Compliance officers are the police of the organization. A compliance officer executes the company’s internal controls to ensure that the company and its affiliates comply with obligations. The position’s day-to-day duties differ depending on the industry. For example, a compliance officer’s role at ExxonMobil will be different than Bank of America because those industries have different regulations.
Compliance officers manage risks associated with regulations and internal procedures. Compliance officers can also concentrate on the compliance of third parties like vendors or franchisees with their agreements. The Wall Street Journal identified compliance as the hottest job in America due to the regulatory business environment around the world. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that compliance occupation will grow 8% through 2024. The mean annual salary of a compliance officer was $69,180 in 2015.
Compliance officers typically have an educational background in law, economics or accounting. The effective compliance officer must understand how regulations fit into the business operations of their companies and industries. In the financial services industry, compliance officers usually have Series 7 or Series 63 licenses required by their employers. In health care, the compliance officer may need a certificate from the Health Care Compliance Association. In other businesses, compliance officers have certifications from the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics. That organization runs the Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional Program.
“Compliance officers need to be iron wrapped in velvet,” Hamilton Lindley said, a compliance officer at Neighborly Brands. Compliance officers that excel are “detail oriented, analyze large amounts of data, and understand the company’s business” Hamilton Lindley said. If you are interested in a career in a compliance, “find a company that you are passionate about because it will be your job to protect it.” Hamilton Lindley said.