Cyber Security Salary & Jobs

January 7, 2022

How much does a cyber security engineer make?  The answer isn’t always clear, as some employers don’t want to disclose the figures publicly.

That said, the cyber security salaries typically range from $85,000 to $130,000 per year, depending on the level of your experience, expertise, employer, and location. But while an average annual pay of around $105,000 sounds promising, there are other factors to consider before making any major career decisions. 

Let’s look at cyber security salary statistics, what cyber security professionals do, what the job outlook is like, and how you can break into the industry. 

Cyber Security – Job Outlook and Salary Statistics

You can earn a median average salary of $97,031 as an analyst in Delaware, for instance. However, if you were to seek out job opportunities in a state like South Carolina, this median figure drops significantly to around $52,000.

cyber security salary

Here are the highest-paying states for cyber security jobs (according to the average salaries per year):

  • Delaware – $97,031
  • New York – $93,986
  • New Jersey – $90,521
  • Maine – $90,010
  • Maryland – $89,487
  • Washington – $87,368
  • Connecticut – $85,145
  • New Hampshire – $84,628
  • Minnesota – $83,914
  • Virginia – $83,113

If you ever had any doubts about the future of the cyber security industry, here are a few statistics to consider:

  • According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, cyber security jobs are expected to grow 31% through 2029 – more than seven times faster than the predicted average for other professions. 
  • The cyber security unemployment rate dropped down to 0% in 2016 and has been there ever since.

The global threat of hackers penetrating systems, devices, networks, and web-based applications to corrupt them and/or steal valuable information is rising. It has made the role of cyber security specialists more important than ever.

Cyber Security Careers with the Best Income

Information security professionals are experts responsible for protecting devices, networks, and data from malicious activity or cyberattacks. 

Cyber Security Careers with the Best Income

Here’s a look at the top cyber security jobs and corresponding salaries:

Chief Information Security Officer

The Chief Information Security Officer remains in the highest position within a company related to cyber security. Any person in a CISO role is in charge of establishing and maintaining the vision and strategy to ensure that data assets (and relevant technology) are successfully protected.

The average salary for a CISO position is $158,939, and the range is $140,000–$420,000.

Application Security Professionals 

They focus on keeping technology, software, and apps safe from security breaches or cyberattacks by malicious hackers.

As an app security engineer, you stand to make $120,000 to $180,000 (yearly average).

Information Security Managers

An analyst or manager is in charge of protecting the confidentiality and integrity of data, whether in storage or transit.

With an average salary range of $125,000 to $215,000, information security managers help assess an organization’s existing security measures and avert future attacks.

Computer Network Architects

Network architects are primarily responsible for designing and maintaining data communication networks, including LANs, WANs, and intranets.

$140,820 is the average annual salary for cyber security architects who work with computer networks.

Penetration Tester 

Often referred to as Pen Testers or Vulnerability Testers, these ethical hackers conduct frequent security tests across systems, networks, apps, databases, and your virtual infrastructure to identify potential vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit.

On average, a penetration tester can earn between $80,000 to $130,000.

How Can You Boost Your Salary?

While most of these roles have overlapping elements, you may find people who only specialize in one of these niches listed above. To land a job as a CIO or CISO, you will need to have advanced qualifications (a master’s degree) and the experience required to stay on top of wide-scale company operations.

For an entry-level position as an information security analyst, malware analyst, cybersecurity consultant, or any other roles mentioned above, the bare minimum you need is an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in cyber security. 

Given the increasing popularity of and demand for cyber security professionals, many colleges and universities have started offering focused degree programs in the subject.

Companies prefer hiring candidates with a recognized degree. You can earn these credentials by completing programs similar to those offered by New England Tech, including:

An associate’s degree sets a solid foundation in cyber security and its peripheral topics to prepare you for a degree or any other certification. You can also take Microsoft MCP, Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) Security Fundamentals, CCNA Cyber Ops, and the CompTIA A+ exams and apply for entry-level positions in the security industry.

Learn about systems, mobile and network forensics, Windows and Linux security, incident response, evolving threats, and the use of security tools with a degree at NEIT. Upon graduation, you will be eligible to take internationally recognized exams like the CompTIA Security +, CCNA, and MCSA exams. 

If you want to pursue leadership positions in the cyber security space, our master’s degree is a great place to begin. The online/hybrid program combines core subjects like penetration testing and digital forensics with project management, leadership, and risk assessment. According to Payscale, the average annual salary for those with a master’s degree is $86,858.

Additional degree programs offered at different colleges across Rhode Island are as follows: 

Apart from the basic prerequisite (an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in the subject), you can increase your income potential by specializing in a specific niche. Getting certified is a great way to ensure higher pay (scroll down to learn more).

As is the case with any profession, your work experience directly correlates to how much you stand to earn.

For instance, if you have a master’s degree in cyber security, the proper certifications and skills, and sufficient experience in the industry, you can demand a higher salary than someone new to the field. 

We have listed the top skills, best certifications, and the most sought-after employers for cyber security professionals below.

Certifications With the Highest Income Potential

Most employers value additional certifications (over and above your basic qualifications) and are willing to pay you more for them. Here are a few certificates that could help you boost your income potential:

CompTIA Security+ 

This certification is a must if you are seeking an entry-level job in cyber security. It validates baseline skills that are necessary for core security functions. The certification exam tests your ability to identify and respond to cyber security threats.

GSEC (GIAC Security Essentials Certification)

The GIAC Security Essentials Certification is an entry-level credential and will help showcase your cyber security know-how. You don’t need to have any job experience to pursue this certification, making it perfect for recent graduates.

With 180 questions that you need to answer within five hours, the certification costs $1249 and requires you to achieve 74% to pass. 

CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker)

This is an intermediate-level credential offered by the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council). To obtain a CEH (ANSI) certification, you need to pass one exam. You must have at least two years of work experience in information security (along with employer verification) to apply for this certification.

CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)

This one is for those who already have at least five years of experience in the field. This certification involves passing a rigorous exam that validates your ability to develop, implement, and manage highly advanced cyber security programs. 

Keep in mind that these certifications don’t just enable you to earn better salaries; they also equip you with 

The Most In-Demand Skills

Unscrupulous individuals and groups keep finding novel ways of breaching systems and networks, so you must always be one step ahead of them. Unfortunately, there is a massive skill gap at the moment. 

According to a Forbes article, a survey revealed that 74% of companies blame this skill gap for their inability to secure sensitive information, leading to data breaches and compliance issues. A majority (58%) of company CISOs believe that this gap will continue to worsen in 2022.

As an aspiring cyber security professional, you should arm yourself with these skills before entering the field. Here are some of the most important qualities to possess: 

Analytical

A cyber security analyst must be able to study computer systems and networks to assess key risks and gauge how they can improve policies and protocols.

Detail-oriented

Hackers make attacks extremely difficult to detect, so a software security engineer must pay close attention to data and systems to identify any such incidents.

Ingenuity

Taking a preemptive approach is invaluable for a network security engineer or security consultant, so they can anticipate risks and successfully deploy measures to safeguard systems and networks.

Problem-solving

Being able to respond to security breach alerts with apt solutions quickly is imperative in this field.

Hacking

That’s right; hacking is a skill! You need to know how others operate to anticipate and prevent attacks.

Soft skills

Soft skills are essential in any industry sector. They can give you an upper hand when you are competing for a job with someone who might have the same credentials as you do. 

You also need to be adept at risk management, incident response, threat intelligence, security strategy, and technology access management. 

Apart from these skills and traits, being an expert in computer science, programming, DevOps, and cloud security can also help you improve your career prospects and earning potential. You stand to gain a $15,025 salary premium by leveraging the huge demand for cloud security skills in 2022!

The Top 10 Employers to Work for

employers to work for in cyber security

Cybercrime is an ever-growing threat to private businesses, public organizations, and government agencies and departments.

The increasing number of security incidents means that qualified information security analysts and cyber security employees with quality experience are in demand across industries.

And as is the case with any highly specialized role or job position, the supply of cyber security professionals falls short of the current demand. 

Apart from the usual suspects (Google, Deloitte, PwC, Apple, GM, Cisco, Boeing, Intel, Honeywell, and HCL Technologies), here are some of the best companies for employees (for cyber security jobs), according to Glassdoor.

  • The United States Air Force
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Las Vegas Sands
  • ManTech
  • Lockheed Martin
  • SAIC
  • ASM Research
  • United States Federal Government
  • United States Department of Defense
  • Fannie Mae

As might be evident from this list, industries like BFSI, IT, Government (Defense), Government (Nondefense), and consulting are the big employers of cyber security professionals because they deal with sensitive data that hackers might attack.

How to Get Started with Cyber Security

Whether associate’s or bachelor’s, a degree should help you get into the cyber security field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that most cyber security positions require aspirants to have a bachelor’s degree in the discipline. Employers also tend to prefer employees with some kind of experience in the field. 

Whether you come from a technical or nontechnical background, there’s room for everyone in the dynamic field of cyber security. Of course, programmers, web developers, software engineers, or those with a computer science background will find that most of their technical knowledge is easily transferable to this domain. 

What Experience Is Needed for a Career in Cyber Security?

While the job involves understanding and working with new technology and applications, not having technical know-how may not necessarily be a disadvantage. All you need to do is target the right positions. There is ample scope for nontechnical folk to make it big in this domain. 

The common thread (and the secret to a successful career) is having the desire and willingness to learn, evolve, and adapt. Getting the right education is the first step to learning the ropes.

Designated by the Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE), NEIT is ideal for learning the nuances of cyber security.

With three comprehensive degree programs that offer an in-depth understanding of the world of cybercrime and cyber security, our technical institute is a great springboard for a long-term career in this field.

START YOUR CYBER SECURITY CAREER

Earn your degree in Cyber Security from NEIT and begin your new career path today!

ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE

BACHELOR'S DEGREE

MASTER'S DEGREE

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that a career in cyber security is a highly rewarding one, with lucrative salaries, unparalleled job security, ample scope for personal and professional growth, and several job opportunities.

If you think you have what it takes to improve the mainline of defense of a company and create world-class security strategies, you can streamline your way into the field by earning a degree from New England Tech

FAQs 

Is cyber security a good career?

It is if you enjoy challenges! This is a field where problem-solvers and logical thinkers excel. If you are willing to learn various subjects, you can quickly climb up the ranks and make a name for yourself. 

Is cyber security in demand?

Yes. And this demand is on the rise. According to the BLS, the industry will register a job growth of 31% between 2019 and 2029 (faster than most other industries). The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) shows that job postings have grown by 94% in the last six years.

What cyber security jobs pay the most?

Like all other professions, higher positions come with higher salaries. These roles include CISO, CIO, bug bounty hunter, deputy CISO, lead software security engineer, cybersecurity sales engineer, or information security manager. People with these titles can make between $200,000 and $500,000 annually.

Apply for Cyber security degrees and graduate in less than 2 years.