Bank Compliance Officer: Employment Info and Requirements

Apr 15, 2019

Bank compliance officers work with bank employees and externally with government regulators to ensure that institutional activities are in compliance with financial laws. Continue reading to learn more about degree and professional requirements, employment outlook and salaries for bank compliance officers.

Career Definition for Bank Compliance Officers

Bank compliance officers oversee the accounting, investment and lending operations at financial institutions to make sure that they are in compliance with federal, state and local laws. Their duties include monitoring new developments in financial regulation and keeping bank personnel appraised of recent updates. Bank compliance officers also assess how new rules may affect an institution and advise management on how to revise policies and conform to updated regulations. All banks in the United States employ bank compliance officers.

Education Bachelor's degree; many employers prefer graduate education for employees; managerial experience at a financial institution improves employability
Job Skills Writing documents, mathematics knowledge, familiarity with SFAS rules, analyzing statistics, interpersonal skills
Median Salary (2018)* $68,860
Career Outlook (2016-2026)* 8%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

The minimum educational requirement for becoming a bank compliance officer is a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, management or a related field of study. A growing number of employers prefer candidates with master's degrees. Candidates with three to five years of managerial experience at a financial institution may have the best prospects.

Required Skills

Bank compliance officers must have a basic knowledge of math and statistical analysis. They must also be familiar with Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) rules and be able to write and draft documents. Managerial and leadership abilities are key; effective interpersonal communications and a capacity for multitasking can be beneficial.

Career and Salary Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected an 8%, or as fast as average, increase in jobs nationwide for compliance officers from 2016 to 2026. In May 2018, compliance officers earned a median annual wage of $68,860, according to the BLS.

Alternate Career Options

Similar career options within this field include:

Accountants and Auditors

Accountants and auditors audit financial records, advise clients on accounting issues and compile statements, among other duties. A 4-year degree in accounting, or a closely related area, is the minimum educational requirement for obtaining this position; Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) may enjoy enhanced opportunities in the field. As reported by the BLS, accountants and auditors can expect 10% growth in employment from 2016-2026. Individuals who were employed in these positions as of May 2018 were paid a median yearly salary of $70,500.

Budget Analysts

Budget analysts review accounting and budgetary records, making sure that they are accurate, legally compliant and up to date. Undergraduate majors that can help students prepare for this position include accounting, business administration, finance or statistics, among several other subject areas. Nationwide, the BLS has predicted an average increase of 7% for budget analysts between 2016 and 2026. In May 2018, budget analysts received a median annual wage of $76,220.

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