Education and Training: No formal education required. Bachelor’s degree in business or related discipline preferred.
Average Salary: $96,000
Job Outlook: Good
The goal of risk managers is to keep insurance rates down by reducing liability across the company. Risk managers work in a variety of industries such as insurance, automobile industry, and any other company that may have increased insurance costs due to inherent dangers of the product or service they sell. Risk managers also serve as private consultants who work with clients on identifying dangers that can be eliminated or reduced with the effect of reducing liability. They perform in depth risk assessments across all departments then provide recommendations to company executives that they feel mitigate risk factors and reduce liability. Their assessments may include transferring employees, altering existing procedures, implementing new procedures or eliminating dangerous practices.
Education and Training Requirements
Most companies require a bachelor’s degree in a business related discipline. On the job training is common. Risk management positions are typically not entry level and require experience in risk management combined with post secondary education, or insurance industry training.
Getting the Job
Risk management positions are not entry level for the most part. Risk managers generally need at least five to seven years experience in risk management or insurance claims to be qualified for a risk management job. Jobs are posted on internal websites, career and job websites, industry trade journals and publications, print media, newspaper classified ads, and employment agency websites and print media.
Risk managers must be very detail oriented, have an understanding of liability issues, and be very analytical. They must also have very good communication and presentation skills in order to interface with upper level management and executives.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development
Risk management job prospects are expected to remain strong according to data released by employment experts. Organizations understand the financial costs that are caused by litigation through customer lawsuits. Risk managers are more important than they ever have been because of the litigious society we live in.
Risk managers often start off working as insurance agents or claims processing agents to gain an understanding of risk management. Some risk managers work for an individual company or organization while others have their own risk management consulting business where they serve a variety of clients.
Working Conditions and Environment
Work conditions vary depending on employment situation. Those who work for one company spend most of their time in an office analyzing risk management audits in order to identify problem areas. Those who work as private consultants travel a great deal meeting with clients and performing onsite risk management studies and audits.
Work conditions may be hazardous as their job function is to identify areas of liability. Those who conduct risk audits for large manufacturing plants, nuclear facilities, and product testing labs are especially at risk. In those instances they are required to wear personal safety equipment to reduce risk of injury.
Salary and Benefits
The average salary for a risk manager is $96,000 per year. Hours vary depending on employment situation. Those who work for a corporation work the typical forty hour week Monday-Friday. Those who own their own consultancy work longer hours meeting with clients, potential clients, and traveling.
Where to Go for More Information
Public Risk Management Association
700 S. Washington St., Ste. 218
Alexandria, VA 22314
RIMS—the risk management society
1065 Avenue of the Americas, 13th Fl.
New York, NY 10018
The Risk Management Association
1801 Market St., Ste. 300
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1628