When you become a compliance officer, you open up many possibilities for your career in terms of benefits and salary. To give you the best possibility of entering this career and staying there, the most likely path for most types of compliance professional is to earn a bachelor’s or even master’s degree in a variety of fields, such as business, finance or even accounting.
To get a better idea of the salary you can expect as a compliance officer, manager or analyst, the following article will detail how these factors can affect what you are paid:
- The level of degree you earn
- How many years of work experience you have
- Geographic area where you work
- The industry in which you work
Level of Degree Program
While you can generally enter the compliance field with many types and levels of degrees, it has been found over time that having a master’s degree will generally lead to a higher salary for compliance officers, managers and analysts. According to BLS, all US workers who had a master’s degree in 2013 had a median salary of $68,000, and workers with only a bachelor’s degree had only a $56,000 salary. This is a difference of $12,000 that can make you hundreds of thousands of dollars more over your lifetime.
See also Best Compliance Management Degrees
According to Salary.com, Payscale.com and Glassdoor.com, you can earn the following wages with business degree in the jobs of compliance officer, manager and analyst:
- Compliance officer: $99,470 for compliance officer in healthcare, with a range between $78,346 and $126,110 depending upon level of degree and experience. Glassdoor.com also reports the average salary in this field is $78,200 per year with a range between $51,000 and $123,000. For Payscale.com, the median salary is $66,600.
- Compliance manager: $101,805 average salary, with a range between $86,500 and $121,200 depending upon level of degree and experience. Glassdoor.com also reports the average salary in this field is $79,000 with a range between $55,000 and $110,000. For Payscale.com, the median salary is $75,400.
- Compliance analyst: $44,481 for compliance analyst in banking, with a range between $38,796 and $52,961. Glassdoor.com also reports the average salary in this field is $56,700 with a range between $43,000 and $75,000. For Payscale.com, the median salary is $55,600.
Generally, BLS data shows that the level of degree that you obtain in business or a related field to become a compliance professional will have a substantial impact upon your higher end salary.
Specifically, the data show that business professionals earn a higher salary with a higher level degree. There is not data for compliance specifically, but we learn that financial managers with a master’s degree enjoy a wage premium of $32,000 per year on average. Meanwhile, market research analysts and marketing specialists have a $25,000 wage premium.
What Does It Take To Be A Professional?
Job opportunities are increasing in various areas of compliance, especially in corporate compliance. A compliance manager, analyst or officer in corporate compliance is responsible for ensuring the company is in compliance with all federal, state and industry standards. If you want to land a lucrative career in corporate compliance, you would benefit greatly by having these skills:
- Strong communication skills: Compliance professionals in the corporate arena are responsible for overseeing and developing company standards for ethical and legal conduct. It also is important to be able to communicate this information to workers clearly and concisely. This may be done via training, public speaking and internal written communications.
- Leadership skills: If you are a compliance manager or officer, you may have a compliance analyst or many of them working under you. You have to show strong leadership skills to them. To be a compliance manager or officer, you normally need at least five or seven years of management experience. It also will help to have been a compliance analyst for several years.
- Proven integrity: Compliance involves checking that an organization is complying with rules and regulations. So it is important to possess a strong moral compass and a good track record for making ethical decisions. Everyone on the team must have integrity but it is even more important for a compliance officer or manager.
- Understanding of laws and regulations: Corporate counsel will usually look for compliance management professionals who have plenty of compliance experience in areas such as financial services. Compliance professionals can learn a lot of what they need on the job, but it is helpful if they already understand the regulatory landscape in the field and industry. The most sought after compliance professionals in corporate work have excellent analytical skills and the ability to understand difficult laws and regulations.
If you think that you do not have all of these traits yet, it is always a good move to consider starting out as a compliance analyst. You can expect a salary as a compliance analyst in the average range of $70,000 depending upon degree and speciality, according to RobertHalf.com. Or, if you feel you are ready for compliance management, you can earn a salary of $91,000.
Compliance Work Experience
The amount of work experience you have in the field of compliance will always be a factor in the range of pay. For example, we see the following pay information in Payscale.com for compliance manager:
- Compliance managers with less than five years of work experience earn an average salary of $64,000.
- Compliance managers with five to 10 years of work experience earn an average salary of $79,000.
- Compliance managers with 10 to 20 years of experience earn an average salary of $87,000.
- Compliance managers with more than 20 years of experience earn an average salary of $84,000.
This data shows that once you gain well above 10 years of experience in this field, the salary increases tend to level out.
Where you live in the United States will affect the type of salary you enjoy in compliance. According to Payscale.com, the national average salary for compliance manager is $76,300. But you will see the following types of salary premiums for certain cities in the US:
- San Francisco: +43%
- New York City: +27%
- Boston: +23%
- Houston: +18%
- Detroit: +17%
- Baltimore: +11%
- Phoenix: +5%
But other cities will see a lower salary in this field than the national average. Some of these include Denver, Minneapolis and Seattle. It is worth looking carefully at what the average salary is in compliance for the city where you will live.
The industry in which you work will affect the type of salary you enjoy in compliance. For example, BLS reports the following mean annual wages for compliance officers in different fields:
- Federal executive branch: $78,100
- State government: $53,400
- Local government: $59,600
- Management of companies and enterprises: $75,300
- Insurance carriers: $70,300
- Securities and commodities: $119,300
- Other financial investment activities: $99,500
- Semiconductor and electronic components: $87,600
- Pharmaceuticals: $81,500
- Nonfinancial, intangible assets: $59,900
Whether you become a compliance analyst, manager or officer, this is a growing field. US News and World Report states the job market for compliance officer has only a .8% unemployment rate and is the #11 best business job. If you get a good education and gain experience, you can earn a strong salary and benefits in compliance.
- Compliance Officer. (2016). Retrieved from https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/compliance-officer
- Should I Get a Master’s Degree? (2016). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm#Business
- What Does It Take To Be a Compliance Officer? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.roberthalf.com/blog/salaries-and-skills/hot-jobs-what-does-it-take-to-be-a-compliance-manager