Loss Prevention Training & Degree Programs
The goal of loss prevention is to provide for the safety of the employer's staff and to prevent the theft and destruction of property. Loss prevention officers frequently wear uniforms to clearly identify themselves and deter theft. Some retail loss prevention officers work undercover to catch thieves in the commission of crimes. Loss prevention officers patrol their respective jurisdictions on both public and private property, maintain the security of facilities, write reports, make arrests under civil law, and detect fires and safety hazards.
Loss Prevention Education and Additional Training
Degrees in loss prevention generally parallel associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees in law enforcement. Loss prevention employers may prefer to hire candidates with degrees, but most do not require a degree. Loss prevention training occurs on the job after or during the hiring process. Some states require certification of loss prevention personnel based on training or education.
Loss prevention degrees include the following coursework:
- Use of force and firearms training
- First aid
- Verbal and written communication skills
- Human relations and psychology
- Law and legal issues relating to security
Degrees in loss prevention are earned at community colleges, universities, and online schools. A degree is favorably considered by potential employers and graduates with college degrees are often promoted into supervisory positions over those without degrees.
Prospects for Loss Prevention Jobs
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2009, security guards earned an estimated mean annual wage of $26,430. Major employers of security and loss prevention officers included:
- Investigation and security services
- School systems
- Transportation industry
- Local government
Other loss prevention jobs are found in the thousands of retail outlets and chains across the United States. A growing trend for employment of security personnel is in computer software and websites. The growth of the loss prevention industry is expected to increase as fast as other occupations. Most loss prevention jobs are in urban areas and surrounding communities.