Some businesses, such as retail stores and casinos, have measures in place to prevent and minimize theft. These are overseen by a loss prevention manager, who works with staff and undertakes planning and policy formation to support this goal. Depending on the position, experience and job training may be adequate, or a degree or certificate might be required.
Loss prevention managers play important roles in the safety and success of several industries, including retail, hospitality and gaming. Their primary job function is coming up with ways to prevent the loss of merchandise due to theft and ensure workplace safety.
There are a number of ways to become a loss prevention manager, including promotion to management with professional experience, completion of a formal education program or even on-the-job training following employment. Some employers require the completion of additional certification or training programs once the job has been secured.
|Required Education||High school diploma or GED, on-the-job training or a bachelor's degree, depending on the position and employer; certificates and associate's degrees in loss prevention management are available|
|Other Requirements||Completion of specific certifications or seminars is required by some employers|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||3.9% for unspecified types of managers*|
|Median Salary (2016)||$45,593 for loss prevention managers**|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com
Loss prevention managers develop and implement procedures for minimizing the loss of merchandise, money or company assets as much as possible. They typically formulate plans regarding customer and employee safety, emergency procedures, difficult customers and lost children. Those who work for large retail chains might create plans for every store in the chain and modify policies based on location, store layout and history of loss. According to PayScale.com, the median annual salary for loss prevention managers was $45,593 in January 2016.
Other typical job duties for loss prevention managers include testing alarm systems, monitoring video surveillance and responding to burglary incidents. They might research, assess and supervise the installation of different security measures used in an establishment, such as security tags, mirrors, closed-circuit video cameras and electronic security devices. As a manager, they'll determine a necessary security force, as well as hire and train new officers for uniformed or undercover work. Loss prevention managers might conduct or assist in investigations regarding shopper or associate dishonesty, help with store inventory and file reports and company policy documentation.
Depending on the industry and employer, formal education requirements could include on-the-job training, a high school diploma or a bachelor's degree. Adequate management training and sufficient knowledge of the industry are typically necessary. Additionally, skills in security and workplace safety methods provide an advantage for those interested in becoming a loss prevention manager.
Many vocational schools, community colleges and universities offer certificate and degree programs with relevant training in loss prevention management. Programs in workplace safety, hospitality and tourism, retail management and business administration could offer courses or electives in loss prevention specific to a number of facilities and business establishments. Additional topics in management, sales, merchandising and emergency response could be included based on the particular field of study. Some employers also require the completion of training programs and certification, such as the Wicklander Zulaski Certified Forensic Interview program or the Reid Technique of Investigative Interviewing seminar.
There are several paths to becoming a loss prevention manager: some work their way up from an entry-level position, while others go to college or trade school. Certification programs are also available. These managers find work at retail chains or gaming establishments, and supervise personnel, equipment and security systems, as well as assist with investigations and create safety procedures.