The median compensation for security professionals in the United States increased three percent from 2010 to $96,000, according to the 2011 ASIS International “U.S. Security Salary Survey.” In addition, respondents who had a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) certification, administered by ASIS, for example, report an average compensation of $122,000, 10 percent higher than the average for the survey population at large, and a median salary of $108,000. Those with no certification reported an average compensation of $105,000 and a median salary of $86,000.  

Average compensation (sum of dollars divided by the number of respondents) was $97,000, a nine percent increase over last year. Average compensation for salaried security professionals continued to rise in 2011, marking a five-year trend.

Other findings from the 2011 “U.S. Security Salary Survey Results” include:

  •  Fifty one percent of this year’s respondents are top-level security professionals at their organization; this group earns an average salary of $122,000, a full 22% higher than for those at lower levels.
  • The geographic breadth of security responsibility is the clearest determinant of compensation. Those charged with security of a single facility earn an average of $84,000; those responsible for multiple locations/facilities within a single state earn $90.000.
  • The average compensation for interstate facility security management is $112,000, and those with direct security operations for international companies earn an average of $162,000.
  • The top three sectors in regard to average compensation are: national resources and mining at $151,000; construction at $128,000; and transportation and utilities at $131,000. Just 10 percent of respondents work in these sectors.

 Security professionals employed by publicly traded firms reported an eight percent rise in median compensation, while those employed by privately held companies saw compensation remain stagnant. Those working for publicly held (stockholder-owned) companies comprised approximately one quarter of the survey sample. They report the highest average compensation at $128,000, with a median of $110,000 Half (50 percent) of the survey respondents work in the private sector and reported an average compensation of $109,000 and a median salary of $90,000.

The survey examines trends in both average and median salaries, because the two measurements can offer different perspectives; the average is a total of all items in the sector divided by the count in the sample, while the median is the precise midpoint of the range of all items reported. All ASIS members employed in the United States were eligible to participate. The results are based on 841 participants who completed the survey. The survey collected data from the current and preceding years and reports out responses in nine industries and nine geographic regions.  Each section drills down into 20 specific factors that affect compensation. 

 The “U.S. Security Salary Survey” will be available in September at the ASIS International Annual Seminar and Exhibits in Orlando and online at for $135 to ASIS members and $195 for nonmembers.