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IAPP Canada 2013 Privacy Professionals Salary Survey



Overall Salary Measures

  • Average salaries among privacy professionals in Canada reached a three-year high this year, breaching $100,000 for the first time.
  • The aforementioned gains in salaries this year were distributed across almost all regions, although Canada’s increases were especially pronounced, with salaries growing by 10 percent.
  • The number of survey respondents from Canada increased significantly this year.

Average Privacy Base Salary

The 30 highest-earning respondents to our survey based in Canada share the following characteristics:

  • Their median salary is $161,300.
  • More than half work for organizations with operations in Ontario.
  • Smaller firms predominate. Almost half work for organizations with fewer than 1,000 employees.
  • They were almost evenly distributed among the software, business services and supplies, healthcare and insurance sectors.
  • They have more than 26 years total professional experience, but only six to 10 years of privacy-related experience.
  • Among learning and growth opportunities, 80 percent plan to attend a local conference or seminar this year.

Contrary to the findings in our global salary survey, the title of chief privacy officer (CPO) does not have a significant impact on corporate salaries in Canada.

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Average Privacy Base Salaries by Title, Postion and Type of Organization

Those with the title of CPO—identified for our purposes as “titular privacy leaders”—earn only modestly more than those who identify themselves as the top privacy officer in their respective organizations but do not have the title of CPO, identified here as “de facto privacy leaders.” Government may be an exception, although a small sample size makes those the results uncertain.

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Average Base Salaries for Chief Privacy Officers

Comparing the previous data for all respondents with the salaries of just the CPOs shows that their salary premium is significant across all geographic regions, including Canada.

Average Base Salaries by Sector

Looking at those sectors for which we had large numbers of Canadian respondents, the highest earners work in business services and supplies, software, and insurance. The lowest-earning respondents work in business services & supplies and software & services. The lowest-earning respondents work in education and government. Although hampered by a relatively small number of respondents, the “CPO wage premium”—whether titular, de factor, or high-ranking—in Canada appears strong across all sectors.

Average Base Salaries by Experience

Generally, more professional experience yields higher salaries in Canada, at least for the first 20 years of one’s career.

There is less data available on privacy-specific experience, but privacy experience pays better than general professional experience at every level of the payscale for which data are available.

Average Privacy Base Salaries by Education and Certifications

Among the most common educational degrees and certifications, those with MBA degrees earn the highest salaries, overtaking those with law degrees this year. The number of those responding to our survey with the CIPP/C designation doubled this year.

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Average Privacy Base Salaries by Location of Privacy Unit

Within Canadian organizations, privacy professionals working in legal departments earn the highest salaries.

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