How Much Can You Earn with CISSP Certification?

Certification: ISC CISSP - Certified Information Systems Security Professional


The international Information Systems Security Certification Consortium governs CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) which is an independent certification for information security. The certification is valid worldwide according to the reports of (ISC)2. The CISSP obtained the ANSI ISO/IEC Standard 17024:2003 accreditation in June 2004. Te certification is also approved by Department of Defense of US, for both of Information Assurance Technical (IAT) and Information Technical Managerial (IAM) categories. It is the baseline certification for the US National Security Agency’s ISSEP program.

An organization cannot be protected by technological solutions only; it has to have security professionals. These professionals will provide the organization a high standard of security to their customers, stake holders, employers and protect the organizational information. The Human Resource department in USA says that the security certification by CISSP is the biggest certification which one has, shows that he/she is qualified and can provide security to the organization competently than other certifications. The US department stating that is correct in its own terms. The certified professionals who have the CISSP certification need to have five year of experience in the IT industry to secure their certification.

Demand of Information Security professionals

In the present situation information security professionals and cyber security professionals are in demand, because of the increase in computer threats. There are sources which will tell you that there are plenty of jobs, payment is high, but the supply is low i.e. there are not enough people to fill the positions. The governments as well as the private sector both plan to hire information security professionals in the nest coming years. That means the sector is young and have vast no of opportunities. The people who are holding the top ranking in information assurance and information security pyramid are holding CISSP certification. In 2011 there were only 75,814 people with CISSP certification, though the demand is high. The certification is approved by both the Department of Defense and the US National Security Agency. So if a person is having the certification, he/she is likely to get placed with good annual salary package.

Job titles and Skill set for CISSP holders

When CISSP certification holder is looking for a job on various search portals, he/she should look for positions for the titles like Chief Information Officer, Security Architect, IT Director, Security Engineer, Security Manager, Network Engineer, and Security Consultant. These are the job positions that are mainly taken by CISSP certification holders. The skills that the employers look for includes operations security, cloud, risk management, telecom and security management practices. These are the key words that need to be mentioned in the resume of a CISSP holder to get placed. It professionals with CISSP certification can expect to be in high demand in the coming next 10 years. The threats that the industry I facing is becoming more sophisticated, that requires expertise of a certified CISSP professional, thus increasing the demand of certified individuals.

Average salary of CISSP certified

The average salary of the CISSP certified individual gets raise from time to time. According to a survey almost 70percent of the individuals received raise in 2011. The average salary of the CISSP certified depends on the area he/she is located and varies between two places. A survey done by PayScale.com stats that, the survey of 3338 individuals shows that major metro cities like San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago offer higher salaries than any other city.

For example, the salary of CISSP certified individual in Boston is $100178, while in San Francisco the salary is around $118356. The companies based in Chicago pay about $101800 to CISSP certified individuals. The state of San Diego has the lowest pay scale of the certified as $96 092, but not the lowest. The states like Texas, Maryland, and Florida are the states that pay below $100000 a year. The information security is dominated by males, so women tend to earn less than the men which ranges between $70000 and $112000. Around 91 percent of CISSP certification holders are men.

The region of Columbia is the hub of CISSP professionals. In Washington, D.C., the salary of certified individuals is $106938 having a range of $72000 to $ 147000. Professionals enjoy the work environment and living in the city as it provides like minded peers, have many charity organizations and events which help in making a strong network. In addition to this there are more job openings for the CISSP certified professionals.

The salary of the professionals also varies according to the experience acquired. A CISSP certificate holder having an experience of less than a year may earn around $58555. After the experience of one to four years the salary rises to $67288, on an average rate. After 10 to 20 years of experience, the average salary of a CISSP certified individual may be round $112483.

The salary of the individuals also depends on the company they are being hired. The CISSP certificate holders can be placed anywhere in the U.S. government or the private sector companies. Surprisingly the difference in the pay scale of different companies and small business holders are not much. CISSP holders have salaries ranging from $97,585 to $100,024 across the board. There is a minimal difference in the salaries of individuals with different graduate schools, but this depends on the organization you are going to join. For example, the graduates from University of Maryland with a CISSP certification earns between $76,596 and $157,467 while the University of Phoenix graduates earn income of $61,939 to $125,789.

Thus it shows that the certification is tough to have but is worth the effort done. So whosoever is thinking to go for the certification, should start studying and planning to clear the exam.


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