How to Become a Risk Analyst

Risk Analyst

A risk analyst considers the potential risks for a business. They use data and information to calculate what difficulties a company could find themselves in and the realistic risks of business endeavours.

Risk analysts use their expertise to examine the monetary risks that could threaten a company. They create statistical models by looking at past statistics and data and use these to evaluate the risk to the company. Then, they present their findings to others in the business, who may not be as statistically-minded. 

Risk analysts often specialise in a particular part of risk, including credit, market, regulatory, or operational fields. There are jobs available across industries. 

The primary duties of a risk analyst include: 

  • Analysing past trends and statistics.
  • Using sophisticated software to create statistical models.
  • Processing data. 
  • Forecasting market trends and predicting what will change. 
  • Presenting the trends that they have discovered. 
  • Ensuring that everything is in line with legislation. 
  • Creating contingency plans in case anything urgently goes wrong. 

Most, although not all, risk analysts are graduates. Relevant subjects include mathematics, statistics, or risk management. Other degrees such as physics, economics, or accounting can also be relevant, but some companies prefer graduates with numerical degrees. If the candidate does not possess a degree in a relevant topic, they could do a postgraduate course in financial-related risk management. 

Entry with no degree may be possible, but lots of employers prefer graduates. If the candidate does not have a degree, they will need experience in finance or insurance and professional qualifications. 

Risk analysts must then undertake courses and pass exams to get qualified. The students will need to study part-time while they are training, and each time they pass an exam, their wages and responsibilities will increase. 

Having work experience in a commercial or a financial setting is beneficial when applying for jobs. Candidates could acquire this by applying for temporary internships while studying, or taking on part-time lower-level jobs. 

There are several skills necessary to become a risk analyst. Candidates should be excellent at numeracy, with strong analytical and strategic skills. They will need to prove these abilities when applying for a job. They will be using sophisticated software, so should have strong IT skills and be able to adapt to using new programmes. 

Regarding soft skills, candidates should be able to plan and organise their time effectively. They will also spend a large amount of time interacting with other people, so they should be expert communicators. They will often also have to present their information – so should be confident – and they should be able to discuss their findings in non-statistical ways. 

There is a lot of competition for roles in this field, so candidates should obtain as much experience as possible in similar positions, be persistent in their job hunt, and show a real passion for the job. 

Candidates could progress to become a risk manager, senior manager, or other finance roles. People are starting to realise the importance of risk analysts, and they are increasingly likely to become board members. The risk analyst pay is generous and increases dramatically with experience and further qualifications. 

What degree is most commonly held by a Risk Analyst ?

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of International Business
  • Master of Economics
  • Masters Degree of Accounting
  • Masters of Finance and Information

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: High
There is a growing amount of opportunities for risk managers to find work abroad. As this is a mainly numerical role, the work is transferable across countries. Knowledge of the particular country and the market will help a candidate find work abroad.

What is the Salary of a Risk Analyst ?

ExperienceAverage salary | year
Risk Analyst1-3 yrs$49,000£40,000$55,391
Risk Manager3-5 yrs$65,000£60,000$74,749
Risk Analyst5-10 yrs$102,000£82,000$96,900

What skills are needed to become a Risk Analyst ?

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Data Analysis
  • Risk Management
  • Teamwork
  • Customer Service
  • Microsoft Word
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Financial Analysis
  • Research
  • SQL
  • Finance
  • Time Management
  • Public Speaking
  • Project Management
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Banking
  • Credit Risk
  • R
  • PowerPoint
  • Python
  • Business Analysis
  • Financial Risk
  • Matlab

Risk Analysis Courses

As this is a role that requires continuous learning, risk analysts should take some relevant courses to help them prepare. At FutureLearn, we have courses including risk management in global economy to help boost a candidate’s career.