Career outlook for store detective

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would use your observation skills to spot and prevent theft.

You may work wearing plain clothes and as part of a team of security officers.

You would:

  • Follow shoppers or staff who behave suspiciously
  • Call the police and describe what you have seen
  • Take evidence from witnesses
  • Write short reports
  • Sometimes give evidence in court

You would have the power to hold anyone trying to leave the store with stolen goods. You may also be involved in preventing the use of stolen credit cards.

You would use many different tools in your work, such as radios, loop alarms, mirrors, electronic tags on goods, and closed circuit television (CCTV).

Working conditions


You could work up to 48 hours a week, including evenings and weekends. You may do shift work depending on the opening hours of the store. Temporary and seasonal work is often available.


You will spend much of your day standing or walking around the store.

UK employment status





Self employed


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Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Concentrating
  • Attention to detail
  • Verbal communication
  • Observation
  • Problem solving

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


There are no set qualifications to enter this role. 

Many employers look for qualifications that demonstrate knowledge of security and loss prevention. These could include:

  • Security Industry Authority (SIA) qualifications
  • An SVQ in Electronic Security Systems (SCQF Level 6)

You will also need

You may need a Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence. You must be 18 years old to comply with SIA regulations. 

Some roles require you to be physically fit. You may need to pass a medical examination. 

Employers may ask for a full, clean driving licence. 

For some specialist roles, you may need to be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland. 

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show understanding of security services, retail, physical fitness and the ability to work with others such as: 

  • Skills for Work: Uniformed and Emergency Services (SCQF level 4).
  • Scottish Vocational Qualification in Electronic Security Systems (SCQF Level 6)
  • NC Army Preparation (SCQF Level 4)