Top 10 Highest Paying Certifications in the Technology Industry


According to a recent survey by Global Knowledge and Windows IT Pro called the 2015 IT Skills and Salary Report, the following are the highest paying certifications to have in the technology industry.


Following each certification is the average annual salary being paid respondents holding that particular certification.


1.CRISC: Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control

According to the ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association), this certification ensures that the holder is well-versed in risks to information systems, then designing/implementing solutions. This certification, according to the IT Skills and Salary Report, has an average salary of $119,227/year, and is a good certification for those interested in Information Systems Security positions.


2.CISM: Certified Information Security Manager

Another ISACA certification, the CISM certification recognizes proficiency in information security management, as someone who manages, designs and assesses information security for a given organization. This certification has some prerequisites, such as existing certifications (eg, GIAC). According to the Skills and Salary Report, holders of this certification earned an average $118,348/year.


3.Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Number 3 on the list of highest paying certifications is the Certified Information Systems Security Professional or from (ISC)2. Like CRISC and CISM above, these certifications recognize proficiency in security and risk management, as well as software development security. The average annual reported salary for holders of this certification was $110,603.


4.PMP: Project Management Professional

With an average annual salary of $109,405, the PMP certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI) organization is number 4 on this list. The PMP certification ensures that, according to the PMI, “you speak and understand the global language of project management“. More


5.CISA: Certified Information Systems Auditor

Another IASCA certification, the CISA ensures that Information Systems auditors have the skills necessary to evaluate systems and follow best practices to “support trust in and value from information systems”. The average salary of CISA holders was $106,181.


6.CCDA: Cisco Certified Design Associate

Next on this list is the CCDA, Cisco’s certification for network design. Make sure you’re certified with another Cisco certification (such as CCNP Routing and Switching or any CCIE certification), as it’s a requirement for the CCDA. The average income of a CCDA holder was $99,701. This certification, along with the CCNP, is good to have if you’re interested in becoming a Network Engineer.


7.CCNP Routing and Switching

At $97,038 per year average annual salary, the CCNP Routing and Switching certification came in 7th on the list of highest paying certifications. This certification is good for someone with at least one year of networking experience and ensures that the holder is able to implement and maintain wide-area networks and to work with specialists on solutions. Take a look at this if you’re interested.


8.MCSE: Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer

MCSE takes up two spots on this list (numbers 8 and 9, technically). Since this list was compiled, Microsoft has changed the nature of the MCSE (now stands for the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert) to be more of a wide-ranging certification focusing on implementing technology over a wide variety of versions instead of one that focused on specific disciplines.  However, an MCSE is still a highly respected certification to obtain and the average salary for MCSE holders is $96,215/year.


9.ITIL v3 Foundation

The ITIL v3 certification - the ITIL Master - came in 9th on the list of the highest paying technical certifications. The average annual salary for ITIL Master certification holders was $95,434. The Master certification requires an ITIL Expert certification, and recognizes those who can apply ITIL concepts of quality IT solutions in real-world situations.


10.Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

The last on this list is the CEH. This is a vendor-neutral (meaning it’s not tied to any brand) certification for information technology workers who wish to specialize in "legally" hacking malicious hackers, using the same knowledge and tools that malicious hackers use. Two years of security-related experience is preferred before receiving a CEH. The average annual salary for CEH holder is $95,155.