Compliance officers wondering how their annual salaries stack up against their peers will want to have a look at a recent compliance salary benchmark report that provides a telling picture of some of the most prominent salary trends in 2018.

The “2018 Compliance Compensation Report,” published by executive search firm BarkerGilmore, provides guidance, trend analysis, and benchmark data for both employers and compliance officers looking to expand their roles or leverage their experience for new positions. Staying on top of the latest compliance officer salary trends is especially relevant at a time when the demand for top compliance talent is on the rise and the need for companies to remain competitive and attract new talent is more important than ever.

Among the 800 individuals who responded to the survey, 63 percent were chief compliance officers; 24 percent were managing compliance officers (those with at least one direct report, who is not the lead compliance officer); and 13 percent were individual contributors (those who don’t have any direct reports and may hold a compliance director, manager, or analyst title).

Some key trends that stuck out:

Industry trends: The median annual salary increase rate for all compliance positions across industries was 4.2 percent, with the industrial and manufacturing sector experiencing the highest median increase rate of 7.1 percent in base salary from 2016 to 2017. The technology and healthcare & life sciences sectors experienced the lowest increase rates at 3.2 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.

Chief compliance officers who hold law degrees have an average base salary of $295,000 at companies with at least $5 billion in annual revenue, compared to a base salary of $225,000 among chief compliance officers without law degrees.

Among public companies, chief compliance officers in the industrial and manufacturing sector received the highest total compensation ($642,000), unlike in the private sector, in which chief compliance officers in the healthcare & life sciences sector received the highest total compensation ($330,000). Total compensation is defined as the sum of the current base salary, most recent cash bonus, and estimated long-term incentive value.

Among managing compliance officers in the public sector, the highest total compensation ($326,000) was in the technology sector. In the private sector, managing compliance officers in the healthcare & life sciences sector received the highest total compensation ($290,000).

Among individual contributors of compliance in the public sector, the technology sector, again, shows the highest total compensation ($328,000). In the private sector, individual contributors of compliance in the industrial and manufacturing sector received the highest total compensation ($183,000).

Public vs. private: At all position levels, a statistically significant difference exists between the compensation of those at publicly traded companies and those at private companies. At the chief compliance officer level, this disparity is much less noticeable for chief compliance officers who hold law degrees than for those without law degrees.

For example, chief compliance officers who hold law degrees have an average base salary of $295,000 at companies with at least $5 billion in annual revenue, compared to a base salary of $225,000 among chief compliance officers without law degrees.

This figure is lower at private companies, where the base salary is $262,500 among chief compliance officers with law degrees at companies with at least $5 billion in annual revenue, compared to a base salary of $200,000 among chief compliance officers without law degrees.

The size of the gap between public- and private-company compliance officers is especially noticeable for CCOs and other high-level managing compliance officers concerning Long-Term Incentive (LTI). LTI is much higher for public company employees and non-existent for most private company employees.

Education matters: Across all position levels, compliance officers who hold law degrees earn significantly more than those without law degrees. Specifically, total compensation for those who hold a law degree is $454,978; advanced degree (i.e. Masters, PhD), $308,000; undergraduate degree, $186,00; and a high-school diploma, $163,000.

The same is true among managing compliance officers. Total compensation for managing compliance officers who hold a law degree is $312,500; advanced degree (i.e. Masters, PhD), $234,750; undergraduate degree, $207,200; and a high high-school diploma, $171,000.

When assessing non-law degree respondents, those boasting an advanced degree report higher compensation at the chief compliance officer and managing compliance officer levels, while individual contributors earn about the same amount whether they hold an undergraduate degree or an advanced degree.

The data showed that total compensation for individual contributors who hold a law degree is $190,000; advanced degree (i.e. Masters, PhD), $162,700; undergraduate degree, $176,500; and a high high-school diploma, $130,700.