The 7 Highest-Paying IT Certifications

If you’re thinking of launching a career in information technology (IT) or of getting certified for something you’re already doing in IT, then there are a host of certifications available that you should consider pursuing. Whether you’re interested in networking, security, or systems administration, you’ll be able to find an IT certification that can help launch or enhance your career.

But let’s be honest: You’re after the big bucks. With that in mind, this article lists the top seven highest-paying IT certifications, what each job pays, and what the work entails.


6. Project Management Professional (PMP)
IT professionals love the PMP certification because it allows them to apply their skills across a wide variety of industries. Most companies, regardless of focus, have a digital footprint. The ability to apply project management (PM) principles to that footprint gives you a solid foot in the door across almost any industry. You’ll be responsible for ensuring that IT-focused tasks get done on time and under budget.

Let’s get to what you’re really interested in: the money. The average PMP certificate holder makes $112,153 per year. That’s not bad work if you can get it. Here’s how you can: you’ll need at least a high school diploma; 7,500 hours leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of PM education.


5. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
For those of you who want to prove yourselves in the areas of IT security, IT audit, risk management, and governance, the CISA exam is a great benchmark.

The exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions. If you pass it, you must also prove five years of related professional experience and 20 hours of training. If you’re able to do all of that, you’ll be among a group of professionals whose average yearly salary is $112,931.


4. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
If you’re a security consultant, manager, auditor, analyst, or systems engineer, the CISSP might be the right certification for you. It’s a chance for you to prove that you’re capable of designing and engineering a company’s security protocol.

The test, which consists of 250 multiple choice and drag-and-drop questions, gives you access to a career that pays, on average, $120,933 per year.


3. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
Unlike the CISSP, the CISM certification is focused primarily on information security management. While you’ll still be involved in designing and engineering security protocol, you’ll be more involved in managing a company’s security. This kind of position will give you access to lines of business outside of IT as you’ll be required to work with other stakeholders to achieve the company’s overall business goals.

If this sounds like something in which you’re interested, you’ll absolutely love the pay, which is, on average, $121,177 per year. Before you can reap your rewards, you’ll have to pass the test, which consists of 200 multiple choice questions, and you’ll have to prove you’ve had five years of relevant work experience.


2. Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)

The CRISC exam covers four major risk subject areas: Identification, Assessment, Response and Mitigation, and Control Monitoring and Reporting. If you’re interested in working in this field, or if you have experience in the field and wish to be certified, you should look into the CRISC certification.

The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions. If you pass the exam, you’re looking at a career that will earn the average employee $121,424 per year.


1. Certification in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT)
The most lucrative IT certification covers a wide range of responsibilities, including those employees responsible for managing the framework for the governance of enterprise IT, strategic management of IT and the business, benefits realization, risk optimization, and resource optimization.

This exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions that must be answered in less than four hours. The test will certify you for a career in which the average person makes $131,443 per year.


Martinez, Juan (2016). The 7 Highest-Paying IT Certifications. PC Magazine. Recovered on 13 February 2017, from