(Last Updated On: 05/04/2017)

Loss Prevention Specialist Job Description

Loss prevention specialists work in retail stores, where they are responsible for minimizing the loss of merchandise due to theft. Some loss prevention specialists work at the front of the store, where they examine customers’ receipts and ensure that they only leave with the items they paid for. In some cases, they are stationed with a security monitor so they can keep an eye on shoppers at all times. In some stores (particularly larger department stores), loss prevention associations work in plain clothes and monitor suspicious shoppers. Often times, they work in cooperation with someone who is watching surveillance cameras so they can be alerted to suspicious activity. All loss prevention specialist positions require excellent customer service skills. Innocent people may feel wrongly accused when their behavior is monitored, so knowing how to interact well with customers is essential.

Work Environment and Schedule

This can be a physically and emotionally exhausting job. Loss prevention specialists are required to spend the majority of their shifts on their feet, and have to remain alert on all times. Because people who steal don’t want to get caught, this can be a dangerous position at times. People may become agitated or violent when confronted, and it’s the loss prevention associate’s job to resolve such situations as peacefully and quickly as possible. Since most retail stores are open on nights and weekends, loss prevention specialists need to work during those times.

How to Become a Loss Prevention Specialist

Lost prevention specialists are trained on the job, and no previous experience is required for entry-level positions. The exact requirements vary depending on the position, but most employers prefer candidates who are at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma. Previous retail experience is normally preferred as well, so getting a job in a retail environment while in high school can help prepare you for this position. Demonstrated customer service skills are often a big plus. If you apply for a job in this occupation, you can expect that the employer will conduct a thorough background check. If you have any criminal history on your record, chances are very slim that you will get a job as a loss prevention specialist.

Employment Outlook

There are currently 81,500 loss prevention specialists in the United States, with 6,290 new loss prevention specialist job openings created each year.

Loss Prevention Specialist jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.

Loss Prevention Specialist Salaries

Overall Salaries

Loss Prevention Specialist salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most loss prevention specialists make between $23,800 – $41,700 per year, or $11.46 – $20.05 per hour.

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