Are Compliance Officers Getting Paid Their Worth?


The NAVEX Global-sponsored 2012 SCCE (Ethics & Compliance Industry) Salary Survey was released this week (download report).  In the executive summary, SCCE CEO Roy Snell highlights the necessity that the broader industry has solid compensation data at-hand to meet the growing need for skilled compliance professionals. The results equip SCCE members and their employers with the relevant and timely data to understand and evaluate elements of compliance professionals’ compensation packages.

In contrast to other similar surveys – which include data from those who simply have “compliance” in their titles and do not manage a comprehensive compliance program – this survey is unique and more accurate because it focuses on people who manage multiple risk areas and/or active elements of a compliance program, contends Snell.

The survey is designed to allow organizations and individuals to compare their salary to their peers. It contains compensation data retrieved from more than 400 chief compliance officers from across a broad swathe of industries during the fourth quarter of 2012. These CCO’s were specifically chosen based on qualifying criteria (employed by a non-healthcare provider, responsible for at least seven of the ten elements of a compliance program and responsible for at least 26% of an organization’s legal and regulatory risk).

The results highlight several correlations between common salary-determining factors (company size, employee count and years in management), and also provides a more comprehensive overview of the survey data – from which we’ve pulled a few key findings:

Average CCO Salary by Industry:


Average CCO Salary by Organization Type:


Average CCO Salary by Annual Compliance Budget Managed:


The results are not surprising in some aspects – that pharmaceutical/biotech CCOs make the most, they arguably have been around the longest – what stands out is the lack of monetary support for financial services CCOs, especially in comparison with traditionally lower-paying industries like higher education.   Is there a correlation between the importance of the role within the industry and the CCO salary in that case?  The recession might point us in that direction, but further study would be required.

What’s most important to NAVEX Global is that we’re able to provide a salary resource for those we work with most.

To download the complete survey, please visit this link, or register for the SCCE webinar on March 4, 2013 (10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET) for an in-depth review of the findings. Our Ethical Leadership Group President, Carrie Penman, will be co-presenting.


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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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