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Compliance Engineer: Duties and Requirements

Compliance engineers require significant formal education. Learn about the degree programs, job duties and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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Designers and manufacturers need to know if the products they create are safe, so compliance engineers verify that all product parts meet established standards. These professionals usually have the minimum of a bachelor's degree. To do well in this career field, individuals must be active listeners, strong communicators, and able to use critical thinking skills for problem solving.

Essential Information

Compliance engineers ensure that the products are free of electrical, mechanical, thermal, radioactive and other hazards. These professionals need mechanical ability and good communication skills to work with design and manufacturing teams. A bachelor's degree in electrical or mechanical engineering is standard, and some employers may require a master's degree and some business training. Experience is also typically required.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in engineering, preferably electrical or mechanical engineering
Other Requirements Engineering experience
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 2-4%* (for all managers)
Median Salary (2016) $80,000** (for system certifications & compliance engineers)

Sources: *O*Net OnLine, **PayScale.com

Duties of a Compliance Engineer

Compliance engineers create procedures and guidelines to ensure that governmental and industry regulations are met by manufacturers in both international and domestic markets. Working with both management and lower-level staff, compliance engineers coordinate information between departments, educating design teams about product specifications and participating in training of personnel. They also keep departments up-to-date on new or revised regulations that may be relevant to product specifications.

Compliance engineers may be responsible for regulatory filings and keeping records and other paperwork that may be required by regulatory bodies. As part of their duties, compliance engineers may also supervise tasks related to client or government contracts, including monitoring their progress and making sure deadlines are met. Compliance engineers who work with or for utility companies may review and ensure compliance with tariff requirements as well. In some instances, compliance engineers make sure customers are abiding by licensing agreements established by the compliance engineer's employer, thus preventing licensing and trademark violations, as well as ensuring payment of any royalties.

Requirements of a Compliance Engineer

Most compliance engineering positions require at least a bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline, with employers often preferring candidates with electrical or mechanical engineering backgrounds. Additionally, some employers seek candidates who possess a master's degree in an engineering discipline or in an area that demonstrates business skills, like business administration.

Employers also generally expect prospective compliance engineers to possess several years of work experience that is related to the industry in which they are seeking employment. This often includes experience with product testing and analysis. Aspiring compliance engineers also must be able to communicate about technical issues both orally and in writing.

Career Information

O*Net OnLine reports that the projected job growth for all managers, which could include compliance engineers, will be 2-4% over the 2014-2024 decade. The median annual salary for system certifications and compliance engineers was reported as $80,000 as of 2016, per data gathered on PayScale.com.

Compliance engineers are responsible for making sure various products meet safety standards, and they also submit regulatory paperwork, communicate with staff members of all levels, and educate personnel and customers about compliance regulations. Training for this career field usually involves earning a bachelor's degree, although a graduate degree, related experience, and business training may be preferred. While there are no job growth statistics specifically for compliance engineers, compliance managers and managers at all levels are expected to experience a slower rate of growth during the 2014-2024 decade, per O*Net OnLine.

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