Why You Should Apply Your Project Management Skills to Risk Management

Project management skills applied to a risk management career

Risk management is one of the most important components of a business plan, and the people with these types of skills are incredibly valuable to any industry. It is the complexities of risk management that could decide the success or failure of your business or project.

With risk managers fetching an average salary of $118,000 in Australia, it's not hard to see why a career in risk management is a great path to take. Click To Tweet

What is risk management?

Risk management is the term to describe a process used across many industries. This practice involves the identification, evaluation, and treatment of risks that could impact a project, business, or industry.

Risks can stem from a variety of places, including financial uncertainty, legal issues, technological security, data breaches, and strategic errors, to name a few. Other risks may include natural disasters and accidents.

However, each of these different risks must be taken into consideration by a business to help ensure their success. Once they have evaluated the risks, they will be able to create a comprehensive risk management plan that will help to mitigate some of the dangers they may face in the future.

Skills needed in risk management

A variety of skills are required for anyone who wants to be successful when it comes to risk management.


You can never guarantee how risk is going to impact your business or project. Being able to think on your feet to solve a problem when they occur is a valuable skill.

Analytical skills:

Being able to analyse a situation and all potential outcomes is an essential skill when working in risk management. Communication: Ensuring that every member of your team understands the stakes that come with these risks is necessary when considering this career. Can you communicate well with others? If so, you may be a good candidate.

Working under pressure:

When the fate of a project or a business is on your shoulders, you will be forgiven for feeling stressed. However, the ability to work through the stress and deal with the unexpected will be crucial.

Risk management in project management

If you are not yet certain on any one industry you want to enter, a Diploma of Project Management is a perfect overall qualification that can still help you get into risk management. You will be able to study the “Manage Project Risk” course, as well as more broad subjects that can be applied to other industries.
For example, you will learn units like:

  • Manage project cost
  • Manage project quality
  • Manage project time

Each of these, plus many of the other units offered, will add to your knowledge and skills when it comes to risk management. Not only that, but you will be able to apply them to a broad spectrum of industries and careers, meaning you can tailor your study and education to suit your interests.

So what are some of the real risks you might face if you do choose to head down the learning risk management in project management path?

  • Where there have been estimating and scheduling errors, meaning your project has not been given enough time, or there may not be the right amount of funds to complete the job.
  • The purpose and necessity of your project are not well-defined, making getting permits and approvals harder as a result. Contingency plans for natural disasters and accidents. What are you going to do if there are fires? Floods? Hurricanes? If you lose resources? Or materials go missing?
  • Contractor conflict or delays. Everyone on a project must work as part of a team. You need to consider what happens if a contractor is experiencing delays and how it will impact the rest of the project.
  • Lack of communication. This is a dangerous risk that can cause chaos and confusion. If the communication is lacking, messages get blurred, and the project becomes compromised.

Construction manager moving into risk manager career or role

Risk Management in Construction

As with project management, there are a lot of real-life risks that need to be taken into consideration regardless of the industry you choose. As the person who specialises in risk, you are put on a team to ensure plans are made to negate or deal with risks as they arise.

For example, risks you may face working in construction include:

  • Realising that materials are not accurately calculated, meaning that more money will need to be spent on additional resources which can lead to budgeting and scheduling conflicts.
  • Physical injuries are incredibly prevalent on constructions sites and need to be managed carefully. Are there systems in place to mitigate falls, injuries, accidents?
  • Have all worksite been adequately checked for gas pipes, water mains, etc.? Is there a plan in place if an item is missed and found later when it might be too late?

These are all high-risk scenarios that need to be carefully considered in the day-to-day life of someone who is working in construction risk management.

How to get into risk management

There are plenty of avenues that you could take to get into risk management. One such way would be to complete a qualification that has an element of risk management tied to it. For example, if you knew you wanted to be in the construction industry, a Diploma of Building & Construction (Management) (CPC50320) is a perfect choice. During your time studying this diploma, there is an entire unit dedicated to risk called “Apply Principles of OHS Risk Management”.

If risk management was the area you wanted to specialise in within that industry, there are useful electives you can take such as “Manage Project Risk” that put you a step ahead of other people.

Five Ways a Double Diploma is better than a Single Diploma

Risk management is emerging as a rewarding and vital career to enter and will be so for a long time to come. Many skills are needed to be successful, like problem-solving, communication, and a strong ability to work under pressure, but these are not unattainable. Through hard work and dedication, you will be able to progress into a career in risk management.

Using skills that you gain from choosing a qualification like the Diploma of Project Management (BSB50820), you can apply to any industry with confidence that you will be able to succeed in the field of risk management.