California Occupational Guides

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Detailed Guide for

Compliance Officers in San Diego County

May also be called: Compliance Analysts; and Compliance Coordinators

Specialties within this occupation include: Coroners; Environmental Compliance Inspectors; Equal Opportunity Representatives and Officers; Government Property Inspectors and Investigators; Licensing Examiners and Inspectors; and Regulatory Affairs Specialists

What Would I Do?

Compliance Officers' responsibilities will vary depending upon the employer. They examine, evaluate, and investigate eligibility for conformity with laws and regulations, which may include governing contract compliance of licenses and permits. Compliance Officers perform compliance and enforcement inspection and analysis activities. Compliance Officers should be knowledgeable of a company’s policies, standards, areas of risk, and strategies. They develop and direct an organization's ethics, compliance, and business conduct functions. They make sure that internal policies and procedures are compliant with state and federal laws and regulations. In addition, Compliance Officers also make sure that staff is kept up to date with changes to the laws and regulations governing that business. In order to make sure the staff understands those changes, Compliance Officers provide outreach and training. Compliance Officers work in many different sectors, such as government, insurance, or finance.

Compliance Officers who work at the California Department of Insurance answer and research complaints from consumers on all types of insurance. They make sure insurance companies are following the California Insurance Code, laws, and regulations that relate to insurance. Compliance Officers make recommendations on enforcement actions. They also act as a mediator between consumers and insurance companies to solve problems and reach resolutions.

Compliance Officers working for banks and financial institutions make sure they are in compliance with state and federal banking laws and regulations. They monitor members’ accounts and investigate any suspicious activity. They also develop, maintain, and update policies and procedures for compliance. In addition, Compliance Officers maintain proficiency in the laws and regulations affecting the finance and banking industry.

Coroners direct activities such as autopsies, as well as pathological and toxicological analyses. They investigate deaths that occur within their legal jurisdiction. Coroners travel to death scenes for observations, securing and labeling evidence, taking notes, interviewing witnesses, and securing the body for transport. They prepare official reports of the investigation from the information collected and determine whether the cause of death was accidental, criminal, or unexplainable. Coroners complete death certificates including cause and manner of death.

Environmental Compliance Inspectors ensure conformance with local, state, and federal environmental laws and regulations. They examine and investigate sources of pollution to protect the environment and public. They collect and analyze data from field sources, such as wastewater treatment plants, and report findings. They make sure that hazardous chemicals are properly handled, stored, and disposed of according to environmental laws and regulations. They inform health professionals, property owners, and the public on issues concerning contaminated land and water pollution. They also inspect gas stations and other various industrial and commercial facilities for compliance with environmental laws, regulations, and permits.

Equal Opportunity Representatives and Officers monitor and evaluate compliance with equal opportunity laws, guidelines, and policies. This ensures that employment practices and contracting arrangements give equal opportunity without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex age, or disability. They review equal opportunity complaints and make sure the issues are clearly outlined. On-site investigations may be conducted and meetings set up with those persons who are involved in equal opportunity complaints. After case information is verified and arbitration has occurred disputes are then settled.

Government Property Inspectors and Investigators examine or inspect government property to ensure compliance with contract agreements and government regulations. They inspect manufactured or processed products for compliance with contract specifications or legal requirements. They investigate special licenses or permits, as well as violations. They inspect government-owned equipment or materials that are in the possession of private contractors to ensure compliance with contracts, or regulations or to prevent misuse.

Licensing Examiners and Inspectors examine and evaluate licenses and permits. They investigate conformity or liability under the licenses or permits. They advise various individuals concerning licensing, permitting, or passport regulations. Licensing Examiners give oral, written, vision, road, or flight tests to applicants. They also issue licenses and permits to individuals meeting the qualifications.

Regulatory Affairs Specialists coordinates and documents internal regulatory processes, such as internal audits, inspections, license and permit renewals, or registrations. They develop procedures to make certain regulatory compliance is followed. Regulatory Affairs Specialists coordinate, prepare, or review regulatory submissions for marketing new or modifying existing products for domestic and international use. They interact with and respond to regulatory agencies requests concerning submitted paperwork.

Tools and Technology

Compliance Officers use a variety of tools including calculators, computers, digital cameras, scanners, and smart phones. The technologies they use include different types of software, such as analytical or scientific, compliance, database user interface and query, document management, spreadsheet, and word processing.

Important Tasks and Related Skills

The tasks listed below are a combination of Compliance Officers and the specialties within this occupation. Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.

View the skill definitions
TaskSkill Used in this Task
Prepare written, oral, tabular, and graphic reports summarizing requirements and regulations, including enforcement and chain of custody documentation.Written Expression
Learn and observe proper safety precautions, rules, regulations, and practices so that unsafe conditions can be recognized and proper safety protocols implemented.Public Safety and Security
Evaluate applications, records, and documents in order to gather information about eligibility or liability issues.Reading Comprehension
Investigate employment practices and alleged violations of laws, in order to document and correct discriminatory factors.Critical Thinking
Examine records, reports, and documents in order to establish facts and detect discrepancies.Problem Sensitivity
Confer with officials of public health and law enforcement agencies to coordinate interdepartmental activities.Speaking
Maintain current knowledge base of existing and emerging regulations, standards, or guidance documents.Active Learning
Interpret regulatory rules or rule changes and ensure that they are communicated through corporate policies and procedures.Law and Government
Coordinate efforts associated with the preparation of regulatory documents or submissions.Information Ordering
Write or update standard operating procedures, work instructions, or policies.Writing
Prepare correspondence, reports of inspections or investigations, and recommendations for action.English Language
Provide information, technical assistance, and training to supervisors, managers, and employees on topics such as employee supervision, hiring, grievance procedures, and staff development.Education and Training
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

Working Conditions

Most Compliance Officers work in office buildings. They spend time speaking to various groups or individuals such as employees, company executives, and community members. Compliance Officers may also consult with government agencies on local, state, and federal laws and regulations. In addition, they may travel to other locations to attend meetings or professional conferences. Most Compliance Officers work a standard 40-hour week, but occasionally evening, weekend, and holiday work may be required.

Unionization is not common in this occupation. However, Compliance Officers who work for government agencies may belong to a union.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Compliance Officer may appeal to those who enjoy accuracy and attention to detail while following set procedures. In addition, those who like activities that are organized and clearly defined may also enjoy this type of work.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?


The median wage in 2017 for Compliance Officers in California was $79,726 annually, or $38.33 hourly. The median wage for Compliance Officers in San Diego County was $81,675 annually, or $39.27 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2017Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
San Diego County$58,276$81,675$92,206
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2017 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas


Compliance Officers generally receive health and life insurance, vacation, sick leave, and retirement plans.

What is the Job Outlook?

As more companies focus their attention on compliance and ethics programs, it is expected that there would be increased opportunities for Compliance Officers. However, during economic downturns, the number of job openings may decline.

Projections of Employment

In California, the number of Compliance Officers is expected to grow slower than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Compliance Officers are expected to increase by 10.2 percent, or 3,300 jobs between 2014 and 2024.

In San Diego County, the number of Compliance Officers is expected to grow slower than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Compliance Officers are expected to increase by 13.5 percent, or 560 jobs between 2014 and 2024.

Estimated Employment and Projected Growth
Compliance Officers
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
Additional Openings
Due to Net
San Diego County
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Projected Growth for All Areas

Annual Job Openings

In California, an average of 330 new job openings per year is expected for Compliance Officers, plus an additional 460 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 790 job openings.

In San Diego County, an average of 56 new job openings per year is expected for Compliance Officers, plus an additional 58 job openings due to net replacement needs, resulting in a total of 114 job openings.

Estimated Average Annual Job Openings
Compliance Officers
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-
Projected Year)
Jobs From GrowthJobs Due to
Net Replacements
Total Annual
Job Openings
San Diego County
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Data for All Areas

How Do I Qualify?

Education, Training, and Other Requirements

The educational and training requirements for Compliance Officers depend upon the employer. Most positions require a bachelor's degree in business or a related field. However, some employers may only require an associate degree along with several years of experience. Knowledge of local, state, and federal laws and regulations can be very helpful. In addition, communication, computer, mathematical, and writing skills are also vital.


Some employers seek applicants with at least three years of experience with federal and private compliance regulations.

Early Career Planning

High school students planning to become Compliance Officers should take courses in computer technology, English, mathematics, science, and statistics.

Work-Study Programs

Some colleges and universities may help students find internship programs. These internships are an excellent opportunity for students to gain experience and learn from working professionals.

Continuing Education

Continuing education is currently not a requirement. However, most Compliance Officers need to stay current with local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

Where Would I Work?

The largest industries employing Compliance Officers are as follows:

Industry TitlePercent of Total Employment for Occupation in California
Federal Government26.1%
Local Government13.8%
State Government11.9%
Management of Companies and Enterprises5.7%
Management & Technical Consulting Svc3.8%
Source: EDD/LMID Staffing Patterns

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers is one of the most common and effective job search methods. Jobs may also be found through classified advertisements in newspapers, online job boards, and professional organizations. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Yellow Page Headings

You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Compliance Officers.

  • Compliance
  • Compliance Analyst
  • Government Compliance
  • Government Offices

Find Possible Employers

To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:

  • Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
  • Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
  • Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
  • Contact the employer for possible employment.

Where Could This Job Lead?

As Compliance Officers gain experience, they may become supervisors or managers. A master's degree or Ph.D. may lead to executive positions or teaching opportunities.

Related Occupations

Below is a list of occupations related to Compliance Officers with links to more information.

Appraisers and Assessors of Real EstateProfile
Claims Adjusters, Examiners, and InvestigatorsGuide
Human Resources SpecialistsGuide
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support WorkersGuide
Forensic Science TechniciansGuide

Other Sources

These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.

For the Career Professional

The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.

SOC - Standard Occupational Classification13-1041
O*NET - Occupational Information Network
   Environmental Compliance Inspectors13-1041.01
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)ICR
   Licensing Examiners and Inspectors13-1041.02
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)ECS
   Equal Opportunity Representatives and Officers13-1041.03
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)SEC
   Government Property Inspectors and Investigators13-1041.04
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)CER
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)IRC
   Regulatory Affairs Specialists13-1041.07
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)CEI