How to Become a

Chief Risk Officer (CRO)

The complete career guide to be a Chief Risk Officer (CRO): salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $72,480
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 4.9%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • High Income Potential
    Career Attribute

A Chief Risk Officer is in charge of the risk function of an organization. This role involves tactical monitoring, identifying and reporting on key technological, competitive and regulatory risks that might affect the strategic direction of the concerned organization.

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What is a Chief Risk Officer (CRO)?


The job responsibilities of a successful chief risk officer include the following points:

  • Make certain that strategies adopted for risk mitigation are evaluated accurately and presented for approval, to promote timely reporting protocols that are also sustainable.
  • Coordinate administrative functions with different departments and external partners that may include auditing, accounting, financial operations and legal compliance.
  • Represent the company while interacting with a wide range of audiences such as government representatives, civil or political agencies, media houses, internal staff, and investors.
  • Develop and execute strong professional connections with senior leadership such as the board of directors, the auditing and executive committees by keeping them updated on financial data.
  • Closely track the development of risk indicators for determining increased risk and oversee the implementation of risk mitigation procedures.
  • Keeps in line with the organization’s policies regarding regulations and banking credit, and that the corresponding risk ratings are appropriately established.

Day In The Life

As a chief risk officer, you can look forward to duties linked with overseeing the financial planning and risk management of an organization. Typically, your day will involve meeting with officers from the executive board to brainstorm advanced ways of reducing any risks in alignment with regulations established by the government. Building long-lasting connections with partners that may influence risk issues is another aspect of the work, whereby you promote trust and credibility with senior government bodies, and corporate executives through regular communication, in person or online.

In addition, as a critical member of management staff, you will have strategic oversight for creating action plans to control risk, develop efficient training programs in-house for building capacity, and support the creation of helpful management reporting processes. It is ultimately up to you to ensure that the company is well-protected from different kinds of lapses in security, lawsuits, fraud and investment problems.

Work Schedule And Typical Hours

Most Chief Risk Officers have to take on workloads that surpass the standard 40-hour week. This type of role also brings with it extra stress due to the central nature of the work, and the responsibility of ensuring the organization’s stability.

Growth Of The Job

Chief risk officers are vital for businesses with a highly unpredictable global economy, which brings with it an entire host of financial threats. Both financial and non-financial institutions will see an increase in the hiring of chief risk officers, with expanding global operations and more strict regulatory compliance procedures.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the recruitment of those in senior positions such as chief risk officers, will rise by 11 percent through 2022. There will also be a lot of competition for these positions due to scarcity of available jobs, as a company may only hire one chief risk officer. It is sometimes difficult to be hired as an external candidate due to a preference of hiring internally through promotions as well.

Typical Employers

Large scale companies and financial agencies like insurance, investment and banking institutions, look to hire a reliable Chief Risk Officer.

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How To Become a Chief Risk Officer (CRO)

To become a chief risk officer, you need to start your career with a minimum college degree in a relevant area such as statistics, economics, business administration and finance. Course work in pertinent subjects should be part of the program, which includes fraud prevention strategies, corporate compliance methods, emergency protocols, risk evaluation and auditing. This is essential for achieving a superior understanding of primary financial models and concepts like economic capital, and other traditional models.

It is not an easy road to becoming a Chief Risk Officer, since you need to build up a suitable career path that will be given preference other competition in the market. Before applying, you must first have gained extensive work experience of at least 10 to 20 years in the same industry. To begin early, you should take part in internships and consulting opportunities to gain applied experience and learn about finance jobs first-hand. Then, climbing up the ladder is essential to craft a specialized portfolio through progressively senior positions in accounting, human resources, auditing, and finance. Completing a Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) is often helpful in bagging promising roles.

Chief Risk Officer (CRO) Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Chief Risk Officer (CRO) salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Chief Risk Officer (CRO)'s can make an average annual salary of $72,480, or $35 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $49,590 or $24 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #181 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Highest Education Among Chief Risk Officer (CRO)s

  • 2.6%   Doctorate
  • 22.9%   Masters
  • 37.7%   Bachelors
  • 8.7%   Associates
  • 16.6%   College
  • 10.4%   High School
  • 1.2%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Chief Risk Officer (CRO) job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 7,100 jobs for a total of 152,300 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 4.9% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #441 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Chief Risk Officer (CRO)s

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Federal government, excluding postal service 23,200 -2,200 -2%
Depository credit intermediation 21,000 1,300 1%
Management of companies and enterprises 11,900 500 1%

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