Life after FRM Qualification by the GARP

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes



What will your life be like after receiving FRM qualification by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP)?

There are many arguments in favor of pursuing a professional certification, top among them higher earnings and career advancement.

In the field of finance, the Financial Risk Manager qualification is one of the most decorated professional accreditation.

Global demand for these certified individuals is on the rise. This is in part because of the constantly unpredictable nature of the global economic environment and the impact of politics on world economies.

There is evidence to show that these persons are now the highly valuable assets in organizations. Read the full article to find out how your life changes after gaining this endorsement.


What is the demand for risk professionals?

In general, advanced degrees and professional certifications are invaluable in the labor market. People pursue these qualifications to gain an upper hand during entry or progress in their careers.

Be that as it may, degrees face some level of uncertainty.

This qualification does better than a second or master’s degree in finance because while the degrees are holistic and generalized, the course equips students with targeted knowledge in risk management and value creation for firms.

The new regulations introduced after the last global financial crisis are fueling demand for financial risk professionals to help companies navigate the uncharted waters.

The banking and insurance sectors are leading the demand.

In 2014, British recruiter MERJE confirmed that the need for risk specialists was a whopping 30 per cent more than it had been in the previous year.


What are my job prospects?

Qualified individuals have higher employment rates and higher earnings than those with plain bachelors and graduate degrees.

By the peak of the 2009 recession, the unemployment rate for professionally certified individuals was 2.4 per cent as compared to 4.1 per cent for master’s degree graduates and 5.4 % for bachelor’s degrees.

GARP’s program creates highly skilled individuals that can handle various risk and financial management responsibilities.

The top employers are in the commercial banking industries, portfolio management, sales and marketing, among others.

Some of the senior positions include Corporate Risk Directors, Credit Risk Specialists, Risk Qualification Managers and Enterprise Risk Managers, among others.


How much money can I expect after finishing?

The potential for higher earnings is almost assured, owing to the rigorous training in the program. After attaining qualification, you will have learnt the best practices for efficient and effective risk management.

Such professionals always seek to analyze and manage risks to add value to their organizations. And these new found abilities lead to higher earnings.

In the United States, these experts can earn between US$100,000 to US$250,000 per year. There are also fringe benefits, such as insurance and pension options.

It is noted that your earning potential will vary depending on your experience and location of the job.


What are my job duties?

The intensity of job responsibilities varies from one position to another, for instance, credit risk directors will have much more to handle than credit risk analysts.

Overall, however, everyone that uses the Financial Risk Manager title after their name is involved in risk analyses, risk evaluation and risk management.

These professionals help to pinpoint threats to a firm’s profitability or survival and pinpoint opportunities for value creation. In summary, the duties may include:

  • Implementing policies to reduce a firm’s risks
  • Assessing risks in projects and accounts
  • Devising solutions and protocols for reducing risk
  • Monitoring operations to maintain compliance
  • Collaborating to manage various forms of risk
  • Reviewing/assessing reports of suspicious activities
  • Conducting risk audits and creating risk reports
  • Preparing and presenting detailed risk evaluation reports


How busy is the workday?

These experts may have more on their plate than any other professionals. That justifies the high salaries and the industry respect associated with this title.

FRMs are the last line of defense for keeping a company afloat when risks come flooding. Their days start early and end late.

Vigilance is a natural part of the job. As a qualified person, you will need to be informed about regulation changes, market scenarios and the general business environment.

The risk management experts, therefore, start the day going through the news. After skimming through the headlines, you would proceed to respond to emails and review the day’s plan.

The early morning may be spent on concluding unfinished projects and on analyses to assess and quantify risks. 

The rest of the day may be spent hopping from meeting to meeting, compiling reports on different aspects of risks, presenting reports to employers and clients, tracking risk situations and devising mitigation plans.

Somewhere in there, the Financial Risk Manager is supposed to fit in their schedule, knowledge advancement to maintain their competencies. 

That is because the risk is always evolving, and so does knowledge of best practices.


What are my working hours?

Financial risk management is an ambitious and fast-paced career type. Your job might involve between 8 and 14 hours of work each day.

Long hours of work are mostly during critical risk situations that need urgent addressing.

On average, the weekly time sheet would reflect over 40 hours of work. The job satisfaction is high, but pressure is to be expected especially in fields such as investment risk and corporate risk.

In some situations, you will be required to multitask, or to drop what you are doing and attend to more urgent issues. You will need to be alert all day, and so physical and emotional fitness should be your priority.

Being versed with new approaches and technology will also save you in many situations.


What are my career opportunities?

GARP’s program is considered a key option to move up the career ladder in finance. The laser focused risk training equips candidates with skills necessary to have a successful career in financial risk management.

After qualification, you will have the competencies to handle higher-level responsibilities and add more value to the organization.

A recent study by Qualigence International shows that financial risk management is the second best career in terms of growth.

A financial risk analyst can climb up the ladder to handle more job responsibilities and supervisory functions as a financial risk manager.

The latter may further advance their career to become a director of risk management and then onto the senior risk management director.


Job satisfaction levels

Studies show that, after completing their course, risk management professionals are typically very happy with their jobs, rating the satisfaction levels at 9 out of 10.

It is noted that job satisfaction is occasionally pegged on the salary scale but not always. The pay for most risk professionals is certainly decent and among the highest in the industry, comparable to an MBA.

The other measure of job satisfaction is job security. These achievers are in high demand, and organizations would want to retain their prized professionals rather than go through the costly process of acquiring new talent.

Risk management jobs are usually exciting; you get to do new stuff every day and meet new people.

The title brings good things among them respect and admiration from your colleagues. You will be looked at for guidance in all risk situations.

Clients and employers will like you for the increased value you bring to the firm — very few risk professionals quit or shift careers suddenly.


The varying roles of a Financial Risk Manager

Financial risk management professionals are indispensable assets in the growth strategy of many financial companies.

From risk analyses for projects before launch, risk mitigation, to value addition by spotting opportunities, you will have a chance to make a big difference on the company’s bottom line.

Today, the job is taking a technology-led approach to risk management and value creation. 

Responsibilities are growing and becoming more encompassing, from compliance models to operational risk management. Your daily job can create millions in value and reclaim similar amounts from losses.

Your risk management competencies will benefit not only your company but also the industry as a whole.


Can this lead to personal growth and self-fulfillment?

Today, full-filling and long-lasting careers are worth so much more than before. Individuals are now demanding personal fulfillment and social importance from their jobs.

After qualification, a career in risk management will enable you to play an essential role in your national economy, by maintaining the economic stability of your organization.

By ensuring financial best practices, FRMs are the gatekeepers between the possibilities of a collapsed world economy and a flourishing one.

There is a high sense of professional accomplishment and pride in the risk management job. As a certified person, you will be a respected person not only in your organization but also in the industry.

The title has a premium global reputation. The increasing demand for expert risk professionals means even more respect and higher earnings.


Is it stressful?

As a certified Financial Risk Manager, your job carries long working hours and involves handling many responsibilities.  You have a responsibility to shield the company from losses and maximize its profitability potential.

Be that as it may, studies show that stress levels are very low in financial risk management.

GARP’s program rigorously prepares candidates for all risk scenarios. If you pass the level 1 and 2 exams, you can expect to handle anything thrown at you by the financial world.

Through the program, you will likely have mastered the necessary competencies to handle the job with ease. You will also be more equipped at coping under pressure.

These include a proper diet, enough sleep and regular exercise.


Where do they work?

Multi-national banks, pension funds, brokerages, hedge funds and insurance companies are your top employers after receiving accreditation.

Nevertheless, chances are you will find employment in your home district, but some cities will carry more potential than others.

If you work in a multinational corporation, you are liable to be posted anywhere across the around. With more experience, the more you will be relied upon, and that might mean frequent travel or transfers.



There is demand for achievement and growth just like in any great job. Your deliverables will include risk management plans, analysis reports, risk policy compliance audits and risk mitigation, among others.

You will be accountable for identifying, analyzing, prioritizing, responding and monitoring various types of risk.

Further in your career, you will be given a team and held responsible for its management and growth in your department.


Is there time for family and social life?

After getting into the risk network, don’t be surprised if your friends are themselves risk managers. It is easier to socialize that way because of the scarcity of time to meet new people outside the job scene.

Other risk managers will easily understand your tight schedules and hardworking life.

You can have a social life, but in this case, it will need to be well organized and planned. You can take your family on holidays and plan to dedicate your weekends to them. 

In case you break family and social appointments (and this will happen), apologize profusely and try to make it up to them!


How powerful is the qualification?

The power to dictate the direction of a company. This is an awesome responsibility. You will be involved in decision making over what projects a company can embark on as well as cost reduction strategies.

You will have the power to change the financial outlook of a business and create employment opportunities by facilitating growth.

By working closely with the global network of experts, you will shape the direction of the whole industry through innovation and better risk management practices.


In Closing

There is relative calm now in the global economy, apart from occasional trade wars and unpredictable politics.

Nevertheless, impending risks on the way will demand companies overhaul their traditional approaches.

These experts are in high demand for their versatility and competencies handling various risk scenarios. Therefore, the job title is set to become even more critical and influential.

After FRM qualification, you can, therefore, expect endless job opportunities, higher compensation, respect and personal fulfillment.

To jump start your career today, register with the program and download all our free materials today with no account sign-ups necessary!

Also, be sure to take a look at our other articles to gain an even better view of the profession and our shop page for great study aids.


Yours truly,

The QuestionBank Family