Loss prevention officers work undercover in retail locations to identify suspicious behavior and apprehend those attempting theft. Unlike uniformed security officers, the loss prevention officers do not wear one and tend to blend in with the crowd.
Loss prevention managers also work for major insurance companies where they inspect properties to be insured and identify safety concerns that need to be addressed to reduce the risk to the insurer.
Loss Prevention Career Requirements
A high school education is required. Training programs are offered through private security training companies that include classroom instruction in initiating contact, electronic surveillance, and fundamentals of loss prevention. At the retail level, training may be provided by the employer.
For a career in loss prevention, the applicant must be observant, able to think quickly, and use good judgment to solve problems. Excellent customer service skills are required, and for retail loss prevention, the ability to blend into the crowd is a plus.
Loss prevention officers are also hired in the casino industry and by manufacturers who want to reduce loss by employee theft or waste of materials used in the manufacturing process.
Education and Training
For jobs in gaming or specific manufacturing processes, an associate or bachelor’s degree may be helpful. Additional coursework or new hire training may be required by employers where experience or knowledge of construction or engineering is necessary.
The title of loss prevention manager may also be found in the computer related field of information security where applicants will need a bachelor’s or even master’s degree in information systems security.
Loss Prevention Career Salary
Loss prevention officers in retail establishments are usually paid on a per hour basis. The compensation for an officer is between $22,000 and $28,000 per year, while a loss prevention manager in retail earns $33,000 – $43,000.
The salaries for managers with years of experience can reach $70,000 annually for those who manage loss prevention teams for large retail chains.
Loss Prevention Career Opportunities
The potential for career growth in loss prevention may be highest for those employed by insurance companies. From entry level positions as loss control representatives to loss prevention engineering positions, insurance companies employ many people in their effort to minimize and identify potential losses.
Retail stores and big box home improvement chains employ many loss control officers with potential for advancement to loss control manager positions.
For those with advanced education in specific areas of manufacturing or distribution, the position of loss control consultant may be an option whether as a salaried employee or acting as an independent contractor to various businesses.
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