How to Become a Risk Manager
Risk management involves helping companies and organisations to control the financial risks they take. Available in a range of sectors, this is a highly responsible and rewarding role with excellent career prospects.
Want to know more? Here’s a brief look at the qualifications, skills and personal qualities you’ll need to become a risk manager.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Risk Manager?
Risk management isn’t an entry-level career, so to get your first job you’ll either need a bachelor’s degree or some relevant experience.
Degree and postgraduate route
Employers such as investment banks, insurance companies and building societies are increasingly offering opportunities for graduates to train as risk managers. They often run rotational schemes that allow graduates to try out a variety of roles before specialising in a particular area of risk management.
While some employers accept graduates with any degree, you’ll definitely be at an advantage if you have a degree in risk management or any of the following subjects:
If your degree isn’t related to risk management you could boost your CV by gaining a postgraduate qualification or the Institute Of Risk Management’s International Certificate in Enterprise Risk Management. This introductory course takes around 6-9 months and is delivered via distance learning. Whether you’ve got a degree or a master’s degree, you’ll also be eligible to apply for free student membership of the IRM, which should come in handy when it comes to finding that first role.
Many companies employing graduates as risk managers want to see that they’ve made the effort to gain some work experience in the industry, so it’s also definitely worth undertaking a work placement or an internship.
Work experience route
If you don’t have a degree and you want to become a risk manager, you’ll need to work your way up. This usually means starting in an administrative role, gaining a risk assistant post, then moving on to a risk management role. Employers generally require non-graduate employees to have A levels or their equivalent.
What Do Risk Managers Do?
Risk management professionals assess potential risks to the profitability or existence of businesses and organisations. They then provide recommendations that will limit these risks, as well as making preparations in case things go awry.
Risk managers also provide training to build risk awareness among employees. They forecast changes in market trends, analyse data and deal with practical issues like implementing health and safety measures and buying insurance.
Skill Set Required for a Risk Manager
Project management skills
The ability to cope with pressure
An eye for detail
What Kind of Risks Do Risk Managers Assess?
Popular Career Pathways for Risk Managers
Whether you enter the profession as a graduate or an administrative worker, once you’re employed as a risk manager there’s plenty of scope to develop your career by transferring between sectors. After a few years you could apply for a senior role and after ten years there’s the possibility of being promoted to chief risk officer.
Becoming a risk manager will give you chance to play a key role in the organisations or businesses you work for. So if you’re inquisitive, analytical and good with numbers, why not take the next step by checking out our risk management courses today?