Is Your Risk Management Salary Above or Under Par? Check Out This RIMS Salary Update to Find Out

The Risk Management Society surveyed more than 1,000 risk professionals to get a grip on how much they are being paid and how much their pay is increasing annually.
By: | January 27, 2022
Topics: Risk Management

A new survey by the Risk Management Society, otherwise known as RIMS, gauges pay increases for risk management professionals.

According to the society, risk professionals in the United States saw a 14.4% salary increase in 2021 over their 2019 compensation rate. The society reports that Canadian risk professionals realized a 18.8% increase in pay over the same period.

Sounds like good news, right? Well, let’s take a closer look.

Careful with Those Percentages

We business reporters love this kind of thing.

One of the first things you learn in business journalism (that is, if you’re paying any attention) is that percentages can be deceiving. Let’s take a look at some additional information released by the society.

The society reports that, and we’ll quote here, “both male and female risk professionals in the United States experienced similar pay increases, 14.2% and 14.7% respectively.”

Here’s the tricky part. A similar percentage increase isn’t the same as a similar increase. Example: A professional making $100,000 per year gets a $5,000 pay increase. Okay that’s a pay increase of 5%. Another professional making $75,000 a year gets a $4,000 increase. That’s a 5.3 % increase.

But in terms of actual dollars, the first professional got a raise that was $1,000 or 25% more than the second professional got, yet their percentage increases were pretty close. Just saying…

For good reason, gender pay equity is a hot-button issue, and should remain a focus, if the insurance and risk management communities are going to realize their goals of creating a more diverse workforce.

The executive summary of the RIMS’ report mentions that men in the risk professions are paid more than women on average, though it doesn’t say how much more in actual dollars.

And Watch Those Headlines

An average 6% increase in salary per year is nice.

RIMS’ headline on its news release states, “Risk Professionals Salaries Soar in 2021”. (Bold, italics ours).

Now, steady, solid increases would be appreciated by any professional. But whether risk professional salaries are soaring is another matter — especially in the context of 2021’s 4.7% inflation rate.

While we’re on the topic, consider this report from the Economic Policy Institute, which found that corporate CEO salaries increased by 1,322% from 1978 to 2020, (that’s an annual increase of more than 31%) while the typical worker’s pay increased by 18% over the same time period.

Thirty one percent annually? Now that’s some soaring! Around 6% annually seems rather plodding by comparison, doesn’t it?

The Executive Summary?

Sorry. We couldn’t get permission to link to it, but it digs into the compensation environment in a lot more detail.

A median base salary of $135,000 (for risk professionals in the U.S.) and $120,000 (for risk professionals in Canada) as RIMS reports, is nothing to sneeze at in the scheme of things.

And a career spent protecting others from losses and helping them to get reimbursed after a loss is a career with a shining higher purpose.

Hard as it may be for some to believe, for many, that’s a lot more fulfilling than overflowing bags of gold. &

Dan Reynolds is editor-in-chief of Risk & Insurance. He can be reached at [email protected]

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