CISSP

Average CISSP Salary [Updated 2021]

December 16, 2020 by Susan Morrow

Introduction

The CISSP certification has long been considered the gold standard of security certifications and adding those letters next to your name is no easy task. In order to qualify, you’re required to have a minimum of five years’ full-time experience directly in the infosec field or four years’ experience and a college degree. According to (ISC)², as of July 2020, there were 141,607 people who hold the CISSP certification worldwide. 

In August 2020, the folks over at PayScale.com surveyed a group of 9,226 CISSPs. They found that this group’s average yearly salary for CISSP jobs was $114,293, depending on the participant location, years of experience and job title. 

According to a 2016 study from PayScale, the highest population of CISSP certification exam holders are located in Washington, D.C.; New York City; and Atlanta, Georgia. The city with the highest median salary for a CISSP certification holder working at management level, with five years’ experience, was Washington, coming in at $122,000 per year.

You can see each city’s respective median salary below.

2020 CISSP mean salary by city

City Salary data
Washington, D.C. $122,000
New York, New York $115,000
Atlanta, Georgia $110,000
Chicago, Illinois $114,000
San Diego, California $118,000
Dallas, Texas $109,000
Boston, Massachusetts $117,000

It should come as no surprise that the more experience you have, the more money you will make. You can see the median salary for an information security manager with CISSP certification-based experience below.

2020 CISSP median salary by years of experience (security analyst with CISSP certification)

Years of experience National salary data
Early career $67,739
Mid-career $93,318
Experienced $101,595
Late career $102,591.00
20+ years $105,825

Finally, here’s a look at the job titles that have the highest median salary based on sitting a CISSP exam. You can see from the image below that security architects, information security managers and chief information security officers earn the highest wages.

2020 mean CISSP salary by job title (CISSP certification jobs)

CISSP salary by job title (CISSP certification jobs) National salary data
Information security analyst $88,312
Information security manager $120,161
Cybersecurity analyst $95,781
Chief information security officer $168,895
Cybersecurity engineer $111,439
Security architect, IT $126,221
Security engineer, information systems $101,163

One particularly interesting finding of this study is that women who hold the CISSP certification earn significantly less than their male counterparts. The average salary for a woman who successfully sat the CISSP exam falls between $66,000 and $156,000, while the average CISSP certifications-based salary for a man is between $72,000 and $164,000. 

The CISSP certification is very useful for those seeking a higher-level security job. Meeting CISSP requirements means sitting a foundational certification exam, and the CISSP exam and the CISSP requirements are some of the most exacting in the industry. The CISSP exam and requirements result in one of the most highly sought-after security certifications in the IT industry. 

 

This post has been updated continuously – first posted Oct. 2013.

Posted: December 16, 2020
Articles Author
Susan Morrow
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Susan has worked in the IT security sector since the early 90s; working across diverse sectors such as file encryption, digital rights management, digital signing, and online identity. Her mantra is that security is about human beings as much as it is about technology.


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