Executive Protection Training – Tuition Costs

Executive Protection Training, Tuition Costs Do Not Tell The Whole Story.

Matt Parker

executive protection training Brand name or generic?  Well for most of us if the medicine is the same we go with the generic. Why pay more if we don’t have too right? So does this thinking extend to the executive protection training market?  To get that answer I spoke with hiring managers, graduates, and owners of different EP schools. In our comparison of different programs, we only looked at those with similar curriculums and we focused on their tuition rates & target audience. The answers were a bit surprisingexecutive protection training

 One school owner told me his tuition was over two thousand dollars for a five-day training course because “it keeps out the riffraff” Only a dedicated student would pay that kind of money so he believes his students are going to be better than say a five hundred dollar student.

 Another owner told me he “doesn’t want to cheapen his brand” This owner would rather have five students at three thousand dollars each instead of twenty students at seven hundred dollars apiece.  The reasoning goes the more expensive the course and harder to attend, the more students will want to attend and come up with the money.

 Two schools with similar training programs and marketing plans, “if it’s expensive they will come” But two other companies that offer training were polar opposites, they had a five-day program for $500.00, but the hotel kicked them back a few dollars for each student and they were ”compted” the conference room.  Their philosophy was more fast food than five stars, fill seats, get the cash, and send them on their way with a certificate.

 Well, to be honest, I’m more of a Walmart shopper than Macy’s so I don’t understand the whole pay more for something because it’s a “brand name”.  As a kid, I found ten-dollar jeans can last just as long as Fifty dollar jeans but with that said clothing from the dollar store was never a consideration. At some point, the quality does seriously drop off, but when looking at a training program so where is that line?    

If you’re new to the EP field and just starting out you can’t afford the $50.00 jeans, you need to think strategically and use resources wisely so our advice is as follows;

  1.  Look at the different curriculums; start with the length of the course. Three days is not a training course, it’s a seminar, an introduction, a basic overview. If you see the word comprehensive or “most complete” associated with a three-day class walk away.
  2.  Is the curriculum endorsed, accredited, or approved by an official agency or association, is it based on current doctrine, look at the syllabus, is the course focused on EP training, or do they mix in a lot of fluff like how to swim.  Now we’re talking about a dedicated EP course as opposed to an introduction to EP.  There are some good intro programs with no accreditations, so look for the type of program that is financially and professionally better for you. If you need a license to work EP, attend a program that helps gets you the license.
  3.  Speaking of fluff, look at the material they cover, if you don’t see threat assessments or threat intelligence forget it, walk away. Introduction or not, you can’t do anything that resembles executive protection without knowing how to prepare and use a threat assessment. Everything we do involves the threat assessment, everything. So even if you’re considering just an into or buffet style course with a little bit of this and that, unless threat assessments are covered you’re missing a key component in EP work.
  4.  Does the course involve driving or shooting? Weapons and driver training are best done as a stand-alone course with a dedicated SME or instructor. Medical training falls under this rule as well. If you’re attending EP training, you should be getting EP training, shiny objects like a day in a shoot house isn’t EP-focused training, so don’t be fooled into thinking it is.   Regardless, if there isn’t a firearm safety class requirement before you get on the range, or if you don’t need a driver’s license for the driver’s training run, not walk away. The safety of the students is obviously second to the profit margin.
  5. What does your state require to perform EP work? Does the course you’re considering cover that material and is the program approved by the state? Why are you going to spend money on training that won’t help you with your credentials?
  •   Note: For states with no training or licensing requirements, ask your insurance company and attorney what they recommend to best protect you if deposed in a lawsuit. Ask the hiring managers what they are specifically looking for and then find a curriculum that meets those requirements.  Or just attend a course that is officially accredited and approved by another state. Why?,  Because if you’re going to work in a non-regulated environment like say Iowa, you’re better protected if something should go wrong since your credentials have at least been approved by another state. This could lower your liability as well as help you stand above your peers.   

Questions to ask

How long is the course?

First, we need a quantifiable measurement of how many contact/credit hours the training is. Because you start at 8 am (0800) and depart class at 5 pm (1700) doesn’t mean you were in class for nine hours.  

Credit hours for academic purposes:  Accredited programs use the Carnegie clock-to-credit-hour conversion chart.

Lecture Hours: Instructional hours consisting of theory or new principles.

  1. An hour of classroom training is 50 minutes of study
  2. 15 hours of classroom study is one credit/semester hour

Exercise/Laboratory Hours: Instructional hours consisting of supervised student practice of a previously introduced theory/principle during which practical skills and knowledge are developed and reinforced.

  1. 30 hours per one credit/semester hour.

Using this math a 60-hour course with 10 hours of supervised practice and 50 hours of classroom study would be 3.6 credit/semester hours.

What should it cost?

Well, we start with tuition rates for vocational or non-degree seeking students who are generally not eligible for financial aid through federal or private loans.

Retail Price: The department of education after calculating the average cost per credit hour for colleges across every sector finds the typical cost of a college credit hour comes out to $594.46.

Wholesale: According to the American Association of Community Colleges tuition for state residents typically costs $250 or more per credit unit/hour.

So your 3.6 semester hour course would be;

Retail $ 2,140.56

Wholesale $ 900.00

 Now you need to add in fees for things like lodging if included in the price, so if the hotel is charging a reduced room rate of $80.00 a night with double beds that’s $40.00 per student x 6 nights = $240.00 lodging

Instructional expenses, (Not even close)

  1. Study guides (paper, ink) about $60.00 for a class of say 18 students, $3.30 each
  2. Swag, t-shirts, lapel pins, pens, mugs, notebooks, let’s add this together to about $30.00 per student
  3. Rental vehicles, SUV (Suburban) x3 at $200.00 + $600.00 a day for 2 days =$1200.00 a class or $67.00 a student
  4. Fuel x 3 SUVs x 10 gal x $3.00 a gal = 30 gal at $90.00 = $5 a student
  5. 10% ish profit margin $124-$246

The total cost to you the student

Retail $2732.00

Wholesale $ 1370.00


Financial aid: GI Bill or Vocational training may pay 100%

 But knowing they will make more money off you by extending the class out to more semester hours you may see another 30+ hours of fluff not related to EP work. Classes on topics like swimming, “combat medicine”, “tactical pistol” shooting, or reacting to an ambush of a motorcade. That high threat training for overseas and just plain fluff you will never use here in the states is costing you money.

So before you sign your GI Bill away look at the curriculum and see if the training is applicable to what you want to be doing. And if not, look at smaller more specialized courses that are directly applicable to EP work here in the US.  

Our Tuition Rates

BTW, the 2021 tuition rates with us were $2250.00 retail and $12500.00 wholesale. Veterans and law enforcement paid an even lower rate. With group rates, scholarships, special rates for affiliated groups and organizations almost no one paid retail. And we don’t have the fees or expenses some of the other schools charge. Nor do we accept kickbacks from hotels or restaurants; instead we negotiate room rates and offer them to the students direct.   

So look carefully at the curriculum, look at college and community college average semester hour costs to compare and do the math. Paying more doesn’t always mean it’s better, it just might be more expensive.

Original written Aug 9, 2018, Article updated 5/03/2021

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