Career Definition for Loss Prevention Security Guards
Loss prevention security officers work covertly in retail locations to identify suspicious behavior and apprehend anyone attempting to steal. However, unlike security guards, loss prevention security officers blend in with the crowd and don't wear uniforms. Loss prevention security officers work closely with law enforcement. They also write daily reports and conduct store opening and closing procedures.
|Required Education||High school diploma or GED|
|Job Skills||Customer service, problem solving, quick thinking, professionalism|
|Median Salary (2016)*||$27,706 for retail loss prevention representatives|
|Career Outlook (2014-2024)**||5% for all security guards|
Source: *Salary.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A high school education is required to become a loss prevention security officer. Although many companies offer on-the-job training for loss prevention security guards, separate programs also are offered through private security training companies. These programs include classes in loss prevention fundamentals, approach and initial contact, and electronic surveillance. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a clear criminal record is required for careers in loss prevention security, and background checks are standard.
Loss prevention security officers must be clear thinkers with the ability to resolve problems using good judgment. They also must have excellent customer service skills and possess a professional demeanor.
Loss prevention security is a growing field. The BLS expects 5% job growth between 2014 and 2024 for security guards and, because many don't stay in the field long, large potential for advancement. According to Salary.com, the median salary for loss prevention security officers was $27,706 per year as of 2016.
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A high school diploma and completion of a police academy training program is the path many take to enter this field. However, some police departments may prefer to hire applicants with a college degree in criminal justice or a related field. According to the BLS, job opportunities for police officers and detectives are projected to grow by only 4% from 2014-2024, mostly due to budget cuts in many cities and states. In May of 2015, the BLS estimated that police officers earned $58,320 a year in median wages.