IT Auditor: Salary, Job Description and Requirements

An IT auditor inspects a company’s network servers.

As the world becomes more reliant on the continuing stability of computer systems, malfunctions can cause unintended and costly disasters. According to 2020 data from the Consortium for Information and Software Quality report, poor-quality software and outdated systems resulted in cybersecurity lapses, operational failures and time lost finding and repairing these issues, leading to over $2 trillion in annual losses. Disruptions to consumer services or data breaches can also cause irreparable public relations damage.

Companies utilize IT auditors to help prevent these issues and ensure their technology and systems are not outdated and meet security standards. Individuals who are interested in a high-stakes career that helps ensure a company’s tech infrastructure stays disaster-free would do well to learn what it takes to become an IT auditor, including how an advanced degree can help achieve this goal. It’s also important to be aware of an IT auditor’s salary, job outlook potential and core responsibilities.

IT Auditor Job Description

An IT auditor assesses an organization’s technology, including network systems and hardware, to ensure they’re up to the latest standards and running efficiently. They create audit plans by researching best IT practices, creating a baseline for how efficiently technology meets company objectives and identifying any weaknesses in the system, such as lapses in security, that could lead to a data breach. Then, they analyze the results of an audit and confirm which areas of a company’s IT infrastructure can be improved.

IT auditors consult with other departments to perform their audits, such as a company’s IT department, management and the audit department. Audits typically must meet deadlines set by management, requiring IT auditors to work quickly and create finalized reports that are then often presented to upper management. These reports typically indicate where current IT infrastructure may be lacking compared to the latest trends, such as security holes or substandard speeds, and advocate for needed upgrades.

IT audits may be generalized but often focus on a specific issue. The type of audit performed may vary by an employer’s needs. For example, an IT audit may check:

  • How a company’s IT technology compares to others in their field
  • IT infrastructure optimization
  • How efficiently a company’s IT functions under normal or adverse conditions
  • Whether new or updated systems are performing to anticipated standards
  • Individual components of a company’s IT, such as customer support services or telecommunications

IT Auditor Work Environments

IT auditors typically work in an office environment but may travel to assess physical hardware, interview employees to understand how IT is being utilized or present an audit report to their superiors. They can work in various industries that rely on computer systems and need regular IT audits, such as education, health care, technology and finance sectors.

IT auditors can work internally within a company to perform audits as needed or may work externally with consulting firms and private companies hired to perform objective third-party audits, typically for specific purposes or annual reviews.

IT Auditor Education

Companies rely on IT auditors to have a strong background in areas of cybersecurity and IT to prevent catastrophic system failures or data breaches. Like many cybersecurity career paths, employers often require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as computer science, information technology or cybersecurity. These programs help give students foundational knowledge of IT and networking systems.

Pursuing an advanced education, such as a Master of Science in Information Security Management, can help expand on an individual’s knowledge and skills in areas of risk assessment, cybersecurity ethics, network security and software platform management. An advanced education can also allow candidates to leverage their education for promotions or higher IT auditor salary offers.

IT Auditor Skill Requirements

IT auditors work with various departments, requiring clear, effective communication with employees and management. Additionally, they need a complete understanding of the computer technology businesses use to achieve their goals. Developing key skills is an important aspect of learning how to become an IT auditor. Some of these key skills include:

1. Technical Knowledge

IT auditors need to understand the ins and outs of the systems they are auditing. They will need to push performance to stress networks under extreme conditions and be aware of the latest trends in IT and cybersecurity.

2. Business Acumen

IT auditors must understand how and why various departments use IT to ensure they meet company goals. Understanding how the business is run and the mindset of executives can also help when advocating for changes to IT infrastructure, noting how certain improvements can increase performance in areas that matter from a business-centered perspective.

3. Communication

IT auditors must be able to communicate with both IT and non-IT professionals. They often meet with a company’s executives and management to discuss and explain an audit’s findings and indicate potential areas of improvement.

4. Risk Assessment

IT auditors should have a fundamental understanding of how to analyze data to see where issues may occur. They should also be able to prioritize those issues based on the likelihood of risks and make recommendations based on the data from their audits by weighing the costs of repairing or replacing hardware and software.

IT Auditor Salary and Job Outlook

IT auditors are key to keeping modern companies from running into technical or hardware hurdles and are well compensated for performing their duties. The median annual IT auditor salary was around $77,100, according to 2023 data from the compensation website Payscale. Salaries can vary depending on experience level and the job’s location.

The job outlook for IT auditors looks promising. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that all computer occupations, which includes IT auditors, have a projected growth of 14 percent between 2022 and 2032, higher than the 3 percent average for all careers. The BLS notes this growth is largely due to the increasing importance of computer systems and IT by companies both for internal use and in services provided to consumers.

Assess the Next Stage of Your Cybersecurity Career

If you are interested in strengthening your knowledge of cybersecurity and IT to meet the demands of employers and advance in your career, consider the benefits of Augusta University Online’s Master of Science in Information Security Management program.

This program offers students the ability to expand on the foundations of cybersecurity through a curriculum covering risk assessment, cybersecurity ethics and the human element of information security.

Discover the next stage of your career with AU Online.

Recommended Readings
5 Research Topics in Cybersecurity
How to Make a Career Change to Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity Architect: Salary, Job Description and Education

Consortium for Information & Software Quality, “The Cost of Poor Software Quality in the US: A 2022 Report”
Indeed, “How To Become an IT Auditor in 5 Steps (With Skills List)”
Indeed, “IT Auditor Skills: Definition and Examples”
Indeed, “What Is an IT Auditor? (With Duties, Skills and Salary)”
Payscale, Average Information Technology (IT) Auditor Salary
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Information Security Analysts

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