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 is responsible for making sure that a company is following any outside regulations and internal policies. These might come from industry bodies, international standards organisations, or even the government. A compliance officer takes monitors and appies these regulations and policies within their own company, conducting risk assessments and highlighting any issues.

Things 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


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


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

Most empolyers in the compliance industry would prefer subjects such as business, law and number-based qualifications such as accountancy, economics and finance, but many employers will accept any degree subject, especially if it is relevant to their industry.

While not essential, postgraduate qualifications are available and may be of value to career changers, such as an MBA (Master of business administration). This is a postgraduate course that provides an overview of key business practices and is usually taken by professionals who have gained at least three years of business and management experience. While many of these courses will ask for you to already have a degree, other relevant qualifications, including work-based qualifications or extensive experience may be accepted for some courses as an alternative.

There are a range of relevant courses available but those provided by the International Compliance Association (ICA) are respected by employers. They run courses that are split into Introductory, specialist, intermediate, advanced and expert levels, dependant on individuals job roles and experience. 

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.