Duties and responsibilities
An Asset Protection Detective’s primary responsibility is to prevent the company loss. They also investigate theft (internal or external) and work to maintain a safe business environment. The typical duties and responsibilities of an asset protection detective will vary depending on the organization they work for. However, asset protective detectives can expect to carry out the following tasks:
- Responding to incidents (involving customers and/or staff) to facilitate first aid and minimize company liability
- Investigating and recovering stolen merchandise and stopping individuals from committing fraud or other criminal acts against the company
- Writing reports on all theft incidents, merchandise recoveries, accident investigations, audits, and other activities
- Following, and understanding, company policies concerning apprehensions, searches and seizures, and the preservation of evidence
- Conducting audits to ensure sales department compliance to merchandise exposure standards and asset protection policies
- Testifying in court concerning any case, criminal or civil, wherein the company is a party of interest to which the Asset Protection Store Detective is summoned
- Working on special assignments, investigations, and surveillance as required
To become an asset protection detective, you will need a high school diploma as a minimum. Having a bachelors degree in a related field (e.g., criminal justice) may be an advantage but is not a necessity.
Skills and relevant work experience
Asset protection detectives will need experience in a related field, such as in security. They will also need skills such as:
- Excellent customer service skills in order to support the companies performance and to work to maximize sales and profit
- Written communication skills, as asset protection detectives need to write and maintain written documents
- Decision making skills, as asset protection detectives must be able to make quick decisions when they are faced with theft or other compromising situations
- Attention to detail, as asset protection detectives need to spot small behaviour abnormalities in shop lifters or staff
- Ability to remain calm in stressful situations, as asset protection detectives may face unpredictable and highly stressful situation
Asset protection detectives will work full time. They may work normal office hours, or they may have to work evenings, weekends and holiday – it depends on the nature of the organization they work for.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for private detectives and investigators was $50,510 in 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $30,390, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $89,760. Asset protection detectives can expect to earn in a similar range to this.
Asset protection detectives tend to progress from security roles, which give them the experience they need to learn on the job. They can progress to roles with more responsibility. For example, they may become in charge of a team of asset protection detectives.