How to Become a
Risk Manager

Woman reviewing charts on paper and on her laptop

Are you searching for more information regarding a career in Risk Management? JobHero is your one-stop resource for typical responsibilities of Risk Managers, requirements, pay, job outlook and more!

What Does a Risk Manager Do?

A Risk Manager is responsible for assessing any potential risks an organization may face and implementing strategies to prepare for those challenges. In this role, individuals research any potential threats to the overall company, its staff members, customers, partners and/or reputation, and put a plan in place on how to mitigate those risks. Risk Managers work in big corporations, medium-size companies, consulting firms, nonprofits and in the government sector. While some work in insurance entities, others are hired directly by the firm.

Being a Risk Manager requires technical knowledge in several areas, such as Human Resources, data collection, safety precautions and insurance. Typical responsibilities of a Risk Manager include:

  • Assessment, such as evaluating possible threats or issues that to a company,

  • Safety precautions, such as providing safety training

  • Reporting, such as documenting risks for the board of directors

  • Purchasing insurance policies

  • Relationship building with stakeholders and clients

Risk Manager Skills

Working as a Risk Manager can require long hours and high levels of stress, especially for professionals who work in large corporations that face a multitude of risks on many levels. Travel may be required if the organization has offices around the country or the world. Risk Managers must be able to form relationships with the board of directors, stakeholders and clients to be able to concisely explain and predict risks, and persuade the decision makers to spend time and resources to mitigate those risks

Other key Risk Manager skills include:

  • Good analytical skills

  • Excellent writing skills

  • Problem solving skills

  • Being able to multi task

  • Typing proficiency

How Do You Become a Risk Manager

Education and Training

At a minimum, employers want a bachelor’s degree in one of several areas: risk management, business administration, finance, accounting or computer science. Most job openings required a master’s degree in this or a similar area.

As the field is competitive, to secure employment or advance in this industry, it is recommended to receive a certification, such as the

  • Certified Risk Analyst (CRA)

  • Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA)

  • Financial Risk Manager (FRM)

  • Professional Risk Manager (PRM)

  • Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)

  • Associate in Risk Management credential

Risk Management is not an entry-level field, and one that requires candidates to have at least five years of related experience. An internship in risk management can provide candidates with work experience, as well as introduce them to professionals in this industry.

Finding a job

There is a growing demand for Financial Specialists, such as Risk Managers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is expected that 2,190 new jobs in this field will be created through 2024, which will amount to a 5 percent increase.

JobHero can be your resource for compiling a professional Risk Manager resume that lets potential employers assess your skills and experience.

As Risk Manager jobs are competitive, when looking for job openings, remember to get in touch with professionals you have met during any previous work or internship experience.

A cover letter for a Risk Management position needs to express interest in this industry, and explain what makes you qualified to assess and analyze threats to a company and its reputation.

Insights from a Risk Manager

We interviewed, Kirk McConnell, CEO of Creative Communication Solutions Consulting Firm, to give us his view on what it takes to succeed in this position, as his company provides Risk Management in the area of employees.

What is the common career path for a Risk Manager?

Most common paths are business and finance majors. My unique brand was born as the result of people management throughout several careers and fields and seeing what works and what doesn't throughout several disciplines.

What should someone consider before becoming a Risk Manager?

Become fully educated and vested in the processes and always utilize mentors and resources as needed. Open-minded and flexible are great attributes.

What type of person excels in this job?

In the human relations side of risk management, usually a type A personality is fair, firm and assertive. In the capital side of the industry, a person with extreme attention to detail and trends tends to be that attribute for success.

What are some of the most important skills for a Risk Manager to have?

Hard skills: Process procedures, analytical analysis, data mining and management. Soft skills: Being flexible, able to listen, planning, organizing, and communicating well.

What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of being a Risk Manager?

For me, it's changing a culture and making employee and management relations work in a win-win environment, and increase the company's bottom line (a product or service).

How Much Do Risk Managers Get Paid?

The average yearly salary for Financial Specialists, such as Risk Managers, is $66,700. The highest paid make $112,100, and the lowest paid earn $37,400.

Top 10 States for a Risk Manager’s Salary

Risk Managers in the following states make the highest median salary in the US.

    District of Columbia

    $91,600

    Virginia

    $78,900

    Massachusetts

    $78,200

    New York

    $76,300

    Pennsylvania

    $74,200

    Alabama

    $72,600

    Illinoi

    $70,700

    New Jersey

    $70,500

    Alaska

    $70,300

    Oklahoma

    $70,200

    Risk Manager Resources

    For more information about becoming or working as a Risk Manager, take a look at these additional sources.

    On the Web

    The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research
    Information about obtaining a Certification in Risk Managers (CRM).

    Professional Risk Managers' International Association (PRMIA)
    PRMIA’s certificate programs are designed to recognize your expertise in focused areas allowing you to demonstrate competence in the complex world of risk management.

    On LinkedIn

    Private Risk Management Association
    A member-owned independent non-profit association that is the recognized forum and voice of the high net worth private risk and insurance management niche.

    Travel Risk Management
    Dedicated to sharing articles, blogs, ideas, experiences and hints/tips that will assist security and risk management professionals.

    Books

    The Essentials of Risk Management, Second Edition: Edition 2
    The essential guide to quantifying risk vs. return has been updated to reveal the newest, most effective innovations in financial risk management.

    Risk Management: 10 Principles
    Puts forward the 10Ps of Risk Management as a consistent and comprehensive approach to the subject.

    The information in this article comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job postings and other online sources.