The International Association of Privacy Professionals – IAPP’s 2021 Privacy Professionals Salary Survey found that gender pay gaps were the most pronounced for privacy experts working in the tech and software industries, while almost nonexistent for those working in the government and education sectors. The survey obtained responses from 1,070 privacy professionals, almost half of whom were in the U.S., while most others were in the EU, U.K. and Canada.
The IAPP survey found in 2021, the average salary for a privacy professional was $140,529, an increase of more than $6,000 since 2019. The median salary, meanwhile, was $126,000, an increase of $2,950 since 2019. Overall, chief privacy officers and legal privacy counsel commanded the highest average salaries at $212,300 and $177,500, respectively. Privacy salaries were also highest for those in the software, telecom and tech software industries, and lowest for those in the government and education sectors.
Globally, the U.S. market paid the highest salaries to privacy professionals, however, the U.S. also had the widest gender wage gap, with female privacy professionals earning an average of $155,900 while their male counterparts earned an average of $177,900.
The EU market also had a significant gender pay gap, with female privacy professionals earning an average of $103,000, compared to the average $114,700 salary for men. While in the U.K. the female privacy professionals out-earn their male colleagues by an average of $129,200 to $110,700.
Against the rapid change of local and international data privacy regulations, the demand for privacy professionals is increasing. More U.S. attorneys have also become Certified Information Privacy Professionals (CIPP-US) over the past year. The impact on privacy salaries and demand of this trend is yet to be seen.