Risky Business: Managing Risk Has Its Perks

Craig Tatro didn’t grow up wanting to be in the risk management field, like most people he had no knowledge of the industry.

But as an undergraduate at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Business in Richmond, he discovered there were lucrative jobs available in risk management field and decided to follow that path in school.

Lucrative, indeed. The average risk manager earns $118,000 and with bonuses has an average total compensation of $137,000, according to the Risk and Insurance Management Society in New York.

Just what does a risk manager do? Risk managers buy insurance for their company but they can also implement security and safety policies, manage workers compensation claims and help a company make proper financial investments. Literally, anything to do with a company’s risk can fall under a risk manager’s responsibility, making the positions very broad in responsibility.

The actual job, of course, can depend on the company itself.

At a risk management conference earlier this year in Orlando, Fla., topics ranged from hostage negotiations when a company’s employee is kidnapped overseas, to implementing better security at casinos to stop dishonest employees and cheating gamblers.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates expansion and globalization of the economy will increase the need for financial managers, which includes risk managers, during the next 10 years by at least 13%. But it also says there will be keen competition for some of the top jobs.

The best way to land one of those jobs is for college students to show their dedication to the industry by majoring in risk management and insurance, says Amy Benson, a communications associate with RIMS.

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