Internal Auditor Salary Guide

What is the average salary of an internal auditor?

The average salary for an internal auditor working in a corporate finance setting is $70,570.  There can be considerable variance from this figure based on experience, location, company size and industry.

How Does Tenure Impact Earnings?

Years of Experience (Tenure) Average Salary Range
0-2 Years $55,000 – $70,000
3-5 Years $65,000 – $80,000
6-8 Years $75,000 – $90,000
9-10+ Years $85,000 – $100,000+
0-2 Years
Average Salary Range $55,000 – $70,000
3-5 Years
Average Salary Range $65,000 – $80,000
6-8 Years
Average Salary Range $75,000 – $90,000
9-10+ Years
Average Salary Range $85,000 – $100,000+

Which Industries Pay the Best?

Financial Services

The complexity of financial products and regulations in these sectors necessitates robust internal controls and risk management practices. Internal auditors with expertise in financial instruments and regulatory compliance are highly sought-after and can command premium salaries.

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Salary Survey Report 2021 indicates that internal auditors working in the financial services industry earn a higher median total cash compensation compared to other industries.

Energy & Utilities

This sector is heavily regulated, and internal auditors play a crucial role in ensuring compliance with environmental regulations and safety standards. Additionally, the high capital expenditure projects in energy and utilities often require strong internal controls to manage risks and optimize costs.

A 2023 salary report by Robert Half, a leading recruitment agency, highlights that internal auditors with experience in the energy sector are in high demand and can expect competitive salaries.


The healthcare industry is undergoing significant changes with increasing regulatory scrutiny and a focus on cost containment. Internal auditors with expertise in healthcare regulations, coding practices, and fraud detection are highly valued to ensure the financial health and operational efficiency of healthcare institutions.

The AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders) salary survey reports consistently show that internal auditors in healthcare can expect higher than average salaries within the internal audit profession.

Government & Public Sector

While government salaries might not always compete with the private sector at the top end, some government agencies, especially those managing large budgets or critical infrastructure projects, offer competitive salaries for internal auditors.

How to Increase Earning Potential

Pursue relevant certifications

Earning industry-recognized certifications demonstrates expertise and commitment to the internal audit field within a corporate finance context. Here are two options with data on their potential impact:

  • Certified Internal Auditor (CIA): This globally recognized designation validates an internal auditor’s core competencies, including internal audit methodology, risk assessment, governance, and financial transactions.

    • A 2023 study by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) showed that internal auditors with the CIA certification earn an average of 17% more than their non-certified counterparts globally.
  • Certified in Financial Services Audit (CFSA): This specialized certification focuses on internal audit practices within the financial services industry. It equips internal auditors with the knowledge and skills to evaluate complex financial instruments, risk management strategies, and regulatory compliance specific to this sector.

    • While data on salary increase is harder to find specifically for the CFSA, a Robert Half 2023 salary guide for insurance professionals highlights that internal auditors with specialized certifications can expect higher compensation within the financial services industry.

Develop specialized skills in financial analysis and modeling

Expand your skillset beyond core internal audit functions to become more valuable within the corporate finance environment. Consider areas like:

  • Advanced Financial Modeling – job postings for internal auditors in corporate finance with expertise in specific modeling software often mention higher salary ranges compared to those without such skills. For instance, a search on Indeed for “internal auditor corporate finance” positions with “financial modeling” as a keyword often shows salaries at the higher end of the internal audit salary range.

  • Financial Statement Analysis – the demand for strong financial analysis skills is well documented in internal audit job postings and industry publications. The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) emphasizes the importance of financial analysis skills for effective internal audit professionals, particularly those working in a corporate finance context.

Showcase the value you bring through effective communication and collaboration

Internal auditors in corporate finance don’t operate in isolation. They collaborate with various stakeholders including the CFO, controllers, and other finance professionals. Here’s how communication can make a difference:

  • Articulate the impact of your work: Don’t just identify risks and weaknesses. Clearly communicate how your internal audit findings and recommendations can improve financial controls, optimize processes, and mitigate potential financial losses for the organization.

  • Develop strong business acumen: Understand the company’s business model, key performance indicators (KPIs), and strategic goals. This allows you to tailor your internal audit activities to address the most pressing financial risks and opportunities facing the organization.

    • Evidence: Studies by Robert Half and Robert Walters consistently highlight that strong communication and business acumen are key factors employers consider when determining salaries for internal audit professionals, especially those working closely with the corporate finance team.