The Highest Paid Privacy Professional Roles in 2021 – CMSWire

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The mean global privacy professional salary in 2021 is $141,000, more than $6,000 higher than in 2019, according to findings from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAAP).
It’s been a challenging last 20 months for privacy professionals. Like many other workplace roles. Many jobs were lost due to COVID-19, according to report author and IAPP Senior Westin Research Fellow Müge Fazlioglu, CIPP/US, CIPP/E. Many needed to switch roles or occupations or repurpose their skill set, she added.
“But despite the upheaval, the job market in the field of privacy has remained strong,” Fazlioglu wrote in the report. “Although remote and at home, privacy professionals continue their work, few privacy jobs have been lost and many roles are even better paid today than they were just a year or two ago.”

We’ve investigated some of those privacy roles and the top-earning salaries among privacy leaders today. But first, some insight into what matters for privacy officers today. Of course, it’s a little more than just reading the details of GDPR or CCPA.
The chief privacy officer (CPO) or professional leads and accelerates the organization’s drive to use data effectively and responsibly perpetuating the image of the organization as a trusted company, according to digital policy and privacy expert Kristina Podnar. The role requires expertise, she said, in privacy compliance, project management and digital technology.
“It also requires strong, collaborative relationships with other partners across the enterprise especially in IT, marketing, communications/PR, HR and even facilities,” Podnar added. “Things of any aspect of the organization that collects, manages or produces information about prospects, buyers, consumers, employees, vendors and partners — the CPO needs to work with all of them.”
Usually, the individual filling the CPO or a privacy expert role will develop and lead a privacy program across all business units. According to Podnar, some of responsibilities tend to include:
Related Article: 4 Ways a Chief Privacy Officer Can Help Your Company
Now, let’s talk turkey. The highest paid privacy professionals continue to be the chief privacy officers, who earned a median salary of $200,000 in 2021, according to data from the IAPP. The IAPP's 2021 data featured insights from about half (49%) of respondents personally based in the U.S., 22% in the EU, 14% in the U.K., 8% in Canada and the remaining 7% in other countries.
Some other IAPP data on how much money privacy professionals make (median yearly salary) include:
Not all analysts agree on the exact median salaries for privacy professionals. Glassdoor cites the average annual salary for a chief privacy officer to be $157,824. Some other compliance roles involving privacy duties that are similar include:
Related Article: Should the Chief Privacy Officer and Chief Information Security Officer Roles Merge?
Certifications count, too, of course.
According to Payscale, the average base salary for a privacy professional with the CIPP certification is $132,000 per year.
Some other related certifications and their average salary scales according to Payscale include:
According to ZipRecruiter, the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification includes an average yearly salary between $73,000 and $194,000.
Those who hold at least one privacy certification earn almost $5,000 more per year than the average, according to the IAPP. Those with multiple CIPs earn about $15,000 more annually than the average.
Some other data shows privacy officers receive additional compensation on top of their annual base salary. On the other hand, some had to take a pay cut this year.
According to the IAPP:
Ultimately, the salaries of privacy professionals will vary greatly as in any other profession based on a variety of factors. “There are numerous additional factors, however, that help to explain how much each individual privacy pro earns,” IAPP’s Fazlioglu said, “from the industry in which they work to the country in which they reside, as well as their years of experience, education and certifications.”


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