Financial Risk

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Do you enjoy planning? Are you great at working with numbers? If you want to work in the finance sector using your skills to prevent everyone from banks to investors to individuals from losing their money in the future, a career in financial risk could be perfect for you.

Are you interested in working in financial risk? Explore the financial services jobs available to you right now.

What do you do in financial risk?

Financial risk revolves around making sure organisations like banks and hedge funds don’t lose their clients’ money in the future by making suggestions to the organisation based on conducting complex analysis into the financial stability of the organisation. You could specialise in several areas of financial risk including mitigating the risk of insurance claims, modeling any financial risk to the company, analysing whether the loans that the organisation gives out are safe or determining whether the organisation has sufficient liquid assets. Regardless of the area that you specialise in, here are the tasks associated with financial risk jobs:

  • Researching current financial trends to understand the impact that the trend could have on the organisation
  • Analysing the financial risk that could happen
  • Modeling the risk to see how likely it is to occur
  • Making detailed plans for mitigating the risk
  • Making contingency plans for what to do if the risk happened
  • Writing reports and presenting your findings and suggestions to colleagues and stakeholders

Financial risk career path

You have the opportunity to work your way up in the financial risk career path. If you enjoy the finance sector but not the risk element, you could look into financial consulting or auditing. If you enjoy the modeling and suggestion facet, you can look into management or strategy consulting. Here is the traditional career path associated with financial risk:


You begin as a junior finance analyst. In this role, you look into the financial position of an organisation by analysing the financial data. You research the wider sector, looking at the current market and determining how well the organisation is performing compared to competitors.

Career progression

With experience and a growth in skills, you become a financial risk analyst. You’re dealing with the risks that could occur in an organisation based on the financial decisions it makes and outside factors like the economy, international conflicts and public opinion. This job is full on and requires high level analytical skills along with healthy stress management techniques.

Future career

You become a financial risk manager when you have years of experience and a great track record. In this role, you have greater responsibility than a financial risk analyst. You conduct your research, finding areas for improvement then report back to stakeholders within the organisation, telling them the policies that you think should be reassessed.

Financial risk salaries

Working in financial risk gives you the opportunity to earn lots of money. The exact salary you earn depends on the size of the organisation, the geographic location and your skill level. Here are the salaries associated with the financial risk career path:

  • In an entry-level role like junior finance analyst, you earn between £20,000 and £30,000 per year
  • In a financial risk analyst job, you earn between £40,000 and £50,000 per year
  • As a financial risk manager, you earn between £55,000 and £85,000 per year

Qualifications and training

Having the right education sets you up nicely to impress any hiring manager. Here are the qualifications and training that you need to succeed as in financial risk:


Most people working in financial risk have an undergraduate degree as a minimum. This is typically in a finance-related subject like economics or finance. There are specialised degrees in financial risk management that you could explore. Alternatively, you could get a finance or economics degree and specialise at master’s level. Whilst a master’s degree isn’t usually a requirement for financial risk jobs, it can help you stand out amongst other candidates by demonstrating your skill level and giving you a more in-depth theoretical understanding. You can explore the degree courses using the UCAS course search tool.

Work experience

Alongside your education, having some work experience is a great way to show a hiring manager your expertise. Internships teach you skills that you need to do the job which you don’t get in a degree and show you how to work well in an organisation. You can get some work experience by completing an internship with a bank or consulting company. If you’re interested in internships, explore the current financial services sector internships available right now and complete this module to know how to convert an internship into a permanent job.

If you want to learn more about the sector, complete this module on your guide to financial markets.

Financial risk skills

You should complement your education with a great set of skills. These skills help you do your financial risk job to a high standard. Here are the skills required for a job in the sector:

Soft skills

  • Analysis. You need to be great with analysis. You should be able to see the meaning behind the numbers. You use your analytical skills to find out what could go wrong then make suggestions for the future.
  • IT. Having a good grasp of IT helps you with a financial risk job so you can use software to analyse data. You may make models to make predictions which also requires being great with IT.
  • Presenting. Your job involves taking the predictions you make and presenting them to colleagues, clients and stakeholders. Having great presentation and communication skills means you can express your thoughts and demonstrate your work thoroughly without risk of confusion. 

Find out more about the top skills you need to work in financial services.

If you want to work in financial risk but your presentation skills aren’t up to scratch, complete this module on developing effective presentation skills so you can succeed in the career.

Pros and cons of being in financial risk

Any career has positive and negative elements. If you’re interested in the role, understanding the good and bad parts helps you decide if it’s the right career for you. Here are the pros and cons of working in financial risk:


  • It’s a very high paying career path which you could earn a lot of money working in
  • You can prevent the organisation from having major problems in the future which is satisfying and shows you’re doing a great job
  • It’s a stable job with a good pension scheme
  • If you’re a consultant, you work for many companies on many different projects which makes your job interesting


  • This is a highly stressful career path. Many people find the stress difficult to deal with meaning the turnover for staff is quite high
  • If you make a mistake, the worst case scenario is that you lose the organisation a lot of money. This could come out of ordinary people’s pockets
  • It’s a highly competitive environment and requires you to compete with your colleagues

Financial risk work-life balance

Your work in financial risk requires typical office hours of 9am to 5pm on Monday to Friday. However, due to a complex and heavy workload, you may find yourself working overtime a fair amount of the time. You typically work in an office. If you’re permanent staff at an organisation, this is a stable working environment. However, if you’re a consultant, you often work in other organisations’ offices. This could mean additional travel, possibly increasing your working day with a longer commute or meaning you have to live near the new office temporarily. This can make having a good work-life balance difficult because you may be away from home a lot.

Due to the intense nature of the work, there are some issues with stress associated with financial risk. If you’re not great at dealing with stress, finding a more balanced job in finance could be better for you. Alternatively, building up healthy stress coping mechanisms could help you in the long run if you decide working in financial risk is the perfect job for you. 

Typical employers

The financial sector has many large companies that you could work for. Often, large companies employ graduates to train them and keep them on when they have the necessary skills. Here are the employers that you could work for:

Do you want to know more? Learn about how the top firms work by completing this module on understanding city firms. You can get a more in-depth understanding of the top companies and discover the leading graduate employers in financial services.

Related jobs

  • Actuary
  • Accountant
  • Compliance
  • Financial advisor
  • Investment banker

More information

Do you want to know more about the sector? Complete this sector 101 module on accounting, audit and tax.

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