Online Security & Loss Prevention Degree Programs
Although security and loss prevention may bring to mind images of store detectives apprehending people who "forget" to pay for their items, this category of jobs has significantly expanded by branching into specialty niches such as computer and gaming security.
Security Jobs Require Stamina and Long Hours
Security jobs often require standing on your feet or walking for much of a shift. Security guards may patrol established routes during their shift, or "make the rounds" of their assigned area. Some security guards remain stationary while monitoring multiple video cameras at their worksite. Loss prevention personnel in stores often pose as customers, and roam through a store while watching for shoplifters. Other types of security jobs involve providing personal security for celebrities, neighborhood security patrols, or providing protection for factories, offices and other facilities. Security guards and loss prevention specialists generally work eight-hour shifts but may be required to work overtime as needed. Retail loss prevention staff, for example, can expect to work longer hours during peak shopping seasons. Security and loss prevention jobs are often filled by retired law enforcement officers and students studying criminal justice.
Career Training Requirements Vary for Security Guards
As an entry level security guard, you can qualify for employment with a high school diploma. If you want to work for entities responsible for money and valuables, you may need at least some college courses. A criminal justice certificate or associate's degree in criminal justice can help you land more demanding jobs. College degrees and certification can help you prepare for licensing if it's required in your state.
Sleight of Hand: Gaming Security Catches Casino Cheats
If you've ever visited a casino, you've probably heard of the "eye in the sky." This refers to security personnel who view gaming areas from remote locations above the casino floor. Gaming security specialists typically undergo extensive background screening and career training provided by their employers. Gaming security requires familiarity with all casino games and the ability to monitor multiple gaming locations simultaneously. Gaming security personnel use sophisticated communication and surveillance equipment. As with other security positions, gaming agents can work with sworn law enforcement, administrators, casino staff, and the public. Security work requires extreme attention to detail, tenacity, and the ability to work well with others. State licensing may be required to work in gaming facilities.
Training can include weapons training, surveillance techniques, and crowd management. Students with experience in public safety, law enforcement, and the military are often suited to this work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that those holding degrees in criminal justice and related fields have the best opportunities for employment.
Job Outlook Stable for Security and Loss Prevention Workers
Although the BLS estimates that many security and loss prevention professionals earn about $23,000 per year, salaries are typically higher for job candidates with appropriate training and experience. Experienced security staff can advance to management jobs or start their own businesses and consulting firms.