Compliance Officer
How to Become a

Compliance Officer

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

Why We Love It

  • $88,310
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 9.9%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Growing Industry
    Career Attribute

As a compliance officer, you are responsible for executing a company’s or governing body’s compliance management policies to ensure adherence to applicable laws and regulations.

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What is a Compliance Officer?


A compliance officer usually takes care of the following primary tasks:

  • Coordinate with different businesses to assess the performance of vendors, conduct site visits and evaluate risk assessments.
  • Evaluate and confirm final advertising and promotional products, both digital and in print, to ensure that applicable laws and guidelines were followed.
  • Undertake a detailed review of company accounts to assess compliance with existing regulations and policies, prior to approval.
  • Engage in evaluating the performance of employees at all levels, which includes providing clear feedback and steps to improve performance quality in future.
  • Keep track of the changing industry landscape as per updated policies and legal best practices, with a focus on how such developments will influence organizational efficiency.

Day In The Life

As a compliance officer, it is your sole duty to protect the reputation of a company and make sure it is not affected by any scandal. To this end, you will serves as a point person to handle, assess and respond to any regulatory inquiries that might arise. Based on the scale of operations, a firm can have complex guidelines on various aspects such as digital communication and public relations that you will accurately interpret for other employees. You have to review various marketing materials as well as press releases to confirm that they are in keeping with company regulations.

Further, you may have to prepare comprehensive training materials on compliance and the regulatory risks faced by that particular industry. In addition, as the rules may evolve based on the current landscape, you will also keep up to date on the latest version of such regulations. Further, you may spend much of your time providing informed and well-researched recommendations on smart business objectives and ways to maximize on upcoming opportunities.

Work Schedule And Typical Hours

As a compliance officer, you need to be very comfortable working beyond 40 hours, while sometimes work over the weekend or into late evenings is not uncommon. This is a high stress job with worries related to changing regulations, possible risks that may emerge and the unpredictability of market repercussions. You may be working in a standard office setting or have to review compliance materials on-site in the outdoors or at a factory environment, based on the type of client you have.

Growth Of The Job

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for compliance officers is expected to grow by at least 8.2 percent by 2026. As laws, licensing and regulations become increasingly complex, there is increased demand for those functioning as compliance professionals. In part, this demand is also accounted for by the rise in scrutiny that financial services like banks have to undergo, with the prospect of hefty fines and damaging penalties in case regulations are violated. As American organizations expand employment overseas, there are greater opportunities for those working in corporate compliance, to gain employment in exciting cultures.

Typical Employers

Compliance officers typically work with various government agencies, financial service companies like banks and insurance firms, private investment firms, marketing and advertising agencies, as well as other big corporations.

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How To Become a Compliance Officer

To be a compliance officer, you need to hold at least a college degree in business studies, finance, public administration, business administration, compliance or accounting. While there are many factors that vary depending on job requirements, you should obtain a certification and complete applied training in this industry to bag lucrative employment options. Some professionals choose to specialise in one type of compliance procedures, such as criminal justice, environmental science, urban planning or construction management.

One of the key aspects is to master essential laws and regulations in your specialized field – this involves formal educational qualifications and a few years of experience on-the-job. You may also decide to sign up for a degree program that allows you to complete requirements online to become a compliance officer, which is ideal if you already have a full-time job commitment.

At the individual level, you may excel as a compliance officer if you are effective with presentations and other communication and can be a good listener to address others’ issues. Since this role includes interacting with non-technical employees and partners, you need to be able to successfully interpret complex data in an engaging and friendly manner.

Compliance Officer 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

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Compliance Officer salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Compliance Officer's can make an average annual salary of $88,310, or $42 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $58,490 or $28 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #103 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Highest Education Among Compliance Officers

  • 2.1%   Doctorate
  • 19.4%   Masters
  • 57.9%   Bachelors
  • 4.4%   Associates
  • 13%   College
  • 2.6%   High School
  • 0.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Compliance Officer job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 3,800 jobs for a total of 42,000 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 9.9% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #200 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Compliance Officers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Federal government, excluding postal service 7,300 100 0%
Depository credit intermediation 6,700 1,900 2%
State government, excluding education and hospitals 4,900 --- 0%

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