Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on GRC Professional

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Salary Survey Extra is a series of dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our annual Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Want to get your training straight from the horse's mouth? The GRC Professional cert is administered by the people who invented GRC.Ensuring smooth business function, corporate accountability, and internal stability is perhaps not technically an IT function. As enterprises and organizations have grown increasingly technology-dependent, however, IT systems and outputs have come to occupy a great deal of the attention demanded by governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC), as well as often being the vehicle by which GRC is monitored.

The nonprofit think tank OCEG (formerly known as Open Compliance and Ethics Group), among its other functions, administers the GRC Professional certification — No. 17 on this year’s Salary Survey 75 list.  OCEG also pioneered the GRC model and principles that dominate the field, so their certification is probably a pretty good bet for aspiring GRC workers.

Here’s what the salary picture looks like for GRC Professionals who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $132,760
Median Annual Salary: $115,000
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 7.2 percent
Very Satisfied: 27.6 percent
Satisfied: 55.2 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 6.6 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 3.4 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $77,580
Median Annual Salary: $65,000
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: [No responses]
Very Satisfied: 8.3 percent
Satisfied: 66.7 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 25 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

The largest single body of GRC Professionals in the the survey is made up of U.S. residents (69.6 percent of those surveyed), but we did hear from cert holders in 9 other countries: Canada, Egypt, India, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Most GRC Professionals who responded to the survey are men, but we did hear from a not inconsiderable segment who are women — 19.6 percent of respondents. Monitoring, overseeing and reporting is GRC is often a senior-level function, and most of the GRC Professionals we heard from are older: just 2.6 percent of respondents are between the ages of 19 and 24, with 19.6 percent between the ages of 25 and 34. Everyone else in our survey group is 35 or older, including those between the ages of 35 and 44 (21.7 percent of respondents), those between the ages of 45 and 54 (30.4 percent), those between the ages of 55 and 64 (24 percent), and those between the ages of 65 and 74 (1.7 percent).

The highest level of formal education completed by most GRC Professionals in the survey is either a bachelor’s degree (28.3 percent of respondents) or master’s degree (54.3 percent), with a further 6.5 percent having gone even further with either a doctorate (2.2 percent) or a professional degree such as a juris doctor (4.3 percent). It would seem there’s not much room in the field for those who didn’t at least complete a four-year degree. Just 6.5 percent of respondents became GRC Professionals after having topped out with an associate’s (two-year) degree, while only 2.4 percent entered the field with only post-secondary technical training, and a mere 2 percent went no higher up the educational ladder than a high school diploma.

Employment among GRC professionals is solid, with 89.1 percent of respondents employed full-time, while 8.7 percent have part-time jobs and just 2.2 percent are unemployed. Among those who have full-time jobs, most are at least somewhat busier than the norm. A notable 43.9 percent of those surveyed work between 41 and 50 hours per week, while 17 percent put in more than 50 hours per week. Just 29.3 percent of respondents have a standard 40-hour schedule, while 9.8 percent put in between 31 and 39 hours per week.

In terms of workplace standing, there is a lot of upward mobility for GRC Professionals. Just 35 percent of those we heard from are either rank-and-file employees (2.1 percent), specialists (8.2 percent), or senior specialists (25 percent). Everyone else is either a manager or executive, including 12.5 percent of respondents who are managers, 14.6 percent who are senior managers, 18.8 percent who are directors, and 18.8 percent who are executives.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that everyone we heard from is a longtime GRC specialist. Nearly 40 percent of those surveyed are relative newcomers to the field who have worked in a role that directly utilized one or more of their certified skills for either between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years (18.8 percent), or between 3 and 5 years (20.8 percent). The rest have either been in the game for between 6 and 8 years (6.4 percent of those surveyed), between 9 and 10 years (14.6 percent), or more than a decade (39.5 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of GRC Professionals on key questions from the survey about how certification impacts job performance:

At my current job I use skills learned or enhanced through certification: 
Several times a day: 31.3 percent
Several times a week: 41.7 percent
Several times a month: 18.6 percent
Occasionally: 4.4 percent
Rarely: 4 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 35.4 percent
Agree: 41.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 18.8 percent
Disagree: 4.2 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 27.1 percent
Agree: 58.3 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 12.5 percent
Disagree: 2.1 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 22.9 percent
Agree: 50 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 25 percent
Disagree: 2.1 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

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CertMag Staff

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Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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