What exactly do they do? Well, when they're employed in a hotel, it is their responsibility to patrol and monitor all areas of the hospitality facility. These officers pay close attention to the hotel's policies and procedures and generally just attempt to prevent illegal activities.
Respect my Authority!
While it may be true that a security officer cannot actually make an arrest, they are authorized to detain suspects while the police are summoned. Of course, they are not permitted to carry firearms or truncheons, but that is rarely necessary in a nice hotel.
So, you ask, what's the worst that can happen in a hotel? Guests stow away a few bars of soap...maybe some towels? Well, most hotel loss prevention professional would be willing to let those things go. No, what they really do is patrol the hotel on foot looking for something amiss. They also respond to guest requests. In fact, that is the most important part of their job. If, for example, there has been a noise or disturbance complaint, a loss prevention professional is required to investigate as soon as possible.
When there is an emergency situation, it is the job of the officer to respond and then to alert hotel management and/or the police department, if necessary. The officer must also complete an incident report and keep meticulous records in case there is a law suit filed against a guest of the hotel or the hotel itself. The officer is also charged with enforcing all state regulation and laws. For example, if smoking in public places is illegal in the state, the hotel loss prevention professional must ensure that guests abide by the law.
For those who seek employment as a prevention professional, the first step to take is to join the American Hotel & Lodging Educational foundation. This is a popular trade organization that helps members find part time jobs and well as full time ones. They host a number of popular networking events and they also offer an online career center that focuses on the hospitality industry.
It is also a good idea to search the classified ads and on job boards, as they offer jobs part time on their sites. And if you happen to know exactly which hotel you wish to gain employment with, you can always check for open positions periodically on their corporate websites.
One of the great things about looking for work in the hospitality industry is that they're open 24/7, which means that they often have plenty of jobs part time. But as far as the skills you will need to be a successful employee, the most important one is undoubtedly great customer service skills. After all, it is your job to serve customers and to ensure their safety while they are staying at the hotel. So, you must speak English...that is non-negotiable. Fluency in another popular language, like Spanish, depending on the region, can also be advantageous.
For those who seek part time jobs or full time ones, physical strength and fitness are extremely important. While patrolling the hotel, loss prevention professionals will have to walk several miles each and everyday. They may also have to stand in the same place for several hours and may even be asked to help the general staff lift large, unwieldy items. And because the industry is in the service sector, you will often be asked to work odd hours, weekends, and possibly even on holidays.
Whether seeking jobs part time or full time, an applicant must, at the very least, possess a high school diploma. The candidate must also be at least 18 years old. While a college degree is not required, for those who want to make a career in hospitality security, it is recommended that they study either criminal justice or criminal science. Applicants also receive special consideration if they have experience in law enforcement or in the military. It goes almost without saying that all potential employees will be asked to pass a criminal background check as well as a series of drug tests before they're even considered for full time or part time jobs.
The average hotel loss prevention professional earns about $35,000 a year, while jobs part time pay far less, obviously. But for those who want to make a career of security, hotel security managers can earn up to $85,000 per year.