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Store detective

Alternative titles for this job include Retail security guard

Store detectives prevent shoplifting in retail outlets and shopping centres.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter


£32,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

46 to 48 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Store detective

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.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

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.

More Information

Further information

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

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

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
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • 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:

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

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a store detective, you could:

  • follow shoppers or staff who behave suspiciously
  • monitor CCTV cameras
  • call the police to describe what you've seen
  • take evidence from witnesses and 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.

Your working environment may be crowded.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience you could progress to a senior post, like security supervisor or manager.

You could become self-employed and work on contracts for stores.

You might also use the skills you develop to apply to join the police or work as a security guard.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Security Control Room Apprentice (1)

  • Wage: £24,500 a year Annually
  • Location: Milton Keynes

Courses In England

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