What Are the Career Options for a Credit Risk Analyst?

Research what it takes to become a credit risk analyst. Learn about the duties of this job, the education requirements and salary range to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Risk Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Credit Risk Analyst?

A credit risk analyst is a financial analyst who specializes in evaluating the credit history and financial statements of individuals and firms. Based on their analyses, they prepare reports outlining the risk associated with lending money or offering credit to an applicant. They might also work to determine a loan's profitability or recommend plans for repayment. Credit risk analysts can work for banks and other institutions who want to decide whether to extend credit to particular individuals, or they may work for companies that want to find out whether they might be able to get loans for particular purposes.

The following chart provides an overview of the education, job outlook and average salary in this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's or master's degree
Education Field of Study Finance, business administration, accounting or related field
Certification Voluntary certification available
Key Responsibilities Prepare financial reports, review credit data, determine credit risk
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6%*
Mean Annual Salary (2015) $79,720*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Education Do I Need to Become a Credit Risk Analyst?

According to College Board, a bachelor's degree in economics is ideal if you are looking to become a credit risk analyst (www.collegeboard.com). Other majors helpful to this type of career include finance, statistics, accounting or mathematics.

The coursework for any of these majors usually include statistics, banking and insurance principles, financial accounting and risk assessment, with an accompanying internship at an investment company or commercial bank. While the minimum education requirement is a bachelor's degree, completing a master's degree in business, economics or finance is necessary if you are looking to hold managerial positions, according to O*Net OnLine (www.onetonline.com).

Optional Certifications

In addition to a standard bachelor's or master's degree, there are at least two related certifications that you can obtain as an aspiring credit risk analyst, although they are not required. The Credit Risk Certification (CRC) and the Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB) credentials are two designations available, according to the Risk Management Association (RMA).

The CRC is open to analysts holding a bachelor's degree with five years of experience in commercial banking, according to the RMA. It is a computer-based test that takes about five hours to complete with 126 multiple-choice questions. In addition to this, successful CRC holders must maintain 45 continuing education units and a 3-year renewal of the license.

The CMB, on the other hand, is useful for analysts who are trying to achieve a mortgage lending position. You can earn this certification from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) by completing a two-part test, a 1-hour oral exam taken at one of the MBA offices, and a 6-hour written exam that is taken at your location, according to the MBA.

Career Options and Salary

The employment options available to you as a credit risk analyst include investment companies and banks, credit rating agencies, new businesses, and any other financial trade organization that deals with products and services. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for credit analysts in 2015 was $79,720.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Instead of working as a credit risk analyst, you could consider becoming a financial manager. These professionals assess all aspects of a company or organization's financial health, including credit risk, and propose solutions for improvement, such as making investments. The minimum educational requirement is a bachelor's degree. Alternatively, if you would rather work with individuals, you could become a personal financial advisor, where you would offer counseling on topics such as insurance, investments, taxes and retirement savings.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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