How Do I Become a Risk Manager?

Research what it takes to become a risk manager. Learn about job duties, education requirements, job outlook and salary 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 Risk Manager?

A risk manager is a financial manager who specializes in risk reduction for companies and organizations. They analyze the company's financial data and develop strategies to reduce the chance of financial loss. Risk managers also predict future risks, such as currency fluctuations and commodity price changes, and they look for ways to offset any expected losses resulting from these events. Based on their findings, they write reports and meet with company officials to help them make financial decisions.

Take a look at the following chart for an overview of how to enter this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Business, finance, economics, accounting
Key Responsibilities Recommend ways companies can minimize risks, analyze financial transactions, ensure proper compliance with standards, develop risk assessment methods
Job Growth (2014-2024) 7% (for all financial managers)*
Median Salary (2017) $106,010**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com

What Does a Risk Manager Do?

As a risk manager, your responsibilities will include overseeing operations within a company and recommending ways of minimizing risks that may come up because of financial transactions or other business dealings. You can do this by gathering data from sources within the company, as well as consulting outside sources. After analyzing data, you'll communicate with peers and supervisors to determine that proper compliance with standards is being met. You may then develop risk assessment methods to ensure efficiency and profitability and make sure they're implemented. The type of risks you may come across can be the result of a natural disaster or problems with an employee within the company.

What Do I Need to Study?

As reflected by October 2011 job listings on CareerBuilder.com, employers will accept risk managers with a degree in business. With a major in business you'll gain a broad knowledge in accounting, finance, economics, business administration and other subjects that can be applied to a career in to risk management. Degree programs, however, are available in risk management at the undergraduate and graduate levels. A common program is one in risk management and insurance. In an undergraduate program, you may learn about business and personal insurance and what's involved in managing and minimizing risk management in the insurance field. Other available programs may focus on risk management in trade, economics, finance, real estate and other areas.

Master's degree programs can be found in computational finance and risk management, management of risk and enterprise risk management, among others. You can also earn a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in risk management. Earning a master's degree prepares you to take on more responsibility in planning and organization. You'll graduate with the knowledge and skills needed to manage operational and strategic risks in order to preserve your company's value.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

Career opportunities can often be found in finance, government and operations. Risk managers with a master's degree may find positions in consulting, employee benefits management, management of insurance companies and personal financial planning. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an employment increase for financial managers in general of seven percent from 2014-2024, compared to all other occupations (www.bls.gov). According to Salary.com, the median expected salary for a risk manager was $106,010, as of February 2017.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are a variety of specialization options within the field of financial management. Instead of becoming a risk manager, you could consider becoming a credit manager. Your responsibilities would include setting credit-rating standards and monitoring collections from past-due accounts. Another option is a job as a cash manager. Cash managers assess current cash flows in and out of the organization, and they project future trends so that the company can prepare for future losses or gains. For either of these financial management jobs, the minimum educational requirement is usually a bachelor's degree.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • The University of Scranton

    The University of Scranton responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The University of Scranton:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »