Average ISSEP Salary in 2021

Daniel Brecht
July 20, 2021 by
Daniel Brecht

Interested in earning a credential that ensures you’re best suited for working with government agencies, including military and defense agencies, either as an employee or a contractor? Are you looking for options to validate your knowledge, skills and abilities working in cybersecurity roles on top of proving you’re fully qualified, trained and certified (by category, level and function) to perform Information Assurance (IA) duties?

If so, the ISSEP concentration for the CISSP certification may be an ideal option.

The CISSP-ISSEP is one of the commercial certifications the DoD will accept as fulfillment for the 8570.1M requirement. It is listed under information security architecture and engineering (IASAE III).

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Earn your CISSP, guaranteed!

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What Is ISSEP?

The ISSEP (Information Systems Security Engineering Professional) is one of the CISSP concentration certification exams. It was developed by the International Information Security Certification Consortium, or ISC2, in conjunction with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to recognize those who specialize in applying systems engineering principles and processes to develop secure systems. It addresses what security engineering is, why it is performed and best practices concerning how it is completed.

ISSEP is designed for senior systems engineers, information assurance systems engineers, information security engineers and cybersecurity engineers. This concentration proves someone has an elite level of knowledge and expertise in providing satisfactory security controls to meet current information protection needs while also solving technical issues under operational assurance.

It’s an excellent option for professionals with 10 or more years of information assurance and cybersecurity engineering experience who already possess a CISSP certification and are considering a management-level position.

Certified holders will earn a qualification that addresses security engineering principles, concepts, methods and practices applied throughout the system lifecycle. Anyone considering an engineering-level position and seeking a job that incorporates security into all facets of business operations might consider earning the ISSEP certification.

What is the average ISSEP salary?

ISC2 reports an average CISSP-ISSEP salary of $145,490. According to PayScale, CISSP-ISSEPs have an average yearly salary of $149,992 and job satisfaction of four out of a possible five rating. reports an average salary at $135,571 as of May 27, 2021, with the typical range falling between $122,550 and $150,090.

ISSEP salaries can vary significantly depending on geographic location, specific job duties and years of experience.

Different skills can also affect your salary. For example, a security engineer, information systems salary increases according to the skills possessed, as shown below:

  • Network architecture/design: 25%
  • Cybersecurity: 3%
  • Network management/administration: 3%
  • Security policies and procedures: 2%
  • Systems engineering: 2%
  • Security risk management: 1%

Unfortunately, a gender gap is present, as shown below.

What is the average ISSEP salary in various cities?

Average ISSEP salaries vary considerably by city. As per PayScale, “employees with information assurance engineer in their job title in Washington, D.C., earn an average of 37.4% more than the national average. The lowest salaries are in Nashville, Tenn., (16.7% less), San Diego, Calif.,(13.8% less) and Colorado Springs, Colo., (9.8% less).”

Salary data for the mentioned cities:

City Salary

Washington, D.C. $127,451/year

San Diego, Calif. $80,000/year

Nashville, Tenn. $77,320/year

Colorado Springs, Colo. $83,711/year

What is the average ISSEP salary by experience?

The more experience you have, the higher your salary will be with ISSEP certification. Below is what found when looking at the average salary of an information security engineer.

What is the average salary by job role?

ISSEP certification can be a stepping stone for several different careers, each of which carries its own average salary. Next is a breakdown of possible earnings depending on the job role within an organization.

Job Role Salary

Security engineer information systems $151,000

Senior cybersecurity engineer $160.000

Chief architect, IT $216,000

Information security engineer $115,000

Cybersecurity engineer $150,000

Chief information security officer $150,000

Source: PayScale (last updated May 2021)

What are the benefits of becoming ISSEP certified?

Earning your ISSEP certification is a vital step toward becoming a consummate engineer practitioner. Perhaps the most crucial benefit is the ability to move into a management-level information security position with employers ranging from technology companies to the federal government.

The ISSEP is part of the CISSP battery of exams and builds on what you learn and master in the primary CISSP course adding all topics you can find on the CISSP-ISSEP exam outline:

  • Domain 1. Systems security engineering foundations
  • Domain 2. Risk management
  • Domain 3. Security planning and design
  • Domain 4. Systems implementation, verification and validation
  • Domain 5. Secure operations, change management and disposal

It is an essential credential for several professionals and career paths. It is particularly valuable for those who have to analyze, design, develop and evaluate the security design and architecture for systems using security engineering processes and principles.

The credential is an excellent addition to any system engineer’s resume.

How can I become ISSEP certified?

ISC2 offers ISSEP certification courses and self-study resources (e.g., official textbooks and study guides). Many other reputable training organizations offer preparatory courseware and boot camp-style options, too.

To get your credential, you will need to pass a three-hour, 125-item exam with a 700 out of 1,000 score. Exams are administered in English through Pearson VUE.

Earn your CISSP, guaranteed!

Earn your CISSP, guaranteed!

Get live, expert CISSP training from anywhere. Enroll now to claim your Exam Pass Guarantee!

Pursuing the CISSP-ISSEP 

The CISSP-ISSEP certification can help one specialize in their field and prove competence in protecting information technology (IT) installations from cyber incidents such as hacking and value in salary and job satisfaction.

Today, there are only 1,256 members for this credential, with 1,220 in the United States, as of Jan. 1, 2021. Adding this credential can truly set you apart and give you an edge when applying for positions or looking for a promotion.



Daniel Brecht
Daniel Brecht

Daniel Brecht has been writing for the Web since 2007. His interests include computers, mobile devices and cyber security standards. He has enjoyed writing on a variety of topics ranging from cloud computing to application development, web development and e-commerce. Brecht has several years of experience as an Information Technician in the military and as an education counselor. He holds a graduate Certificate in Information Assurance and a Master of Science in Information Technology.