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Compliance Analyst Career

How to Become a Compliance Analyst 

Compliance analysts, also known as compliance managers, work to ensure that businesses or organizations follow operations and procedures to meet the compliance standards of their industries and the government. Companies within a variety of sectors rely on the expertise of compliance analysts to review their rules and regulations and help them train personnel in compliance requirements. 

With the ability to work in nearly any industry, individuals interested in a career as a compliance analyst should first choose their preferred field. The educational requirement to become a compliance analyst is a bachelor’s degree, though some organizations prefer you earn a master’s degree, and major in the industry that aligns with your career path.  

To become a compliance officer, you will need to go through on-the-job training to learn about business laws and practices. During this time, you’ll familiarize yourself with regulations specific to your organizastion in order to fulfill the requirements of the job. 

To get ahead in this business role, you should nurture your communication skills and ability to connect with others, because you’ll need to engage with people beyond simply advising them on compliance standards and providing training requirements for their organization. You’ll also need to have entreprenurial spirit, strong data organizing skills, and an interest in the laws governing your industry. 

What Is a Compliance Analyst?

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The primary goal of a compliance analyst is working with a company ensuring they operate in accordance with the industry’s laws and regulations. The analyst’s responsibilities involve examining a business’s practices and policies, assessing compliance issues, and offering suggestions for modifications. To make accurate recommendations, a compliance analyst must conduct regular review and research of an industry’s rules and regulations. 

This role is typically considered to be an entry-level position focused on research, but compliance analysts have opportunities to gain experience that can potentially lead to more advanced roles, including as a compliance manager, chief compliance officer, auditor, or an AML compliance officer working in a financial setting. A compliance analyst will often work with a company’s legal and operations departments overseeing that compliance standards are in sync throughout the organization. Understanding the legal and ethical practices of companies are a major part of a compliance analyst’s job, and organizations rely on this type of expertise to reduce the potential for legal risks and liabilities.  

What Does a Compliance Analyst Do?

While the compliance analyst job description can vary based on industry, professionals in this role generally make sure that organizations abide by the standards and regulations of the government or nonprofit entities that regulate them. Companies rely on the expertise of compliance professionals to help them avoid costly fees and legal problems if regulatory agencies find them to be noncompliant. 

Professionals in this field ensure that activities in their workplace adhere to the proper standards and are tasked with a variety of day-to-day responsibilities, including: 

  • Evaluating work safety policies. 
  • Conducting compliance training with team members. 
  • Reviewing data security to ensure protection.  
  • Designing and implementing a company's compliance program. 
  • Identifying and resolving compliance problems. 
  • Researching and staying current on rules and regulations. 
  • Communicating compliance regulations to the management team and other departments. 
  • Serving as a subject matter expert for compliance-related matters. 

How Do I Become a Compliance Analyst?

Compliance analyst careers require individuals to have earned at least a bachelor’s degree or have some knowledge about regulatory compliance. While colleges and universities typically don’t offer a degree program in compliance analysis, students can earn a degree in a field related to the industry they want to work in. 

To become a compliance analyst, some of the steps to take in your career path include:

  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree in business management, business administration, supply chain and operations management, or accounting
  2. Decide on the industry you want to work in.  
  3. Gain work or internship experience.  
  4. Obtain an industry-specific certification such as the Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional Program (CCEP) or from the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association (ECOA).
  5. Proficiency in compliance management software such as Paradigm 3 and Intellect Compliance. 
  6. Consider getting a master’s degree in finance, criminal justice, or business. 

Training as a compliance analyst will likely continue after several years of working in the field. Professionals may also pursue industry certificates or related licenses to gain broader knowledge or to stay up to date on the latest industry-related regulations and trends. 

Best Degrees for a Compliance Analyst

Marketing – B.S. Business Administration

For those who want to lead brands and steer consumer markets:...

For those who want to lead brands and steer...

For those who want to lead brands and steer consumer markets:

  • Time: 67% of graduates finish within 36 months.
  • Tuition: $3,755 per 6-month term.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Marketing and PR manager
  • Director of marketing and communications
  • Director of publications
  • Customer intelligence manager
  • Marketing sales manager

Marketing is a creative and exciting field—and one where an undergraduate degree will open better opportunities.

Accounting – B.S. Business Administration

Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?...

Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?...

Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?

  • Time: 62% of graduates finish within 36 months.
  • Tuition: $3,755 per 6-month term.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Accounting manager
  • Financial director
  • Vice president of finance and operations
  • Chief financial officer
  • Forensic accountant

Take your first step toward CPA certification and learn how to use GAAP, ledgers, and journals.

Supply Chain and Operations Management – B.S.

This online supply chain and operations management program will...

This online supply chain and operations...

This online supply chain and operations management program will prepare you for real-world experiences in business.

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish similar programs within 42 months.
  • Tuition: $3,575 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 41 courses in this program.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Operations Manager
  • Facilities Manager
  • Industrial Production Manager
  • Distribution Manager 
  • Buyer/Purchasing Agent
  • Project Management Specialist

With incredible growth opportunities in supply chain and operations management, this program helps prepare student to meet industry needs and become credentialed experts.

Finance – B.S.

This online finance program is career-focused so you will gain...

This online finance program is career-focused so...

This online finance program is career-focused so you will gain relevant industry skills.

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish similar programs within 42 months.
  • Tuition: $3,575 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 41 courses in this program.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Financial analyst
  • Finance director 
  • Investment banker
  • Insurance agent
  • Accountant

The competency-based model at WGU allows you to move as quickly as you can master the material, and do your coursework on your schedule. Flexibility is key with the B.S. in finance at WGU.

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What Skills Does a Compliance Analyst Need?

Successful compliance analysts have strong analytical skills and the ability to work well with industry professionals across teams and levels. Generally, individuals with the following skills will do well in a compliance analyst role:

  • Computer skills: Professionals in compliance analyst roles often use compliance software and input research data into their computers.
  • Critical thinking: Compliance analysts use critical thinking skills to guide their decisions when coming up with compliance programs and developing solutions for an organization. 
  • Strong communications: Communication and interpersonal skills help compliance analysts when working with other members of their team and outside of the company.
  • Research: Since compliance analysts are often staying current on rules and regulations in their sector, it's helpful to have excellent research skills to read through sources and find new procedures.
  • Multitasking: Analysts may need to perform many tasks simultaneously in fast-paced environments while maintaining deadlines.
  • Organization: Compliance analysts stay physically and digitally organized as they review sources about new regulations, inform other departments about industry guidelines and requirements, develop business procedures, and prepare reports. 
  • Attention to detail: Being detail-oriented helps compliance analysts when they review compliance regulations and ensure companies meet standards.

How Much Does a Compliance Analyst Make?


Salaries for compliance analyst positions can vary by industry.  The average annual salary range for professionals in this role is $62,287 on average in the United States. Compliance analysts in the top 10% of earners make $87,000, while the bottom 10% make approximately $46,000 a year. 

What Is the Job Outlook for a Compliance Analyst?


Compliance professionals provide a valuable service to companies, and organizations need the help of compliance analysts to assess that laws and regulations are followed. Demand for professionals in this field has shown consistent growth resulting from increased regulation in key industries, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting 4.3% employment growth for compliance officers between 2021 and 2031. It’s estimated that 15,100 compliance analyst jobs will become available in this 10-year period. 

Where Does a Compliance Analyst Work?


While compliance professionals can work in nearly any industry where compliance regulations and policies require review, organizations with the greatest need for professionals in this field include:

  • Government agencies  

  • Insurance 

  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing  

  • Natural gas distribution 

  • Construction  

  • Finance 

  • Health care  

  • Human resources 

  • Information security  

  • Technology

If you’re interested in gaining the skills and education needed for a career as a compliance analyst, WGU College of Business offers online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs to help you get started. WGU’s courses offer students real-world applications, flexible schedules, affordable tuition, and the ability to graduate faster and begin working right away in thriving professions across dynamic industries.   


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