Inherent in all businesses is risk. A company, for example, could have financial policies and regulations increasing the risk of loss or waste. To identify, evaluate and correct this risk, the business could hire -- or staff, for that matter -- a risk control consultant to do a risk assessment, who could then recommend policies and standards to better control the risk. Risk consultants work in business offices, at financial institutions and for insurance companies, as well as for federal, state and local government entities. However, many are self-employed, splitting their time between home offices and their clients' businesses.
In 2012, half of all risk control consultants -- as well as other management consultants -- earned $78,600 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those in the top 10 percent of earners made in excess of $142,580, while those in the bottom 10 percent earned no more than $44,370. On average, salaries were closer to $88,070 annually.
As with any career, location affects earnings. Among the states, the highest wages paid were in Massachusetts, where the average salary was $103,820. Those working in New York came in second, with an average salary of almost $103,000, whereas consultants in Illinois ranked third, making an average of just over $98,000. Consultants in Mississippi earned the lowest wages in the nation, averaging just $63,000 a year.
Employers typically seek candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree in business, management, statistics and economics, among others. But a master’s degree in business administration is becoming increasingly more common. Even with an MBA, rarely will a recent graduate step out of school and into the position of a risk control consultant. Instead, experience in the field you hope to assess and control risk can prove beneficial.
The BLS expects employment for this occupation to be good, with a job growth rate of 22 percent through 2020. This is much faster than the average growth rate for all U.S. occupations, an estimated 14 percent. Being a relatively large field, the 22 percent works out to be the creation of over 157,000 new jobs. While the future looks better than average, competition for available positions will be strong. A graduate degree or professional certification can improve chances of employment.
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