Retail Loss Prevention Specialists

Implement procedures and systems to prevent merchandise loss. Conduct audits and investigations of employee activity. May assist in developing policies, procedures, and systems for safeguarding assets.

Sample of reported job titles: Asset Protection Associate (APA), Loss Prevention Agent, Loss Prevention Associate (LPA), Loss Prevention Detective, Loss Prevention Investigator, Loss Prevention Officer, Loss Prevention Specialist, Retail Asset Protection Specialist

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Investigate known or suspected internal theft, external theft, or vendor fraud.
  • Implement or monitor processes to reduce property or financial losses.
  • Identify and report merchandise or stock shortages.
  • Maintain documentation or reports on security-related incidents or investigations.
  • Apprehend shoplifters in accordance with guidelines.
  • Verify proper functioning of physical security systems, such as closed-circuit televisions, alarms, sensor tag systems, or locks.
  • Identify and report safety concerns to maintain a safe shopping and working environment.
  • Conduct store audits to identify problem areas or procedural deficiencies.
  • Monitor compliance with standard operating procedures for loss prevention, physical security, or risk management.
  • Inspect buildings, equipment, or access points to determine security risks.
  • Perform covert surveillance of areas susceptible to loss, such loading docks, distribution centers, or warehouses.
  • Prepare written reports on investigations.
  • Collaborate with law enforcement agencies to report or investigate crimes.
  • Testify in civil or criminal court proceedings.
  • Recommend methods to reduce potential financial fraud losses.
  • Train establishment personnel in loss prevention activities.
  • Coordinate with risk management, human resources, or other departments to assist in company programs, investigations, or training.
  • Respond to critical incidents, such as catastrophic events, violent weather, or civil disorders.
  • Recommend new or improved processes or equipment to reduce risk exposure.
  • Direct work of contract security officers or other loss prevention agents.
  • Conduct employee background investigations and review reports with operational or human resources managers.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Contact With Others — 78% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Telephone — 80% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 80% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 82% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 84% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 52% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Electronic Mail — 70% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 50% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 60% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 51% responded “Very important results.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 50% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 47% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 47% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 52% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 45% responded “Very important.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 71% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 72% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 41% responded “Important.”
  • Level of Competition — 48% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Consequence of Error — 36% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Time Pressure — 46% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Deal With Physically Aggressive People — 50% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 35% responded “About half the time.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 43% responded “40 hours.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 33% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 45% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Public Speaking — 37% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education
These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.
SVP Range
3 months to 1 year of preparation (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Knowledge

  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 69%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 11%
     
    responded: Associate’s degree required
  • 11%
     
    responded: Bachelor’s degree required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

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Interests

Interest code: EC
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

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Work Values

  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Work Styles

  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wage data for Miscellaneous Protective Service Workers.
Employment data for School Bus Monitors and Protective Service Workers, All Other.
Industry data for School Bus Monitors and Protective Service Workers, All Other.
Median wages (2021)
$15.11 hourly, $31,430 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
141,600 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Faster than average (10% to 15%)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
38,800
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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