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Individuals who work as loss prevention specialists are responsible for helping businesses to protect their assets. In retail, for example, a loss prevention specialist might monitor shoppers and employees to ensure that they are not stealing items, check customers' receipts at the door, and oversee register amounts after cashiers or floor supervisors count out drawers. Loss prevention specialists also might work for larger companies, such as manufacturing firms, and perform duties such as advising inventory managers how best to protect inventory items and keep them in good health. To become a loss prevention specialist in retail, it is essential to earn a high school diploma or equivalent degree. While it may not be necessary to earn a college degree in order to become a loss prevention specialist, courses in areas such as criminal justice can provide you with valuable skills and knowledge that set you apart from the competition.
In most cases, a person who would like to become a loss prevention specialist in a retail setting should go through training to earn professional certification. To get this training, you normally must be at least a minimum age and must have completed high school. In this kind of training, you learn about various surveillance and security techniques and technologies. It also is common to learn about how to spot shoplifters and about which actions you can legally take when you catch a perpetrator.
A person who wants to become a loss prevention specialist in an environment such as a plant, warehouse, or distribution center might need to have more in depth training. It often is essential that a person in this position have knowledge of equipment and materials used in a specific industry. A loss prevention specialist in the manufacturing industry, for example, might need to have an understanding of how best to handle and inspect machines that are used in production. This kind of professional might also have years of experience working in inventory or asset management.
It also is common to find loss prevention specialists who focus on protecting data. These professionals make sure that organizations are using effective and current tools for securing sensitive, sometimes valuable intelligence. To become a loss prevention specialist who protects data, it is essential that you take courses in network and computer security. Degrees in information systems, computer science, and computer engineering can be useful for this kind of professional.