Understanding Internal Audit Salaries

by Swapnil Wale


Determining the appropriate salary for professionals in the field of internal audit is crucial for both employers and employees. While salary can vary based on factors such as location, level of experience, and industry, understanding the average internal audit salary can help organizations attract and retain top talent. In this blog, we will explore the factors that influence internal audit salaries and provide insights into what professionals can expect in terms of compensation. Whether you are an employer seeking to establish competitive salaries or an employee looking for salary benchmarks, this blog will provide valuable information on internal audit salary.

Factors Affecting Internal Audit Salaries:

1. Experience: Experience is one of the most significant factors influencing internal audit salaries. Generally, as professionals gain more experience in the field, their value and worth to organizations increase. Experienced internal auditors bring a wealth of knowledge and practical insights, which is highly sought after by employers. Consequently, they can negotiate higher salaries compared to their less experienced counterparts.

2. Education and Professional Qualifications: Education and professional qualifications also significantly impact internal audit salaries. Many organizations prefer candidates with advanced degrees, such as a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) or a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) certification. These credentials demonstrate a higher level of expertise and dedication to the profession, thus commanding higher salaries.

3. Geographic Location: Geographic location plays a crucial role in determining internal audit salaries. Salaries can vary significantly from one country or city to another due to differences in the cost of living and overall economic conditions. For example, internal auditors in developed countries like the United States or Switzerland generally earn higher salaries compared to their counterparts in developing nations.

4. Industry: The industry in which an internal auditor works also affects their salary. Certain industries, such as finance or banking, tend to offer higher salaries due to the complexity and sensitivity of their operations. On the other hand, industries with less complexity and regulatory scrutiny may offer lower salaries. Factors such as the size and profitability of the organization can also influence internal audit salaries within specific industries.

5. Job Responsibilities: The scope of job responsibilities and the level of accountability of an internal auditor can impact their earning potential. Those who hold managerial positions or have additional responsibilities, such as leading a team or managing a specific project, often receive higher salaries. Additionally, internal auditors who possess specialized skills or expertise, such as IT auditors or risk management specialists, may command higher salaries due to the increased demand for their unique skills.

6. Company Size and Financial Performance: The size and financial performance of the organization can also determine internal audit salaries. Larger companies with substantial revenue and higher profitability tend to offer more competitive salaries compared to smaller organizations. This is because they have more resources to allocate towards attracting and retaining top talent.

7. Market Demand and Supply: Finally, market demand and supply dynamics also influence internal audit salaries. If there is a higher demand for internal auditors, such as during periods of increased regulatory scrutiny or corporate scandals, salaries tend to be higher. Conversely, if the supply of internal auditors outpaces the demand, salaries may be lower as organizations have more options to choose from.

Top Industries With Competitive Internal Audit Salaries

If you are considering a career in internal auditing or are already in the field and looking for industries that offer competitive salaries, this article will shed light on the top industries to consider.

1. Financial Services: The financial services industry, including banks, insurance companies, and investment firms, offers some of the highest internal audit salaries. Given the regulatory scrutiny and complex nature of financial transactions, these organizations highly value skilled internal auditors. They are willing to compensate them well for their expertise.

2. Technology and Cybersecurity: In today's digital age, technology and cybersecurity have become paramount for organizations. With the constant threat of cyberattacks, companies are investing heavily in securing their systems and infrastructure. As a result, internal auditors with expertise in technology and cybersecurity are in high demand and can command competitive salaries.

3. Energy and Utilities: The energy and utilities sector plays a critical role in powering our homes and industries. These organizations need to ensure that their operations are efficient, compliant with regulations, and adhere to safety standards. Skilled internal auditors who understand the complexities of the industry and possess the necessary regulatory knowledge can earn attractive salaries.

4. Healthcare: The healthcare industry is another sector that heavily relies on internal auditors to ensure compliance with various regulations, such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), and to identify operational efficiencies. Healthcare organizations recognize the importance of competent internal auditors and are willing to compensate them accordingly.

5. Consumer Goods and Retail: Consumer goods and retail companies rely on efficient supply chains and robust internal controls to manage their vast operations effectively. Internal auditors in this industry play a crucial role in ensuring regulatory compliance, inventory accuracy, and fraud prevention. As a result, these organizations offer competitive salaries to attract and retain skilled professionals.

6. Manufacturing: Manufacturing companies face a wide range of risks, including supply chain disruptions, quality control issues, and compliance with environmental and safety regulations. Internal auditors who possess knowledge of the industry's standards and have experience in risk management can earn higher salaries.

7. Consulting: Internal audit consulting firms specialize in providing advisory services to organizations across various industries. These firms work closely with clients to identify risks, improve internal controls, and ensure compliance with regulations. Due to the specialized nature of their services, internal auditors in consulting firms can command lucrative salaries.

8. Government and Nonprofit Organizations: While government and nonprofit organizations may not typically offer salaries as high as those in the private sector, they provide stable employment and offer meaningful work. Internal auditors in these sectors can contribute to public welfare and ensure the efficient use of public funds.


The salary of an internal auditor can vary based on several factors. These factors include years of experience, level of education, industry, and geographical location. Additionally, factors such as certifications and additional skills can also play a role in determining salary. To find out more about the current market rates for internal audit salaries and ensure you are being compensated fairly, it is recommended to consult industry surveys, talk to professionals in the field, and consider joining professional organizations that provide salary benchmarking data.