When you’re all about the rules and helping companies with various compliance issues, you may decide to be a compliance officer.
You’ll involve yourself with the legal and regulatory requirements of a particular industry.
There are pros and cons of the job, so you’ll want to know about it all to help you decide if this is the career path you want to take.
Pros of Being a Compliance Officer
Although a compliance officer doesn’t sound too glamorous, there are a lot of pros that go along with the job.
1. You Work Traditional Hours
You will be working at the same time as others because you will be monitoring their work, reviewing paperwork and reports with them, and more.
It allows you to work traditional office hours that you can schedule your life around.
It ensures that you aren’t working too early in the morning or too late into the evening.
2. You’re Off on Weekends and Holidays
You will be working on weekends or holidays because none of the people you will be working with will be working those days, either.
It allows you to have a decent social life and raise a family without feeling as though you are always on the job.
3. You Have a Proper Work-Life Balance
A work-life balance is important with any job, and you will find that it’s easy to achieve a good one as a compliance officer.
You will work normal hours without being forced to work a lot of overtime.
Your job won’t be too stressful, and it won’t follow you home.
It allows you to enjoy your life outside of work, whether it is dating, raising a family, or simply enjoying a hobby.
4. You Stay Updated on the Latest Regulations
When you work as a compliance officer, a significant part of your job is to be up on all of the latest regulations.
This helps you to know everything about what is going on within your state as well as your industry.
You can be extremely knowledgeable, and others will lean on you for the knowledge that you have to offer.
5. People Consider You to Be an “Expert”
The moment you tell people that you are a compliance officer, it will lend to a relatively high social status.
Many people won’t know what it is that you do, so you can easily break the ice by talking to people about your day-to-day activities.
You will be an expert, and many people within your company will turn to you for help with their tasks.
6. You Can Explore Other Career Fields
Once you learn about a particular industry and the various regulatory requirements, you have the ability to explore other career fields within that industry.
Since you will already know all of the various responsibilities, it will make it easier for you to enhance your resume.
You may want to explore positions of project manager, HR, and more.
7. You’ll Work Indoors
On a typical day, you won’t be exposed to any kind of harsh environment.
You’ll work at a desk indoors, making it easy for you to enjoy your day.
You won’t have a lot of strenuous activities, so you won’t get home feeling exhausted.
Depending on your industry, there may be some instances where you will also get to walk around the job site, providing some unique aspects to your day.
8. You Can Work for Different Companies
Many companies have compliance officers on payroll because it ensures that they are able to pass all of their necessary inspections.
Once you have experience, you can easily seek out other companies so that you can target a higher salary and even more benefits.
It never hurts to put your resume out there to see what companies are interested in what you have to offer.
9. Earnings Can Be High
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can earn a median annual wage of around $71,000 a year.
If you work for the federal or state government, you may even be able to earn more.
Some of the top industries that pay well include pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing as well as natural gas distribution.
Additionally, many companies offer large benefits packages including health insurance and paid vacation.
10. You Can Start Your Own Business
You have the ability to start your own business once you have experience as a compliance officer.
You can choose to be a consultant where you work with businesses of all sizes.
Particularly, small businesses don’t generally have a compliance officer on staff.
So, you can choose to provide services to these companies and set your own rates.
Cons of Being a Compliance Officer
It takes a certain type of person to be a compliance officer, so you’ll want to know what the cons are to help you decide if it’s worth the stress and frustration.
1. People Dread Seeing You
The moment someone says, “compliance officer,” there is usually a feeling of dread.
The reason is that you will be telling other people how to do their job.
If someone isn’t following the legalities of the job or is out of regulation, it is your responsibility to tell them what is wrong and what needs to be done to fix it.
2. It Requires Annual Training
There will be a significant amount of training that you will need to attend throughout the year so that you can stay abreast of all of the latest regulatory issues within the industry that you work in.
If there are changes, you need to be the one to know about them first so that you can hold others accountable.
3. Some Departments May Not Value You
There will be departments that talk down to you or try to prevent you from doing your job.
This is because they will assume that they know better, they know the laws, and they know the regulations.
This will make it difficult for you to do your job and cause you a significant amount of stress.
4. There’s a Lot of Paperwork
Since you will be working to make sure that everyone is compliant with various regulations in the industry, you will be filing a significant amount of paperwork.
You will not only need to review reports, licenses, and such from a department but you will also need to create and distribute reports based on your findings.
5. It’s Sedentary
You will have a relatively sedentary job.
Most of your workday will be sitting at a desk, filing paperwork, or working on the computer.
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to various health problems, so you will need to find creative ways to get up and move throughout the day so that it doesn’t lead to weight gain.
6. Branching Out on Your Own is Hard
If you work for a company, you may get tired of having someone reviewing your work on a regular basis.
While you can choose to work as a consultant and break out on your own, it can be extremely difficult.
Companies will want to know what kind of experience you have before they hire you – and these can be difficult things to prove.
7. Regulations Vary from Industry to Industry
As you work in various industries, you will need to research new regulations.
It can be overwhelming to make a switch from one industry to the next simply because of the legalities and regulations.
It can require a lot of training, and if you are currently working, this training may have to take place in the evenings or even on the weekends.
8. You’ll Spend a Lot of Time in Front of a Computer Screen
Most of the work that you do will be in front of a computer screen or tablet.
This means that you will be dealing with the light that can lead to headaches and eyestrain.
If you don’t have the necessary lenses to help filter out the blue light, you may find that you deal with migraines and overall tension by the end of every day.
9. You’ll Need a College Degree
In order to be successful, you will want to have a college degree before you get started.
Most compliance officers obtained a degree in such fields as business, accounting, economics, legal studies, or management.
It can take a while to get started in the field, and you may accumulate a significant amount of student loan debt in the process.
In order to gain experience, you may also have to seek out low or unpaid internships.
Pros and Cons of Being a Compliance Officer – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Compliance Officer||Cons of Being a Compliance Officer|
|1. You Work Traditional Hours||1. People Dread Seeing You|
|2. You’re Off on Weekends and Holidays||2. It Requires Annual Training|
|3. You Have a Proper Work-Life Balance||3. Some Departments May Not Value You|
|4. You Stay Updated on the Latest Regulations||4. There’s a Lot of Paperwork|
|5. People Consider You to Be an “Expert”||5. It’s Sedentary|
|6. You Can Explore Other Career Fields||6. Branching Out on Your Own is Hard|
|7. You’ll Work Indoors||7. Regulations Vary from Industry to Industry|
|8. You Can Work for Different Companies||8. You’ll Spend a Lot of Time in Front of a Computer Screen|
|9. Earnings Can Be High||9. You’ll Need a College Degree|
|10. You Can Start Your Own Business|
Should You Become a Compliance Officer?
Becoming a compliance officer can take a significant amount of training, but there are some advantages to doing what you do well.
Whether you work for yourself or for a large corporation, there are pros and cons that only you can weigh.
You will be the person who makes sure everyone else is following the rules – and this can leave many people dreading your visits.
Talk with a few companies to get a better idea of what the life of a compliance officer looks like.
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