What is the average chief security officer salary? Do you know what does a chief security officer do? The position of Chief Security Officer is one of the most valued in the organization. His actions directly influence the safety of company resources, both the information resources and the physical resources. Let’s check out who can become a Chief Security Officer and how much does he make a year?

What is the average chief security officer salary? – table of content:

  1. Who is the Chief Security Officer?
  2. Chief Security Officer salary range
  3. Skills of Chief Security Officer
  4. Who can become a Chief Security Officer?
  5. What experience is required?

Who is the Chief Security Officer?

The director of security or Chief Security Officer (CSO) is responsible for creation and maintenance of a secure environment in the company. His duties embrace such actions as: protection of assets, information and employees of the company. He is responsible also for coordination of programs and activities related to crisis management and safety in the company as well as informing all the employees about changes in the safety policies.

chief security officer salary

Chief Security Officer salary range

The Foushee Group company monitors salaries in the USA. It has been publishing the ranking of salaries of individuals employed in security positions for 20 years now.

The report shows that in 2021 the value of the average salary of a Chief Security Officer was 326 162 US dollars a year, while the basic salary with the premium was 476 091 US dollars a year. It is worth mentioning that the premiums are subject to risk and typically differ from company to company. The exact amount of the premium depends from: company goals, profitability, employees performance, and overall business performance.

In comparison the director of security department of the lower rank earns 202 739 US dollars a year, while his salary with the premium is 249 146 US dollars a year.

Additionally, in this sector the highest salaries have individuals with lots of experience and higher qualifications in: cybersecurity, security of information, IT infrastructure, security risk management, or safety testing. Salary of such specialists may vary depending on the location. In huge cities a Chief Security Officer may expect much higher earnings.

chief security officer salary

Skills of Chief Security Officer

Chief Security Officer should possess certain skills such as:

  • technical skills – Chief Security Officer should have broad knowledge in the field of hardware, software and computer network. He should use terms related to the security, data protection and authentication techniques fluently,
  • risk assessment ability – the key duty of the Chief Security Officer is the measurement of risk exposure of the company. This can be done through a mix of technical knowledge and analytical skills. It allows tracking down sources of security risks, identification of weak points, and general calculation of risk,
  • communication – Chief Security Officers act as the liaison between cyber security experts and the executive team therefore they have to be able to communicate clearly and skillfully. The ability to explain complicated security issues to the managers, who don’t have the technical knowledge, is the key for the role.
chief security officer salary

Who can become a Chief Security Officer?

To become a Chief Security Officer the individual should possess at least the BA diploma in cyber security, IT, business or other similar discipline such as: business administration, management, finance management, environmental engineering, international business, public administration, or social science. It is advisable to attend additional cyber security training as well as to have broad expertise.

Among the most popular certificates in the USA are: International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) Certificate, Sustainability Excellence Associate Certificate, and ISSP Sustainability Excellence Professional Certificate for experienced leaders. All certification programs encompass training with a final exam. To keep the validity of the certificate individuals have to continue their training.

Generally all managerial positions such as Chief Security Officer require the diploma of higher education such as Master of Business Administration (MBA).

chief security officer salary

What experience is required?

Similarly to other managerial positions companies usually prefer to employ candidates with many years of experience. It is requested that the new CSO should be able to manage huge teams, to coordinate object protection programs, and to design IT security solutions.

Employers, while searching for the CSO, take under consideration not only the extensive experience, but additionally strategic, tactical skills and the ability to manage the security. The company that is looking for the director usually aims to employ somebody who has documented experience in designing, implementation and management of the processes that involve the entire company.

All the years of experience are probably not as important as proven successes in the field of security. Quite frequently companies decide to appoint one of their own employees as the new Chief Security Officer especially when his abilities and services for the company are known.

Most of the Chief Security Officers have professional qualifications in IT security. Sometimes it is necessary to do special training program. Chief Security Officers that deals with physical security should have training in law enforcement, military service and criminal justice.

The position of the Chief Security Officer ensures good earnings. The best officers may earn almost a half million dollars a year. The demand for Chief Security Officers is growing, but we must remember that this position is burdened with huge responsibility and typical duties of CSO’s diverge from those of other employees from IT or administrative departments. To become a CSO one needs to be thoroughly educated and have huge experience as well as achievements at their work.

Read also: What is a CSO?

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Author: Nicole Mankin

HR manager with an excellent ability to build a positive atmosphere and create a valuable environment for employees. She loves to see the potential of talented people and mobilize them to develop.