Loss prevention is a strategy commonly employed by retail businesses to mitigate risks posed by theft of merchandise. Loss prevention specialists are central to the execution of this strategy. They ensure customers only leave the store with the items they purchased. With a high school diploma and a reasonable level of physical fitness, you can get started as a loss prevention specialist.
What Do Loss Prevention Specialist Do?
- Recommending loss prevention strategies, such as installation of CCTV systems, to the loss prevention manager or chief security officer
- Inspecting the business premises on a regular basis
- Ensuring surveillance systems are well-maintained and functioning properly.
- Carrying out random and regular checks of customer receipts
- Resolving petty theft cases and referring major ones to law enforcement officers
- Testifying in court in cases involving merchandise theft
- Keeping accurate records of theft incidents.
Loss prevention specialists commonly work in shifts. Since many stores operate during the weekend, aspiring specialists can expect to be at work on Saturday and Sunday.
Although some loss prevention specialists spend most of their work hours on their feet surveying the business premises, others spend time in CCTV control rooms monitoring shopping activities.
In some stores, loss prevention specialists wear uniforms for easy identification.
The average annual salary for loss prevention specialists is:
Average annual Wage
Loss prevention specialists
Loss prevention managers
Up to $30,000
You don’t have to hold any post-secondary credentials to qualify for employment as a loss prevention specialist. Employers are more interested in your physical ability. However, to enhance your chances of getting the job, you should:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma
- Have some customer-service experience
If you wish to obtain a post-secondary qualification before finding a job, you can pursue an associate degree or certificate program in asset protection and loss prevention. Some of the colleges offering this degree include:
- Southern State Community College, Hillsboro, Ohio
- Fayetteville Technical Community College,Fayetteville, North Carolina
Training and Career Development
As a newly hired loss prevention specialist, your employer will take you through an induction program, which will help you get familiar with the operating procedures of the company.
If you are an ambitious professional looking to take your career to higher heights, you can:
- Pursue a part-time bachelor’s degree in loss prevention management or closely related fields, such as criminal justice or security management
- Obtain a professional certification, such as the LP Certified Credential, which is offered by the Loss Prevention Foundation.
Apart from retail stores, loss prevention specialists can also be hired by:
- Department Stores
- Hotels and resorts
With vast experience and the qualifications outlined above, you can be hired as a loss prevention manager. In larger stores, you could become the chief security officer. It is also possible to secure asset protection jobs in large corporations, educational institutions and government agencies.
Finally, according to Alljobopenings.com – a U.S. based website for occupational resources – about 6,000 new jobs are created each year for loss prevention specialists. This is an impressive number, which should motivate you to pursue this career.