what is an operational risk manager?

As an operational risk manager, your job is to analyse a business's day-to-day operations and identify risks that may arise from internal challenges, mismanagement, and breakdowns. You assess risks across various departments of the company and evaluate the consequences of their occurrence. Once you identify issues, you create new company policies and structures to reduce the chances of risks occurring. Additionally, you continuously monitor the company's operations to identify new threats and assess the impact of any changes in legislation. This role is crucial in various industries, including mining, manufacturing, and engineering, as well as consulting firms where you manage human resources or identify risks in the company structure.

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average operational risk manager salary

As someone in the role of an operational risk manager, your yearly salary typically averages around $117,000. Starting out in an entry-level position, you can expect a yearly compensation package of $83,000. However, as you progress to a senior position, your earnings can increase to over $150,000 annually. Your remuneration package is influenced by a range of factors, such as your level of work experience and educational qualifications.

what factors influence the salary of an operational risk manager?

As you embark on your career journey, it's important to recognise that starting out may mean lower pay due to limited experience and qualifications. However, don't let this discourage you. As you continue to learn and grow in your field, your earning potential will also increase. Remember, some companies may require specific certifications or qualifications which can give you an advantage. Your industry can also play a role in your salary prospects, with higher risks often resulting in higher pay. And while larger organisations may offer greater resources and higher salaries, don't underestimate the potential for growth and opportunity in smaller businesses. Stay motivated and keep pushing yourself to reach your full potential.

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types of operational risk managers

As an operational risk manager, you are responsible for managing a variety of operational risks. Some areas of focus may include:

  • internal and external fraud: your role involves mitigating risks related to theft, bribery, and non-compliance with company regulations. You also deal with operational risks stemming from external fraud such as computer hacks, forgery, or theft.
  • technological failures: as an operational risk manager, you evaluate the likelihood of exposure to risk due to technological failures. For example, you may find ways to minimise loss of information and impact on the business in computer systems or hardware and software.
  • labour relations and workplace safety: as an operational risk manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that the company's actions comply with labour laws and promote workplace safety. You must pay attention to claims made in the company, such as discrimination and personal injury.
  • business practices: as an operations manager, you pay attention to risks arising from operational risks. Examples include customer injuries, unfair competition and misleading product information.
smiling female, working from laptop
smiling female, working from laptop

working as an operational risk manager

Working as an operational risk manager requires industry-specific knowledge to understand the standards. Here are the daily work activities of an operational risk manager:


education and skills

Some of the educational qualifications of an operational risk manager include:

  • educational qualifications: for most companies, the minimum requirement for becoming an operational risk manager is a bachelor's degree in finance and business administration. However, if you don't qualify for a bachelor's degree course, start with a Certificate IV in risk management to learn the basics of managing risks. An advanced diploma in integrated risk management equips you with knowledge in evaluating and reviewing organisational compliance and business continuity.
  • work experience: you require extensive experience in risk management and business operations. You can gain experience in entry-level positions like risk analysts and progress to higher roles as you improve your knowledge and expertise.

operational risk manager skills and competencies

Some of the skills of an operational risk manager include:

  • knowledge of industry regulations: as an operational risk manager, you uphold the industry standards and regulations. You require extensive knowledge of industry regulations to ensure that the company’s operations comply with industry standards. With your knowledge, you can ensure compliance and reduce the chances of product recalls and fines.
  • analytical skills: as an operational risk manager, you require expertise in anticipating and assessing risks. You review the relevant data and draw conclusions from the statistical models you apply. With your analytical skills, you can correctly review and analyse data for decision-making.
  • strategic thinking skills: aside from identifying potential risks to the company’s operations, you also work with the upper management to develop strategies for mitigation. Your job is to develop operational strategies to mitigate long-term risks and improve efficiency in operations. Your strategic thinking skills help you identify various opportunities associated with various risks.
  • communication skills: as an operational risk manager, you require communication skills to communicate clearly and effectively. Written and verbal communication helps you write effective reports and collaborate with professionals.
  • problem-solving skills: as an operational risk manager, you identify risks and find ways to solve the problems. Your problem-solving skills help you find creative strategies to deal with various risks in the company. Problem-solving relies on critical thinking and creativity.

FAQs about working as an operational risk manager

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of an operational risk manager.

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