Career Pathways in Compliance



It may seem like a narrow pathway but in reality working in compliance offers impressive variety. Whether working internally or externally, in the government sector or healthcare industry, the opportunities for employment are diverse as are the compliance positions.

The below explores how a compliance specialist, analyst, advisor and consultant differ under the compliance umbrella.

Before the particulars of these compliance jobs are explored, it is important to note the soft skills needed by all compliance professionals. Those successful in compliance share a heightened attention level, strong willed personalities, an ability to flawlessly multitask and impressive patience. With these skills nailed, any of the below roles are a possibility once experience and education are gained. 

Compliance Specialist

The role of a Compliance Specialist is the typical entry point for those without any compliance experience. For those just graduated, the Compliance Specialist title is used for most entry-level positions. A mixture of on the job training and a bachelor’s degree is what a Compliance Specialist needs to be employable at this level.

Compliance Specialists typically report to a Senior Compliance Officer. Alternatively, they may report to the company’s business manager. The specifics of the role vary from sector to sector, however at a basic level it is the Compliance Specialist’s job to ensure compliance with all regulations. This involves auditing their employer’s compliance levels, identifying and rectifying any compliance issues and remaining current with any compliance and regulatory changes.

Compliance Analyst

A Compliance Analyst or Compliance Officer as they can also be referred to, need both a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, economics or a related field and at least one to three years of industry experience to be employed at this level. Again, this experience requirement is employer dependent and Junior Compliance Analyst roles or Assistant Compliance Analyst positions do not require this level of experience.

The job revolves around the monitoring of their employers’ compliance levels and ensuring all activities align with government regulations. Looking specifically at their role, it is the job of the Compliance Analyst to introduce and report on all compliance related policies and procedures, continually review internal procedures and work across a businesses' entire compliance environment. The Compliance Analyst also works closely alongside the risk team and aids in the development of risk management procedures.

Compliance Advisor

A Compliance Advisor is usually just another title for a Compliance Officer or Compliance Analyst. It is one of the many titles used for internal compliance professionals. It is their role to ensure the business complies with all of the relevant laws, regulations and all internal procedures, and file any compliance reporting as required by the various regulatory bodies. The general counsel may also be the Compliance Advisor but this is not always the case.

As with all of these compliance roles, the Compliance Advisor must adhere to a robust ethical code and have unwavering integrity and honesty.

Compliance Consultant

Working as a Compliance Consultant requires broad compliance knowledge and impeccable communication. Consultants are typically employed externally and are used to analyse a company’s overall compliance and implement any changes required. A minimum of four years of experience and expertise are required to work at this level.  Many employers expect this expertise to be in the specific field in which the company operates as knowledge of sector-specific regulations are needed. Consultants with law qualifications are highly desirable at this level.

No matter which of the above compliance positions fit you best, the compliance industry offers an abundance of rewarding positions across all sectors. With regulations continually evolving, working in compliance promises ongoing change and longevity.

To search for the compliance position best suited for your career, search the latest Compliance jobs here.


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