Growing Demand and the Highest-Paid Data Protection Jobs

According to the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAAP), the mean global privacy professional salary is $141,000–at least $6,000 higher compared to 2019. Although there is a high demand for data privacy jobs, it has been a challenging few months for privacy professionals because of the pandemic.

While many data professionals are adding to their knowledge and skill sets by taking PDPA training and data privacy courses, some have also switched roles or repurposed their skill sets. However, despite the upheaval, the demand in the privacy field has remained steadfast and strong. Many privacy roles are also now better paid now compared to a couple of years prior.

Highest-Paid Data Protection Jobs

A chief privacy officer or CPO is tasked to lead and accelerate the drive of the organisation to use data responsibly and effectively. This helps warrant the image of the organisation or business as a trusted company is protected. This role will require expertise in digital technology, project management, and privacy compliance.

The role also requires robust collaborative partnerships with other key partners across other sectors such as marketing, HR, and IT. The CPO is also tasked to create and lead the privacy program across all business units. Other responsibilities of the CPO include chairing a working group that will set policies for responsible data use.

CPOs also work with digital or legal stewards to ensure current legal requirements are strictly followed, risks are managed accordingly, and everything is aligned with the ever evolving changes in the market. According to the CPOs have a median salary of $200,000 in 2021. However, not all analysts will agree on the median salaries for privacy professionals.

Certifications Can Make a Difference

According to Payscale, a privacy professional with a CIPP certification will enjoy an average base salary of $132,000 annually. Other related certifications and their expected salary scales include:

  • InfoSys Security Architecture Professional (ISSAP/CISSP) – $87,000 to $193,000
  • Certified Information Privacy Professional/Information Technology (CIPP/IT) – $62,000 to $190,000
  • ISACA Certified Information Security Manager (ISACA CISM) – $89,000 to $185,000

ZipRecruiter also indicated that a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification can command an annual salary between $73,000 and $194,000.

Those who have at least one privacy certification can earn an average of $5,000 more yearly, according to the IAPP. Individuals with multiple CIPs can earn as much as $15,000 more than the average.

Job Satisfaction and Pay Raises

Some data show that privacy officers get additional compensation on top of their yearly base salaries. According to the IAPP:

  • An average of six out of ten privacy professionals received a raise in 2021
  • Around 75% of privacy professionals received some kind/form of compensation in 2021. The average additional compensation amounted to $21,420–$1,420 greater than it was a couple of years prior.
  • A gender pay gap is also observed, with at least 9% difference in the salaries of male and female privacy professionals.
  • On a scale of 0 to 10, the average job satisfaction rating among privacy professionals is at 7.3. The biggest satisfaction for privacy professionals is how interesting their job is.

Understandably, the job of privacy professionals can vary significantly based on several factors. There are also other additional factors that affect how much an individual privacy professional can earn. Factors like the country they reside in, their certifications and education, and their years of experience can also play a role.