Average CISSP Salary [Updated 2021]
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
|New York, New York||$115,000|
|San Diego, California||$118,000|
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|
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|
|Chief information security officer||$168,895|
|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.