Career Path of a Risk Manager
Published: Apr 12, 2016 By Sabah Karimi
If you’ve been searching for jobs in the insurance industry or considering career opportunities in this field, you may have stumbled across job postings for a risk manager. Risk management professionals are responsible for analyzing and documenting the risks involved with a certain client or company. In the insurance industry, these managers would play an important role in determining the right amount of coverage to pay insurance claims and strategizing how to best use a company’s resources. They may also serve as actuaries where they help businesses plan for the future by analyzing risks and making informed decisions.
If this sounds like a career you would be interested in, here’s what you need to know about pursuing a career as a risk manager or risk consultant:
You will need at least a bachelor’s degree in business, mathematics, or complete a dedicated risk management program at an accredited school. These degree programs provide you with advanced financial management and business skills you will use throughout your career. Schools that offer a risk management degree program or courses that prepare you for a career as a financial analyst will best serve you in the long-term.
State Licensure Requirements
Licensing requirements for risk managers vary from state to state. Some states have specific licensing requirements for those that wish to work in health care, for example. Other states will offer licensure opportunities through the state Department of Insurance. You will need to find out what your state’s licensing requirements are and pass a state-administered exam before you can move forward with your career.
Risk Consultant Certification
You can explore certification with The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research to earn the Certified Risk Manager (CRM) credential. The alliance offers both classroom and online course formats that consist of 2 1/2 days of instruction and an optional exam.
You can also start the certification process as an Associate Actuary as you complete your college education. The Society of Actuaries (SOA) certifies professionals working in the finance, insurance, and investment fields. The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) certifies professionals who will specialize in property and casualty insurance. If you choose to become a certified actuary, it can take between 4 to 6 years for you to pass all exams and attend required seminars.
Actuary Fellowship Certification
After you have become a certified professional, you can complete an additional 2 to 3 years of training to pursue specialty certification with the SOA. This can enhance your skill set, keep you current about the industry, and make you more valuable to future employers. If you decide to specialize in pensions, the federal government requires you to complete a registration process by enrolling with the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries of the U.S. Department of Treasury.
Training to Be a Risk Manager
Many companies train consultants on the job but you can gain valuable work experience in the field by applying for an internship during your last year of college. The training program will give you a chance to work on projects with a team of actuaries, consultants, and other financial professionals. You may be responsible for writing reports and completing sample cases for review.
Once you are certified and have obtained enough work experience, you may be in a position to work for companies as an independent contractor or be hired for full-time employment. Joining professional organizations and making sure you stay up-to-date on all certifications is critical to your success as a risk management professional. As you earn your certifications and credentials, you may be able to assume associate or assistant positions working under the supervision of qualified professionals to obtain work experience.