Director of Compliance Job Description: Latest Updates

How much is a director of compliance’s salary? And how much is a head of compliance’s salary? How much is a senior compliance manager’s salary?  What does it take to become a compliance director? 

Do you think employers need these compliance directors or officers in their team? Just imagine for a moment that the government has just imposed a few new regulations about customers’ data protection. No big deal, right? Yet, those regulations are about a few hundred pages of legalese and specialized terminology. 

The risk is, if a firm fails to any of these regulations, they will face heavy fines, even costly lawsuits, or have their license revoked. The situation would worsen even more as companies can be integral parts of a supply chain where one moving part’s pause can cause the whole chain to stop. In other words, a single mistake can be catastrophic.

In this case, only a skilled director of compliance can be the savior to prevent such an event. They do numerous tasks to make the new regulations easy to understand and ensure that the company doesn’t break the rules.

Director of Compliance Job Description: Latest Updates

Skilled compliance directors can prevent companies from breaking laws – Source: Hunters Race

So, how can they make sure a company follows so many regulations? Should you someday become a director of compliance? Well, let’s dive into this challenging yet needful line of work with Jobandedu

What Are Duties Of A Compliance Director?

A compliance director’s work can be divided into two categories of external and internal compliance responsibilities.

External compliance responsibilities include interpreting laws enforced from outside the workplace. Thus, this task entails tracking, examining new government regulations, and developing internal policies to help an organization comply with them. Accordingly, this aspect of a compliance director’s job comes and goes in cycles that correspond to political shifts.

In addition, internal compliance responsibilities include ensuring that the workplace units follow the company’s policies and external laws and regulations. This duty is a compliance director’s bread and butter, ensuring that the organization functions ethically and effectively.

What Are Duties Of A Compliance Director?

Directors of compliance need to stay updated to new government regulations – Source: Scott Graham

For example, some typical tasks of compliance directors include:

  • Summarizing clearly new regulations and writing reports
  • Developing and enforcing internal policies to comply with regulations
  • Conducting internal audits to ensure compliance with existing regulation
  • Educating upper executives as well as lower-level employees on compliance matters
  • Working with lobbyists and regulatory authorities

In fact, the duties of a compliance director are further determined by the facility they work in and any compliance sub-discipline they choose to specialize in. Compliance directors specializing in customers’ privacy may work closely with a database administrator or data security department. However, those who specialize in payments are more likely to work on billing and with insurance companies. 

How Much Can A Compliance Director Make?

A director of compliance’s salary is what most others would consider a lucrative income. Because compliance officers and directors are in high demand, many companies are willing to pay top dollar for qualified applicants. 

How Much Can A Compliance Director Make?

A director of compliance’s salary is a lucrative income – Source: Jp Valery

However, the income depends mainly on their seniority and the industry’s nature. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for this position is $104,280 (BLS May 2020). Next year, the head of compliance salary may expect to rise to $175,250. 

Based on experience, director of compliance salary can range from $78,000 entry-level workers up to a senior compliance manager salary of $78,000, according to PayScale. (PayScale Apr. 2021):

  • Entry-level (less than one year): $78,000
  • Early career (1-4 years): $82,000
  • Mid-career (5-9 years): $98,000
  • Late career (10-19 years): $113,000
  • Experienced (20 or more years): $117,000

Based on the industry offer, a director of compliance’s salary in Finance and Insurance is the most promising. The lowest paying industry for compliance directors is in Healthcare, and Manufacturing sectors.

director of compliance salary can range from $78,000 entry-level workers up to a senior compliance manager salary of $78,000


What Does It Take To Become A Compliance Director?

1. Education and experience 

Being a Compliance Director requires a bachelor’s degree in the area of specialty. In fact, a skilled Compliance Director needs to demonstrate expertise in various field’s concepts, practices, and procedures. Thus, it is common for employers to search for candidates with post-graduate-level education.

Additionally, the Corporate Compliance Director typically reports to top management and works on multiple sophisticated tasks. Thus, it would require deep knowledge of the company as a whole and solid knowledge of the overall departmental function. To be a Corporate Compliance Director typically requires at least five years of managerial experience.

What Does It Take To Become A Compliance Director? - director of compliance's salary

A Compliance Director requires a bachelor’s degree or more – Source: Aaron Burden

2. Certificate

While certification is not required to work in this field, many compliance directors pursue it to hone their knowledge and skills, which can impress their employers and colleagues.

  • The Compliance Certification Board (CCB) of the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA) offers certificates in Healthcare compliance areas.
  • The Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP)’s certification is valid for two years, offering expertise in corporate compliance processes.
  • Professional (CCP) certificate is for early-career directors of compliance, and the Certified Compliance Executive (CCE) certificate is for mid and late-career directors of compliance. 

3. Qualities 

Several characteristics stand out as fundamental to work in this position.

Articulate. Compliance officers must communicate effectively to deliver sophisticated legal content to others. They must be able to both interpret and explain complex legal materials to members of an organization in a way that is easy to absorb.

Persistent. Compliance mission is constantly changing. To stay up to date on new legal alternations and how they can impact one’s organization, compliance officers must be passionate about professional growth and proactive research.

Ethical. No matter how uncomfortable it may appear, doing the right thing is at the core of Compliance. Compliance directors don’t play favorites: they report all policy violations, including theirs, and encourage others to do the same.

How Promising Is The Compliance Director Job Outlook?

The prospect seems quite promising. Indeed, the number of jobs in the Compliance position is expected to grow 4.6 percent between 2019 and 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Bides, a total of about 15,600 new jobs will open to meet the demands of the market.

Work Environment 

Compliance directors can work in various regulated industries, including banking, public utilities, and import/export. Compliance officers might work for a company or institutions of those fields or agencies or corporations that specialize in compliance services.

On top of that, working environments can vary greatly, from indoor with permit work and document review to outdoor with off-site fieldwork and industrial plant settings.

Work Environment - director of compliance's salary

Compliance directors’ working environments can vary greatly- Source: LinkedIn Sales Solutions

Comparing To Other Similar Jobs 

Those considering a career as a compliance officer might be interested in one of the following jobs, which are provided with median annual salaries:

Occupation title Median annual salary
Personal Financial Advisors$122,490 annually
Financial Managers$151,510 annually
Human Resources Managers$134,580 annually
Financial Examiners$92,730 annually
Tax Examiners and Collectors$62,040 annually

Source: US Bureau of labor statistics


In conclusion, individuals who work as compliance directors should be treated with respect at all times. That is, they are the saviors who keep companies from violating the laws and save them tons of money. Also, to accomplish their work properly, they must maintain a high degree of integrity and set an example for the rest of the company’s personnel. 

Do you want to be a future Compliance Director? Are you interested in other jobs or more insightful advice? Read our Job overview section for more.

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Emmanuel Davies

Most of Emmanuel Davies's professional life has been spent in education. Early in the year 2020, he teamed up with JobandEdu, getting a career counselor writer role and contributing such as career overview, employment counseling, and workplace culture. Davies has deep expertise in the academic and career advisor position gained via past roles at diverse establishments and foundations. Consequently, he plans to use writing to disseminate his knowledge and counsel to the masses.