In business, compliance officers must satisfy two main objectives. First, they must uphold their company’s internal rules to maintain its safety and good standing with its clients and customers. Second, compliance officers must ensure the company adheres to the laws and industry-specific regulations set by external entities such as state or federal governments.
The purpose of a compliance officer is to avert risks to the company. By maintaining compliance, a company or business avoids fines imposed by government entities for non-compliance. It prevents lawsuits and protects the customer information that it collects and stores. A company’s compliance, or good standing, elevates its business reputation.
Mitigating risks and maintaining compliance are functions that rely on an in-depth knowledge of industry laws, how to analyze them, and the ability to design a compliance plan that adheres to the law. The Seattle U Law Master of Legal Studies in Compliance and Risk Management gives you the working knowledge needed to identify, assess, and respond to risks. It equips you with a commanding knowledge of the law and a legal analytical framework, including an understanding of how laws impact organizations.
Regulations often change while new laws take effect or are in review. To keep pace with these changes, businesses require legal intelligence and adherence. The MLS in Compliance and Risk Management prepares students to keep pace with these developments and apply compliance with a conscience.
According to O*Net Online, the need for compliance officers between 2020 and 2030 has an average projected growth rate of 8%, which could mean an estimated 30,000 jobs. The median annual salary for compliance officers is $71,100, which varies based on industry and specific compliance positions.
The courses in the MLS program prepare you for compliance officer positions in any industry. However, there are concentrations for specific industries where compliance is heavily needed.
Top Compliance Jobs in Healthcare
The rules and regulations that apply to the healthcare industry range from patient protection to how healthcare facilities interact with vendors and suppliers. Healthcare compliance officers will need to be familiar with and uphold compliance with laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH).
Compliance officers oversee compliance programs and training staff. They ensure everyone is aware of and follows industry-specific rules and regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
The projected job growth rate for healthcare managers in the next ten years is 32%.
The following are the top jobs where the MLS in Compliance and Risk Management would help advance your career or give you an edge in the job market.
Healthcare Compliance Officer/Manager
Compliance Officers lead compliance efforts for a hospital or care facility by overseeing training, policy development, and decision-making. They work to identify and mitigate risks to the organization. Compliance Officers also verify that the healthcare facility follows all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. A master’s degree is preferred for many Compliance Manager positions.
The average U.S. salary range for Healthcare Compliance Officers, as of October 2021, is between $123,596 and $176,582. The average median salary is $146,225.
Healthcare Compliance Auditor
Compliance Auditors in healthcare review and monitor compliance efforts, records, and reports. They interact with agencies, lawyers, organizations, and executive team members to minimize risk and ensure compliance. They also provide recommended changes to correct non-compliance issues. Most companies prefer a master’s degree for the Compliance Auditor position.
The average U.S. salary range for Healthcare Compliance Auditors, as of October 2021, is between $52,609 and $65,702. The average median salary is $58,429.
Patient Privacy and Protection Specialist
Patient Privacy and Protection Specialists advocate for the privacy and well-being of all patients by managing the use and storage of private medical information. They verify that facility policies meet HIPAA requirements. They also assist with I.T. security solutions regarding data requests.
The average U.S. salary range for Patient Privacy and Protection Specialists, as of October 2021, is between $65,128 and $90,559. The average median salary is $76,294.
The MLS courses will prepare you to navigate and track changing regulations, contribute to the policymaking process, and ensure compliance with healthcare industry laws such as HIPAA and the Affordable Care Act.
Top Compliance Jobs in Data Privacy and Cybersecurity
Data and Cybersecurity Compliance incorporates compliance rules and regulations from each of the listed industries. Because banking, insurance, healthcare, government, and corporate business are conducted online, data and cybersecurity compliance must adhere to all field-specific laws and regulations as well as cybersecurity laws and regulations. Many of the rules apply to more than one industry.
Compliance in Data and Cybersecurity involves the protection of data. Privacy, availability, confidentiality, and integrity of public and private data result in numerous laws and regulations. Government laws and cybersecurity entities such as the CIS, NIST Cybersecurity Framework make compliance particularly challenging. Working in this field requires legal and cybersecurity knowledge and a clear understanding of where legal and cybersecurity intersect within specific industries.
Cybersecurity is one of the most in-demand fields. Its job growth rate is increasing faster than the number of trained professionals who can qualify for the positions. Cybersecurity compliance professionals are also in high demand. Companies are looking for employees with the skills and legal knowledge to maintain compliance within the fast-paced sector.
The job outlook for information security analysts is projected to increase to 33% between 2020 and 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Chief Information Security Officer
The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), a senior-level cybersecurity executive, is responsible for securing a company’s network, systems, programs, communications, and data by developing an information security program. The security program protects the system from external threats like hacking and internal threats like data theft.
CISOs help to create recovery plans should an emergency occur. They regularly conduct tests to verify that there are no vulnerabilities in the company’s security system, and they remove the vulnerabilities if they exist. Companies and I.T. teams rely heavily on guidance from CISOs, who must be up to date on the most recent advances in cybersecurity as well as the most recent threats.
The average U.S. median salary for Chief Information Security Officers is $103,590 a year.
Data Protection Officer
A Data Protection Officer (DPO) provides legal advice on data privacy, data sharing, and data transfer. DPOs must be familiar with privacy laws and regulations and advise corporations and organizations on compliance with privacy laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). DPOs also assist staff with understanding how they can help to keep the company’s data safe.
According to Cybersecurity Guide, ZipRecruiter lists the average salary range for Data Protection Officers between $ 85,696 and $156,500.
The courses in Seattle U’s online MLS prepare you to confidently collaborate with company leaders and teams to help prevent or respond to cybersecurity threats.
Top Compliance Jobs in the Financial Industry
The financial industry conducts business across several sectors and must comply with the laws specific to each industry. For example, banks and insurance companies collect and store personal information. Privacy laws and regulations, like GDPR, also apply to financial compliance to protect its customers. Compliance in the financial industry aims to reduce fraud and other crimes, protect its customers, and provide transparency to maintain fairness and minimize risk.
The majority of information collected is online. Cybersecurity laws apply where online data transference occurs. Then there are corporate business and industry-specific rules that financial institutions must follow, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Bank Secrecy Act, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The projected growth for compliance officer occupations, in general, over the next ten years is 4.6%. Datausa.io projects that compliance officers’ jobs will grow more than the national average.
Datausa.io also lists legal as one of the most specialized skills of compliance officers. Some of the top compliance officer jobs in the financial industry and their salary ranges are listed below.
Financial examiners are responsible for overseeing a financial institution’s risk assessment and compliance concerning consumers and federal laws. The examiners make sure that all financial transactions comply with legal standards. They also prevent predatory lending practices and discrimination against customers based on gender, race, or ethnicity. Some financial examiners ensure that there are cash funds in case of unanticipated losses and that the financial institution offers safe loans maintaining the stability of its financial system.
The average U.S. median salary for Financial Examiners is $81,430. The job outlook for the next ten years is 18% growth.
Chief Compliance Officer
The Chief Compliance Officer is a management team member that reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The CCO ensures that all team compliance policies, programs, and procedures align with laws and regulatory requirements and that all employees are knowledgeable and observe the internal compliance policies. They inform the board or management team of possible violations or other non-compliance issues.
The CCO position usually requires a master’s degree in business or economics. However, the MLS puts you in the unique position of having the legal background to be well-versed in the financial laws and regulations that require compliance.
The average U.S. salary range for a Chief Compliance Officer (CCO), as of October 2021, is between $199,601 and $295,001. The average median salary is $243,501.
Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer
The Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Officer tracks any attempts to get money through the global banking system using complex and fraudulent means to hide where the money actually originated. This task involves close compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970. The Act requires the cooperation of banks and other financial institutions to prevent money laundering. The AML Officer must stay updated on industry best practices, regulations, policies, and the general behavior of fraudulent economic activities. They assist in determining where criminals may try to take advantage of weaknesses in the financial processes.
The average U.S. salary range for an Anti-Money Laundering Officer, as of October 2021, is between $59,312 and $75,768. The average median salary is $66,482.
By the end of the MLS program, you’ll have a working knowledge of a range of financial laws and regulations. And you’ll be able to approach problem-solving with critical, analytical, and creative skills.
Top Compliance Jobs in Corporate Compliance
Corporate compliance is the set of internal policies and rules that a company establishes to help it comply with external laws and regulations. These policies guide how the company conducts business online, with customers, government agencies, and how to resolve issues internally. In general, corporate compliance focuses on a code of conduct to maintain ethics, privacy, and compliance.
Business Ethics Officer
The Business Ethics Officer handles ethical issues that may arise within a company or organization, acting as the point person for allegations or complaints. The Business Ethics Officer keeps current with requirements regarding compliance, reporting responsibilities, and state and federal laws that pertain to the company. They investigate and attempt to resolve complaints through enforcing or revising the code of ethics. They also make sure that the company is upholding its code of ethics.
The ethics career has a 6% expected growth rate and could potentially produce over 150 new job opportunities by 2028.
The average U.S. salary range for a Business Ethics Officer, as of October 2021, is between $57,788 and $91,366. The average median salary is $72,457.
Human Resources Manager
The Human Resources Manager plays a pivotal role in relaying employee issues to upper management by overseeing the proper steps taken between management and employees to mitigate problems and adhere to human resources laws and regulations. H.R. Managers also handle administrative tasks such as payroll, benefits programs, recruitment, interviewing, and hiring. They work closely with management to plan administrative functions and ensure its internal policies comply with industry laws and regulations.
The Human Resources Manager occupation is projected to grow 9% in the next ten years. The average median U.S. salary for Human Resources Managers, as of May 2020, is $121,220. You will be able to perform important non-attorney roles ethically and with cultural competency after completing the MLS program.
Depending on professional goals and interests, students in the fully online program can optionally choose to focus on financial compliance, healthcare compliance, corporate compliance, or data & cybersecurity compliance. The MLS program provides opportunities to solve problems through a legal lens and gain foundational knowledge of the law, but without a J.D. It prepares graduates to lead compliance efforts in any organization, regardless of industry. Students graduate with a commanding knowledge of law, legal analysis, and the frameworks used to identify, assess, and respond to risk. The program’s values-based approach moves beyond a narrow sense of compliance and helps establish a sense of equity, justice, and inclusion.
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