Jobs in Risk Management & Insurance
The Risk Management & Insurance (RMI) Program offers both a certificate track and a minor in Risk Management & Insurance. The certificate track is an option for students majoring in finance. Students who successfully complete the certificate track will receive a BBA in finance and a certificate in Risk Management & Insurance. The minor is open to students from any major who are interested in adding a risk management and insurance specialization to their degree. Students who successfully complete the minor will have a Risk Management & Insurance minor designation noted on their degree plan.
The RMI Program offers excellent preparation for interesting and well-paying jobs in the Risk Management Industry. A sampling of such positions includes the following:
General Business Risk Management Applications
Chief Financial Officer
In most organizations, the risk management function is supervised by the CFO. In organizations large enough to have a designated, full time Risk Manager, that individual generally reports to the CFO. Although the CFO may not actually perform risk management functions (except in the areas of financial and currency risk), he or she has ultimate staff responsibility for the overall risk management plan. Accordingly, CFO’s with formal insurance and risk management training are considerably more qualified to execute these functions than their counterparts who have not received such specialized training.
In organizations that do not have a designated, full time Risk Manager, CFO’s will often delegate the risk management function to the Controller. Therefore, individuals with formal risk management and insurance training will be ideally suited to be positioned or promoted to Controller. Many CFO’s are eager to find someone who has specialized in insurance because this potentially relieves the CFO of the extra work involved in the detailed duties of a risk manager. Our students are encouraged to stress risk management coursework on their resumes, thus taking advantage of such opportunities.
Accounting Firm Staff
Most large accounting firms have consulting divisions that offer advice and guidance to customer organizations in a variety of areas. These consultation services typically involve specialized risk management and insurance recommendations. These recommendations include input on how and why to form a captive insurance facility, how to manage a complicated business interruption clam, or how to apply a variety of alternative risk transfer solutions more financial in nature than traditional insurance solutions.
Investment Banking Firm
Managing investments for others requires the ability to evaluate potential investment opportunities based on the performance of the company. Distinguishing companies that are financially sound and well-managed from those that are not requires the consideration of many factors related to risk and insurance. These factors include a review of the company’s current risk management program, the number and types of open claims, the potential for future claims, the adequacy of contractual protection from lawsuits, and management’s attitude toward risk. Potential investors will want an in-depth study of these and other risk-related factors before committing their funds.
Specific Risk Management Staff Positions
Risk Manager and Assistant Risk Manager
Every business, large or small, has the need to develop a sound risk management plan. Often thought of as “The Insurance Program”, a truly refined risk plan involves far more than simply the purchase of insurance. Businesses must also consider, and possibly implement, many other facets of risk management.
In large companies, these functions are the responsibility of a professional risk manager and his or her staff. The size of a typical risk management department can range from 3 to 30 individuals. Professional risk managers for medium to large companies earn salaries averaging from $150,000 to $300,000+ and their staff members are proportionately compensated.
Risk Management Staff Support Positions
Many risk management departments employ specialists who concentrate in specific areas of the overall risk management program. For example, an individual may focus solely on the management of Workers’ Compensation claims or another individual might manage the Property Insurance program. These are entry level positions and often serve as the springboard for increased responsibility. Individuals in such staff support roles typically earn from $40,000 to $60,000 annually.
Insurance Company Positions
Most people are familiar with insurance companies as the source of policies for Homeowners and Personal Auto coverage. However, many people are not aware of the multitude and diversity of positions available within insurance companies. Here are just a positions few to consider:
The underwriter is a key insurance company position. An insurance underwriter reviews applications and determines if the applicant qualifies for coverage. Underwriters also set policy premium rates within the guidelines offered by regulatory authorities and the carrier’s home office. In the world of business risk management the process for obtaining insurance is a delicate and complicated process that involves much more than simply filling out an application and paying a premium Each applicant must demonstrate that they have the financial strength, safety programs, loss history, and senior management emphasis on loss control to be acceptable to the carrier. Each applicant must also provide evidence that their business operations fall within the guidelines acceptable to the carrier. Because of the responsibility entrusted to underwriters, their salary range falls between $70,000 and $300,000 annually depending upon experience and the type of coverage they handle. Underwriters tend to specialize in highly specific areas such as liability, property, aviation, or marine exposures.
Underwriters don’t work in isolation. They typically fall under the supervision of a department manager who has local, regional or national authority. Department Managers are themselves underwriters with considerable experience and responsibility. Accordingly, their salaries range from $100,000 to $350,000 annually.
Loss Control Specialist
Insurance companies typically send their own loss control engineers to the field to inspect their insured’s business operations. This can be part of the initial underwriting process or it can be a continuing service for existing clients. A loss control field engineer evaluates an insured’s operating conditions, programs and procedures and then renders a report outlining their observations with recommendations for improvement in certain safety or loss prevention areas found deficient. Loss Control Engineers make from $75,000 to $200,000 annually depending upon their experience and area of specialization.
Insurance Agent /Broker Positions
Businesses rarely purchase their numerous policies directly from insurance companies. Most use agents or brokers as an intermediary to navigate the complex world of available coverage offerings. The agent or broker assembles a package of options for the business reflecting the offerings of several competing carriers. Key positions in these businesses require detailed knowledge of the insurance products and services being offered as well as the ability to negotiate effectively to obtain the best deal for their clients.
Producers are responsible for the production of new business and the retention of existing accounts. They are typically skilled insurance executives with years of experience in various support roles. The Producer helps the client design a risk plan and supervises the presentation of insurance applications to a variety of carriers with the intention of creating the best possible mix of policies for the client. Producers also assist their clients with loss control programs, self-insurance issues and the use of contracts in transferring risk to others. Producers are responsible for every function associated with a given account, thus they are well compensated. Producers’ salaries range from $75,000 to over $1 Million annually.
Account Executives are responsible for supporting the producer or producers on a number of separate accounts. The Account Executive oversees the day to day administration of the account. The routine duties of the Account Executive include issuing billings, creating endorsements, providing certificates of insurance to outside requestors and reporting claims. Account Executives typically earn between $50,000 and $150,000 annually.
Technicians coordinate with insurance companies on particular lines of business. They tend to specialize in unique coverage areas. For example, a technician will be responsible for securing premium quotes on only aviation policies or only professional liability policies. Since their duties require keen negotiating skills, technicians are often well paid, averaging between $50,000 and $250,000 annually depending upon their experience and the volume of business they handle.