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Cybersecurity Salary: A Comprehensive Guide

Cybersecurity Salary: A Comprehensive Guide

Cybersecurity salary resounds with intrigue and opportunities in the ever-increasing world of implanted internet security systems. Think about a situation whereby digital fortresses keep crumbling under fire from an array of cyber threats. There are skilled individuals who guard this electronic era. Their role is invaluable, but a big question often raises its head: What price tag does their digital bravery have?

Welcome to my in-depth investigation into the financial recognition these cyber professionals receive. This is not just a guide, but this is the journey across the highly diverse, rough terrain of cybersecurity professions and the pay that yields with it.

Whether you are a battle-hardened veteran in the domain of digital warfare, a novice with a flaming desire to conquer this attractive sector, or just a person who gets a kick from every single thing that is related to technology – this manual is your window on the world of earnings with cybersecurity.

From those who are making their first steps as vigilant cybersecurity sentinels to seasoned strategists orchestrating the operations of cyberspace, I am going to walk you through the various layers that exist in this field. I will not just throw figures at you; I will comprehensively discuss the rewarding financial experience that comes with the varying levels of expertise in the ever-evolving cybersecurity field.

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Cybersecurity Salary: Factors Affecting Salaries

Other factors playing into the determination of salaries of cybersecurity professionals include experience, education, location as well as industry. This then comes to reflect much to do with the supply and demand of the labor market, essentially the value as well as the complexity of the work in question as analyzed by other scholars.

  • Experience and Education: In general, the experiences of cyber security professionals with higher degrees or certifications earn more money. Experience and level of education mean the degree of professionalism and credibility qualification as a cyber security professional. Furthermore, it indicates the ability to carry out more varied and challenging tasks such as managing teams, designing systems, or carrying out audits. According to Payscale, a person with cybersecurity less than one year of experience earns a salary of $63,000, while those people with 10 years or more have an average salary of $116,000. On the other hand, a cybersecurity expert with a bachelor’s degree earns an average of $82,000 compared to one with a master’s, totaling $98,000.
  • Geographical Location: Salaries significantly vary between geographic locations, indicating the cost of life and demand characteristics of the region. Whereas in some regions, there are only higher concentrations of cybersecurity jobs, such as Washington DC, New York, or San Francisco, for having government agencies, financial institutions, or tech companies. In these areas, there is also a higher cost of living that impacts the salaries of cybersecurity professionals. From Glassdoor, one can deduce that cybersecurity professionals earn an average salary of $103,000 in Washington DC, while the pacesetters in this industry, such as New York, pay an average of $97,000, and San Francisco boasts an average earning of $112,000.
  • Industry: There are certain industries, such as the finance or government industry, which may pay higher salaries as they have to deal with sensitive information. These industries are characterized by high risks and relevant regulations that call for sophisticated and stringent measures. This also means that they have more resources and motivating factors to invest in cybersecurity which results in paying the cybersecurity professionals higher. A cybersecurity professional employed in the finance and insurance industry is set to earn an annual average salary of $103,000 as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, whilst for one working with the federal government, it stands at $99,000, and that one working in the information industry it stands at $96,000.

Average Salary Ranges

Cybersecurity Salary: A Comprehensive Guide
Photo Credit: InterviewBit

Though the ranges vary, the potentials of many competitive-level entry jobs in the cybersecurity field have a potential for rapid growth. Middle-level and senior positions can offer tenures wiser to higher wages indicative of the experience and responsibilities required.
According to the ZipRecruiter report, cybersecurity professionals in the US can expect salaries ranging from $67k – $158k, with a median of $99k. However, these figures may not necessarily be able to capture the overall figure of cybersecurity salaries offered by some high-profile positions that may offer bonuses, stock options, or other benefits that are not included in the base salary.

Cybersecurity Salaries and Their Roles

This is a wide field with several roles and specializations. Each role has different skills, tasks, and, consequently, challenges that will influence the level of salary one can earn. Some of the popular cybersecurity roles as well as the salaries data from Glassdoor, Payscale, and ZipRecruiter, are:

  • Security Analyst – Entry-Level Positions Security analysts respond to security incidents and threats by identifying them. They try to detect as well as respond to attacks by using technology, methodologies, and practices. Security analysts also engage in vulnerability assessments while conducting risk analyses and compliance audits. The average salary for this position is $76,000.
  • Network Security Administrator: To do this, the network security administrator needs to install, configure, and maintain all the networking devices’ security as well as their systems. He must ascertain that none of the networks are accessed, changed, or destroyed in any way by an unauthorized user. They will also troubleshoot and correct network security problems, as well as implement policies and standards. The average pay of a network security administrator is $71,000.
  • Mid-Level Positions Cyber Security Consultant: The cyber security consultant advises on and formulates cyber security strategies throughout the enterprise of a client to form or improve existing cyber protection plans. In addition, they will design and implement appropriate client-specific solutions to their mission needs and provide related consultation across the full spectrum of threats. They also do security testing and reviews and give recommendations that are best practices. An average cybersecurity consultant is paid $85,000 on average.
  • Penetration Tester: The penetration tester is responsible for performing cyberattacks in any system, network, or application in order to locate vulnerabilities and, of course, exploit them. For this work, he uses various tools and techniques that simulate the actions of real hackers, so the results from his tests must be delivered together with recommendations that he deems necessary. In addition, they enable customers to understand the threats and improve their security intelligence and resilience. Penetration tester — average pay of $87,000.
  • Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) — Senior Career-Level CISO: This person should ensure strategic and operational oversight and control of cybersecurity in an organization. They provide the development and enforcement of security vision, goals, and policies of the organization’s security and ensure attainment and compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to information operations. They also manage the budget and staff of security and vendors of communication and frequently communicate with stakeholders and executives. The pay scale of a CISO varies across $164,000.
  • Security Architect: He is the architect of security who will design and construct the security architecture and infrastructure in any organization. He has to develop and implement the standard, framework, and protocol of security and ensure its compatibility with the business needs and requirements. They also evaluate and implement new security technologies and solutions in providing technical leadership and guidance. The average salary of the security architect is $120,000.

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Cybersecurity Salary Benchmarks for Each Role

Cybersecurity Salary Benchmarks for Each Role
Cybersecurity Salary Benchmarks for Each Role

In total, the average scale of salaries for each role from the above sources is briefly represented in the following table. As salary levels differ according to many criteria, all figures are indicative and may not reflect actual salaries for professionals.

Role Average Salary
Security Analyst $76,000
Network Security Administrator $71,000
Cyber Security Consultant $85,000
Penetration Tester $87,000
CISO $164,000
Security Architect $120,000


The path to a cybersecurity career is not only rewarding personally but also leaves one with something meaningful to strive for and to look forward to. It is also a challenging, dynamic profession that comes along with very attractive pecuniary rewards. As time progresses, the prospects in this field are just advancing, and thus, more skilled forces will be required. Whether having experience or aspiring toward a career in cyber security, knowledge about such factors and trends that influence the pay scales in this industry will help you to plan and make decisions for making progress.

FAQs on Cybersecurity Salary

What is the average starting salary of a cyber security professional?

A cybersecurity professional will be paid depending on the level of education and location, but the average pay for a start in the field is between $50,000 and $80,000. For instance, the latest reports released by ZipRecruiter reveal that the average starting pay for a cybersecurity analyst in the US is $67,000. However, the figure may not incorporate other forms of compensation like bonuses and benefits.

How does experience influence salaries in cyber security?

Experience is a big influencer on salary. Generally, the more years a person spends in the field, positions requiring some form of specialized knowledge or leadership skills will eventually result in a higher level of pay. According to Payscale, the average pay for a cybersecurity professional with less than one year of experience is $63,000, while one with 10 or more years of experience brings in $116,000.

Do some certs pay off better than others in this space?

Certifications like CISSP or CISM often mean better salary levels since they actually represent knowledge. They prove that a cybersecurity specialist is effective and responsible and, at times, can be required even if not really useful for some employers or clients. According to Payscale, a CISSP-certified cybersecurity professional earns an average of $113,000, while one with CISM certification earns an average of $122,000.

Does the industry really make a difference in cybersecurity salaries?

Yes. Industries with higher security needs, like finance and government, usually offer higher salaries to attract the right candidates. These industries are exposed to higher risks and regulations that demand stricter and more sophisticated security. They are also better resourced and more motivated to invest in cybersecurity, which ultimately gets reflected in the salaries that a cybersecurity professional makes. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a cybersecurity professional in the finance and insurance industry earns a median salary of $103,000, an average of twenty dollars of $99,000 in the federal government, and also an average of $96,000 in the information industry.

What is the salary outlook for cybersecurity professionals?

The prospects of continued growth in pay are foreseen in the salaries of cybersecurity professionals because of the unwavering need for qualified personnel. Cybersecurity Ventures states that in the future, the global annual growth rate of the cybersecurity market is expected to hit 7.9%, and it will grow from $173 billion in 2020 to $270 billion by 2026. This growth is expected to create more opportunities and competition for cybersecurity professionals, with the possibility of an imminent rise in salaries in the sector.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your cybersecurity journey? You can do that with an expert beside you to guide you through without having to stress much. Schedule a one-on-one consultation with Tolulope Michael, a cybersecurity professional with over a decade of field experience. This will allow you to gain personalized insights and guidance tailored to your career goals.

Visit now to book your session. This is your opportunity to embark on your cybersecurity career with confidence.

Tolulope Michael

Tolulope Michael

Tolulope Michael is a multiple six-figure career coach, internationally recognised cybersecurity specialist, author and inspirational speaker. Tolulope has dedicated about 10 years of his life to guiding aspiring cybersecurity professionals towards a fulfilling career and a life of abundance. As the founder, cybersecurity expert, and lead coach of Excelmindcyber, Tolulope teaches students and professionals how to become sought-after cybersecurity experts, earning multiple six figures and having the flexibility to work remotely in roles they prefer. He is a highly accomplished cybersecurity instructor with over 6 years of experience in the field. He is not only well-versed in the latest security techniques and technologies but also a master at imparting this knowledge to others. His passion and dedication to the field is evident in the success of his students, many of whom have gone on to secure jobs in cyber security through his program "The Ultimate Cyber Security Program".

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