Sidebar: Chief Security Officers: Bigger Raises, But Not Always High Pay

Chief security officers earned the highest pay increases for the second year in a row at 6%, according to Computerworld's annual salary survey. But while CSOs are in demand, their salaries haven't reached stratospheric levels.

"There's been a convergence of supply and demand, so [companies] haven't had to pay them lots of money," says David Van De Voort, global leader of the IT Workforce Effectiveness group at Mercer Human Resource Consulting. Many CSOs are likely former senior consultants who were let go from major consulting firms that have suffered through a slow economy, he explains.

In June, Kris Palmer left a job as information security officer for the state of Florida, where she earned $63,000 annually, for an $80,000-a-year CISO position at The Mosaic Co., a $4.5 billion maker of phosphate and potash crop nutrients in Riverview, Fla. Though her salary lags behind the average salary for senior IT managers ($129,835), she still feels well compensated. "That's the salary they were starting at," Palmer says, but she notes that she'll be eligible for a 10% bonus in one year.

Meanwhile, other security roles, such as business continuity and disaster recovery experts, haven't seen much of a pay jump either.

"We haven't yet seen the pay for those jobs take a big turn upward," Van De Voort says. That's because systems security is a shared responsibility. "Network developers make sure the network is secure, and applications folks build those applications to be secure. So everybody has a hand in it," he says.

But information security specialists, security managers and network managers all received higher-than-average raises this year (3.8% to 4.2%), according to the survey.

Special Report

2005 Salary Survey

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Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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