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Become A Loss Prevention Specialist

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Working As A Loss Prevention Specialist

  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • $74,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Loss Prevention Specialist Do

Fire inspectors examine buildings to detect fire hazards and ensure that federal, state, and local fire codes are met. Fire investigators determine the origin and cause of fires and explosions.

Duties

Fire inspectors typically do the following:

  • Search for fire hazards
  • Ensure that buildings comply with fire codes
  • Test fire alarms, sprinklers, and other fire protection equipment
  • Inspect gasoline storage tanks and air compressors
  • Review emergency evacuation plans
  • Conduct followup visits to make sure that infractions do not recur
  • Review building plans with developers  
  • Conduct fire and safety education programs
  • Maintain fire inspection files that may be used in a court of law
  • Administer burn permits and monitor controlled burns

Fire investigators typically do the following:

  • Collect and analyze evidence from scenes of fires and explosions
  • Interview witnesses
  • Reconstruct the scene of a fire or arson
  • Send evidence to laboratories to be tested for fingerprints or accelerants
  • Analyze information with chemists, engineers, and attorneys
  • Document evidence by taking photographs and creating diagrams
  • Determine the origin and cause of a fire
  • Keep detailed records and protect evidence for use in a court of law
  • Testify in civil and criminal legal proceedings
  • Exercise police powers, such as the power of arrest, and carry a weapon

Forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists assess fire hazards in both public and residential areas. They look for fire code infractions and for conditions that pose a wildfire risk. They also recommend ways to reduce fire hazards. During patrols, they enforce fire regulations and report fire conditions to their central command center.

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How To Become A Loss Prevention Specialist

Fire inspectors and investigators typically have previous work experience as a firefighter or police officer, where many have completed a postsecondary educational program for emergency medical technicians (EMTs). Forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists typically enter the occupation with a high school diploma or equivalent.

Workers attend training academies and receive on-the-job training in inspection and investigation.

Fire inspectors and investigators usually must pass a background check, which may include a drug test. Most employers also require inspectors and investigators to have a valid driver’s license, and investigators usually need to be U.S. citizens because of their police powers.   

Education

Because fire inspectors and investigators typically have previous work experience as a firefighter or police officer, many have completed a postsecondary educational program for emergency medical technicians (EMTs). Some employers prefer candidates with a 2- or 4-year degree in fire science, engineering, or chemistry. For those candidates interested in becoming forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists, a high school education is typically required.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Most fire inspectors and investigators are required to have work experience in a related occupation, such as firefighters or police officers. Some fire departments or law enforcement agencies require investigators to have a certain number of years within the organization or to be a certain rank, such as lieutenant or captain, before they are eligible for promotion to an inspector or investigator position. Forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists also may need experience working in the fire service before being hired.

Training

Training requirements vary by state, but programs usually include instruction in a classroom setting in addition to on-the-job training.

Classroom training often takes place at a fire or police academy over the course of several months. A variety of topics are covered, including guidelines for conducting an inspection or investigation, legal codes, courtroom procedures, protocols for handling hazardous and explosive materials, and the proper use of equipment.

In most agencies, after inspectors and investigators have finished their classroom training, they also receive on-the-job training, during which they work with a more experienced officer.

Employers, such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and organizations, such as the National Fire Academy and the International Association of Arson Investigators, offer training programs in fire investigation.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Many states have certification exams that cover standards established by the National Fire Protection Association. Many states require additional training for inspectors and investigators each year in order for them to maintain their certification.

The National Fire Protection Association also offers several certifications, such as Certified Fire Inspector and Certified Fire Protection Specialist, for fire inspectors. Some jobs in the private sector require that job candidates already have these certifications.

In addition, fire investigators may choose to pursue certification from a nationally recognized professional association, such as the Certified Fire Investigator (CFI) certification from the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) or the Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) certification from the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI). The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) also offers a CFI certification, although the program is available only to ATF employees. The process of obtaining certification can teach new skills and demonstrate competency.

Fire investigators who work for private companies may have to obtain a private investigator license from their state.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Fire inspectors must clearly explain fire code violations to building and property managers. They must carefully interview witnesses as part of their factfinding mission. 

Critical-thinking skills. Fire inspectors must be able to recognize code violations and recommend a way to fix the problem. They must be able to analyze evidence from a fire and come to a reasonable conclusion.

Detail oriented. Fire inspectors must notice details when inspecting a site for code violations or investigating the cause of a fire.

Integrity. Fire inspectors must be consistent in the methods they use to enforce fire codes. They must be unbiased when conducting their research and when testifying as an expert witness in court.

Physical strength. Fire inspectors may have to move debris at the site of a fire in order to get a more accurate understanding of the scene.

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Loss Prevention Specialist Career Paths

Loss Prevention Specialist
Investigator Case Manager Operations Manager
Sales And Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Investigator Supervisor Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Investigator Supervisor Account Manager
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Security Supervisor Security Manager
Security Director
10 Yearsyrs
Security Supervisor Supervisor Service Manager
Installation Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Security Supervisor Security Manager Loss Prevention Manager
Asset Protection Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Loss Prevention Leader Loss Prevention Manager
Regional Loss Prevention Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Loss Prevention Leader Loss Prevention Manager Regional Loss Prevention Manager
Director-Loss Prevention
9 Yearsyrs
Loss Prevention Leader Loss Prevention Supervisor
Loss Prevention Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assets Protection Specialist Team Leader Customer Service Manager
Collections Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assets Protection Specialist Team Leader Platoon Sergeant
Operations Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Assets Protection Specialist Team Leader Squad Leader
Security Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Shift Supervisor Unit Manager Claims Manager
Risk Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Shift Supervisor Site Supervisor Security Manager
Security Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Accountant Senior Auditor
Controls Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Asset Protection Lead Loss Prevention Supervisor
District Loss Prevention Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Fraud Investigator Compliance Officer Safety Consultant
Loss Control Consultant
10 Yearsyrs
Specialist Credit Analyst Collection Supervisor
Loss Prevention Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Emergency Medical Technician Field Training Officer Force Protection Officer
Plant Protection Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Asset Protection Lead Loss Prevention Supervisor Regional Loss Prevention Manager
Loss Prevention Operations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Loss Prevention Specialist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Store Detective 2.7 years
Top Careers Before Loss Prevention Specialist
Cashier 7.6%
Internship 4.8%
Supervisor 2.2%
Manager 2.2%
Top Careers After Loss Prevention Specialist
Cashier 3.4%
Manager 3.1%

Do you work as a Loss Prevention Specialist?

Loss Prevention Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

64.0%

Female

27.4%

Unknown

8.6%
Ethnicity

White

60.0%

Hispanic or Latino

19.1%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

69.3%

French

5.0%

Italian

3.0%

Portuguese

2.5%

Arabic

2.5%

Russian

2.0%

Chinese

2.0%

German

2.0%

Vietnamese

1.5%

Mandarin

1.5%

Thai

1.5%

Japanese

1.5%

Albanian

1.0%

Cantonese

1.0%

Polish

1.0%

Hmong

0.5%

Hawaiian

0.5%

Bosnian

0.5%

Croatian

0.5%

Tagalog

0.5%
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Loss Prevention Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

25.7%

Strayer University

7.0%

The Academy

5.8%

Sam Houston State University

5.7%

Miami Dade College

4.9%

Liberty University

4.7%

Kaplan University

4.5%

John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York

4.3%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.7%

University of North Texas

3.3%

Michigan State University

3.3%

Kean University

3.3%

Florida State University

3.1%

American InterContinental University

3.1%

Eastern Kentucky University

3.1%

Western Illinois University

3.1%

Ashford University

2.9%

Arizona State University

2.9%

Houston Community College

2.7%

Grand Canyon University

2.7%
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Majors

Criminal Justice

48.9%

Business

16.1%

Psychology

3.9%

General Studies

2.8%

Law Enforcement

2.5%

Management

2.4%

Accounting

2.3%

Communication

2.1%

Criminology

2.0%

Sociology

2.0%

Political Science

1.8%

Liberal Arts

1.6%

Medical Assisting Services

1.5%

Education

1.5%

Health Care Administration

1.5%

Computer Science

1.5%

Law

1.5%

Legal Support Services

1.3%

Computer Information Systems

1.3%

Homeland Security

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.7%

Other

27.2%

Associate

17.3%

Masters

8.8%

Certificate

4.6%

Diploma

1.5%

Doctorate

0.7%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$74,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$37,000
Min 10%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$74,000
Median 50%
$145,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Burlington
Highest Paying City
Woburn, MA
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
2.5 years
How much does a Loss Prevention Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Loss Prevention Specialist in the United States is $74,272 per year or $36 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $37,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $145,000.

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Top Skills for A Loss Prevention Specialist

  1. Store Operations
  2. Loss Prevention
  3. Surveillance Equipment
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Minimized the negative financial impact of any other factors regarding store operations and safety by resolving technical organizational problems.
  • Develop and implement controls along with loss prevention strategies to attain elimination goals and accident reduction.
  • Operated electronic surveillance equipment and stayed alert for customers who acted suspiciously.
  • Conduct internal/external theft interview and interrogation; oversee Restitution and Promissory note issuance and collections.
  • Protect against fraudulent activity by creating AP Alerts and reporting and documenting incidents properly when necessary.

How Would You Rate Working As a Loss Prevention Specialist?

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Top Loss Prevention Specialist Employers

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