If you’ve ever thought about being a compliance officer, read this

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There’s good news for HR professionals thinking about shifting to compliance: half now report directly to the CEO, and most meet with their board of directors at least quarterly. That’s from a report by the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics and the Health Care Compliance Association, which also shows that comparatively few compliance professionals still report to the legal department.

“Compliance is not just the legal department in another form,” says SCCE and HCCA CEO Roy Snell. “It's a profession of its own, and those who advocate for compliance to report to legal are arguing for a relationship that neither serves compliance or corporate leadership. That's probably a significant reason why reporting to legal is only done by a fraction of companies.”

Interestingly, 60% of SCCE members are women, and that number rises to nearly three-quarters in healthcare. And if you’re looking into branching out to the field, it may be a good move: in last year’s third quarter, the unemployment rate for the sector was 5.7%, next to 7.2% across the national workforce. Meanwhile, starting salaries have been growing more than 3.5% per year, HR consultancy Robert Half claims.

The median wage for a compliance officer is $62,020, but you can expect about $20,000 on top of that if you work for department stores, finance, or the oil industry. Naturally, the three levels of government employ half of all compliance officers in the nation, and the District of Columbia is the top paying state for the occupation.

And you can only expect growth in the compliance career path; one in four CFOs surveyed by Robert Half said they would be hiring new full-time staff to deal with compliance challenges.

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