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Security & Loss Prevention Degree

Security and loss prevention specialists provide security, develop policies to prevent shoplifting, coordinate security for public figures, guard money stored in vaults and valuable property, or work as bodyguards. There are two types of loss prevention specialists. Those that who are employed by businesses to protect against shoplifting and theft, and those who are employed by insurance companies to assess risk and minimize loss associated with claims.

Many private secuity jobs can be obtained with a high school degree, but security specialists employed as risk managers for insurance companies are often required to have completed college. Some security and loss prevention jobs can be obtained after completing a certificate program in criminal justice or law enforcement. Many schools are now offering degree programs related to security and loss prevention and risk management. These programs are available online or on campus. Certain states require security specialists to satisfy licensing requirements before being employed.

Associate Degree in Security and Loss Prevention
Most colleges do not offer associate degrees in security and loss prevention directly. More than likely you'll want to complete an associate degree in criminal justice or business that offers a concentration in loss prevention and security (or possibly risk management). These types of associates degrees are designed to prepare students work in private security for corporations, protecting their assets. Job opportunities for those who've completed an associate degree with a focus on security can also be found in correctional facilities and with local law enforcement agencies.

An associate degree requires students to complete both general education and core courses. Areas of study may include:

  • Fundamentals of criminal justice and law enforcement
  • Principles of safety in loss prevention
  • Administration of asset protection and loss prevention operations
  • Private security investigative methods
  • Risk assessment and analysis
  • Risk management
  • Private security laws and regulations
  • Theory of criminal investigation

An associate degree may also be used as a stepping stone into a bachelor degree program. If you plan on pursuing a bachelor degree at a four year college or university following completion of your associate degree, it's important to earn your degree from a regionally accredited community college or vocational school. Only credits earned at a regionally accredited institution can be applied toward a bachelor's degree.

Bachelor's Degree in Insurance and Risk Management
If you're goal is to work in loss prevention with an insurance company, or other financial institution, earning a bachelor's degree in insurance and risk management is highly recommended. The bachelor's degree in insurance and risk management is composed of general, core and elective education components. General education courses typically include math, science, English, business communication, and possibly a foreign language. General education courses are designed to provide students with a well rounded liberal arts education while preparing them for upper division coursework. Core courses may include foundational courses in business, economics, accounting and statistics. Coursework specific to insurance and risk management may include:

  • Introduction to risk and insurance
  • Principles of insurance
  • Risk management and control
  • Laws of torts, contract and agency
  • Government regulation of insurance
  • Commercial liability risk management and insurance
  • Commercial property risk management and insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Insurance operation and internal control
  • Causes of liability and property loss

While a bachelor's degree is sufficient for many entry-level career positions, completing a master's degree can be very advantageous. Earning a master's degree in insurance and risk management will set you apart from other job candidates and position you for more career advancement opportunities. A master's degree typically requires 2 years of full-time education following the completion of a bachelor's degree.

Continuing Education
Continuing education and certification are required in order to stay at the top of your game in insurance and risk management. The most well known, and prestigious, industry certification is the Professional Risk Manager (PRM) designation from PRMIA. In order to receive this designation participants must completed four exams (within a two-year period). You can learn more about the PRM certification on the PRMIA website at

Another popular industry certification worth looking into is the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) offered by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). The FRM certification consists of two exams which cover nine topics relevant to the discipline of risk assessment and analysis. GARP also provides various training programs and a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) program.

Below you can explore security and loss prevention degree and certificate programs, including risk management, loss prevention, transportation security, executive security, and industrial security, offered by accredited schools. Degree programs are offered online or at various campus locations across the United States.

Security and Loss Prevention Degree Programs

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