Risk Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Risk Manager, or Risk Assessment Manager, is responsible for determining the types of risks that could affect a company’s financial health, legal compliance or reputation. Their duties include communicating with company leadership personnel, Department Managers or legal staff, reviewing operational procedures, employee data or market trends and presenting their findings to upper management personnel.

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Risk Manager Duties and Responsibilities

As people who manage company risks, Risk Managers have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Review and give an assessment of all suspicious account activity 
  • Conduct research into possible fraud and report on any findings
  • Investigate potential risks and assess those risks
  • Report on any risks to the risk management director
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What Does a Risk Manager Do?

Risk Managers typically work for corporations across industries to ensure they make smart business decisions to promote their company’s longevity. They work closely with risk management personnel and company Executives to identify risks and develop strategies to prevent potentially harmful activities or practices. Their job is to uphold their employer’s success by thinking about how current company practices could affect their employer in the future. They may also be responsible for investigating instances of fraud or unethical work practices to determine whether their employer needs to take immediate action.

Risk Manager Skills and Qualifications

Risk Managers must have specific skills to work at their jobs. Some Risk Managers have certifications in the financial or accounting industries:

  • Financial knowledge: A Risk Manager is someone who should have a financial background with working with assets, markets, resources and funding.
  • Computer skills: Risk Managers should be able to work with financial databases.
  • Communication skills: Risk Managers need to talk with stakeholders about risks and how to stop risks.
  • Detail-oriented: A Risk Manager should be meticulous about keeping records and recording risk data.
  • Analytical skills: A risk assessment manager should have skills involving data use, statistics and math to be able to manage data and financial information. 
  • Enterprise resource planning: Risk Managers should be able to use the resources at their disposal wisely and frugally.

Risk Manager Salary Expectations

The average salary for a Risk Manager in the United States is $92,292 per year. This is the average, but compensation varies depending on bonus packages. The salary estimates are based on salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed by Risk Manager employees, users, as well as being collected from job advertisements on Indeed.

Risk Manager Education and Training Requirements

Risk Manager education and training requirements usually require a Bachelor’s degree, with a master’s preferred for most positions. The degree fields should be finance, business administration, accounting or another business major. Special fields may require further certification such as in the healthcare field. There are other certifications available for Risk Managers to pursue their education and career paths.

Risk Manager Experience Requirements

Because a Risk Manager works with finances, it is useful for Risk Managers to have experience in business or finance before they become Risk Managers. Experience in business or finance can help a Risk Manager understand the needs of any business client. A Risk Manager should have more than five years of risk assessment and abatement experience in the business administration, finance or accounting fields. It is useful if a Risk Manager has project management and supervisory experience during a Risk Manager career to know how to work with people and manage risk assessment teams for risk assessment and abatement.

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Frequently asked questions about Risk Managers


What is the difference between a Risk Manager and a Safety Manager?

The difference between a Risk Manager and a Safety Manager is seniority, education, scope of job responsibilities and typical work environments. For example, Risk Managers usually earn a bachelor’s degree in finance, business administration or economics. In contrast, Safety Managers usually earn a bachelor’s degree in occupational health and safety. Because Risk Managers have more of a business background, their job encompasses workplace safety, operational procedures, financial decisions and legal compliance. 

In contrast, Safety Managers focus specifically on maintaining employee safety by creating policies and procedures that align with worker safety laws and environmental factors. Risk Managers also differ from Safety Managers as they typically work in an office setting. In contrast, Safety Managers work on construction sites or other areas like manufacturing plants where employee accidents are more likely to occur.


What are the daily duties of a Risk Manager?

On a typical day, a Risk Manager starts by checking their email and voicemail. They respond to time-sensitive messages from company employees or external sources and review their schedule. Throughout the day, Risk Managers participate in meetings with upper management personnel and present their findings to the group. During downtime in their office, Risk Managers work on one or more research projects to weigh the risks of a particular business initiative or procedure. They also visit with company departments to obtain documents and interview employees about their job duties.


What qualities make a good Risk Manager?

A good Risk Manager has an investigative mindset, which inspires them to ask important questions, review company information and compare their findings to local, state and national regulations or market research. They genuinely care about the success and longevity of their company and aren’t afraid to voice their concerns about business decisions or procedures. Further, a good Risk Manager has excellent interpersonal communication and understands how to adjust their communication tactics to speak with people with different personalities and professional backgrounds.


Who does a Risk Manager report to?

Risk Managers usually report to the Risk Management Director, or Director of Risk Management within large corporations. In smaller companies, the Risk Manager may report directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or the Chief Operating Officer (COO). These professionals act as a point of communication for Risk Managers to report instances of fraud or troublesome activities that they believe to be a risk to the company. It’s company leadership’s responsibility to take that information and decide whether to act on it.

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