- A risk consultant helps a company's top leadership identify, assess and monitor risks implicit in a firm's operations. These risks may be operational, financial (market or credit risks), technological or compliance related. A risk analyst partners with the accounting, regulatory affairs, and internal audit departments' staffs to review operational procedures and guidelines, and ensures that such procedures conform to top leadership's instructions, industry practices and regulations.
Education and Training
- A risk consultant may hold a bachelor's or master's degree in auditing, accounting, compliance and finance, depending on the position, the industry and the firm's size as well as its staffing needs. A junior risk analyst typically holds a four-year college degree. A risk manager with vast supervisory responsibilities may have a master's degree in finance or a certified public accountant (CPA) designation.
- Salary levels for risk management analysts generally depend on the employee's seniority, length of service, academic credentials and professional training. A risk consultant also may have a higher compensation if she works for a large company or performs various managerial duties. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, median annual wages of risk consultants were $99,330 in 2008, excluding annual bonuses and stock options, with the middle 50 percent of the occupation earning from $72,030 to $135,070. A risk consultant without financial auditing or operational risk experience earns less. The same research indicates that median annual wages for risk auditors were $59,430 in 2008, with the bottom 10 percent of the profession earning less than $36,720 and the top 10 percent earning more than $102,380.
- A risk analyst with a bachelor's degree can improve his chances of professional advance if he seeks a master's or doctorate degree in a risk control field. Alternatively, a risk consultant can also seek the financial risk manager (FRM) designation. A risk management analyst who is competent and performs well may move to a higher position, such as senior risk consultant, risk management supervisor or risk director, within two to five years.
- A risk manager generally works normal office hours on weekdays. However, business conditions sometimes may require a longer presence at the office. For instance, a risk consultant working on a firm-wide risk software implementation project at a bank may work longer hours during the week, or even perform tasks on weekends, to help reach corporate deadlines.