ISACA CDPSE average salary

Greg Belding
August 10, 2021 by
Greg Belding

Data privacy is an important part of an organization’s overall information security profile. Despite this fact, organizations are understaffed when it comes to hiring in-house data privacy professionals. Earning the ISACA Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE) certification will help you earn one of these data privacy roles. What is the average salary of a professional that has earned this certification? 

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ISACA certification holders are among the highest-paid in the industry, with average salaries ranging from $103,000 to $133,000, according to Payscale. Earn one of the highest-paying certifications in the industry.

What is the CDPSE?

Released by ISACA, the Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer, or CDPSE certification, is an experience-based data privacy certification that is the first of its kind. It tests the certificate candidate’s ability to implement privacy by design for an organization. This results in enhanced privacy tech platforms/products and is intended to accomplish three things:

  1. Provide benefits to consumers
  2. Build trust
  3. Advance data privacy

CDPSE also validates the cert holder’s ability to work cross-functionally within an organization. This is an important part of a successful privacy technology professional because privacy demands complex collaboration between multiple functions across an organization.

You may be confused by what exactly experienced-based means. According to ISACA, experienced-based means that certification candidates will need a minimum of three years of experience in each of the following domains:

  • Privacy governance
  • Privacy architecture
  • Data lifecycle

This certification just made it out of its beta version in 2021, and there are no specific numbers available for exactly how much pay they should expect. With that said, we have some telling numbers available to us, such as how much privacy certification holders earn currently, how much ISACA certification holders make, and the unique characteristics of CDPSE that all taken together forecast a high average salary.

IAPP average salary

IAPP stands for the International Association of Privacy Professionals. As much as ISACA has dipped its toes in the proverbial water of privacy certifications, IAPP is the largest and most famous certifying organization for privacy professionals. This makes the certifications offered a good bell-weather for a baseline salary that CDPSE holders can expect to make.

IAPP offers three certifications:

  • Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP)
  • Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM)
  • Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT)

Every other year, IAPP releases a salary survey aptly titled the IAPP Salary Survey. The latest version of this survey was released in June of 2021. This survey provides salary numbers for both privacy professionals as a whole and those that have earned an IAPP certification. According to the survey, privacy professionals, on average, earn $140,529 without any certifications, which represents a $6,000 increase since 2019. Those holding one privacy certification earn on average $145,529 as their annual salary.

What about ISACA certification holder salaries?

Those who hold ISACA certifications enjoy a healthy-sized salary in the realm of what IAPP cert holders earn. Three ISACAs certifications earn high ranking spots in a recent IT Skills and Salary Survey (2020). These certifications (and their average salaries) are:

  • Certified Information Security Manager, or CISM: $148,622
  • Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control, CRISC: $146,480
  • Certified Information Systems Manager, or CISA: $132,278

None of these ISACA certifications cover privacy, so using any one of these figures would not necessarily represent what a CDPSE cert holder would earn. Therefore, the average is a better starting point, and that is $142,460. 

CDPSE average salary

With this certification being as new as it is, there are no statistics for exactly how much, on average, a CDPSE certification holder will take home as salary. Let’s look at what this certification has to offer precisely and give some context here. 

Experienced-based certification

Not only is the CDPSE certification a privacy cert which is a unicorn in its own right, but it is experience-based. While other privacy certifications do not have an experience prerequisite, CDPSE requires candidates to have earned at least three years of experience in the three domains of knowledge mentioned above. This heightened expectation of professional experience warrants a higher average salary than IAPP certifications as it has a minimum level of experience gained on the job. In contrast, the IAPP certification process requires that the certification candidate already has the knowledge. If this knowledge were gained in just one year or so, the three-year experience requirement of CDPSE would put it head and shoulders above the IAPP family of certifications.

Part of the ISACA family

The CDPSE certification is also part of the ISACA family of certifications and is the first new certification added in over a decade. These certifications are known for bringing high average salaries across the board.

The one thing that should be pointed out is that while the ISACA certifications listed in the section above all require five years of professional experience, it would seem that the CDPSE certification is outclassed as it only requires three years of experience. The caveat here is that CDPSE requires three years of experience in three separate domains of knowledge which means that it may take as long as nine years to get that experience if each domain is worked non-concurrently with the others.

Free ISACA Career Kit

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ISACA certification holders are among the highest-paid in the industry, with average salaries ranging from $103,000 to $133,000, according to Payscale. Earn one of the highest-paying certifications in the industry.

Pursuing the CDPSE

Because CDPSE is both a novel privacy certification and a member of the ISACA certification family, certification holders working in data privacy can expect around $150,000 for an average salary.

The CDPSE certification is a privacy certification that is the first of its kind in that it requires a certain level of professional experience to earn the certificate. The exciting thing is that it is so fresh that there are no statistics for how much cert holders will earn. Despite this fact, well-informed analysis shows that $150,000 is what CDPSE certification holders can expect to earn as an average salary.



Greg Belding
Greg Belding

Greg is a Veteran IT Professional working in the Healthcare field. He enjoys Information Security, creating Information Defensive Strategy, and writing – both as a Cybersecurity Blogger as well as for fun.