3 minute read

Compliance Manager

Education and Training Bachelor’s degree preferred
Average Salary $91,600
Job Outlook Very good

Compliance managers work in various industries, including environmental operations, construction, and health industries. They understand the rules and regulations of their industry and ensure that their company is following these rules. If rules and regulations are not being met, a compliance manager will create and implement plans to bring the company or department up to standards.

Compliance managers generally work to ensure that illegal or unethical conduct is rooted out of the organization. To do this, they communicate with employees throughout the organization, and stay up-to-date on the latest industry regulations and standards. They may carry out periodic reviews, compile compliance reports for employers, shareholders, or a board of directors. When rules and regulations change, compliance managers work to quickly bring the company up to date.

In most companies, the compliance manager is responsible for reporting violations of ethical or legal codes to appropriate agencies so that the problem can be corrected in the future.

Education and Training Requirements

Typically, these positions require a bachelor’s degree, and entry-level positions are rare. Some companies require compliance officers to have a four-year degree in law, but related degrees combined with on-the-job experience can also be helpful.

If your goal is a compliance officer position in a specific field, such as finance or environmental or medical science, degrees in these areas combined with extra classes in law, business, and management can be helpful. Designations like FRM, CFA, CIPM, and CAMS can be helpful, as can taking extra courses to become a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager. The most helpful boost in this career, though, is on-the-job training in your field.

Getting the Job

Most companies hire compliance managers from within, in a pool of people who understand how the industry and company work, though some companies will hire entry-level compliance managers. This job requires a unique knowledge of both the specific industry and the laws surrounding and restricting that industry.

The entry position for a future compliance manager will depend on the industry. Any position that deals with industry standards and regulations is helpful for eventually moving into a compliance manager position. If you have a legal degree in particular, you may be able to apply directly to financial organizations, in particular, for a compliance manager position.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compliance manager jobs are expected to grow at a faster than average rate between now and 2018. One reason for this is the new openings in the financial and banking industry, as government regulations and rules have become even more stringent in this industry. The growing field of health research and development also contributes to the growth of this field, since medical research and development companies must meet strict standards in order to eventually market their products.

Growth potential for individual compliance managers is good. Good compliance managers often move into director’s positions where they manage the entire team of compliance managers. The top level for this job in most companies is Chief Compliance Officer or VP Compliance. Advancement opportunities will vary by industry and company, however.

Working Conditions and Environment

Compliance managers normally work in an office environment. In large companies with departments in various areas, travel may be required, depending on how many departments the manager oversees. This is typically a full-time position, and extra hours may be required when there is a compliance problem that needs fixed immediately.

Because a compliance officer must investigate fellow employees and must often assist the directors of a company in decision making, this can be a somewhat stressful job. Those with excellent communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to multi-task may find it less so.

Salary and Benefits

The typical salary for a compliance manager is between $50,000 and $100,000 or more, depending on industry, the size of the company, and experience. The average salary is $91,600. Health benefits and vacation time is typically included in a benefits package for this job, and sometimes compliance managers are granted bonuses or profit sharing privileges.

Where to Go for More Information
Most compliance managers are members of a union related to their specific industry, though they may also join compliance-specific organizations like those listed below:

Ethics and Compliance Officer Association
411 Waverly Oaks Rd., Ste. 324
Waltham, MA 02452
(781) 647-9333

Health Care Compliance Association
6500 Barrie Rd., Ste. 250
Minneapolis, MN 55435
(888) 580-8373

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