Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on HCISPP

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

The HCISPP credential can help you get a security job in the healthcare IT realm.Thanks to a Herculean labor of digitization, medical records that used to occupy acres of hospital and health clinic real estate and require both manpower and man hours to (continually) organize and access are mostly now available at the click of a mouse, or the tap of a fingertip.

Of course, when you take all of the paper out of lockable filing cabinets in secure rooms and make that information instantly accessible via cutting-edge data storage and retrieval technology, then it is also more readily available to hackers and other bad actors with criminal intentions. That’s why there’s a huge demand right now for cybesecurity professionals who know how to protect and secure personal medical data.

Perhaps the most coveted security certification in healthcare IT is (ISC)²’s Healthcare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner (HCISPP) credential, which checked in at No. 19 in our most recent Salary Survey 75 list.

(ISC)² has global reach, but the HCISPP doesn’t appear to have yet taken the world by storm: All but a couple of HCISPP-certified professionals who responded to our annual Salary Survey at the end of last year — Pssst! There’s a new annual Salary Survey accepting responses right now — are from the United States. Among U.S. credential holders, the average annual salary in 2016 was a formidable $130,760, with a median annual salary of $127,500.

If you’re both HCISPP-certified and a woman, then you are something of a unicorn, as they say: Nearly 97 percent of HCISPP holders who responded to the survey are men. HCISPP holders are also somewhat unusually older than what would be considered “run of the mill” in IT. The youngest block of survey respondents, 24.1 percent of those surveyed, is made up of individuals between the ages of 35 and 44. The biggest block of respondents, 41.3 percent of those surveyed, contains individuals between the ages of 45 and 54, with smaller groups between the ages of 55 and 64 (20.9 percent) and between the ages of 65 and 74 (10.3 percent).

For most HCISPP holders, the highest level of education attained is either a master’s degree (48.3 percent of those surveyed) or bachelor’s degree (24.2 percent). You don’t have to have a university degree to cut the mustard, however, as evidenced by the 10.3 percent of respondents who pursued formal education no further than high school diploma, the 7.2 percent who stopped after completing some level of technical training, or the 10 percent who checked out of the formal education realm after completing an associate’s (2-year) degree.

Nearly all of the HCISPP holders in the survey (99 percent of those surveyed) have full-time jobs. Among that group, almost everyone has either a standard work schedule or puts in some degree of overtime. Nearly 42 percent of those surveyed work between 41 and 50 hours per week, and 14.3 percent work more than 50 hours, while 31 percent have a standard 40-hour work week. The clear outliers are the 6.4 percent of respondents who work between 31 and 39 hours per week.

Most of the HCISPP holders we surveyed are at management level or higher in the organizations where they work, with just 28 percent of those surveyed stationed lower down as either senior specialists (21 percent) or specialists (6.9 percent). There are quite a few managers (14.1 percent of those surveyed) and senior managers (20.6 percent), and even more directors (24 percent) and executives (13.4 percent).

Not surprisingly, given all those top-tier positions, most HCISPP holders are IT veterans. An eye-popping 80 percent of those surveyed have worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for more than a decade. The novices of the group are 10.2 percent of those surveyed with somewhere between 3 and 5 years of direct engagement in healthcare IT, while 3.5 percent have been in the field for between 6 and 8 years, and 7 percent have been at it for 9 or 10 years.

Finally, here’s the view of HCISPP holders 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: 49 percent
Several times a week: 25.2 percent
Several times a month: 12.1 percent
Occasionally: 9.7 percent
Rarely: 4 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 44.8 percent
Agree: 37.9 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 17.3 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 19 percent
Agree: 45.9 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 24.8 percent
Disagree: 6.9 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.4 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 18.6 percent
Agree: 34.5 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 36.6 percent
Disagree: 10.3 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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