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CISSP and Your Paycheck

The SANS Institute estimated in 2005 that IT professionals with CISSP certification were not only paid more than those with only a bachelor’s degree but also earned more than IT professionals with other certifications. Certification magazine has estimated from survey data that achievement of CISSP certification results in a pay increase of 5 to 30 per cent.

PayScale.com has reported on the basis of a survey of some 4000 individuals in the IT field in 2015 that the salary range for an information security analyst was $59,000-117,000.00, while information security managers made between $79,000 and $139,000.00. The range for security architects was $91,000-154,000.00, and for information security officers $68,000-142,000.00. Salaries ranged from $68,000-132,000.00 for security engineers.

The same survey suggested that the average salary for web designers was $28,000-73,000.00. Base salaries ranged from $30,000-68,000.00, and bonuses from zero to approximately $5,000.00. Profit-sharing also varied widely with company of employment, from a low of $493.16 to a high just under $10,000.00. Commissions varied from zero to almost $5,000.00. Individuals with CISSP certification in architecture averaged $136,000.00 a year in 2009, according to Certification, while the average salary for those with the CISSP-ISM credential in management was $134,000.00 a year.

Network administrators have a wide range of responsibility and seniority, and work in a variety of business and institutional settings; consequently their annual compensation has a wide range. The Infosec Institute estimates that the median salary for network administrators is approximately $85,000.00 per year, although starting out in desktop support may bring as little as $30,000.00 per year. This same institution estimates that lead network administrators with wide-ranging responsibilities can make up to $120,000.00 annually, and that specialists in specific operating systems start at higher salaries and are likely to be better paid. Linux network administrators were estimated to earn $73,000.00, while Cisco network administrators commanded $85,000.00 and network administrators with EMC2 earned around $92,000.00 annually.

CISSP-credentialed network architects can look forward to a six-figure income, averaging $108,000.00 according to Pay-Scale. Salaries in 2014-2015 were estimated at $77,000 to approximately $153,000.00 a year, with bonuses as high as $20,000.00 and a profit-sharing range of $1,500.00-22,000.00. Nearly all network architects reported generous medical, dental and other benefits, and not surprisingly, network architects surveyed by Pay-Scale were highly satisfied with their compensation.

In all these surveys of CISSP professionals, major determinants of salary and benefits were experience, seniority and location. IT professionals in major metropolitan areas or places with high concentrations of businesses and institutions with substantial IT security requirements were more readily employed and generously compensated, and expertise in multiple operating systems or CISSP certification in sub-specialty areas as well as longer duration of experience and employment did much better in salary. It is generally agreed that a CISSP credential can result in better compensation at work, and it may well also contribute to greater job security.


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