Mutual Fund Risk Managers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

High school classes that will prepare you for college and an eventual career in risk management include English, speech, business, economics, mathematics, accounting, computer science, history, and social studies. 

Postsecondary Education

Risk management professionals typically have bachelor’s degrees in risk management, insurance, finance, economics, business, accounting, computer science, or management information systems. Some companies prefer to hire those with graduate degrees—especially for high-level risk management positions. Fewer than 65 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada offer degrees in risk management. Visit http://aria.org/education for a list of schools that offer certificates and bachelor’s and graduate degrees in the field.

Other Education or Training

Participating in continuing education (CE) classes, workshops, and webinars is a great way to keep your skills up to date and learn about new developments in risk management; CE credits may also be required to renew one’s certification. Professional associations offer many CE opportunities. For example, RIMS-The Risk Management Society provides in-person workshops as well as webinars. Recent offerings included Cyber Risk and Data Security, Risk Management Techniques, Risk Analysis Forecasting Tools, and Applying Enterprise Risk Management Theory. The Global Association of Risk Professionals and Public Risk Management Association also provide professional development opportunities.


The Professional Risk Managers’ International Association offers the associate professional risk manager; credit and counterparty manager; market, liquidity, and asset liability management risk manager; and operational risk manager certificates. Visit https://prmia.org/Public/Certificates to learn more. The Institute of Risk Management awards the international certificate in risk management to applicants who pass multiple-choice and written examinations. Visit https://www.theirm.org/qualifications for more information. 

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Several associations offer certification programs for risk management professionals, including:

  • Global Association of Risk Professionals (financial risk manager, https://www.garp.org/#!/frm)
  • National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research (certified risk manager, https://www.scic.com)
  • RIMS—The Risk Management Society (RIMS-certified risk management professional, https://www.rims.org/certification)
  • Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (professional risk manager, https://www.prmia.org/Public/Certificates/Public/Certificate/Certificates.aspx)

Some mutual fund companies seek risk managers who have earned the chartered financial analyst credential, which is administered by the CFA Institute (https://www.cfainstitute.org/en/programs/cfa).

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

To work in the entry-level position of risk analyst, you’ll need a year or two of experience (which can consist of a combination of an internship, co-operative education experience, or part-time job) in a risk management or financial associate position at a corporation. Risk managers must have at least five years of experience in risk management, and chief risk officers generally need a minimum of 10 years of experience in lower-level risk management positions.

Risk management professionals need strong interpersonal and communication skills because they regularly interact with colleagues from a variety of departments throughout their company—from compliance and legal, to information technology and portfolio management. They also need a combination of diplomacy, confidence, and strong persuasive skills in order to effectively interact with colleagues and managers who may not always agree with their risk assessments or their strategies to reduce specific risks. Other important traits include strong analytical, project management, presentation, and research skills; in-depth knowledge of data analysis techniques and visualization tools; attention to detail; a strong work ethic; expertise in risk identification and analysis techniques; and a broad understanding of financial markets and products.