Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP)
Posted on
August 11, 2023

Salary Survey Extra is a series of dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our annual Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

CIPP is a gold standard privacy protection certification.

Believe it or not, there was a time when you could visit a website and not get a notification regarding cookies. It was assumed that, by visiting a website, you consented to let it monitor your activities in whatever way the site's owners had arranged. That assumption is mostly still in place, but websites at least have to ask nicely, and further restrictions are likely to come as governments continue to rethink privacy protection.

For that and other reasons, organizations of every sort need privacy expertise. The Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) credential (No. 58 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) offered by IAPP verifies that expertise at the highest level. It's a great entry for the résumé of any skilled privacy protection professional.

Here's what the salary picture looks like for CIPP holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $91,230
Median Annual Salary: $78,750
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 9.4 percent
Very Satisfied: 39.6 percent
Satisfied: 35.8 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 15.1 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $109,601
Median Annual Salary: $100,000
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 20 percent
Very Satisfied: 20 percent
Satisfied: 30 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 20 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 10 percent

The largest single body of CIPP holders to participate in the survey is made up of residents of the United States (63.9 percent). The rest of the CIPP holders we heard from are spread across 21 other countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Djibouti, India, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, and United Kingdom.

The IT realm is typically dominated by male professionals, but a surprising robust segment of the CIPP holders we heard from — 27.2 percent of those surveyed — are women. A solid 66 percent are men, with 3.5 percent who are transgender male, 2 percent who are transgender female, 0.7 percent who chose not to identify their gender, and 0.6 percent who are gender variant/nonconforming. The CIPP crowd has a surprisingly youthful skew with 65 percent of those surveyed either between the ages of 25 and 34 (33.7 percent), between the ages of 35 and 44 (32.5 percent), between the ages of 19 and 24 (1.2 percent), or younger than 18 (also 1.2 percent). That leaves a notable chunk of credential holders who are between the ages of 45 and 54 — 23 percent of respondents — with the remaining 8.4 percent eyeing retirement between the ages of 55 and 64.

Exactly 94 percent of the CIPP holders who responded to the survey have an educational background that includes time spent at a college or university. The highest level of education completed by most CIPP holders is either a bachelor's degree (21.7 percent of respondents), master's degree (60.2 percent), associate's degree (1.3 percent), doctorate (6 percent), or professional degree (4.8 percent). The remaining 6 percent of CIPP holders either topped out with some level of post high-school technical training (4.8 percent) or are currently in the process of furthering their education (1.2 percent).

Employment among CIPP holders is oddly fragments, with just 57.6 percent of credential holders employed full-time, while 29.9 percent have part-time jobs. The balance of those surveyed are either on sabbatical (6.3 percent), are primarily students (2.7 percent), or are out of work altogether (3.5 percent). For most respondents, full-time employment either means a regular work schedule of between 41 and 50 hours per week (27.1 percent), a schedule of between 31 and 39 hours per week (26 percent), or a standard 40-hour work week (22.2 percent). Out of the remaining 25-ish percent of those surveyed, 13.6 put in more than 50 hours per week, 9.9 have full-time schedule of between 20 and 30 hours per week, and 1.2 percent are on the clock for fewer than 20 hours per week.

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically reshuffled workplaces worldwide in 2020, but there's a little bit of everything to our picture of how frequently CIPP holders work from home. About 20 percent of the CIPP holders we heard from are spending their entire work schedule at home, with 11 percent working beneath the same roof that's overhead when they sleep at night for more than 40 hours per week, and a further 8.5 percent working 40 hours per week from home. The rest haven't entirely separated from their cubicles (or corner offices), working from home either between 31 and 39 hours per week (26 percent of respondents), between 21 and 30 hours per week (23.1 percent), between 10 and 20 hours per week (23.2 percent), or for fewer than 10 hours per week (18.3 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of CIPP holders we heard from are employed at the senior manager level (32.6 percent). The rest, in descending order, are either managers (25.7 percent of respondents), senior specialists (16 percent), directors (13.9 percent), rank-and-file employees (7.6 percent), executives (3.5 percent), or rank-and-file employees (7.6 percent).

The largest single segment of CIPP holders who responded to the survey — 34.7 percent — are IT journeymen, having worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for between 6 and 8 years. The rest have been plying their certified skills for either between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years (18.4 percent of respondents), between 3 and 5 years (29.2 percent), between 9 and 10 years (6.3 percent), or for more than a decade (19.4 percent).

Finally, here's the view of CIPP holders on key questions from the survey about how certification impacts job performance:

At my current job I use skills learned or enhanced through certification:
Several times a day: 24.3 percent
Several times a week: 41 percent
Several times a month: 24.3 percent
Occasionally: 6.3 percent
Rarely: 4.1 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly agree: 26.4 percent
Agree: 36.8 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 25.7 percent
Disagree: 7.6 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.5 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 37.5 percent
Agree: 30.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 9.7 percent
Disagree: 19.4 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2.8 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 13.8 percent
Agree: 41.7 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 31.3 percent
Disagree: 7.6 percent
Strongly Disagree: 5.6 percent





About the Author

Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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