A compliance officer is responsible for ensuring that an organization's business transactions meet all relevant federal, state, municipal, and industry-specific laws and regulations. While this job exists in a variety of industries, the position is more commonly associated with finance. Compliance officers are usually hired by government agencies, although banks, mutual fund companies, and investment firms may employ them as well. Professionals in this position may be asked to develop internal processes, audit company records, and prepare reports.
Compliance Officer Job Education Requirements
The education requirements for compliance officers are similar to those for people interested in working as auditors or accountants. Employers generally expect candidates in compliance officer positions to have an undergraduate degree, preferably in finance. Candidates wishing to advance in their careers should seek a master's degree.
Additional education and certification requirements vary and are typically offered through professional organizations. These organizations include, but are not limited to, the Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) course offered by the American Bankers Association (ABA) and The Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional Program (CCEP) from The Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE).
Compliance Officer Job Market
The market for compliance positions is closely tied to political shifts in support for government regulation of private industry. As a result, projected growth for compliance officer job opportunities in the United States is 4.6 percent through 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This rate is significantly lower than the average projected growth rate for all professions.
Federal, state, and local governments offer the highest rates of employment for compliance professionals. This field may be best suited to those interested in working in the public sector.
Compliance Officer Job Salary Information
According to the BLS, the median annual wage for compliance officers is about $68,000. However, compensation varies greatly by industry. In addition to finance and securities, the highest wages for compliance professionals can be found in the natural gas, agricultural chemical manufacturing, and pipeline transportation industries.