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The demand for cybersecurity specialists has skyrocketed over the past decade due to rising cybercrime rates. Therefore, careers in cybersecurity bring many benefits including job security and relatively high income.
In this article, we’ll highlight the average cybersecurity salary, including the differences in earnings by position and state.
Average salary in cybersecurity
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median annual salary for information security analysts is $102,600. This salary is more than double the national median salary for workers in all industries ($45,760).
The salary potential of cybersecurity tends to be so high due to the delicate nature of the job and the growing economic demand for cybersecurity professionals.
Salary by industry
One benefit of working as a cybersecurity specialist is being able to choose from a variety of industries. As a cybersecurity professional, the specific industry you work for plays a major role in determining your annual income.
Let’s look at some top-paying industries where cybersecurity experts are in demand, according to the BLS.
- Sanitation and other waste management services. Information security analysts in this industry earn an average annual salary of $173,250.
- Other information services. This IT subsector pays an average of $149,540 to cybersecurity experts.
- Manufacture of computer and peripheral equipment. Cybersecurity professionals in this field earn an average of $144,040.
- Securities and other financial investment sectors. These areas pay an average cybersecurity salary of $142,070.
- Film and video industries. This entertainment subsector pays information security analysts an average annual salary of $141,070.
Salary by State
Besides industry, geographic location is a crucial determinant of cybersecurity salary. Salaries differ from state to state, as employers often use their state’s income tax rate and cost of living to determine salary.
It makes sense that the highest cybersecurity salaries are paid in metropolitan areas where the cost of living is relatively high. Check out the list below to see states where professionals can earn high average cybersecurity salaries, according to the BLS.
- California: $135,200
- New York: $133,210
- Maryland: $126,110
- Iowa: $125,650
- District of Colombia: $124,980
Cybersecurity Salaries by Position
Cybersecurity salaries can also vary depending on experience level and role. Generally speaking, however, the earning potential in this industry is so high that even a beginner cybersecurity specialist could earn a six-figure income.
As of August 2022, Cyberseek lists the numbers below as the average income levels of cybersecurity professionals in various positions.
Beginners in this industry typically spend three to five years in entry-level cybersecurity jobs to gain basic experience. You’ll see from the numbers below that an entry-level position in cybersecurity doesn’t mean low pay.
- Average annual salary: $104,480
- Jobs: 11,150
- Position Summary: A cybersecurity specialist searches for network and system threats through regular vulnerability scans. They develop security strategies aimed at protecting the integrity of their company’s data.
- Average annual salary: $100,000
- Jobs: 1,388
- Position Summary: This professional investigates malware attacks, the people behind them and the damage caused. A cybercrime analyst also works to recover sensitive data that may be valuable for a legal case.
Incident and Intrusion Analyst
- Average annual salary: $88,230
- Jobs: 11,169
- Position Summary: An incident and intrusion analyst detects security threats on an organization’s network. They also prevent the escalation of these threats and communicate their findings to seasoned cybersecurity experts.
- Average annual salary: $110,000
- Jobs: 9,639
- Position Summary: This entry-level role involves continuous assessment of a company’s IT infrastructure to ensure overall security and adherence to compliance regulations.
After gaining at least five years of experience in entry-level positions, cybersecurity professionals can move up the corporate ladder. Mid-level positions equate to greater responsibilities and a higher cybersecurity salary.
Let’s look at some of them below.
Cyber Security Analyst
- Average annual salary: $107,500
- Jobs: 39,629
- Position Summary: This position involves the analysis of cyberattacks, malware and the behavior of cybercriminals. After analysis, the cybersecurity analyst develops security measures to prevent the recurrence of such attacks.
- Average annual salary: $92,500
- Jobs: 27,226
- Position Summary: A cybersecurity consultant tests the security of an organization’s network, detects vulnerabilities and designs a better security system.
Penetration and vulnerability tester
- Average annual salary: $101,090
- Jobs: 34,505
- Position Summary: This post focuses on ethical hacking. A penetration and vulnerability tester simulates actual cyberattacks on existing systems to detect cracks in security systems before malicious actors can penetrate.
Advanced roles are reserved for seasoned professionals with 10-15 years of full-time cybersecurity experience. Cybersecurity experts in leadership positions typically manage mid- and junior-level analysts.
- Average annual salary: $130,000
- Jobs: 27,633
- Position Summary: This leadership position involves delegating specific tasks to junior cybersecurity professionals. The cybersecurity manager also creates policies to prevent security breaches.
- Average annual salary: $117,510
- Jobs: 78 288
- Position Summary: This cybersecurity professional develops high-tech solutions that protect a company’s digital assets against ransomware, hackers and insider threats.
- Average annual salary: $159,750
- Jobs: 9,050
- Position Summary: A cybersecurity architect designs, builds and implements enterprise-class security systems. They also guide other members of the cybersecurity team to effectively implement security protocols.
Cybersecurity Job Outlook
In 2016, the cybersecurity unemployment rate fell to 0% and has remained at that level ever since. The talent gap is widening even today. Cybercrime Magazine predicted there would be 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings by 2025.
The cybersecurity industry offers more job security than many other professions. For example, according to the BLS, jobs for information security analysts will grow 33% from 2020 to 2030. This rate is four times faster than the average job growth rate for all occupations in national scale.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cybersecurity Salaries
Does cybersecurity pay off?
Yes it is. Even entry-level cybersecurity professionals can earn over $100,000 a year.
Is cybersecurity a good career?
The definition of a good career is subjective, but cybersecurity experts enjoy many perks, including above-average earnings, retirement packages, and health insurance. The large talent gap in this area also creates security and opportunity for rapid career advancement.