Salaries for Cybersecurity Analysts, Architects, Auditors, Engineers and Administrators

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Growing at a rate that is outpacing all other areas of IT, cybersecurity has emerged as the high-growth field of 2016– and it’s expected to hold this position for the foreseeable future. Between 2010 and 2014, postings for cybersecurity jobs increased by 91 percent according to tech industry job market analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies.

And according to recent statistics, salaries are rising along with the number of cybersecurity jobs. IT security salaries continue to rise as new technologies – along with new methods of exploiting them – continue to evolve. A 2014 survey performed by tech sector research and professional certification firm SANS Institute revealed that 49 percent of survey respondents reported earning $100,000 or more—up from 38 percent six years earlier.

According to the 2016 Robert Half Technology Salary Guide, experienced IT professionals, including cybersecurity professionals, enjoy above-market pay, multiple job offers, and attractive financial incentives, including stock options and flexible work schedules.

So many IT-related positions are being created that many employers now wait months to fill key roles. Robert Half reports that the demand and supply imbalance will likely continue throughout 2016.

Cybersecurity salaries rose an average of 6.3 percent between 2015 and 2016:

  • Data Security Analyst: 7.1 percent
  • Systems Security Administrator: 6.1 percent
  • Network Security Administrator: 5.3 percent
  • Network Security Engineer: 6.7 percent
  • Information Systems Security Manager: 6.2 percent

The top earners among cybersecurity professionals in 2015 were:

  • Data security analysts, who earned between $113,500 and $160,000
  • Systems security administrators who earned between $105,500 and $149,500
  • Network security administrators who earned between $103,250 and $147,000

A number of variables continue to influence cybersecurity salaries, including:

  • Years of experience
  • Location
  • Title
  • Education
  • Industry
  • Professional certifications

Cybersecurity Salaries by Location

As expected, some of the highest earners in cybersecurity are located in the nation’s largest cities and technology hubs. As the birthplace of Google and Apple, it’s no surprise that data security analysts in San Francisco top the list at $220,800. Home to Amazon and Microsoft, Seattle remains a top contender in terms of the number of cybersecurity jobs and the salaries employers here pay.

In recent years, Austin has established itself as a tech hub, spurring companies like Facebook, Apple, and Google to open offices here. On the East Coast, Boston continues to entice new talent to its Innovation District with top salaries, just as Washington D.C. does with its Dulles Tech Corridor.

Seattle

  • Data Security Analyst: $134,952 – $190,240
  • Systems Security Administrator: $125,440 – $177,756
  • Network Security Administrator: $122,764 – $174,783
  • Network Security Engineer: $131,087 – $181,620
  • Information Systems Security Manager: $154,273 – $216,398

Portland

  • Data Security Analyst: $120,878 – $170,400
  • Systems Security Administrator: $109,961 – $156,555
  • Network Security Administrator: $109,961 – $156,555
  • Network Security Engineer: $117,416 – $162,679
  • Information Systems Security Manager: $138,184 – $193,830

San Francisco

  • Data Security Analyst: $156,630 – $220,800
  • Systems Security Administrator: $145,590 – $206,310
  • Network Security Administrator: $142,485 – $202,860
  • Network Security Engineer: $152,145 – $210,795
  • Information Systems Security Manager: $179,055 – $251,160

Los Angeles

  • Data Security Analyst: $145,280 – $204,800
  • Systems Security Administrator: $135,040 – $191,360
  • Network Security Administrator: $132,160 – $188,160
  • Network Security Engineer: $141,120 – $195,520
  • Information Systems Security Manager: $166,080 – $232,960

Sacramento

  • Data Security Analyst: $115,770 – $163,200
  • Systems Security Administrator: $107,610 – $152,490
  • Network Security Administrator: $105,315 – $149,940
  • Network Security Engineer: $112,455 – $155,805
  • Information Systems Security Manager: $132,345 – $185,640

San Diego

  • Data Security Analyst: $139,605 – $196,800
  • Systems Security Administrator: $129,765 – $183,885
  • Network Security Administrator: $126,998 – $180,810
  • Network Security Engineer: $135,608 – $187,882
  • Information Systems Security Manager: $159,592 – $223,860

Denver

  • Data Security Analyst: $118,948 – $167,680
  • Systems Security Administrator: $110,564 – $156,676
  • Network Security Administrator: $108,206 – $154,056
  • Network Security Engineer: $115,542 – $160,082
  • Information Systems Security Manager: $135,978 – $190,736

Houston

  • Data Security Analyst: $122,012 – $172,000
  • Systems Security Administrator: $113,412 – $160,712
  • Network Security Administrator: $110,994 – $158,025
  • Network Security Engineer: $118,519 – $164,206
  • Information Systems Security Manager: $139,481 – $195,650

Austin

  • Data Security Analyst: $121,445 – $171,200
  • Systems Security Administrator: $112,885 – $159,965
  • Network Security Administrator: $110,478 – $157,290
  • Network Security Engineer: $117,968 – $163,442
  • Information Systems Security Manager: $138,832 – $194,740

Philadelphia

  • Data Security Analyst: $130,525 – $184,000
  • Systems Security Administrator: $121,325 – $171,925
  • Network Security Administrator: $118,738 – $169,050
  • Network Security Engineer: $126,788 – $175,662
  • Information Systems Security Manager: $149,212 – $209,300

Kansas City

  • Data Security Analyst: $112,592 – $158,720
  • Systems Security Administrator: $104,656 – $148,304
  • Network Security Administrator: $102,424 – $145,824
  • Network Security Engineer: $109,368 – $151,528
  • Information Systems Security Manager: $128,712 – $180,544

Minneapolis

  • Data Security Analyst: $120,310 – $169,600
  • Systems Security Administrator: $111,830-$158,470
  • Network Security Administrator: $109,445 – $155,820
  • Network Security Engineer: $116,865 – $161,915
  • Information Systems Security Manager: $137,535 – $192,920

Atlanta

  • Data Security Analyst: $119,872 – $168,982
  • Systems Security Administrator: $111,423 – $157,893
  • Network Security Administrator: $109,046 – $155,253
  • Network Security Engineer: $116,439 – $161,325
  • Information Systems Security Manager: $137,034 – $192,217

Baltimore

  • Data Security Analyst: $116,905 – $164,800
  • Systems Security Administrator: $108,665 – $153,985
  • Network Security Administrator: $106,348 – $151,410
  • Network Security Engineer: $113,558 – $157,332
  • Information Systems Security Manager: $133,642 – $187,460

Washington D.C.

  • Data Security Analyst: $150,955 – $212,800
  • Systems Security Administrator: $140,315 – $198,835
  • Network Security Administrator: $137,322 – $195,510
  • Network Security Engineer: $146,632 – $203,158
  • Information Systems Security Manager: $172,568 – $242,060

Boston

  • Data Security Analyst: $150,955 – $212,800
  • Systems Security Administrator: $172,568 – $242,060
  • Network Security Administrator: $137,322 – $195,510
  • Network Security Engineer: $146,632 – $203,158
  • Information Systems Security Manager: $140,315 – $198,835

New York City

  • Data Security Analyst: $158,900 – $224,000
  • Systems Security Administrator: $147,700 – $209,300
  • Network Security Administrator: $144,550 – $205,800
  • Network Security Engineer: $154,350 – $213,850
  • Information Systems Security Manager: $181,650 – $254,800

Chicago

  • Data Security Analyst: $139,605 – $196,800
  • Systems Security Administrator: $129,765 – $183,885
  • Network Security Administrator: $126,998 – $180,810
  • Network Security Engineer: $135,608 – $187,882
  • Information Systems Security Manager: $159,592 – $223,860

Cybersecurity Salaries by Experience

According to the SANS survey, experience remains a key factor in cybersecurity salaries for both management and non-management positions. While the average cybersecurity professional with no experience earns nearly $74,000 a year, those with 20 years of experience earn more than $123,000 a year—or about $2,500 for each year of experience.

  • 0-3 years of experience $73,697
  • 4-6 years of experience: $88,788
  • 7-10 years of experience: $103,523
  • 11-15 years of experience: $117,056
  • 16-20 years of experience: $123,556

Cybersecurity Salaries by Educational Level

Education remains a strong indicator of salary potential, according to the SANS survey. The overall salary for cybersecurity professionals with a master’s degree or MBA was $109,705, as of 2014, compared with $98,510 for those with a bachelor’s degree.

The highest earners held doctoral degrees and brought home an average income of $125,244. According to SANS, those with advanced degrees earn higher levels of pay sooner than those with undergraduate degrees.

Higher education is now the standard for cybersecurity jobs (76 percent possess a bachelor’s degree or higher), and the move to management positions requires growth in peer networking, technical and executive skills, as well as education. As a result, SANS reported more respondents are returning to the classroom to pursue an MBA or other advanced degrees.

Cybersecurity Salaries by Title

Cybersecurity salaries for members of management, including directors, information and network security analysts, administrators, and others remain about 22 percent higher than what non-management cybersecurity professionals earn, regardless of how many years of experience they may have.

As of 2014, SANS reported the following, average salaries, according to title:

  • CISO/CSO: $133,989
  • Security director/manager: $124,798
  • IT director/manager: $112,014
  • Security engineer/architect: $106,630
  • Systems engineer/integrator: $105,773
  • Network architect/engineer: $103,065
  • Forensic investigator: $99,457
  • Auditor: $96,529
  • Security analyst: $87,829
  • Systems administrator: $80,351

Cybersecurity Salaries by Industry

The industries in which cybersecurity professionals work plays a significant role in what they can expect to earn. For example, those working in manufacturing and consulting enjoy a higher earning potential than those in education, an industry known for being cash-strapped.

  • Manufacturing: $111,585
  • Consulting/Professional Services: $109,699
  • Energy/Oil and Gas/Utilities: $108,658
  • Telecommunications: $105,151
  • Information Technology/Management: $105,111
  • Government (defense): $103,626
  • Banking/Finance/Insurance: $103,050
  • Healthcare: $98,566
  • Government (non-defense): $98,150
  • Education: $85,609

Cybersecurity Salaries by Professional Certification

According to SANS, professional certifications provide a 5 percent increase in compensation. SANS also reports that the majority of survey respondents (58 percent) cited certifications as being the biggest contributor to career success.

The top five certifications recognized for the impact they can have on a cybersecurity professional’s earning potential:

  • GIAC Security Expert (GSE)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • GIAC Certified Forensics Analyst (GCFA)
  • GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN)
  • GIAC Industrial Cyber Security Professional (GICSP)

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