Risk Management Specialist

Job Description:

Analyse and manage risk management issues by identifying, measuring, and making decisions on operational or enterprise risks for an organisation.

Job Category:
Financial Services

What you will do:

Your day-to-day will include tasks such as:

  • Track, measure, or report on aspects of market risk for traded issues.
  • Produce reports or presentations that outline findings, explain risk positions, or recommend changes.
  • Develop or implement risk-assessment models or methodologies.
  • Gather risk-related data from internal or external resources.
  • Devise scenario analyses reflecting possible severe market events.
  • Confer with traders to identify and communicate risks associated with specific trading strategies or positions.
  • Contribute to the development of risk management systems.
  • Maintain input or data quality of risk management systems.


You’ll need:

  • business management skills & systems analysis
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

As well as:

  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
  • the ability to use your initiative (drive)
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • excellent verbal communication skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Risk Management Specialist, there are no specific subject requirements. However, a good general education and certain skills are important for success in this field. Risk Management Specialists are responsible for identifying and mitigating risks within organisations. Here are some subjects and skills that can be advantageous:

  1. Mathematics: Strong math skills are essential for analysing data, calculating probabilities, and evaluating financial risks.
  2. Business Studies: Business studies can provide you with a foundational understanding of business concepts, including risk management principles.
  3. Economics: While not always available, economics courses can offer valuable insights into financial markets and economic factors that impact risk.
  4. Statistics: A basic understanding of statistics is beneficial for analyzing and interpreting data related to risk assessment.
  5. IT/Computer Science: Proficiency with spreadsheet software and data analysis tools is valuable for modeling and evaluating risks.
  6. English: Effective communication skills are important for preparing reports and presenting findings to stakeholders.
  7. Science: Courses in science subjects, especially physics and chemistry, can help you understand risks related to safety and environmental issues.
  8. Geography: Geographic information can be relevant for risk assessments in fields such as environmental risk management or natural disaster planning.

Post School

Although this area of work is open to all graduates, a degree in one of the following subjects may increase your chances:

  • engineering
  • finance or economics
  • law
  • management or business studies
  • risk management
  • science
  • statistics

Graduates of risk management courses and courses with risk management content are sought after and targeted by recruiters of risk managers.

Students on risk management degree and postgraduate courses are able to apply for free student membership of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM), which can help with job prospects.

Postgraduate qualifications are not essential but can be advantageous. A Masters in risk management is available at a number of universities and may be particularly relevant if you have not completed a risk management-related degree.

Entry without a degree is possible, but you’ll usually start in an administrative role before working your way up to a risk assistant position and then progressing on to a risk manager role. Employers expect UK A-levels or equivalent qualifications (in your country) for entry through this route.

Graduates of less relevant subjects can also take the IRM’s International Certificate in Enterprise Risk Management to give them an introduction to risk management and increase their chances of gaining an entry-level position.

Working Hours and Environment:

Working hours are typically 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You can expect to work additional hours at more senior levels.

Part-time work and career breaks are possible and are more likely in larger organisations.

Career Path & Progression:

You’re likely to start in the risk management profession through a graduate training programme or enter at a risk assistant/associate level. With experience, your career can develop to the level of risk manager, with progression to chief risk officer (CRO) after ten or more years’ experience.

Opportunities for career development are increasing as organisations are often recognising the need to appoint CROs as board members. Departments are also restructuring and making risk a key part of their strategy.

Risk management roles and experience can be transferred across a range of sectors, and risk managers enjoy great flexibility in the transferability of their expertise and skills. Transferring across sectors can often open up opportunities to gain higher salaries, better prospects and sponsorship of further qualifications.

Self-employment is also possible and risk managers may progress to open their own consultancy.