Retail Loss Prevention Specialists


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Classes that are helpful for future loss prevention work include mathematics, history, government, business, psychology, communication, and English. Be sure to also take computer science classes, which will help with understanding how to use different software programs for organizing data and creating documents and reports. 

Postsecondary Education

Many retail loss prevention specialists have an associate's or bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree is required for advancement in this career. Some specialists have a degree in criminal justice, although a degree in other fields is also useful. Coursework covers math, science, history, business, sociology, English, computer science, as well as risk management, crime intelligence, law enforcement essentials, among other core criminal justice topics.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements


Retail loss prevention specialists receive certification to advance their skills and knowledge and enhance their employment opportunities. Entry-level loss prevention specialists may receive the LPQualified (LPQ) certification from the Loss Prevention Foundation. Experienced specialists who work in retail can receive the LPCertified (LPC) designation. This certificate covers  leadership and business principles, loss prevention operations, safety and risk management, crisis management, and supply chain security. Find the requirements and details for these certifications at https://www.yourlpf.org.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Most employers prefer to hire retail loss prevention specialists with two or more years of prior experience in a retail store. Employers often provide on-the-job training, particularly to entry-level specialists, which may last two or three days or several weeks. The job requires strong observational skills and an understanding of the the types of behavior that can be considered suspicious. Loss prevention specialists must remain alert on the job, always aware of what customers and employees are doing. Strong communication skills are also important for keeping store managers, employees, supervisors, and other protective service workers informed of their activities and observations. Specialists are critical thinkers who take the time to listen closely to what people are saying, which helps them gather information in their investigations. They have good judgment and decision-making abilities. People who do best in this type of work are detail oriented, self-controlled, able to stay calm in highly stressed situations, and are honest and ethical.