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31 May

How to Become a Compliance Consultant

As businesses encounter new government regulations and changing policies, the need for compliance professionals has never been greater. Companies in industries ranging from finance to health care to technology need savvy compliance experts to ensure they comply with all internal and external regulations.

While some businesses have the resources to employ in-house compliance staff, such as compliance officers, compliance managers, or chief compliance officers, others seek the services of compliance consultants. Even companies who have in-house compliance staff may sometimes need to hire a compliance consultant if they require specific expertise for a certain project. Compliance consultants are generally employed by consulting firms, though some may work as independent agents.

Read more to learn the basics of how to become a consultant who specializes in compliance, including what a compliance consultant does, required training, and how to succeed in the role.

What does a compliance consultant do?

Each assignment for a compliance consultant will differ depending on the company’s needs. Here are some examples of what you might be tasked with as a compliance consultant:

  • Develop, implement, and monitor a new compliance program and policies for a company
  • Analyze an existing compliance program and internal controls, report on inefficiencies and breaches, and provide strategic solutions to improve compliance functions
  • Create benchmarks for measuring the success and return on investment (ROI) of a compliance program
  • Develop and oversee a compliance training program for employees

Compliance consultants have a powerful role. Companies look to third-party compliance experts to identify opportunities for operational improvements, perform thorough audits, and share industry-standard best practices for compliance programs, all of which can positively affect a company’s bottom line.

Do you have the right training to become a compliance consultant?

Most compliance consulting jobs require a bachelor’s degree at minimum, but advanced credentials are often preferred. A specialized master’s degree, such as the Online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) in Corporate Compliance from Santa Clara University School of Law, can provide you with up-to-date regulatory knowledge and help you improve your communication and relationship-building skills, while greatly expanding your network of innovative compliance leaders.

In addition to a master’s degree, a certification, such as Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP), can also increase your credibility and knowledge.

What makes a successful compliance consultant?

A compliance consultant must be extremely well versed in the industries they support, which means staying up to date with regulatory changes and trends through research and continuing education.1

Compliance consultants also must possess impeccable verbal communication skills, as they are often tasked with working with stakeholders across departments and presenting complex information in layman’s terms.

How much do compliance consultants make?

According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a compliance consultant is $94,946,2 though earnings can vary greatly depending upon the industry and level of responsibility of each specific job.

Is a career as a compliance consultant right for you?

If you are a proven problem solver who thrives in a change-filled environment, you may find a career in compliance consulting to be very fulfilling. The nature of project-based consulting work means you’ll never be bored, as most consultants work on multiple projects with various clients.

You can increase your chances of landing high-profile, lucrative projects with the knowledge and skills gained in the Online MLS in Corporate Compliance from Santa Clara Law. Peruse the curriculum for more information, and read our blog post about how a master’s in legal studies can impact your work in compliance.


1. Retrieved on May 17, 2019, from roberthalf.com/blog/job-market/launching-a-career-in-compliance-consulting-3-frequently-asked-questions
2. Retrieved on May 17, 2019, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/compliance-consultant-salary-SRCH_KO0,21.htm