CCOs See Slight Gain in 2019 Total Compensation: The E&C Pulse - December 11, 2019

December 11, 2019 Ben DiPietro

Dec. 11, 2019

CCOs See Slight Gain in 2019 Total Compensation 


The average compensation for chief compliance officers working outside of the healthcare sector in 2019 was $185,794, up about 4% from the average compensation of $177,752 when the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics last conducted its survey in 2017.


As always, there are factors that drive compensation higher. These include the amount of risk being managed; the number of people managed by the CCO; budget size; number of employees under the CCO’s responsibility; and years of experience in compliance.


The biggest driver for compensation is whether the CCO works for a publicly traded company; those who do have an average total compensation of $312,239--more than double the $154,846 average compensation for CCOs at privately held firms. 


CCOs working in what SCCE called the Pacific region made more than colleagues in any other part of the U.S., bringing in average compensation of $247,070, ahead of the $225,002 brought in by those in the East North Central region.


Certifications help drive compensation, as well, with those holding a Certified Information Privacy Professional certification making on average $253,289. Those holding the Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional-International certification bring in $240,424. CCOs with no certifications had average compensation of $141,359.


Some interesting information not related to salary included in the survey found:

  • 40% of the CCOs whose responses were used in the survey say they manage 75% or more of their organization’s total legal and regulatory risk;
  • 33% manage a compliance budget of less than $100,000 annually, while 40% oversee a budget of $1 million or more;
  • Just under half the respondents work in companies with 1,000 or fewer employees, while 25% are in organizations of 7,500 or more;
  • One in five CCOs are responsible for 5,000 or more employees, the same percentage that is responsible for 100 or fewer employees;
  • About 20% of CCOs are in companies with revenue of $15 million or less, while 32% are in businesses with $1 billion or more in revenue;
  • Two-thirds deal with compliance in one country; 14% handle compliance in 10 countries or more;
  • Nearly 60% of CCOs have managed their program for five years or less; 15% have been in their role for more than 10 years; and
  • 60% of the CCOs in the survey are women; the median age of CCOs is 48.

The survey is based on responses from 479 chief compliance officers who didn’t work in the healthcare sector, and are responsible for at least 26% of an organization’s legal and regulatory risk.


SCCE also looked at compensation for compliance staff members, and reported gains among compliance vice presidents, compliance directors, and compliance specialists, but a decline for compliance managers. Compensation ranged from $238,370 for vice presidents, to $81,709 for compliance specialists. As with CCOs, staff at organizations with more people, responsibilities, and bigger budgets make more than their counterparts.


SCCE emphasizes the information in the survey should be used as a guideline, and not as an absolute standard. “Even organizations that are similar on some characteristics, such as location, size, industry, etc., will differ in other ways, making it difficult to draw exact comparisons,” the organization said. 


“In the end, results in this report that are different from one’s own experience are most likely an indication that other factors are at play.”


                                                                                                            BEN DIPIETRO




An effective code of conduct is more than a list of rules and regulations; it inspires principled performance, guides employees in how to live the organization’s values, and enables them to be aware of risks and make ethical decisions.





This week's episode of Principled features Ana-Paola Capaldo de Aoun, director of ethics and compliance for Tech Data Corp., talking with LRN’s Dr. Marsha Ershaghi Hames about 

creating programs that resonate across cultures and locations.






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- Anthony Lewis, journalist



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