Compliance officers hack their way through the thicket of government regulations and make sure that the companies and agencies they work for—in industries as diverse as finance, banking, manufacturing, healthcare, and pharmaceutical—comply with the law. The regulations may be state, national, or international, depending on the industry and the geographic reach of the company or agency.
Responsibilities and Education
Among other responsibilities, compliance officers may talk directly with government officials, advocate for their industry with regulatory agencies, and train other employees on the rules and regulations they must comply with. Leadership, communication, and analytical skills are required, along with a strong sense of ethics.
Compliance officers may also work for local, state, and federal agencies, where they monitor the compliance of companies to such standards as consumer protection and privacy. Investigative skills are essential, along with the ability to anticipate trends and potential risks. Government compliance officers interact with companies, trade associations, other government agencies, and legislators.
When agencies or companies search for a compliance officer, they expect at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, law, or a field more related to the industry (such as engineering), but often prefer a higher degree or certification such as a CPA. In some cases, special licenses might be needed, for example, security licenses in the financial sector. Knowledge of change management is also helpful if a company or agency is struggling to meet regulations internally, adjust to changes industry changes or consumer expectations, or align regulations and compliance across different borders.
Because the regulations for different industries are so varied—anti-money laundering regulations, for example, would not be of great interest in the healthcare industry—compliance officers often end up specializing in a particular field. Therefore, if you are planning a career as a compliance professional, you will want to choose an industry that interests you and where you would be happy staying for most of your career.
Government compliance officers earn less money but may have more benefits, at least initially. Working for the government also provides an excellent background in regulations and compliance for someone intending to eventually move into the private sector.
Robin’s Resumes® has specialized in federal resume writing for many years and is well-versed in the qualifications needed by anyone who is applying for a position as a compliance officer. Contact us today.