Are Compliance Officer Salaries Headed Up or Down?

By Robert Half September 23, 2016 at 4:00pm

Compliance officer candidates are in high demand, and with regulations constantly changing or being introduced and companies competing for talent and expertise, it’s likely the trend will continue.

Demand is driving compliance officer salaries upward in a variety of industries, from the legal field and healthcare to finance and accounting.

And that trend doesn't show any signs of letting up.

Benchmarks for compliance officer salaries

According to the 2019 Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance Professionals, the midpoint salary for a compliance officer is $102,750.

At the midpoint, candidates have average experience with the necessary skills to meet the job requirements. The salaries listed in the Salary Guide reflect starting pay only and are based on actual placements throughout the United States, as well as an analysis of the market conditions.

The Salary Guide also shows the median salary for a compliance analyst, which is $77,000 in 2019.

There’s potential for advancement and promotion with a career in compliance. A compliance director can expect a median salary of $138,500 in 2019, and for a chief compliance officer, the projected median salary is $169,250.

Duties and expectations

A compliance officer is expected to ensure a company’s processes follow internal policies and government regulations, the latter of which are constantly changing and evolving. Other duties often include assessing financial risk and coming up with preventative measures or solutions to handle potential issues. Compliance officers also provide regular reports on the effectiveness of these measures and advise company executives on any action or changes that should be implemented.

Professional experience and skills

Education requirements may vary, though typically a compliance officer is expected to hold a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics or a similar field. Obtaining a master’s degree may also help those wishing to progress into a chief compliance officer position. Additionally, compliance officers are often required to maintain certification and regular retraining in the sector in which they work.

Compliance officers should have strong leadership and communications skills, including superb analytical abilities, as they are frequently expected to assess their organizations’ processes. Perhaps most importantly, compliance officers should be highly ethical, as they help their companies prepare to meet the growing burden of regulatory compliance.

Now that you know more about compliance officer salaries, duties and expectations, why wait? Start your job search for compliance officers now.

This post has been updated to reflect more current information.

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