer here (ha-ha, now you cant sue me)
~James G Founder - Editor in Chief
James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns and writing poorly written articles.