Privacy manager careers

What is a privacy manager? 

Have you ever wondered what a privacy manager is, or how you can become a privacy professional? Privacy is deeply intertwined with cybersecurity offering expanding job and career choices.

Privacy managers develop, manage and improve an organization’s privacy program.  An enormous increase in privacy laws, regulations and media attention means more privacy-related opportunities for you as organizations develop their compliance programs. The job outlook is expected to increase by 30%, with salaries averaging over $100,000. Explore your exciting privacy manager career path. 

Privacy manager careers

What does a privacy manager do?

A privacy manager, or privacy officer, helps operate and improve an organization’s privacy practices and programs. Responsibilities will vary because this is an evolving and expanding field that intersects with security, law, technology and compliance. Typical duties include keeping up to date on laws, updating corporate security policies, conducting privacy impact assessments (PIAs) and responding to consumer inquiries. 


Privacy manager job roles 

Your title, role and tasks will vary because the field is new, and organizations differ in size, structure and privacy maturity. Some organizations assign one person part-time responsibility for privacy; others might have an entire department devoted to privacy. 

Privacy-related jobs and NICE roles:

NICE work roles: Privacy officer/privacy compliance manager 

Privacy manager job description

Privacy professionals help build and operate an organization’s privacy program, policies and practices. It is an important part of information governance and requires knowing laws and regulations and merging the needs of business, technology, cybersecurity, law and compliance.   

Privacy managers ensure organizations comply with privacy legal requirements, protect consumer privacy and properly address consumer inquiries and issues. 

Hear Gabe Gumbs discuss how security and privacy are related, and learn about job opportunities in this clip from the Cyber Work Podcast.


Privacy manager FAQs

A privacy manager career path is flexible. Some may start as a privacy analyst or in other roles relating to privacy, IT, information security and compliance. A privacy manager could become a privacy officer or other managerial role related to information systems, governance and compliance. Here are some top questions people ask. 

What skills do you need to be a privacy manager?

Privacy managers must have the skills to understand the complex issues surrounding: 

  • Privacy 
  • Law 
  • Data  
  • Information systems  

They must: 

  • Keep up to date on changing legal requirements 
  • Have strong communication skills to manage privacy programs 
  • Work with many people across several organization departments 

The privacy field attracts people with diverse skills and interests since privacy is broad and encompasses incident response, cybersecurity, data breach notification, technology and issues of consumer notification and choice.

It’s helpful to read how others grew their skills. Check out these Infosec Instructor stories: 

What does “chief” in a title mean, and what is “officer” compared to “manager”?

You may see terms like chief privacy officer, privacy officer and privacy manager. Or chief compliance officer, compliance officer, and compliance manager. 

When you see the word “chief” in it, you know they are at a much higher level and responsible for all (or most) of those related activities in the organization. “Officer” is going to be below “Chief Officer,”and “Manager” is generally lower than “Officer” but generally still a managerial mid-level role.  

Does data privacy pay well?

Yes, according to the IAPP, the world’s leading privacy organization. The 2023 IAPP Privacy Professionals Salary Survey of over 1400 professionals in 60 countries indicates being a privacy professional pays very well. Their statistics show an overall base salary of $146,200, which includes privacy alanysts earning $83,000 to chief privacy officers earning $206,000.  And then there can be additional compensation beyond the base salary. Of course, “your mileage may vary” because different organizations, regions and job positions pay differently.  

How much does a privacy manager earn in the U.S.? 

There are a wide variety of titles, organizations and privacy opportunities from entry-level to mid-level and beyond. The average data privacy manager salary in the U.S. according to PayScale is around $104,756, with those early in their career averaging $90,000 and increasing to $103,000 for experienced managers.  See Infosec’s Average Privacy Manager Salary article to learn more. 

Where can I find privacy manager jobs?

Privacy professional jobs can be found in many places, including LinkedIn, reputable job search platforms, the IAPP and direct from the hiring organization.  

Remember that the actual job title and description will vary from organization to organization, so adjust your search terms accordingly and see some of the other terms we use in this hub. Sometimes you might do best just searching for job titles containing the word “privacy.” 

  • Networking is also important when looking for work. You can attend local meetups or connect with other cybersecurity professionals on popular cybersecurity discussion boards. 
Is an IAPP certification worth it?

Yes, it’s worth it! An IAPP salary survey shows a 13% increase in salary for those with a single IAPP certification and a 27% increase in base pay for multiple IAPP certifications. The certification is an important and sometimes essential prerequisite for specific job descriptions. Check privacy job listings, and you will see that many prefer or require an IAPP certification.

Is CIPP/US worth it?

The CIPP/US certification is worth it, not only for the value of the certification but also the value of the knowledge you will get when you study for it. As attorney and Infosec Learning Path Author John Bandler put it, “The CIPP/US body of knowledge provides a comprehensive look at the U.S. system of law and includes a deep dive into the law of cybersecurity and privacy.” So, it is a good knowledge base on the law of cybersecurity, data breach reporting, and privacy.  

Is CIPM worth it?

Absolutely. The title says it all: Certified Information Privacy Manager, so if you want to manage a privacy program and be a privacy manager, this certification will help. Read Want to lead a global privacy program? 6 things to know about CIPM. Discover how a CIPM catapulted Infosec instructor Ralph O'Brien’s career and what it can do for you. 

How do I get a privacy certification such as CIPP/US, CIPP/E, CIPM or CIPT?

Obtaining certifications is mostly a matter of studying and passing a certification exam. There are several ways to prepare for the exam, including self-study and reading materials, on-demand online recorded courses, privacy boot camps, or any combination of these techniques. For more information on obtaining certifications, please refer to the following sections. 

What are some shortcuts to getting a privacy certification and privacy knowledge?

Some ask, “Where are exam dump questions?” or “How can I get actual certification exam questions?”  

That is a dangerous slope to start going down, and Infosec author John Bandler suggests you avoid it. In his CIPP/US learning path, there's a module where he discusses solid and proven concepts for learning and preparing for a certification exam. 

Avoid supposed magic shortcuts, which may be unreliable and violate ethics and exam rules, and stick to efficient learning methods. 

I am a cybersecurity professional, should I learn about privacy?

Yes. Every privacy principle, law and regulation has a cybersecurity component. By learning privacy, you are learning to do your job better. The same holds if you are a privacy professional. Learning about cybersecurity will improve your job knowledge and career opportunities. 

How to become a privacy manager

A privacy manager is generally a mid-level job, so you will need knowledge, experience and training before being qualified. Once you apply for a privacy position, the employer must believe you are the best candidate. Let’s look at how you can build your privacy career.


Privacy manager requirements

Privacy certifications are often considered prerequisites for a privacy job. Privacy is a new and evolving field, so holding credentials like IAPP certifications gives hiring organizations a base level of assurance of your knowledge.  

Privacy manager certifications 

Certifications are an excellent way to break into privacy and work towards a privacy manager position. The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) offers the most respected and popular certifications in the field: 

  • CIPP/US is the Certified Information Privacy Professional credential focusing on U.S. law — and a leading privacy certification. IAPP calls it the global industry standard for professionals entering or working in privacy 

  • CIPM is the Certified Information Privacy Manager credential, which focuses on operating and managing a privacy program. 

  • CIPP/E focuses on European law, notably GDPR, which is essential for security and privacy professionals working with European data.

  • CIPT is the Certified Information Privacy Technologist certification, which focuses on incorporating privacy into technology. 

Watch our discussion on What is the best privacy certification for your career?  to hear John Bandler, Chris Stevens, and Ralph O’Brien discuss the above IAPP certifications. 


Privacy manager interview questions 

Common privacy manager interview questions include: 

  • What are some similarities and differences between the fields of privacy and cybersecurity?
  • What are some important privacy laws and regulations to be aware of? 
  • What are some of the most critical aspects of managing a privacy program? 
  • Why is privacy important for our organization, and what are some consequences if we don’t do it right? 

Read our privacy manager interview Q&A article for the answers — including how to respond to the unexpected questions that might stump you. For more guidance, download our ebook: Cybersecurity interview tips: How to stand out, get hired and advance your career.

Privacy manager courses

Live privacy boot camps and on-demand privacy manager courses provide expert, guided instruction to build your knowledge and skills. A few popular options are listed below: 

Free & self-study resources

Privacy is a rapidly expanding field that involves security, technology, business, law and compliance. Every single cybersecurity position requires some knowledge of privacy. Consider setting your sights on becoming a privacy manager and beyond. If you’re new to privacy, developing your knowledge can lead to an entry-level job that puts you on the privacy path. If you’re already a privacy professional, advancing your skills leads to more success.