What Is a Network Security Engineer’s Salary?

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn more about becoming a network security engineer by researching the average salary and the factors that influence it, like your education level, location, and industry.

[Featured Image] A male network security engineer looking at a monitor in a cable server room and programming configurations.

A network security engineer designs and implements a company’s security systems. This cybersecurity career is in high demand and has a workforce gap of 3.4 million positions that need to be filled [1]. With the right experience, skills, and education, you can find ample opportunities available in this field, many of which come with high salaries. 

In this article, learn more about what a network security engineer does and what factors contribute to higher salaries for network security engineers. 

What is a network security engineer?

Network security engineers are in charge of an organization’s security systems. They design and implement systems and protect organizations from cyberattacks, malware, and viruses. Oftentimes, they’ll also help enhance protection from physical security attacks and any natural disasters. Tasks include:

  • Maintaining computer systems

  • Writing security reports

  • Encrypting data

  • Implementing firewalls 

Read more: 5 Cybersecurity Career Paths (and How to Get Started)

What is the salary for a network security engineer?

According to various job websites, the salary for a network security engineer in the US ranges from $88,322 to $129,888. Here is a breakdown of the salaries, according to data sourced in December 2023 [2, 3, 4, 5]:

GlassdoorZippiaPayscaleZip Recruiter

What factors impact a network security engineer's salary?

A network security engineer's salary varies according to a number of factors. The salary you can expect increases with your education level and your amount of experience. Other factors include your geographical location, industry, and even the company that employs you. Let’s take a more detailed look.


Employers seeking network security engineers require at least a bachelor’s degree with a relevant major, such as electrical engineering, information systems, or computer science. However, it is possible for you to enter the field with less. 

According to Zippia, 65.8 percent of network security engineers have a bachelor’s degree, 15.1 percent hold an associate, and 14.7 percent achieve their master’s degree [6]. Here is a breakdown of how education can affect salaries  [7]:

  • Associate degree: $86,809

  • Bachelor’s degree: $95,474

  • Master’s degree: $98,787

Read more: Is College Worth It?


Earning network security engineer certifications can help increase your chances of gaining senior-level positions and a higher salary. Certifications show employers that you’re trained and dedicated to learning more about the field. Some examples of certifications to consider include:

Earning your CCNP can have a significant impact on salary as it helps to secure senior positions and increase your average salary from $88,322 to $106,892, according to Zippia [8]. 

Read more: 6 Network Certifications for Your IT Career 


Experience is important to secure a high-paying salary. As you gain experience and skills, you may have the opportunity to advance into more senior-level positions.

With a degree, gaining a role as a network security engineer might be possible after graduating. However, some people may start as a network engineer or network administrator before moving up to a network security engineer position. According to Payscale, as you gain more years of experience as a network security engineer, your salary may increase as listed below [4]:

Experience levelAverage salary
Less than 1-year experience$76,000
1–4 years experience$86,000
5–9 years experience$99,000
10–19 years experience$113,000
20+ years experience$123,000


Geographical location is a factor that can influence your salary. Different areas, states, and cities have varying salaries; some are significantly higher than others. It’s helpful to check these details before settling on a work location if you are considering relocating. 

If you live in a location with a high cost of living, you’ll require a higher salary than you would in a location with a lower cost of living to afford the same lifestyle.

Cities with higher network security engineer salaries

According to Zippia, you can find the top five cities paying the highest average annual salary below [3]:

  1. San Francisco, CA: $117,685

  2. Seattle, WA: $95,111

  3. Columbia, MD: $91,726

  4. Washington DC: $91,112

  5. New York, NY: $90,533

States with higher network security engineer salaries

According to Zippia, you can find the top five states paying the highest average annual salary below [3]:

  1. California: $109,438

  2. West Virginia: $96,569

  3. Washington: $94,431

  4. Maryland: $91,665

  5. New Jersey: $90,432


Network security engineers can work anywhere with a computer network. Some common industries include information technology, finance, insurance, management, business,  and more.

Some high-paying industries for network security engineers, according to Zippia, are [3]:

  1. Retail: $95,160

  2. Professional: $87,774

  3. Finance: $87,256

  4. Technology: $87,130

Job titles that are similar to network security engineer

You can find several roles similar to a network security engineer, giving you more choices when job hunting. Some titles pay more than others and you can use your network security engineer skills to be promoted to more senior roles. 

Some examples of similar jobs to a network security engineer and their average US annual salaries include:

*All annual average salary information taken from Glassdoor, September 2023.

Next steps

Are you ready to start your network security engineering career? Consider the Network Security course offered by ISC2 on Coursera as part of the Certified in Cybersecurity Specialization. It’s a beginner-level course that covers network concepts, network security infrastructure, and more. 

Another option is the IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate to help launch a career in cybersecurity. This program is designed to help qualify you for job titles like junior cybersecurity analyst and cybersecurity analyst. Upon completion, gain exclusive access to career resources like resume review, interview prep, and career support. 

Article sources


PR Newswire. “(ISC)² Research Reveals the Cybersecurity Profession Needs to Grow by 3.4 Million People to Close Global Workforce Gap, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/isc-research-reveals-the-cybersecurity-profession-needs-to-grow-by-3-4-million-people-to-close-global-workforce-gap-301654730.html.” Accessed September 5, 2023.

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