Compliance officer

Administration, business and management

Career outlook for compliance officer

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

​​​A compliance officer makes sure a company is following their internal policies and any outside regulations. These might come from industry bodies, international standards organisations, or the government.

Businesses which break regulations might end up in trouble with the law. This can result in hefty fines or other punishments. You'd be responsible for making sure a company is following the rules they need to.

What you might do:

  • perform risk assessments
  • conduct investigations and highlight areas of concern
  • keep up to date with laws, regulations and internal policies
  • work with other departments to ensure compliance across the business
  • educate staff on the need for compliance
  • maintain and update the company’s internal policies and procedures

Many industries have to follow regulations and hire compliance officers to help. You could work in:

  • financial services, including financial technology (fintech)
  • insurance
  • banking
  • technology
  • environmental
  • healthcare or pharmaceutical
  • property
  • charity or not-for-profit
  • gaming
  • retail

Working conditions


Working hours can vary depending on the sector, but usually full-time hours will be Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm.


You'll usually be office based but some jobs may require you to visit outdoor sites.


Some jobs may cover numerous locations so expect some travel.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Building relationships
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Creative
  • Problem solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Time management
  • Negotiating
  • Analysing

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


You'd likely need a degree in a subject such as:

  • business
  • law
  • accountancy
  • economics
  • finance

Some employers will accept any degree subject, especially if it's relevant to their industry.

Postgraduate qualifications are not essential but might be useful to career changers. An example qualification that would be useful is an MBA (Master of Business Administration). An MBA gives you an overview of key business practices. It's usually taken by professionals who have at least three years of business and management experience.

Many postgraduate courses will ask for you to already have a degree. Some course might accept other relevant qualifications including work-based qualifications or extensive experience.

You could do a course run by the International Compliance Association (ICA). They have courses to suit your area of study and experience level.

Useful subjects

Many colleges and universities will have required subjects that you must have for entry. See individual institutions websites for specific entry information. 

Helpful to have

While not all employers list specific qualification requirements they do ask for relevant (usually work based) experience that demonstrates a range of transferable skills.

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