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Store detective

Store detectives prevent shoplifting in retail outlets and shopping centres.

Annual Salary

£17,000 to £26,500

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

46 to 48 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on shifts

Future employment

There will be 0.3% more Store detective jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

You could:

  • follow shoppers or staff who behave suspiciously
  • call the police to describe what you've seen
  • take evidence from witnesses
  • write short reports
  • give evidence in court
  • prevent anyone trying to leave the store with stolen goods

Working environment

You could work at a store or in a court.

Your working environment may be crowded.

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

You can apply for a Professional Security Operative Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship to get into this role.

You could also do a Security First Line Manager Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship, if you have experience in security work.

These take between 1 and 2 years to complete.

For more information
Direct application

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.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • 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.
  • have a good level of fitness
  • be over 18 years of age
  • pass enhanced background checks

More information

Further information

You'll find more details about security training and licensing through the Security Industry Authority.

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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.

You'll find more details about security training and licensing through the Security Industry Authority.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • 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
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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