How Do You Get a Job in Risk and Compliance?

If you’re interested in finance, you may want to get a job in risk and compliance. Risk managers are responsible for identifying, analyzing, and controlling a company’s exposure to financial uncertainties. The main goal of risk management is to implement prudent business strategies that prevent gigantic profit loss. Compliance teams work closely with risk managers to ensure organizations are operating according to industry regulations. Lately, there’s been an increasing number of companies charged with hefty penalties due to tightening business laws. A risk and compliance hiring spree was then sparked. In fact, The Wall Street Journal named compliance officer the “Hottest Job in America” in 2014. Benefit from the booming job growth by following this step-by-step guide to begin working in risk and compliance.

Attain an Accredited Bachelor’s Degree

The majority of risk and compliance jobs, including entry-level, require holding at least a four-year baccalaureate degree. Attending an accredited college or university to major in finance, business administration, statistics, economics, or mathematics is advised. Risk and compliance staff who graduate from AACSB or ACBSP accredited business schools are often preferred. Fill up your electives with courses in financial markets, investment analysis, risk management, compliance planning, business continuity, cost accounting, and ERM practices. Also fine-tune your communication, problem-solving, and mathematical skills for job preparation.

Gain Relevant Work Experience

During your undergraduate years, investigate financial internships related to the risk and compliance field. Landing an internship is key to begin developing your resume and professional network. After graduation, you’ll likely have to begin in entry-level jobs before advancing. You could apply for jobs like financial planner, risk analyst, compliance associate, anti-money lauding specialist, loan officer, or credit analyst. Any job where you’re weighing financial risks or assessing conformity to regulations will be helpful. Most mid-level risk management jobs require at least three to five years of full-time experience.

Consider Attending Graduate School

In today’s competitive economy, more employers prefer hiring candidates with a master’s degree for their risk and compliance jobs. Find an accredited graduate school to obtain a Master of Finance, Master of Economics, or Master of Business Administration program. Some colleges offer an MBA specialization in risk management or regulatory compliance. Most master’s program will take 12 to 24 months based on previous business training. Attending graduate school part-time or online while continuing work can further accelerate your career. Master’s students generally must complete an applied capstone or thesis.

Pursue Professional Certification

Although it’s voluntary, certification can significantly improve your chances of landing a great risk and compliance job. The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential is one of the most prestigious in the industry. Becoming a CFA will require having a bachelor’s degree, gaining four years of experience, and passing three rigorous tests. Through The National Institute, you could become a Certified Risk Manager. The ABA offers the Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) designation. If you’re specializing in healthcare, there’s also the AAPC’s Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO).

Related Resource: Anti-Money Laundering Specialist

Overall, risk and compliance go hand-in-hand for protecting corporations from the financial destruction of fines, lawsuits, penalties, and other risks. Risk and compliance jobs can be found virtually anywhere from government agencies and banks to hospitals and manufacturers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average yearly salary for compliance officers is $68,000, or $32.69 per hour. Now you know the steps to successfully get a job in risk and compliance.