How Much Salary Do CISSP Certified Professionals Earn?

  • CISSP salary
  • Published by: André Hammer on Jan 19, 2024

In the realm of cybersecurity, the CISSP certification stands as a crucial milestone for professionals. It's not just a testament to one's knowledge and skills in various security domains, but also a gateway to enhanced career opportunities and higher salary brackets.

The CISSP designation is highly respected in the industry, often serving as a differentiator in the job market. Professionals with this certification are considered well-equipped to handle complex security challenges, making them valuable assets to their organizations.

In this article, we will dive deep into CISSP professionals' salaries and the factors that impact them.

What is CISSP Certification?

CISSP, or Certified Information Systems Security Professional, is a globally recognized certification in the field of information security, awarded by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)².

It's designed for experienced security practitioners, managers, and executives, demonstrating knowledge across a broad spectrum of security practices and principles.

CISSP consists of eight core domains:

• Security and Risk Management

• Asset Security

• Security Architecture and Engineering

• Communication and Network Security

• Identity and Access Management

• Security Assessment and Testing

• Security Operations

• Software Development Security

The CISSP certification equips cybersecurity professionals with a broad range of skills essential for defending against cyberattacks. It covers in-depth knowledge of penetration testing, a critical component in identifying vulnerabilities in information systems.

CISSP also provides a comprehensive understanding of various aspects of the security industry, ensuring that professionals are well-versed in the latest security trends and practices. By encompassing these areas, CISSP ensures that its holders are equipped with the expertise needed to effectively protect organizations in the rapidly evolving landscape of cyber security.

This certification is ideal for those looking to validate their expertise and advance their career in the cybersecurity landscape, focusing on holistic security management and technical proficiency.

What's the Pay for CISSP-Certified Professionals in 2024?

Average Salary for CISSP Certified Workers

Achieving a CISSP certification often marks a significant leap in a professional's earnings. While the exact salary can depend on location and experience, CISSP holders typically enjoy a substantial pay premium.

This certification, recognized globally, opens doors to senior and specialized roles in cybersecurity, where expertise is highly valued and rewarded. From security analysts to chief information security officers, CISSP professionals stand out in the tech job market, commanding salaries that reflect their comprehensive knowledge and dedication to information security.

The average salary for CISSP-certified workers is reported to be significantly higher than for non-certified professionals. In fact, professionals with the certification receive 16% more salary than other IT professionals on average. The average salary for a CISSP-certified professional in the USA is $120,552.

However, paychecks may vary significantly depending on various factors such as employer, experience, job role, and location, with reports ranging from $60,000 to $300,000.

Job Description Impacts Salary for CISSP-certified Professionals

For CISSP-certified professionals, the specific job role significantly influences salary potential. An example is that while the average CISSP professional's salary was $120,552, those who work as IT security architects earn an average of $137,078, and information security managers earn $130,043.

While the certification provides a solid foundation in information security, how this expertise is applied varies greatly across different positions. For instance, a CISSP-certified IT Manager may see a different salary range compared to a CISSP-certified Cybersecurity Analyst, even within the same geographical region.

Managerial roles that demand strategic oversight, such as Chief Information Security Officers (CISO), often command higher salaries due to the broader scope of responsibilities. Their reported average salary is $173,726.

Additionally, specialized areas within cybersecurity, like risk management or incident response, can further shape salary scales, reflecting the unique skills and challenges of each role.

Therefore, while CISSP is a common thread boosting career prospects, the specific job description remains a pivotal factor in determining salary.

Location Impacts CISSP Certifieds' Salaries

The salaries of CISSP-certified professionals are not only determined by their skills and experience but also significantly influenced by their geographical location.

In regions with a high demand for cyber security professionals, such as large tech hubs or major cities with a concentration of IT companies, such as Silicon Valley in California (with an average salary of $131,000) or New York City (has an average salary of $106,000), CISSP-certified individuals often command higher salaries. This variance is due to the cost of living differences and the high-demand nature of the job market in these areas.

The opposite also holds true; certified professionals in smaller cities or regions with fewer tech-focused businesses have less demand, which results in lower salaries. For example, the average salary in Texas is only $98,000.

The difference is even clearer when comparing countries' average salaries:

  • USA: $120,552
  • Canada: $119,917
  • UK: $81,354
  • Australia: $57,396
  • India: $56,911

This geographic salary disparity highlights the importance of location in career planning for CISSP-certified professionals.

Do Experienced CISSP-certified Workers Earn More?

The salary landscape for CISSP-certified professionals is significantly shaped by their level of experience. Work experience is one of the most impactful variables when it comes to salary. Entry-level CISSP holders typically start with lower salaries, but as their experience grows, so does their earning potential.

For example, Information Security Analysts' average salaries increase from $63,000 to $107,000 over time:

  • 0-1 year: $63,000
  • 1-4 years: $72,000
  • 5-9 years: $87,000
  • 10-19 years: $98,000
  • 20+ years: $107,000

We can see a similar salary growth for Information Security Managers:

  • 0-1 year: $72,000
  • 1-4 years: $99,000
  • 5-9 years: $121,000
  • 10-19 years: $130,000
  • 20+ years: $131,000

Also IT Security Architects average salaries follow the same pattern:

  • 0-1 year: $79,000
  • 1-4 years: $98,000
  • 5-9 years: $126,000
  • 10-19 years: $145,000
  • 20+ years: $151,000

This also applies in the highest leadership positions, the Chief Information Security Officers:

  • 0-1 year: $106,000
  • 1-4 years: $131,000
  • 5-9 years: $138,000
  • 10-19 years: $177,000
  • 20+ years: $188,000

This data underscores how experience not only enriches a CISSP professional’s skillset but also substantially boosts their financial rewards.

How to Become CISSP Certified

Getting CISSP certified requires several steps:

  1. Meet the Prerequisites: Ensure you have at least five years of full-time, paid work experience in two or more of the CISSP's eight domains. A four-year college degree or equivalent, or an additional credential from the (ISC)²-approved list, can substitute for one year of the required experience.
  2. Deep Dive into the Eight Domains: Familiarize yourself with the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK), which encompasses eight domains: Security and Risk Management, Asset Security, Security Architecture and Engineering, Communication and Network Security, Identity and Access Management, Security Assessment and Testing, Security Operations, Software Development Security. These domains form the foundation of the CISSP certification exam.
  3. Opt for a Training Program: Consider enrolling in a high quality (ISC)² CISSP training course. These courses, offered both online and in-person, are designed to match the CBK and are taught by authorized instructors.
  4. Gain Practical Experience: Hands-on experience is invaluable. Work on projects or in roles that align with the CISSP domains. This practical application of knowledge is crucial for understanding the complexities of each domain.
  5. Self-Study and Utilize Resources: Dedicate substantial time to self-study. Utilize various study materials like the Official (ISC)² Guide to the CISSP CBK, practice exams, and join study groups or forums for discussion and clarification.
  6. Register for the Exam: When ready, register for the CISSP exam through the (ISC)² website. Schedule your exam date, allowing enough time for thorough preparation.
  7. Pass the Exam: The CISSP exam is a computer-based test, consisting of 100 to 150 questions over a three-hour period. A score of 700 out of 1000 or higher is required to pass.
  8. Complete the Endorsement Process: Post-exam, you need to be endorsed by an active (ISC)² certified professional. This individual will verify your professional experience. Submit your completed endorsement form within nine months of passing the exam.
  9. Commit to Continuing Education: To maintain your CISSP status, earn and submit 40 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits annually, and a total of 120 CPE credits over three years. Additionally, pay the Annual Maintenance Fee to keep your certification active.

How to Earn More as a CISSP Professional

Building New Skills

To elevate earning potential as a CISSP professional, continuously building new skills is key.

Specializing in emerging areas like cloud security, IoT security, or AI in cybersecurity can set you apart. Embracing leadership and management skills is equally important; consider courses in project management or obtaining certifications like PMP or ITIL.

Staying updated with the latest industry trends, attending workshops, and networking within the cybersecurity community can open doors to higher-paying opportunities. Developing skills in niche areas not only enhances expertise but also positions you as a valuable asset, leading to potentially higher earnings in the dynamic field of information security.

Adding Certifications to Your Resume

As the need for cybersecurity experts keeps growing, employers are willing to pay more for people with specialized skills. Factors like the growing complexity of threats and the increased public attention on data privacy emphasize the need for workers with highly coveted cybersecurity certifications.

Because of this adding additional cybersecurity-specialized certifications can lead to higher salaries. CISSP professionals can specialize further in information systems by acquiring certifications such as CISSP-ISSMP, CISSP-ISSEP, CISM, and CISA.

The usual process of acquiring a certificate is by first taking a course and then passing a certification test. While the certification tests tend to have a universal price, cyber security courses can vary significantly in both price and quality. Opt for an affordable live-instructed certification course. Avoiding non-interactive courses with prerecorded lesson videos and no direct communication with the tutor is smart, as the end result often is failing an expensive certificate test.

By continually improving their expertise, CISSP-certified professionals can open doors to higher-paying opportunities and career growth in cybersecurity.

Education: Higher Degrees Can Improve Salary for CISSP Professionals

For CISSP professionals, advancing their education with higher degrees can be a strategic move to enhance their earning potential.

While bachelor's degrees often are a pre-requisite for many employers, holding an advanced degree, such as a master's degree, MBA, or doctorate in cybersecurity, information technology, or a related field, often leads to higher salaries and more senior positions within the industry.

This is because higher education not only broadens one's knowledge base but also demonstrates a commitment to the field, making these professionals more attractive to employers seeking expertise and leadership in cybersecurity.

As a result, CISSP holders with advanced degrees are well-positioned to negotiate better compensation and take on roles that demand a deeper understanding of complex security challenges.

Growth Projections: Will CISSP Salaries Keep Growing?

As we peer into the future of cybersecurity, the trajectory of CISSP salaries appears promising. The ever-evolving landscape of digital threats ensures a sustained demand for skilled CISSP professionals.

This growing need, coupled with the expanding complexity of cybersecurity challenges faced by organizations worldwide, positions CISSP certification as a key factor in career advancement and salary growth.

While predicting exact figures is challenging, the trend suggests a continued upward curve in salaries for CISSP-certified experts, especially as their skills become more essential in an increasingly digital world. This outlook makes CISSP a valuable certification for those aiming to excel in the field of information security.


In conclusion, the CISSP certification stands as a beacon of excellence and expertise in the cybersecurity landscape. As this article has demonstrated, not only does the CISSP certification significantly enhance one's knowledge and skills in various security domains, but it also substantially impacts salary and career prospects.

The average salary figures for CISSP-certified professionals, varying by role, experience, and location, clearly showcase the high value the industry places on this certification.

The path to becoming CISSP certified, though demanding, offers a clear trajectory for professional growth and financial reward. From entry-level positions to top executive roles, the certification opens doors to a range of opportunities, each with its own unique challenges and rewards. The importance of continuous learning, acquiring additional certifications, and advancing education cannot be overstated in this ever-evolving field.

Looking ahead, the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals shows no signs of abating. As digital threats become more sophisticated and pervasive, the expertise of CISSP-certified professionals will be more crucial than ever. This ongoing demand is likely to keep driving salaries upward, making CISSP an increasingly valuable asset for those committed to a career in cybersecurity.

Whether you're just starting in the field or looking to elevate your career, the CISSP certification stands as a pivotal step towards achieving both professional recognition and financial success in the dynamic and critical world of cybersecurity.


What is the average salary for CISSP-certified professionals?

The average salary for CISSP-certified professionals ranges from $76,000 to $162,000 per year, depending on experience, location, and industry.

Do CISSP-certified professionals earn more than non-certified professionals in the same Industry?

Yes, CISSP-certified professionals generally earn more than non-certified professionals in the same field. According to PayScale, the average salary for CISSP-certified professionals is $116,000, while non-certified professionals earn an average of $88,000.

What factors can affect the salary of CISSP-certified professionals?

CISSP-certified professionals' salary can be affected by factors such as years of experience, education level, and industry. For example, those with a bachelor's or master’s degree can command higher salaries than those with only a high school diploma.

In information technology, CISSP-certified professionals can expect higher salaries compared to non-certified professionals due to the high demand for their specialized skills. Salaries can also vary based on location, with professionals in cities like London or Manchester earning more than those in smaller cities or rural areas.

Additionally, professionals with more years of experience and a strong track record of successfully implementing secure systems and protocols can also command higher salaries. These factors contribute to the wide range of salaries CISSP-certified professionals can expect to earn, making it a lucrative and rewarding career choice for those in the cybersecurity industry.

Are there different salary ranges for CISSP-certified professionals based on location?

Yes, there are different salary ranges for CISSP-certified professionals based on location. For example, a CISSP in New York City may earn a higher salary than one in a small town in the Midwest.

How does the experience level of CISSP-certified professionals impact their earnings?

The experience level of CISSP-certified professionals has a significant impact on their earnings. More experienced professionals typically command higher salaries. For example, a CISSP with 5-9 years of experience may earn $98,000, while those with 10-19 years can earn $118,000 on average.

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