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Factors Impacting Your Earning Potential in the BCM Profession

In light of recently publishing the 19th Edition BCM Compensation Report, I thought it might be worthwhile to highlight interesting data findings from this year’s report as well as focus on competencies that are in an all-time high demand by our clients. First, thank you to everyone who participated in the survey, our advisory board and everyone from the BC Management / Castellan Solutions team for their efforts in developing this valuable report. Also, a special thank you to the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) for partnering with BC Management on this very important research endeavor. For those who have not participated, you may still request a complimentary report as well as contribute to the study to obtain a BCM Peer Compensation Dashboard (customized by job title or years of experience). Let’s jump right into the data findings!

The global average base compensation for all study respondents was $111,755 USD, which was a slight increase of 1.3% from the previous year. In reviewing the average annual base compensation by individual countries, we discovered that the data showed a drop in compensation for many of the countries in the Middle East and Asia Pacific. It is important to note that all compensations were converted to the US dollar currency for alignment in reporting purposes, but that individual compensation dashboards have been developed for study participants with the following currencies (CAD, Euro, GBP, and USD). What were some of the most interesting data findings….?

Compensation by Experience:

One of the most significant contributing factors impacting your earning potential is years of experience. The dilemma for many hiring managers when looking to hire is that many professionals are dedicated in another discipline before settling into the Business Continuity/ Resiliency/ Crisis Management profession. For this reason, our report assesses not only compensation by years of continuity (or related discipline) expertise, but also by total years of working experience. There are several transferrable skills that are learned earlier in one’s career and utilized in Business Continuity Management (BCM); such as program management, time management, etc. The report highlights that 67% of professionals have over 20 years total work experience while 14% indicate the same for BCM. The average base compensation globally for professionals with 1-3 years BCM experience is $86,007 USD while those with 26+ years BCM expertise reported a global average base of $144,826 USD.

Compensation by Job Title:

Job focus is another important factor impacting your earning potential. Our study provided generic job definitions to provide conformity for reporting purposes as a Business Continuity Program Manager may have different levels of responsibilities between different organizations. (The job title definitions used within the study are included in the appendix of the report.) The data highlighted that compensations increased from an “Entry-level/Analyst” (global average base of $69,910 USD) to a “Chief Officer” (Chief Risk Officer, Chief Security Officer or another similar role managing the BCM program) noting a global average base of $165,064 USD. Most of the respondents indicated “Manager/AVP/Program Manager” at 25% while 2% noted “Entry-Level/Analyst” and 3% were a “Chief Officer”.

Compensation by Real World BCM Skills:

Real world program management skills are in an all-time high demand by our hiring managers. Let’s assess further. Managing Business Continuity planning efforts and response to events globally can be a challenge and organizations are willing to compensate for this expertise. The data highlighted that 27% either do not have this level of expertise or it doesn’t apply to the organizations they’ve worked for. In comparison, 24% have 10+ years global Business Continuity planning expertise and these individuals on average may out earn others more than 50%. Activating a program/ plans in response to a crisis is inevitable. Our data shows that those professionals in senior leadership roles will tend to be more experienced in this arena with 41% having to activate a program during a crisis 10+ more times compared to all study respondents at 26%. This responsibility not only involves proven expertise and significant knowledge, but also situational awareness and emotional intelligence. There are also professionals who thrive in crisis management roles and those who prefer a governance focused position. Designing and implementing a Business Continuity program from the ground up in addition to developing and rolling out a training program across the organization seems to be an opportunity that few professionals experience multiple times. It wasn’t unexpected when the data highlighted that just a quarter of the most senior professionals (VP and higher) have done so 5+ times.

Compensation by Leadership Expertise:

Being a leader within the BCM profession will not only impact your earning potential but open up opportunities. The data highlighted that those professionals who step out of their comfort zone with presenting at industry related events may on average out earn their counterparts who choose not to present by over 32%. Additionally, only 15% have presented more than 10 times. Surprisingly, 68% of the respondents have never presented. The data also highlighted that many professionals have never served on an industry related board (64%), but for those who have served on the board – they tend to stick with it in serving 4 years or more (22%). It is important to note that anyone can develop their leadership skills at any point of their career. One doesn’t need to wait until they have 10+ years’ experience and it’s never too late.

Compensation by Degree:

The data also highlighted that 81% of the respondents have obtained an advanced degree, which was similar to the previous years. The earning potential increased from a High School Diploma (global average base of $103,322 USD) to a Masters Degree or equivalent (global average base of $120,876 USD). Additionally, it is common for only a few respondents to note a doctoral degree (just under 2%). Overall few respondents (just under 10%) received an advanced degree related to Business Continuity/ Resiliency planning, which is in line with the 2020 data point. When reviewing the data in more detail we discovered that almost half of these professionals were based outside of the USA, 74% were men, a majority worked as either a Subject Matter Expert (21%) or a Manager/ AVP/ Program Manager (19%) and 64% had been working in Business Continuity for 10 years or less.

Compensation by Certification:

Assessing how certification impacts earning potential continues to be an interesting trend as an increased number of business continuity professionals seek one or more certifications to maintain their marketability in a strong labor market. Hiring managers desire a strong level of subject matter expertise to manage their business continuity programs. As a result, job descriptions state certifications as a strong preference or requirement. Hiring managers depend on certifying bodies to verify and endorse a professional’s knowledge and credentials more than ever before. The data highlighted that nearly 81% of the professionals have obtained a certification that is currently in good standing and a majority of professionals have obtained multiple certifications (52% permanently employed and 61% independent contractors). The complimentary report reviews earning potential for the most popular certifications within the BCM profession.

Our 2021 report also assesses earning potential by geography, gender, ethnicity, and secret clearance. Additionally, those professionals who confidentially contributed to our annual study received a BCM Peer Compensation Dashboard (customized by job title or years of experience). Not only do our customized dashboards provide an assessment by peer groups, but there is also a deeper dive into several data points not covered in the complimentary report and the dashboards will continue to appreciate in value as all new participants will auto-populate into the current and future dashboards. It is still not too late to contribute to receive your customized BCM Peer Compensation Dashboard….

Year over year, we strive to bring critical information to the business continuity profession and to increase the understanding of the analytical underpinnings of our industry. As we continue our efforts to advance the knowledge, insights, and value our business provides to the maturity of our industry, we know that to that end, the attraction of the very best talent and the focus on their retention, growth, coaching, and professional mentoring is of key importance. We advise professionals, when reviewing our compensation reports, to identify where they stand in each of the data charts, and to take an average of those numbers to determine an appropriate compensation target range. One factor alone will not dictate your salary. Additionally, we have posted this video to help in compensation benchmarking. We hope you find this report valuable. And as always, we are here to help. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have. Arrange a complimentary discussion today at

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