Risk managers identify potential risks to organizations and put plans in place to prevent, reduce or transfer them. This industry is growing all the time with jobs in a variety of sectors. The role of risk manager is essential to the successful running of an organization.
Risk managers are responsible for managing risks to an organization, its staff, customers, assets, interests of stakeholders and its reputation.
Your responsibilities will depend on the industry in which you are working and the specialized nature of your role, but you will essentially be involved in planning, designing and implementing overall risk management.
You will need to identify, analyze and evaluate the risks facing the organization which may include technology, regulatory, information and business continuity risks. Evaluating risks will involve looking at criteria such as legal requirements, costs, environmental considerations and the way risks were handled previously. You will also need to establish and quantify the level of risk the organization is prepared to take.
Risk reporting has to be done appropriately for various parties such as boards of directors, department heads, individuals and external stakeholders.
You will need to make sure health and safety measures are implemented, the organization is insured, and continuity plans are in place to limit risks and prepare for situations where things go wrong.
You will also have to liaise with internal and external auditors, conducting audits to ensure policies are in place for compliance with standards.
Another important responsibility will be to educate and train staff to build risks awareness.
Salaries vary according to location, sector, and level of responsibility. The median annual salary for a Risk Manager in the U.S. is reported as $108,901, as of April 2018. This figure was obtained from survey data collected by Certified Compensation Professionals of Salary.com The data came from thousands of companies of all sizes and in many industries.
Various degrees could increase your chances of obtaining a position as a Risk Manager, but graduates of risk management courses or other courses with risk management content are highly sought after.
Other degrees that could increase your chances are those in finance, economics, law, statistics, engineering, or management and business studies.
Postgraduate studies could be an advantage, and universities offer a Masters in risk management.
Students doing risk management degrees can apply for free membership of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM). The institute offers an International Certificate in Enterprise Risk Management for graduates with less relevant subjects which takes six to nine months to complete. This may help with getting into entry level risk management positions. The IRM also has courses and events throughout the year to help risk managers to stay abreast of developments and refresh skills.
You can get a risk manager job without a degree, but you will usually start in an administrative or junior role and have to work your way up to it within a company. As you gain experience, you can become a risk manager, and may even progress to chief risk manager after at least ten years of experience.
Risk management is growing fast as regulations become more complex and risks increase. There is likely to be a continued demand, and this may be an excellent field in which to retrain if you need to make a change. Risk managers are required in the public sector and private organizations. Even some small organizations need risk management in financial or operations departments. Banks and companies in the financial services sector are currently employing more people in their risk management teams. Insurance companies, commercial businesses, energy and utility companies, local authorities and construction companies all need risk managers.
Specialist recruitment agencies have vacancies for risk managers, but individual companies also advertise opportunities on their websites.
Some risk managers are self-employed and open up their own consultancies.
Technical acumen, analytical skills, and decision-making abilities are necessary for the position of risk manager. You will need an eye for detail and the ability to plan and organize. You will also need good communication, presentation, and negotiation skills. As a risk manager, you need to be knowledgeable about the industry in which you operate, and you must be able to cope under pressure.
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