Learn more about the loss prevention field by getting an internship or part-time job in a security firm or related company. Search for opportunities on the Web sites of companies that most interest you. Also search for job listings on employment Web sites such as Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, among others. Participating in a professional association for loss prevention professionals is another good way to explore the field and learn about the issues that loss prevention managers deal with in their work. Find upcoming events and other resources on the Web sites of the Loss Prevention Industry Professionals Association, http://www.lpipagroup.com, and the International Association of Professional Security Consultants, https://iapsc.org/events. Conduct an informational interview with a loss prevention manager to find out what got them interested in this profession and what kind of education and training is required. Ask your school's career services office for help with finding someone interested in speaking with students about their career.
Loss prevention managers help companies to prevent and protect against loss of assets by establishing safety and security procedures. They monitor business operations and activities to identify such activities as internal or external theft and fraud. They are employed by large retail corporations and work closely with the upper management of retail businesses and local law enforcement.
The main focus of loss prevention managers is what is termed in the industry as "shrink." This is losses that are due to such things as errors in operation or theft by employees or external robberies. For example, when a physical inventory count is less than what the company has in its records, this is considered inventory shrink that must be investigated by loss prevention managers. It may be attributed to a flood or accident, or it could be due to employees stealing products or shoplifters.
Loss prevention managers investigate theft, policy violations, and compliance issues by interviewing employees and customers, and collecting information from other sources. They also conduct financial and regulatory audits. They analyze the companies' operational risks and develop strategies, plans, and procedures to prevent loss and reduce inventory shrink. Loss prevention managers train staff on loss prevention policies and practices. They also write reports and may testify in court if needed. They use various software programs in their work, including financial accounting software, query software such as MySQL, project management programs like Enabl-u Technologies APIS, as well as IBM Lotus Notes for e-mail and Microsoft Excel for spreadsheets.