Your Cybersecurity Salary Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Cybersecurity is a growing field. Learn what you can expect to earn as a cybersecurity professional.

[Featured image] A cybersecurity analyst consults with a colleague while pointing at a computer monitor.

Cybersecurity professionals ensure that an organization’s data, devices, and networks are safe from cyberattacks and cyber criminals. As data and digital technologies become integral to the daily operations of businesses worldwide, so too does the importance of cybersecurity professionals capable of ensuring their protection. 

Cybersecurity is a growing field. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of job openings for information security analysts – the jobs category under which cybersecurity falls – is projected to increase by 35 percent between 2021 and 2031 [1]. That’s significantly higher than the national average, which the BLS pinned at just 5 percent for all occupations in the country during that same period. 

In many cases, that high demand translates to higher-than-average wages. In this article, you’ll learn more about what you can expect to earn from five common cybersecurity jobs and common factors that can impact how much you’ll earn. At the end, you’ll find tips to improve your earning power and explore suggested courses to help you gain job-relevant skills today. 

Cybersecurity jobs salary

Typically, cybersecurity jobs pay a higher-than-average salary. According to the US BLS, the median annual salary for all workers in the United States was $45,760 as of May 2021 [2]. By contrast, information security analysts earned a median annual salary of $102,600 during the same period, more than double that of the national median salary. 

As with other career paths, the amount you can expect to earn will vary depending on your role. At a glance, here’s the base pay you can expect to earn from five common cybersecurity jobs (other than information security analyst), according to Glassdoor: 

Your pay may also vary based on other factors, such as where you work, how much previous work experience you have, and the educational degrees you possess. Below, we break down how much you can expect to earn from each of the five jobs listed above based on your experience and geographic location. 

Note: All salary information is taken from Glassdoor as of June 2023. Base salary does not include additional pay, such as commission, bonuses, tips, and profit sharing. 

Cybersecurity entry-level salary

Entry-level positions can be found throughout the cybersecurity field. While you may be able to land some of the above jobs without any prior work experience, some employers might prefer applicants with some previous experience. If you’re just starting out, consider expanding your search to include incident responder ($46,546/yr), security systems administrator ($59,415/yr), and source code auditor ($65,095/yr). 

Read more:  10 Cybersecurity Jobs: Entry-Level and Beyond


By experience 

One of the most common factors impacting how much you can expect to earn from a cybersecurity job (or any job for that matter) is your previous work experience. Typically, the more experience you have in a role, the more you can expect employers to pay you to perform that job for them. 

Here’s the base annual salary you can expect to earn for the aforementioned cybersecurity positions based on varying levels of work experience, according to Glassdoor: 

0-1 years1-3 years 4-6 years7-9 years10-14 years
Cybersecurity analyst$73,682$74,748$80,872$85,933$94,554
Cybersecurity engineer$83,649$86,984$92,774$98,297$108,426
Information security manager$98,570$104,237$111,294$118,708$129,169
Penetration tester$77,773$81,944$91,086$98,680$107,428
Cybersecurity specialist$73,829$78,991$86,839$92,484$101,176

By location

Where you work can have a big impact on how much you earn. Typically, individuals working in locations with a higher cost of living, such as a densely populated city, will make more than those who work in places with a lower cost of living. At a glance, here’s the base annual salary you could expect to earn from the above positions in different locations throughout the US, according to Glassdoor: 

Cybersecurity analystCybersecurity engineerInformation security managerPenetration testerCybersecurity specialist
New York, NY$91,553$99,479$133,506$100,057$93,220
Los Angeles, CA$88,943$98,315$136,382$105,380$91,329
Washington, DC$80,570$90,474$109,827$88,534$81,379
Houston, TX$86,378$95,163$127,812$93,014$87,579
Philadelphia, PA$88,119$99,412$130,602$101,761$89,099
Minneapolis, MN$88,951$98,279$132,212$98,747$90,755
Cincinnati, OH$83,819$94,621$125,537$93,003$84,922
Saint Louis, MO$86,987$97,535$130,192$96,787$88,723
Tulsa, OK$92,195$95,026$124,618$93,916$85,887
Miami, FL$82,540$93,250$123,077$91,882$82,884

Tips to improve your salary as a cybersecurity professional

Your earning potential isn’t set in stone. In fact, there are many proactive steps you can take to increase your overall salary range. Here are some tips on what to do to increase your salary as a cybersecurity professional: 

1. Build your skills. 

The more expansive your skillset, the more likely an employer will be willing to pay you more. Consider taking online courses or attending training programs to expand both your technical skills, such as working with different operating systems or with cloud computing, and your workplace skills, like communication, teamwork, and leadership. 

Read more: 15 Essential Skills for Cybersecurity Analysts in 2023

2. Consider certification. 

Certification may help you improve your earning potential. According to the US BLS, workers with a certification in 2022 earned a median weekly wage of $1,386 compared to a median weekly wage of $986 for those without certification [3]. Some common cybersecurity certifications include CompTIA Security+ certification, Certified Ethical Hacker certification (CEH), and GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH) certification. 

Read more: 10 Popular Cybersecurity Certifications

3. Think about a degree. 

Many cybersecurity positions require applicants to possess a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as cybersecurity, computer science, or engineering. While it isn’t strictly necessary to have a degree to become a cybersecurity professional, in some cases, you may find that your lack of degree is holding you back from either being hired or promoted to a more senior position. If that’s the case, consider obtaining either an undergraduate or graduate degree to improve your earning potential and hireability. 

Read more: Cybersecurity Degrees and Alternatives: Your 2023 Guide

Gain job-relevant skills on Coursera

As a cybersecurity professional, you’ll need to stay up-to-date on the latest technological and security developments. Learn new or hone your already existing job skills through Coursera today. 

In Google’s Cybersecurity Professional Certificate, you’ll learn how to protect networks, devices, people, and data from unauthorized access and cyberattacks, identify common cybersecurity risks, and gain hands-on experience with Python, Linux, and SQL.

Article sources


US BLS. “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Information Security Analysts, Job Outlook,” Accessed June 21, 2023. 

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