Get an internship or part-time job in the compliance department of a financial institution, health care organization, or a government agency to gain insights into the field. Learn more about compliance by joining a professional association such as the National Society of Compliance Professionals or the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, among others. Search these associations' Web sites for lists of upcoming workshops and events, and attend those that offer opportunities to meet compliance professionals and find out how they got started in their careers. Read trade publications such as Compliance Week (https://www.complianceweek.com) to keep up with news and developments in the compliance industry.
Compliance managers work at federal and state agencies, financial institutions, health care organizations, and in other industries, making sure that companies comply with laws and standards. They review practices to make sure they align with internal standards as well as external regulations. They are responsible for knowing the current laws and changes to those laws that affect the companies. They are also responsible for sharing knowledge about corporate laws and standards with their company's employees, executives, and board of directors.
Compliance management tasks include recording and maintaining documentation of all activities related to compliance, such as complaints about compliance issues and investigation findings. Compliance managers conduct and/or oversee internal investigations concerning issues of compliance. They review the outcomes of these investigations, share this information with their company's upper management, and file compliance reports with regulatory agencies. When they identify compliance violations, they report them to the appropriate enforcement agencies. The job requires keen attention to detail, strong knowledge of government and industry laws and regulations, and the ability to communicate complex information in ways people will understand.
Compliance managers spend a great deal of time on computers, studying data, creating reports, and e-mailing with compliance team members and other company employees. The work requires knowledge of analytic or scientific software programs, as well as compliance software. They are well versed in e-mail software like IBM Notes and Microsoft Outlook, and project management software such as Microsoft Project and SharePoint.