Rockstar CISOs are expected to land salary offers of $241,000 in 2018, putting them in the 95th percentile for CISO salary ranges, according to Robert Half Technology's 2018 Salary Guide released this week.
Meanwhile, CISOs in the 75th percentile salary range will likely see $204,000 in 2018, while the midpoint range will be $170,000 and the 25th percentile, $143,250, according to the report, which surveyed 740 human resource officials.
"Whether establishing a salary for a team member or trying to see where you stack up against your peers in the field, there are many factors that come into play" in salary offers, says John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology.
He noted a candidate's skills, experience, and the complexity of the role will all need to be taken into consideration when assessing which salary percentile is appropriate.
"The midpoint salary is a good indicator of someone who meets the requirements of an open role," Reed says.
The midpoint range for CISOs and information systems security managers have improved over the past couple of years. For example, the Dark Reading 2016 Security Salary Survey found the median annual salary of IT security management was $127,000.
But fast forward to 2018: the Robert Half Technology survey expects information systems security managers to earn as much as $194,250 if in the 95th percentile salary range, followed by $164,250 for the 75th percentile, $137,000 at the midpoint, and $115,250 at the 25th percentile, according to the report.
Source: Robert Half Technology
The salary increases expected next year are part of a trend that has been underway for the past few years, Reed says.
"We’ve seen security salaries growing relatively steadily in the past few years, especially as it has become increasingly difficult to find the talent to fill highly specialized roles," says Reed.
Twenty-two percent of CIOs say maintaining security of IT systems and safeguarding company information was their top concern, and this increased focus is driving the demand for talent, and in turn, salaries, he notes.
"Growing security initiatives have created an imbalance of supply and demand, especially for data and network security professionals who are seeing the compensation to match the complexity of safeguarding their organizations," Reed says.
Security professionals are likely to increase their marketability to prospective employers by completing these certification programs, Reed says.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Check Point Firewall administration, Cisco network administration, and LINUX/UNIX administration are some of the most frequently required or preferred certifications for security professionals, he says.
"These reputable certifications are good indicators of technically proficient talent. Certifications, especially in the ever-changing and evolving area of security, demonstrate a dedication to the field and the thirst for being on the cutting edge of a profession that requires you to constantly be one step ahead of potential threats," Reed says.
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