Store detectives prevent shoplifting in retail outlets and shopping centres.
Salary range: £15,000 to £26,500
How to become a store detective
You can get into this job through:
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
You can do an intermediate apprenticeship in providing security services.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
You could apply directly for jobs if you’ve got relevant experience in retail security, or from working in the police, armed forces or a security company.
You’ll find more details about security training and licensing through the Security Industry Authority.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- knowledge of public safety and security
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to use your initiative
- knowledge of English language
- customer service skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- have a good level of fitness
- be over 18 years of age
- pass enhanced background checks
Employers will carry out checks on your personal and work history, which could go back up to 10 years.
You may need a security licence issued by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) for certain jobs. You can complete relevant SIA approved training if you need to get one.
You might also need a driving licence and access to a vehicle.
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- following shoppers or staff who behave suspiciously
- calling the police and describing what you’ve seen
- taking evidence from witnesses
- writing short reports
- giving evidence in court
- stopping anyone trying to leave the store with stolen goods
You could work in a court or at a store.
Your working environment may be crowded.
Career path and progression
With experience you could progress to a senior post, like supervisor or security manager.
You could also become self-employed and work on contracts for stores.