A compliance officer's primary tasks include supervising and mitigating issues related to their organization's compliance with laws, regulations, and business license requirements. Compliance officers also assess operational risks and develop risk-management plans. These professionals work to reduce unnecessary costs and increase efficiency and profitability.

Compliance officers need strong communication, problem-solving, and analytical skills. Projections Central projects U.S. compliance officer positions to increase 8.2% from 2016-2026. The following sections detail typical earning potential for compliance officers.

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How Much Do Compliance Officers Make?

Median Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), compliance officers earn an average salary of $72,520 per year. Several factors can impact an individual's earning potential, including education, location, and experience. Typically, more education and experience lead to higher salaries. The following sections detail salary expectations, considering these factors.

Salary by Experience

A compliance officer's experience level often contributes to their earning potential. Most professionals earn salary increases as they gain work experience. The table below illustrates how earning potential increases as officers move from entry-level to advanced positions.

Experience Salary
< 1 Year $52,000
1-4 Years $60,000
5-9 Years $72,000
10-19 Years $79,000

Salary by Degree

A professional's education level also impacts their earning potential. No degree guarantees a specific position or salary. However, the table below compares average salaries of compliance officers with a bachelor's degree and professionals with a master's degree.

Bachelor's Degree

Median Salary: $73,000

Master's Degree

Median Salary: $101,000

Career Path Salaries

Becoming a compliance officer can lead to a successful career in the field. Many officers pursue further education and leverage work experience to secure advanced positions with more responsibility and higher earning potential. The table includes average salaries of common career paths for compliance professionals.

Potential Next Step Salary
Chief Compliance Officer $119,091
Vice President, Compliance Officer $120,024
Compliance Manager $79,191

What Are the Top States for Compliance Officer Pay?

Geographic location also impacts the earning potential of compliance officers. According to the BLS, the top states for compliance officers based on salary include the District of Columbia, Connecticut, Washington, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. The table below lists the average salary of a compliance officer for professionals in each state.

  • District of Columbia

    Annual Mean Wage: $93,240

  • Connecticut

    Annual Mean Wage: $84,590

  • Washington

    Annual Mean Wage: $84,340

  • New Jersey

    Annual Mean Wage: $83,210

  • Massachusetts

    Annual Mean Wage: $83,100

What Are the Top Industries for Compliance Officer Pay?

According to the BLS, the top industries for compliance officers, based on salary, are metal ore mining, computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing, natural gas distribution, securities and financial investments, and aerospace product and parts manufacturing. The table below shows the average compliance officer salary for professionals in each industry.

Industry Annual Mean Wage
Metal Ore Mining $109,700
Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing $91,520
Natural Gas Distribution $89,960
Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities $89,500
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing $88,900

Are Compliance Officers in Demand?

Historical Career Growth

Compliance officers ensure products and services meet industry standards and comply with laws. Compliance professionals also mitigate risk to ensure the profitability of companies. The increasing complexity and globalization of the business industry drives demand for qualified compliance professionals.

Future Career Growth

As businesses globalize their operations and enter new markets, companies need compliance officers to keep track of laws and regulations. These professionals ensure their organization functions efficiently and avoids fines. This need drives demand for trained compliance officers. Projections Central projects an 8.2% growth for compliance positions from 2016-2026.

Top States for Job Growth

Projections Central projects positive growth for compliance officers throughout the United States. The top states for job growth include Utah, Nevada, Washington, Idaho, and Colorado. The table below shows the projected growth rate for each state, each of which is higher than the national average for all occupations.


30.8% % Change from 2016-2026


19.3% % Change from 2016-2026


19.2% % Change from 2016-2026


15.2% % Change from 2016-2026


16.9% % Change from 2016-2026

How Do Compliance Officers Compare to Other Accounting Careers?

Most accounting careers involve monitoring company budgets and tracking expenditures to stem unnecessary spending. Compliance officers eliminate waste by mitigating operational risks. They also ensure companies comply with laws and maintain current operating licenses to avoid fines and production pauses.

According to the BLS, compliance officers earn an average annual salary of $72,520, while accountants and auditors earn an average salary of $70,500 per year. The BLS projects jobs for accountants and auditors to grow 6% from 2018-2028.

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Learn More About Compliance Officer Salaries and Job Growth

  • Accounting.com This website provides information about a variety of accounting careers, including those in compliance. Users can research degree programs, career information, and information about the process for becoming become a compliance officer.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics The BLS provides career data including job growth projections, salary information, and job descriptions. The BLS also details skills individuals need to excel in the compliance industry.
  • O*Net Online Website visitors can explore job requirements and common skills for compliance officers, along with related software proficiencies. O*Net also provides links to additional career resources.
  • PayScale This resource includes job descriptions and salary information for compliance officers based on career stage. PayScale also provides links to local job postings.
  • Projections Central This website allows users to search job descriptions and common skills for a variety of occupations. Users can search nationwide job data or explore job growth projections and industry trends for a specific state.