Why Get a Compliance Management Degree?

Created by Henry Steele

By Henry Steele - October 25, 2017
Reading Time: 7 minutes
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Compliance managers are professionals who maintain the legal, financial and ethical integrity of an organization intact via enforcement of policies and proper planning. A compliance manager is responsible for ensuring that all parts of the business or organization are in full compliance with various types of regulations, rules, and laws that pertain to that business and industry.

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Compliance managers are in charge of staying up to date with the changing regulations and laws that affect the business world. Also, they are charged with preparing various legal, regulatory and/or financial reports for executives and upper-level management.

What Is Compliance Management?

Compliance management concerns the work to identify where potential issues lie with matters pertaining to legality and ethics in a company are occurring, and then fixing those issues in a responsible and efficient manner. Effective compliance management is working with higher levels of management to ensure that proper rules and strategies are in place to address legal, financial and ethical compliance issues before the company and staff themselves are in jeopardy of violating laws and regulations pertaining to that industry.

Compliance management also is needed to recognize when and if an ethical breach has occurred in the organization. After the breach has been realized, compliance managers need to use their knowledge of the situation to deal with the matter in a legal and responsible manner.

Compliance managers often work in human resources, but others may work in the financial and accounting department. Compliance managers in the financial and accounting departments today are especially important, given the stronger regulatory and legal framework that governs the financial sector of the business world today.

Compliance Management Degree Opportunity

Compliance managers and officers are generally seeing an uptick in demand after the last financial crisis. In the financial and accounting sector, compliance managers are more in need as the US and state governments are increasing the enforcement of financial crimes. Many compliance managers are finding more opportunities on Wall Street and in various branches of the federal government.

But there also is a strong and growing need for compliance managers in areas such as healthcare, telecommunications and oil and gas. The regulatory framework in these various fields is growing more complex, and compliance professionals are needed to ensure that companies and organizations are in compliance with the law.

Compliance Management Degree Careers

There are many different careers where compliance management plays a very important role. For example, financial examiners are charged with ensuring compliance with financial laws and regulations. They are responsible for reviewing balance sheets, evaluating the risk level of loans, and assessing the management of banks and other lending institutions.

Job demand for financial examiners is expected to grow by a healthy 10% between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than average when compared to other professions. The rate of growth for financial examiners will vary a great deal by industry group. Financial examiners are in higher demand as more financial institutions need help with regulatory compliance.

As of 2016, there were 52,500 financial examiners in the US. The top employers in this field were in these areas:

  • Depository credit intermediation: 22%
  • Federal government: 14%
  • Securities, commodities and other financial investments: 11%
  • Management of companies: 11%
  • State government: 8%

Another industry where compliance management is of great and growing importance is in healthcare. Medical and health service managers are responsible for ensuring that their healthcare organization is in compliance with complex laws and regulations promulgated by the federal and state governments.

Employment for medical and health services managers will rise by a rapid 20% from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than average. Employment in the compliance area will definitely grow quickly as there is more use of electronic health records or EHRs. Having an excellent understanding of EHRs will be needed to ensure that healthcare organizations are in compliance with complicated healthcare regulations governing electronic record maintenance and collection.

Compliance Management Degree Salaries

The Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS reports that compliance managers and financial examiners earned a median salary of $79,200 in 2016, and the top 10% earned more than $148,000 per year. Financial examiners in different sectors also earned these varying salaries:

  • Federal government: $115,000
  • Securities, commodity contracts and other financial investments: $88,300
  • Management of companies and enterprises: $79,100
  • Depository credit intermediation: $72,700

BLS reports that the median salary for medical and health services managers is $96,500, with the top 10% earning in excess of $172,000 per year. Compliance professionals who work in the medical and healthcare field will have a salary that can differ somewhat based upon the exact type of facility:

  • Hospitals: $104,000
  • Government: $104,000
  • Outpatient care: $89,400
  • Doctors offices: $87,000

Compliance Management Degree Employers

Professionals with a background in financial compliance management and financial examining may find employment in many types of organizations. Some of the largest financial related companies in the US that are hiring include the following:

  • USAA
  • Quicken Loans
  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • Edward Jones
  • Capital One Financial
  • Nationwide
  • Pinnacle Financial Partners
  • PrimeLending
  • Bankers Healthcare Group

Online Compliance Management Degrees

Arizona State University

The online Master of Legal Studies in Corporate and Health Care Compliance, offered through ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, prepares students to move up the ladder in their current career or to pursue new and exciting career opportunities.

This flexible, 100% online program from an AACSB-accredited business school allows you to study the same curriculum taught by the same world-renowned faculty as the on-campus program.

  • ASU is ranked #2 for Best Online Graduate Business Programs by U.S. News & World Report
  • ASU is ranked the #1 university for innovation in the country by U.S. News & World Report, ahead of both MIT and Stanford

Businesses and companies involving insurance, banking, and health care have to adhere to numerous laws and regulations to stay within compliance of said laws and regulations. To ensure that these businesses and companies are remaining within compliance, they are developing compliance departments that assure the organization is meeting the requirements of the laws and regulations.

Undergrad Tuition: Inquire
Grad Tuition: Inquire
Application Deadline: Multiple
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: AACSB
Delivery: 100% Online
Degrees Offered: Masters/Bachelors

Inquire Direct with ASU.edu

Online Master’s Degree
  • Master of Legal Studies in Corporate and Health Care Compliance

For more information about this corporate and health care compliance degree program visit the school direct.

Inquire Direct with ASU.edu

Business professionals who want to earn an advanced degree in this field often choose to earn a master’s degree online. This allows you to earn your degree largely on your own time and schedule. Also, you can usually complete most or all of the degree from the comfort of your own home.

A good choice for an online master’s is the Online Executive Master of Science in Financial Crime and Compliance Management at Utica College.

This online degree is tailored for professionals with experience in the economic crime discipline. It will equip you with the financial fraud and compliance skills that you need to become a fraud investigator, financial examiner, loss prevention manager, auditor, accountant or compliance manager.

This executive master’s program at Utica College combines management, technology and analysis with the understanding and knowledge of economic crimes from an international perspective. This degree program will teach you how to detect a financial crime; how to perform a professional fraud analysis; how to investigate fraud crimes; and how to assess and respond to economic threats.

The curriculum includes these courses:

  • Financial Investigations
  • Fraud Management
  • Information and Communication Security
  • Networks and Internet Security
  • Advanced Fraud Analysis
  • Financial Crime and Compliance Management Overview

Compliance Management Bachelor’s Degree

To become employed in compliance management in the financial sector, you can earn a bachelor’s degree in fields such as finance, economics or accounting. If you are looking for a career in compliance management in healthcare, you may choose to earn your bachelor’s in healthcare management or a related field.

Compliance Management Master’s Degree

To move up the career ladder more quickly, earning a master’s degree in compliance management or regulatory compliance is a popular move. Some of the typical courses covered in these programs are regulatory compliance, banking law, compliance failures, consumer compliance, financial records, funding financial institutions, international banking, torts and contracts.

Compliance Management Degree Admission Requirements

All universities have their own admission requirements, and some master’s programs may be especially rigorous. For the aforementioned master’s program at Utica College, these are the requirements:

  • Official bachelor’s transcripts
  • Personal statement
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Employee support letter
  • 0 GPA
  • No standardized test scores required (GMAT, GRE)

Compliance Management Degree Financial Assistance

Earning a master’s degree in compliance management or a related field is a substantial financial and time commitment. For people who are getting a degree while they are working and supporting a family, how to pay for it is a major consideration. There is a growing need for compliance management professionals in the US today, so there are a number of good grants and scholarships available to help you to finance your studies. The opportunities listed below can be used at most universities, but there are also scholarships that are specific to many universities. It is recommended to consult with your university’s financial aid office to determine if there are grant and scholarships that can help you:

  • Sharps Compliance Scholarship Program: This is a $1500 scholarship for students who are studying various types of healthcare compliance programs.
  • Association of Insurance Compliance Scholarship: This organization offers three $1500 scholarships each year for students in risk management, compliance, statistics, business, economics and actuarial science.
  • Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance Scholarship: This is an undergraduate scholarship that is offered to women who are studying finance or accounting.
  • American Society of Women Accountants: This is a $2000 scholarship that is offered to women who are studying accounting or a related field.
  • Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship: This is a $10,000 scholarship that is given to students who are earning either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in finance or a related field, who want to become Certified Fraud Examiners.

Compliance Management Degree Certifications

Professionals who are interested in compliance management and related fields may want to consider earning these certifications:

  • Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP)
  • Certified Risk and Compliance Management Professional (CRCMP)
  • Certified Forensic Accountant (CRFAC)
  • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
  • Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM)

Compliance Management Degree Associations

Consider these associations for growing your career in compliance management and related fields:

  • Regulatory Compliance Association
  • International Association of Risk and Compliance Professionals
  • International Compliance Professionals Association
  • Risk Management Society
  • Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics
  • Health Care Compliance Association

The compliance management field is growing at a rapid pace, as there is greater focus on regulatory and legal compliance in the financial and healthcare sectors in particular. With a degree in this growing area, you will be able to find plenty of good work opportunities for years to come.


Henry Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.

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