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Loss Prevention Consultant: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Sep 24, 2019

Loss prevention consultants require little formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

Loss prevention consultants may have certifications or other specialized training. They can work for insurance companies as insurance loss prevention consultants, as retail loss prevention consultants for retail companies, or as workplace safety loss prevention consultants for various work environments; they may work in any of these fields as an independent contractor. Skills needed by these professionals include those involving hazard identification, theft protocols and procedures and loss prevention.

Essential Information

Loss prevention consultants work for retail chains, insurance companies, government occupational safety agencies and consulting firms. They use education, training and experience to help organizations reduce costs related to accidents or theft. There are different areas of loss prevention, including insurance, retail and workplace safety.

Education Requirements Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements Certification depending on specialization
Projected Job Growth (2016-2026) 5%-9% for loss prevention managers, 5%-9% for retail loss prevention specialists*
Median Salary $30,720 for retail loss prevention specialists (2018),* $69,052 for loss prevention consultants (2019)**

Sources: *O*NET OnLine;**PayScale.com

Job Description

Also known as loss control consultants, these professionals develop ways to protect employees from injury, prevent loss of merchandise due to shoplifting or minimize financial liability related to accidents. Consultants are usually degreed professionals with extensive training, experience or both. The insurance, retail and workplace safety industries utilize loss prevention consultants, who commonly work as self-employed contractors or for consulting or insurance firms.

Duties

Insurance Loss Prevention Consultants

A loss prevention consultant in the insurance industry works with insurance policyholders to find and eliminate a wide variety of potential loss generators. This involves inspecting facilities, factories and equipment for areas with potential for accidents or property damage. After research and analysis, the consultant then makes recommendations for equipment repairs or upgrades, safety plans and procedure changes that will eliminate or reduce possible hazards. When changes have been made, loss control consultants continue to monitor their effects to make sure they meet customer requirements.

Retail Loss Prevention Consultants

The primary goal of loss prevention consultants in the retail industry is to find ways to reduce financial and property loss due to theft by employees or customers. This can entail performing audits and inspections to identify products with higher potential for theft or identifying facility design that may enable the occurrence of theft. These consultants are responsible for designing policies related to activities such as sales transactions or stocking merchandise that reduce the chance for theft. They are also responsible for recommending technology and equipment that can assist in theft reduction, such as camera surveillance systems. These consultants are also responsible for follow-up after implementation of new procedures or installation of new equipment to ensure loss reduction has been achieved.

Workplace Safety Loss Prevention Consultants

The primary goal of loss prevention consultants in workplace safety settings is to reduce employee injury caused by unsafe procedures, poor work area design or faulty equipment. Often, these consultants are sent to organizations with high rates of employee injury claims in order to identify the cause of the injuries and devise an appropriate method to eliminate it, using guidelines set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This process may include rewriting a safety manual, reordering procedures, retraining employees or replacing vehicles and equipment. Follow-up inspections, tests and audits are required to make sure safety has been increased.

Requirements

Education Requirements

Since loss prevention consultants in all areas are expected to be experts in their fields, bachelor's degrees are usually required. Insurance loss prevention consultants may have bachelor's degrees in a physical science, industrial safety, engineering or mathematics. Degrees required for retail loss prevention specialists can include retailing and consumer science, retail management, business management and retail merchandise management. Loss prevention consultants in workplace safety generally need a bachelor's degree in occupational safety and health, physics, industrial hygiene, biology, engineering, chemistry or a related field.

Certification

Certification may be required, depending on the specialization. For example, an insurance loss prevention consultant that specializes in reduction of fire risk must obtain the Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) certification. In retail, a consultant may be Loss Prevention Certified (LPC), while a workplace safety loss prevention consultant might need certification as a Certified Safety Manager (CSM), a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) or a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH). All certification programs require specific amounts of job experience in addition to passing skills and knowledge exams.

Career and Salary Information

The job prospects and earning potential for a loss prevention consultant can vary. The U.S. Department of Labor's O*NET OnLine reports that retail loss prevention specialists can expect average job growth from 2016-2026, and that these jobs paid a median salary of $30,720 as of 2018. O*NET OnLine reports that loss prevention managers can also expect an average job growth during that same decade. Loss prevention consultant jobs paid a median salary of $69,052 in September 2019, according to PayScale.com.

Loss prevention consultants can be independently contracted for retail loss prevention, workforce safety loss prevention or other prevention management groups. A bachelor's degree is typically required for this field of work, and certification may be required as well. Salaries vary widely depending on these professionals' specializations, but Payscale.com reported a 2019 median salary of about $69,000 for those working as loss prevention consultants.

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