How to Become a Risk Analyst
Do you have a flair for finance? Are you keen to explore the mathematical side of business and help make the big decisions? Then explore the incredible career path of a risk analyst.
This is a financially rewarding position with the potential for big earnings, and with financial companies always in need of a risk analyst, you are guaranteed to never be without a job. Learn more about this future-proof career below and get started on your journey to becoming a risk analyst today.
What Does A Risk Analyst Do?
Risk analysts, also known as financial risk analysts, inform business owners of the risks and benefits associated with financial decisions so that they can make informed choices for the financial stability of their company.
As a risk analyst, you will need to analyse financial data, perform statistical analysis to work out the likely outcome of a decision, identify risk factors and use your knowledge of financial market trends to determine the potential risks in business decisions.
Risk analysts are always in high demand, with their expert knowledge underpinning key financial decisions which can make or break a business. Risk analysts work in financial institutions such as investment banks, insurance companies and large corporations.
They also usually specialise in one area and become a professional credit risk analyst, market risk analyst, operational risk analyst, or regulatory risk analyst. The daily tasks will depend on which path you take. The day-to-day tasks of a risk analyst includes:
How Much Does A Risk Analyst Earn?
The average salary of a Risk Analyst is £37,000. Entry-level positions begin at around £23,000, with senior analysts earning up to £78,000, according to the National Careers Service.
What Qualifications Are Needed To Become A Risk Analyst?
Risk analyst roles usually require you to hold at least a Bachelor’s degree in a related field such as economics, computer science, statistics, mathematics, or finance. A graduate degree will make you even more employable and is likely to see you earning more at an earlier stage in your career. However, a degree is not always essential for this career, and there are other ways in which you can work your way up to becoming a risk analyst.
A Higher National Diploma (HND) or other qualifications such as a foundation degree in a financial or mathematical field can help you gain work experience as a junior analyst. From here, it is possible to work your way into a risk analyst career. Having good GCSEs and A Levels in maths and statistics will stand you in good stead when it comes to applying for a degree or HND course.
Suppose you do not have any finance, business administration, or statistics qualifications, or you want to increase your employability and chances of doing these university courses. In that case, there are also several online Analytics courses and Consultancy courses that you can complete. These are flexible courses that are fully online and can work easily around your current schedule.
What Skills Are Needed To Become A Risk Analyst?
The skillset needed to become a successful Risk Analyst includes:
Excellent knowledge of finance, mathematics, and statistics
Expert analytical skills
Confidence in advanced statistical analysis and data analysis
Good IT skills and knowledge of statistical software
Excellent communication skills
Project management and leadership
Willingness to take risks
Commitment to lifelong learning and self-improvement
Ability to keep calm under pressure
Does Becoming A Risk Analyst Need Any Work Experience?
Most risk analyst jobs require or prefer employees to have some previous experience working either in a risk analyst role or in the financial sector. Suppose you have a Bachelors or Masters degree.
In that case, you will be less likely to need substantial experience behind you, and some companies are happy to take on graduates and postgraduates without work experience. Many companies also partake in the Risk Graduate Scheme, where graduates gain work experience in a range of analysis roles over 12-18 months.
If you do not have a BA or MA in a related field, you will need some prior work experience behind you. This can be in the form of shadowing professional risk analysts or working in an entry-level analytical position and then working your way up. The best way to approach going into this career without prior qualifications is to find an internship, voluntary or entry-level role working in risk analytics, and then study one of the online Business and Finance courses or another course in risk analysis.
Career Prospects For A Risk Analyst
There are a lot of opportunities for you to progress in a risk analyst career, including becoming a full-time senior risk analyst.
This comes with years of experience but also the potential for high earnings. You could also explore risk management and go into financial risk management, credit risk management or become a senior manager or managing director. You could also move into the lucrative area of consultancy or explore other financial careers, such as working in hedge funds.