Following the financial crisis, corporations are eager to identify and minimize their risk exposure.

However, the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) designation doesn’t pigeonhole you into just being a Risk Manager. It opens a lot of career doors you might not expect.

Let’s see how to use your FRM designation to advance your career…

Stand Out by Specializing

The FRM designation is widely recognized as the premier global certificate for financial risk professionals. According to the Global Association of Risk Professionals, which administers the designation, the FRM Program enrolled more than 67,000 candidates in 2018 and saw the number of certified FRMs reach more than 50,000 globally.

The FRM designation enables you to:

  1. Specialize— The FRM demonstrates your knowledge of financial risk concepts and clearly sets you apart from your competition.
  2. Network — The designation doesn’t just set you apart. It also gains you admission to part a well-connected community of professionals.
  3. Advance — With the FRM designation comes increased credibility and respect from employers, peers, and clients.

Earning the designation is no walk in the park and it takes a great deal of preparation and study.

Leverage Your Specialty to Earn More

Depending on the location, role, and organization, FRM holders can earn anywhere between $65,000 and $195,000. While that’s a wide range, it still highlights the premium that this designation earns on the job market.

The median salary for an FRM holder in the U.S. is $86,000. 

Below are some salary examples from Notice that several are actually outside of the Risk department.

RoleAnnual Salary
Risk Analyst$65,000
Senior Internal Auditor$88,437
Quantitative Analyst$115,000
Credit Risk Manager$117,000
Vice President, Risk Management$194,300

FRM holders are also sought for executive positions, such as Chief Risk Officer or Chief Compliance Officer, which pay very well.

Communicate Your Value to the World

The first step to making the most of your FRM designation is to let everyone know about it. You need to communicate to your supervisors, your organization and your network that you have this highly valued skill.

1. Tell your supervisors – Be sure to tell your peers and supervisors that you are pursuing or have earned the FRM designation. Many organizations may reimburse some of the costs of your studies.

2. Join any internal risk associations – Many large corporations with vast operations often have internal/informal groups for specialized finance professionals. This may just be Slack or Yammer groups, or something more formal. These are often great sources of advice and support.

3. LinkedIn and other social networks – It should be a no brainer to update your profile (and CV) with your designation. Be sure to put “FRM” directly in your headline and behind your name.

4. Lead with your specialty – When communicating with recruiters and new organizations, be sure to highlight your specialized education and commitment to managing financial risk. Even if you’re not applying for a risk-focused position, it sets the right tone.

5. Finally, ask for help – In any position, you need to determine which peers and professionals can help you to learn and expand your knowledge. These mentors, even if informal, are often crucial to your growth and success.

The FRM designation truly sets you apart in today’s job market so be sure to leverage its reputation and the connection it brings to help you advance.