As everything from our social lives to valuable company data moves online, cybersecurity has quickly become a critical priority for just about every organization.
If you have an interest in cybersecurity, this is good news. There are more cybersecurity positions than there are qualified people to fill them—nearly half a million open jobs in the US alone . Plus, skilled cybersecurity analysts often get well-compensated for their work.
Read on to learn about how much you can expect to earn as a cybersecurity analyst, as well as factors that can influence your salary. If you’re interested in starting or advancing your career in this field, we’ll discuss some ways you may be able to boost your earning potential.
The median salary for cybersecurity analysts in the US in 2020 was $103,590, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) . That equates to about $50 per hour. This is more than twice as much as the median annual wage for all workers, $41,950. Compared to other information technology (IT) jobs, cybersecurity jobs pay $12,700 more per year on average .
In many industries, your level of experience can have a big impact on how much you earn. This is especially true in cybersecurity, where hands-on experience is just as valuable, if not more important, to companies than education. Here’s a look at how your average base salary (US) might change as you gain more experience, based on salary data from job site PayScale .
|Level of experience||Salary|
|Entry-level (less than 1 year)||$63,235|
|Early career (1 to 4 years)||$71,942|
|Mid career (5 to 9 years)||$88,596|
|Experienced (10 to 19 years)||$102,002|
|Late career (20+ years)||$112,984|
As more and more companies turn to technology and connectivity to run their business, it becomes increasingly important to keep a company’s data—and reputation—secure. While cybersecurity analysts can find work across a range of industries, some tend to pay more than others. If you’re looking to find a job in a higher-paying industry, these are some of the top (average median salary from BLS) :
Finance and insurance: $106,430
Computer systems design: $104,820
Where you live and work can also have an impact on your salary. Average salaries in big cities like New York, Washington, DC, and San Diego have average salaries higher than the national average, according to PayScale .
As you’re considering your options, remember that it’s often more expensive to live in these larger cities, which can offset the higher salary. Many companies offer location-based salaries—salaries that take into account your location rather than the company location—for remote workers.
Around six in 10 cybersecurity positions request a relevant certification . Earning a cybersecurity certification can be another way to boost your earning potential. The 2020 IT Skills and Salary Survey from Global Knowledge found that these security certifications are associated with the highest salaries . Keep in mind that factors like skills, role, and tenure also impact these numbers.
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM): $149,246
Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control: $151,995
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP): $151,853
Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA): $134,460
As you progress in your cybersecurity career, you may find opportunities to move into more advanced or specialized roles. Here are a few average US salaries of other cybersecurity roles, according to Glassdoor.
Information security analyst: $99,275
Penetration tester: $102,405
Digital forensic examiner: $75,265
IT auditor: $79,709
Security systems administrator: $75,703
Security engineer: $111,691
Security architect: $153,751
Cybersecurity manager: $122,730
Ethical hacker: $113,521
Cyberattacks continue to grow in frequency and complexity, and companies will need professionals with the latest cybersecurity skills to ensure data privacy, integrity, and availability.
The BLS projects that employment for cybersecurity analysts will expand by 33 percent between 2020 and 2030, much faster than the national average . According to the World Economic Forum 2020 Future of Jobs report, information security analysts are among the top 10 job roles increasing in demand across industries .
Now that you have a better idea of what you could expect to earn as a cybersecurity analyst, let’s take a look at how you might boost your salary, even for an entry-level analyst position.
Companies are looking for professionals with robust cybersecurity skills to face evolving threats. Job listing site PayScale reports that the following skills are associated with the biggest salary increases for cybersecurity analysts :
Vendor management: Understand how companies can protect themselves from attacks originating from third-party vendor networks
Intelligence analysis: Research and collect data on potential threats and bad actors to inform better security practices
Network support: Know best practices for keeping a company’s computer network working and secure
Identity management: Ensure that only authorized users have access to data and technological resources
Splunk: Operate this security information and event management system (SIEM) to respond to threats
While you don’t necessarily need a degree to get a job in cybersecurity, earning one could help you find more job opportunities and get a bump in your salary. Some 90 percent of cybersecurity job listings in the US request at least a bachelor’s degree. Of those listings, 16 percent request a graduate degree .
Read more about degree options and alternatives for cybersecurity, including what types of majors to consider.
If you already have a degree or IT experience, earning a cybersecurity certification could translate into a bigger paycheck. Some companies will cover the cost of certification courses and exams, offsetting how much you’d need to spend out of pocket. Be sure to speak with your manager about options if you’re interested in pursuing a certification.
Explore your options: 10 Popular Cybersecurity Certifications
Next time you’re offered a cybersecurity job, ask if the amount offered is open to negotiation. A survey by Glassdoor found that nearly one in three employees accepted their most recent salary offer without negotiating . While there’s no guarantee that you’ll get what you ask for, you could be walking away from a bigger salary by not trying.
For more tips on how to negotiate your salary, check out this post on the Coursera blog.
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1. Cyberseek. "Cybersecurity Supply/Demand Heat Map, https://www.cyberseek.org/heatmap.html." Accessed March 15, 2022.
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Information Security Analysts, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm." Accessed March 15, 2022.
3. Burning Glass Technologies. "Recruiting Watchers for the Virtual Walls: The State of Cybersecurity Hiring, https://www.burning-glass.com/research-project/cybersecurity/." Accessed March 15, 2022.
4. PayScale. "Average Cyber Security Analyst Salary, https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Cyber_Security_Analyst/Salary." Accessed March 15, 2022.
5. Global Knowledge. "15 Top-Paying IT Certifications for 2021, https://www.globalknowledge.com/us-en/resources/resource-library/articles/top-paying-certifications/#gref." Accessed March 15, 2022.
6. World Economic Forum. "The Future of Jobs Report 2020, https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-future-of-jobs-report-2020." Accessed March 15, 2022.
7. Glassdoor. "Pay During COVID-19: Employed Women 19% Less Likely to Ask for More Money In The Next 12 Months, https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/covid-19-pay-survey/." Accessed March 15, 2022.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.