by Beth Connolly on March 27, 2012
The US News & World Report last month released a list of the best jobs of 2012. Guess what? Compliance Officer made the cut.
It’s no surprise, as compliance is destined to grow due to increasing regulations and external governmental and media pressures on companies to enforce stricter regulatory procedures.
But did you know that the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects compliance jobs to grow by 15% in the next decade? That means 32,400 new jobs and 26,200 replacement jobs.
Here’s more from the U.S. News & World Report:
According to the Labor Department, the median annual salary for compliance officers was $58,720 in 2010, but there can be wide wage differences depending on the educational, scientific, and work-experience requirements of a specific position. The best-paid 10 percent made nearly $95,000, while the lowest-paid 10 percent were paid $34,540. Financial, energy, and communications employers paid the highest salaries. The highest-paid compliance officers worked in the metropolitan areas of Stamford, Conn., Brunswick, Ga., and San Francisco, Calif.
Compliance Officer Salary Range:
75th Percentile Wage: $75,180
Median Wage: $58,720
25th Percentile Wage: $44,000
On Landing a Compliance Officer Job:
Experience in a prospective employer’s line of work is a plus, Darcy says, as is knowledge of its organizational culture and how its employees work together. “Other past work experience could include internal audit, legal, human resources, internal controls, and risk management,” he says. “Prospective candidates should first learn how a job is defined and structured, including what issues it is responsible for,” Darcy says. “For example, a regulatory compliance officer must possess a different set of qualifications than an ethics and compliance officer.”
What is a Compliance Officer Job Like?
Many of these jobs can be demanding and stressful, especially when the compliance officer is judging the performance or personal behavior of fellow employees.
“Sometimes ethics and compliance officers are not looked upon as being ‘team players’ within the organization because they may have to investigate their peers or superiors,” Darcy explains. “Working hours can be above-average, and the job can be demanding but very fulfilling.” Travel is common at larger employers, particularly multinational organizations. “Ethics and compliance officers are required to learn all aspects of how an organization runs and who does what within it,” Darcy says. As for the limits of career advance, he notes, “a chief ethics and compliance officer recently was promoted to chief executive officer of a Fortune 500 company.”