How Much Does a Compliance Manager Make?

  • By: Adam Wire
  • May 23, 2024
How Much Does a Compliance Manager Make
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Compliance managers play a vital role in ensuring that companies adhere to laws, regulations, and internal policies, making their expertise invaluable across various industries. 

Due to their structural importance, compliance managers are often well-compensated for their work. Read on to learn about the factors that influence a compliance manager’s salary, from industry and location to experience and education, and discover how board management software helps organizations streamline governance.

What is a Compliance Manager?

A compliance manager is responsible for creating, updating, and enforcing company policies and procedures to ensure adherence to relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards. According to, compliance managers make over $109,000 annually on average. 

They work with the compliance committee and board members to set standards and ensure the company operates with ethics and transparency at every stage of its operation. 

Factors Influencing Compliance Manager Compensation

1. Experience and Education

A substantial educational background will help anyone aspiring to become a compliance manager. Most professionals have a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline, such as:

  • Business administration
  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Law
  • Risk Management

Pursuing further education, such as earning a master’s degree or doctorate degree, will also help you earn a higher salary. 

The amount of hands-on experience a compliance manager has in the field also influences pay. A successful track record provides evidence to employers that a candidate understands GRC tools, has gained or developed collaborative skills, and can be trusted to implement compliance strategies efficiently. 


2. Industry and Company Size

Different industries have varying regulatory complexities and risks, which can affect compensation. For example, compliance managers in highly regulated sectors like finance, health care, and pharmaceuticals typically earn more than those in less regulated industries. Similarly, larger organizations with more resources tend to offer higher salaries. 

3. Location

Geographic location significantly impacts salary levels due to cost of living and regional demand for compliance professionals. Major financial hubs and metropolitan areas offer higher salaries compared to smaller cities or rural areas.

4. Certifications and Specialized Skills

Advanced degrees and specialized certifications (such as Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP) or Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) can enhance a compliance manager’s qualifications, leading to better compensation.

Compliance-related certifications include:

  • Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) — The CRCM is for individuals in the financial services industry. To be eligible for the CRCM, you must have six years of experience as a compliance professional in the last 10 years or three years of experience and have completed two of the specified compliance training programs
  • Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) — The CRISC is made for compliance managers in the tech industry through the organization ISACA. Earning this certification validates your understanding of IT security and modern risk management. Applicants must have three or more years of experience in IT risk management. 
  • Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP) — The CCEP is a credential created by the Corporate Certification Board (CCB) that endorses an individual’s understanding of legal and ethical conduct within a compliance program. To be eligible for the CCEP exam, compliance professionals must have at least one year in a compliance-related position or 1,500 hours of job duties in the previous two years, as well as 20 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) earned from training programs or CCB-hosted events. 
  • Certified in Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT) — Also offered by the ISACA, the CGEIT is available for enterprise IT compliance managers. Applicants must have at least five years of enterprise IT experience in an advisory or oversight role. 


5. Market Trends

General economic trends and the financial health of the specific industry or company can influence salary levels. In times of economic growth, companies might be more willing to offer higher salaries to attract top talent.

OnBoard Supports Leading Boards

Board members and compliance managers have a fiduciary duty to the organization. However, keeping track of all the information needed to ensure compliance can become complex and time-intensive without the right software.

Other features and capabilities boards may find most valuable include:

  • Cloud-based platform to promote collaboration and provide resource access at all times.
  • Real-time collaboration tools with features like document editing, annotation tools, and discussion forums for a more engaged board environment.
  • Streamlined meeting management, from creating agendas and distributing materials to capturing minutes and tracking action items. 
  • Secure online portal that grants easy access to meeting materials, past minutes, committee reports, and other relevant documents.

Get started with OnBoard’s free Meeting Minutes Template, which outlines how the best boards report meeting minutes. 

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About The Author

Adam Wire
Adam Wire
Adam Wire is a Content Marketing Manager at OnBoard who joined the company in 2021. A Ball State University graduate, Adam worked in various content marketing roles at Angi, USA Football, and Adult & Child Health following a 12-year career in newspapers. His favorite part of the job is problem-solving and helping teammates achieve their goals. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and two dogs. He’s an avid sports fan and foodie who also enjoys lawn and yard work and running.