How much does a cyber security engineer make? The answer isn’t always straightforward, as some employers don’t want to disclose the figures publicly.
That said, the average cyber security salary typically ranges from $85,000 to $130,000 per year, depending on your experience, expertise, employer, and location. But while an average annual pay of around $105,000 sounds promising, consider other factors before making any major career decisions.
Read on to learn about cybersecurity salaries, what cybersecurity professionals do, the job outlook, and how you can break into the industry.
Cyber Security Jobs and Salary Data
Companies require more cybersecurity talent for entry- and mid-level jobs that pay six figures. While more experienced professionals are likely to earn more, many cybersecurity positions offer more competitive salaries than other tech jobs.
For instance, you can earn a median average salary of $94,512 in Nevada. However, if you were to seek out cybersecurity positions in Utah, the average base salary drops significantly to around $71,948.
Here are the highest-paying states for cybersecurity jobs (according to the average salaries per year):
- Nevada – $94,512
- Oregon – $101,353
- Washington – $94,427
- Arizona – $89,188
- Connecticut – $92,865
- Delaware – $88,435
- Texas – $87,932
- Georgia – $88,021
- New York – $93,193
- Pennsylvania – $86,000
If you ever had any doubts about the future of the cybersecurity industry, here are a few cybersecurity salary statistics to consider:
- Information security analysts are expected to have a 35% increase in employment between 2021 and 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
- The cyber security unemployment rate dropped 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 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 help protect devices, networks, and data from malicious activity or cyberattacks.
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 establishes and maintains the vision and strategy to ensure that data assets (and relevant technology) are successfully protected.
Application Security Professionals
They focus on keeping technology, software, and apps safe from security breaches or cyberattacks by malicious hackers.
Information Security Managers
An analyst or manager is in charge of protecting the confidentiality and integrity of data, whether in storage or transit.
Cyber Security Engineers
They strengthen your cybersecurity team and are responsible for multiple security engineer functions, including designing, developing, and implementing secure network solutions. These solutions help defend against advanced cyberattacks, persistent threats, and hacking attempts.
Cyber Security Analyst
They work with information security managers and penetration testers to mitigate cyberattacks proactively before malicious hackers have a chance. They create, plan, and carry out security measures to secure the infrastructure.
Computer Network Architects
Network architects are primarily responsible for designing and maintaining data communication networks, including LANs, WANs, and intranets.
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.
How Much Do Cyber Security Jobs Pay, and 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 must have advanced qualifications (a master’s degree) and the experience required to stay on top of wide-scale company operations.
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 Institute of Technology, including:
Cybersecurity and Network Engineering, AS
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.
Cybersecurity and Network Engineering, BS
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.
Cybersecurity Defense, MS
Our master’s degree is a great place to begin if you want to pursue leadership positions in cybersecurity. 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 $91,000.
Additional degree programs offered at different colleges across Rhode Island are as follows:
Apart from the fundamental 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. Certification is a great way to ensure higher pay (scroll down to learn more).
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:
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.
GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)
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.
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
This is an intermediate-level credential offered by the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council). You must pass one exam to obtain a CEH (ANSI) certification.
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 certification 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.
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.
The United States had over 1 million cybersecurity professionals as of 2021; however, there were still 715,000 unfilled positions. By April 2022, there was still a significant skills gap. Given the growing demand for qualified workers in this field, new cybersecurity specialists should have several job opportunities.
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:
Today’s issues revolve around technology, business strategy, and people. Cybersecurity leaders must be technically knowledgeable about information security issues, understand how to integrate security planning into larger business objectives, and be able to establish a long-term security and risk-based culture.
Cryptography professionals must be well-versed in mathematical principles such as linear algebra, number theory, and combinatorics. These principles are used by professionals when designing and deciphering strong encryption systems.
Knowledge of government and national security
Cyberspace security is regarded as one of the most serious economic and national-security challenges confronting the United States in the twenty-first century. Almost every day, our IT specialists discover new threats and attacks against our nation’s networks, whether in the public or private sectors. Knowledge of government and national security is a very sought-after skill.
Privacy engineering is a new engineering field that aims to provide methodologies, tools, and techniques to ensure that systems provide acceptable levels of privacy. To deliver trustworthy processes and products for data-driven businesses, privacy engineering bridges the gap between legal and engineering teams.
Technical writing skills
Technical writers in cybersecurity are in charge of developing strategy plans, security policies, manuals, etc. For both internal and external audiences, these plans must translate and convey the complicated idea of cybersecurity in straightforward terms.
Expertise in law
Cyber law, also known as cyber crime law, is a body of legislation that governs the acceptable use of technology, such as computer hardware and software, the internet, and networks. Cyber law protects users by allowing for the inquiry and prosecution of online criminal activity. It applies to the actions of individuals, groups, the public, government, and private sectors.
Systems and companies are increasingly moving to the cloud. This calls for an in-depth understanding of cloud security to protect the data.
Computer Forensics Skills
They focus on protecting digital assets and intelligence after the cyberattack and work in tandem with cybersecurity professionals that focus on preventing attacks.
Blockchain will likely to become the foundation of security in mobile, IoT, supply chain, network control, and identity solutions. The complexity of this technology makes it extremely difficult for a hacker to penetrate the network and cause harm.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI helps security professionals understand the network and identify abnormal activity. It provides automated techniques to detect and handle threats.
It safeguards devices connected to the internet and ensures the well-being of the ecosystem. By learning this skill, cybersecurity professionals can deal with security and privacy concerns in the IoT domain.
Cybersecurity professionals need skills in programming languages such as Java, C, C++, or PHP to detect attacks and develop counter plans.
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.
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.
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.
Quickly responding to security breach alerts with apt solutions is imperative in this field.
That’s right; hacking is a skill! You need to know how others operate to anticipate and prevent attacks.
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.
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 2023!
The Top 10 Employers
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 with any highly specialized role or job position, the supply of cyber security professionals must catch up to 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 cyber security jobs:
- Palo Alto Networks
As might be evident from this list, 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 Start a Career in Cybersecurity
Be it an 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 experience in the field.
Whether you come from a technical or non-technical 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 Do You Need 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 correct positions. There is ample scope for non-technical folk to make it big in this domain.
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 an excellent springboard for a long-term career in this field.
The Additional Perks of a Career in Cyber Security
Because of the scarcity of trained professionals, those interested in a career in cybersecurity can expect a plethora of opportunities, high-paying salaries, and excellent benefits. A job in cybersecurity comes with a number of advantages in addition to a competitive income.
Work from home: The year 2020 saw a revolution in the number of employment being performed outside of offices all over America. However, cybersecurity specialists have long benefited from working remotely.
Higher job satisfaction: According to a study, 71% of all cybersecurity technicians are satisfied with their jobs, with 36% very satisfied. Cybersecurity technicians play an important role, and the work they do directly contributes to the safety of an organization’s digital infrastructure.
Variety of job opportunities: Repeated tasks can quickly become monotonous and unsatisfying. Fortunately, no two days are alike for a cybersecurity technician. There are always new threats to defend against, as well as new skills to learn. Cybersecurity is a fast-paced industry, and cybersecurity technicians are constantly on the go.
Future Cybersecurity Job Projections
According to Cybercrime Magazine, there will be 3.5 million job openings in the cybersecurity field by 2025.
Many other professions do not provide as much job security as the cybersecurity industry does. According to the BLS, jobs for information security analysts will increase by 33% between 2020 and 2030. This rate is four times faster than the national average rate of employment growth across all occupations.
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
START YOUR CYBER SECURITY CAREER
Earn your degree in Cyber Security from NEIT and begin your new career path today!
The bottom line is that a career in cyber security is gratifying, with lucrative salaries, unparalleled job security, ample scope for personal and professional growth, and several job opportunities.
Suppose you think you have what it takes to improve the mainline of defense of a company and create world-class security strategies. In that case, you can streamline your way into the field by earning a degree from the New England Institute of Technology.
Is cyber security a good career?
A career in cyber security is great if you enjoy challenges! This is a field where problem-solvers and logical thinkers excel. The average cyber security salary in the U.S. is $92,402 to $164,532 per year. 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. According to Salary.com, the entry-level Cyber Security salary is from $78,603 to $113,190 per year.
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.
What Are the Requirements for Network Security Engineer?
It would be best if you had a network engineer’s degree, telecom engineer degree, or BS/BE degree in computer science, cybersecurity, or related IT fields to become a network security engineer. Proven work experience as a network security engineer, information security engineer, or information security analyst, as well as knowledge of developing and maintaining security systems, would be advantageous.
What Is the Average Cyber Security Salary in the U.S. per Hour?
Entry Level Cyber Security Analysts typically make $35 per hour, with hourly rates ranging from $32 to $39 on average.
Do I Need a Degree for a Career in Cyber Security?
Many employers prefer candidates with a college education. Earning a cybersecurity degree can prepare you for high-paying jobs in a rapidly growing field. Applicants without a bachelor’s degree may have fewer career options. A bachelor’s degree is required for 88% of cybersecurity job requirements.
Earning a cybersecurity degree can also have an impact on pay and job security. Bachelor’s degree holders earned approximately 65% more than workers with only a high school diploma, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).