Ensuring a company complies with state and federal regulations is the main responsibility of banking compliance officers. Depending on the institution, these financial professionals may also review internal policies, establish communication standards and lead audits of business procedures with an objective eye. Looking at the inner workings of a company subjectively could lead to fines. Pay varies by the size of the financial institution.
In 2012, compliance officers earned an average of $64,960 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent made more than $97,760, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $35,730 annually. But those working specifically in banking averaged $64,360, while compliance officers in investment banking earned closer to $80,080.
A survey by Robert Half Finance & Accounting, a national recruiter for financial professionals, gives a better idea of how the size of the institution affects earnings. As of 2013, compliance officers in small financial services earned $69,750 to $92,750 a year. Those working in midsize financial services earned $83,750 to $113,000, while compliance officers working in large financial services made $94,500 to $126,750 annually.
Some financial institutions also employ chief compliance officers, who oversee all compliance issues within an organization. As of 2013, chief compliance officers working for firms with up to $25 million in sales earned $102,500 to $132,750 a year. Those in firms with sales of $25 million to $250 million earned $121,750 to $168,750, while chief compliance officers in firms with sales over $250 million earned $149,250 to $220,500 annually.
The BLS expects employment for compliance officers to grow by as much as 15 percent through 2020. This is keeping pace with the average growth rate for all U.S. occupations, an estimated 14 percent. In this relatively small field, 15-percent growth works out to the creation of 32,400 new jobs. Officers retiring or leaving the field should create additional openings.