Risk Analyst Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Risk Analyst, or Risk Assessor, is a business expert responsible for determining the potential consequences of performing a business action. Their duties include reading and analyzing financial data, creating visual models to represent possible outcomes and preparing reports about business decisions.

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Risk Analyst Duties and Responsibilities

Risk Analysts use advanced analytical skills to calculate the risk of a financial decision. They will report this information to team members along with suggestions for reducing the risk. They have the following specific responsibilities:

  • Make recommendations to reduce risk, including diversification, portfolio investment and currency exchanges
  • Use analytical software to calculate the risk of a decision
  • Consult with business decision makers and understand their data needs
  • Evaluate business and finance records and determine the level of risk
  • Create reports and anticipate the losses of certain business decisions
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What Does a Risk Analyst Do?

Risk Analysts usually work in the financial sector giving companies advice about the major risk factors influencing their financial success. Risk Analysts can help determine if business ideas are viable based on the amount of risk the company shareholders want to take on. They collect data to determine possible losses and gains related to ongoing company operations or new projects. Risk Analysts also make recommendations on how to mitigate risk when business leaders choose to pursue a deal. They monitor fluctuations in key influencing factors to adjust their projections as time goes on.

Risk Analyst Skills and Qualifications

Risk Analysts should have certain skills and qualifications, which include:

  • Analytical: Strong analytical skills are a must for a Risk Analyst. They must be able to quickly analyze a large collection of data, then create reports and determine results.
  • Decision making: Risk Analysts are often in charge of making business and financial decisions for their clients. The ability to quickly analyze data and make a decision, such as which stock or whether or not to issue credit, is crucial.
  • Communication: Written and verbal communication skills are important for Risk Analysts. They must communicate clearly and effectively with clients and team members at all levels.
  • Project management: Risk Analysts often work on multiple projects simultaneously. They must be able to organize and manage their time to complete all projects.

Risk Analyst Salary Expectations

The average yearly salary of a Risk Analyst is $76,891. Risk Analyst salaries may range between $19,000 and $171,000 per year, depending on geographical location, level of experience and the industry in which they work. A Risk Analyst who works for a large financial or banking organization can expect to earn more than an entry-level analyst who works for a smaller company. The experience, certifications and level of experience of a Risk Analyst can also affect salary expectations.

Risk Analyst Education and Training Requirements

A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is often a requirement to work as a Risk Analyst. A Risk Analyst with a master’s degree can be a more competitive candidate. Risk Analysts usually come from a background in business, accounting, finance or statistics. Risk Analyst students may complete an internship during their education that allows them to begin developing important skills. They often continue their training while working in an entry-level position under the supervision of a more experienced Risk Analyst.

Risk Analyst Experience Requirements

Some hiring managers may prefer to hire a Risk Analyst with previous experience in their specific industry. Others might choose to hire an entry-level Risk Analyst while training them on the job. Some employers might also require new Risk Analysts to complete additional training through certifications or licenses.

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Frequently asked questions about Risk Analysts


What is the difference between a Risk Analyst and an Actuary?

Risk Analysts and Actuaries can perform similar roles. Actuaries have certifications in actuarial science, which they usually apply to risk assessment in an insurance context but can also use to become Risk Analysts in other industries. Actuaries design systems for risk management and assessment, while Risk Analysts use those systems to perform financial analysis. Risk Analysts use different methods to make risk assessments related to a company’s business development and growth. Actuaries provide personalized risk assessment systems to set prices for consumers based on individual risk.


What are the daily duties of a Risk Analyst?

Risk Analysts accept assignments from business leaders requesting information on a potential business decision. The Risk Analyst determines all of the factors involved in the business initiative and analyzes its financial impact. They collect data and perform independent research to identify the likely trends to occur. Risk Analysts consider their findings in the context of external factors and general economic trends and determine how long a company can stay financially viable in various contexts. 

They type up reports and present them to executives, answering questions about different scenarios and the ideal decision in each situation. Risk Analysts attend meetings and discuss the risk associated with accepting deals, recording the outcome of those situations to further refine their analysis.


What are the characteristics of a good Risk Analyst?

Good Risk Analysts are highly analytical people who enjoy working with concepts like cause and effect, probability, statistics and behavior analysis. As financial consultants, good Risk Analysts should be able to clearly explain concepts to others and accurately communicate a company’s risk levels using written and verbal reports. 

Risk Analysts think logically and are able to provide evidence and data for their projections, explaining the thought process they used to arrive at their final assessment. They should be dedicated to their work and highly organized, allowing them to track multiple risks at once. To be successful, Risk Analysts should have confidence in their skills and display leadership within the financial team.


What should you look for on a Risk Analyst's resume?

A Risk Analyst’s resume should reflect their knowledge of finance, economics and credit. Strong candidates will describe their experience with data analysis and list any types of data modeling or risk projection software they’re familiar with. Their experience will show the impact they had on their previous employer’s financial success and highlight decisions they influenced and the results of those decisions.

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