Duties and Responsibilities of a Compliance Specialist

Jan 21, 2020

Compliance specialists require some formal education. Learn about job options, duties and education requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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Essential Information

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field(s) Business, finance, or related field
Experience On-the-job training
Job Outlook (2018-2028) 6% growth
Average Annual Salary (2018) $72,520 (for compliance officers)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

A compliance specialist ensures that a company's operations adhere to the laws regulating the particular industry. The type of industry determines specific responsibilities, and the fields that use a compliance specialist vary greatly. These include government, energy, financial services, manufacturing, healthcare and other fields. A compliance specialist usually reports to a senior compliance officer or business manager. A bachelor's degree and some on-the-job training is usually needed for this position.

Let's take a look at the different types of compliance specialists, and then we'll look at some general career and salary information for the field.

Contract Compliance Specialist

A non-profit or for-profit organization can employ a contract compliance specialist to make sure contracts, policies and procedures adhere to existing regulations. Reviews may be conducted of several providers' contracts and financial reviews of their services. The compliance specialist can be called upon to study records, fiscal systems and organizational structures of providers. He or she may analyze trends affecting service providers to determine or alter an organization's service contracts.

Trade Compliance Specialist

A trade compliance specialist oversees all import and export compliance procedures relative to supply chains. He or she makes certain that product flow meets global trade compliance regulations and that all documentation is correct and in order. He or she may also train local employees involved in trade compliance.

Business Compliance Specialist

The business compliance specialist is usually asked to promote a strong code of ethics and integrity within a company's operations. This often includes implementing set plans and policies for employees to follow. He or she may also be asked to evaluate potential risks and come up with ways to alleviate them.

Environmental Compliance Specialists

An environmental compliance specialist enforces legislation against a company creating pollutants. This includes monitoring waste management, noise pollution and determining proper industrial hygiene. He or she may also handle air and water permits and perform compliance audits. The environmental compliance specialist often has a hand in creating a safe work environment for workers.

Career and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of compliance officer jobs is expected to increase 6% from 2018-2028, which is as fast as the national average. The average annual salary for people working as compliance officers was $72,520 in 2018.

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