Cyber Security Salary: By State and Specialization (From $61,647 to $221,601)

Cyber security refers to the type of computer systems strategies and techniques that protects computer systems, computer networks, and computer programs from unauthorized access, dagame, and attacks. A cyber attack can result in identity theft, extortion, loss of data, and infrastructure hijacking.

Adam Vincent, CTO at Layer 7 Technologies describes the problem: “The threat is advancing quicker than we can keep up with it. The threat changes faster than our idea of the risk. It’s no longer possible to write a large white paper about the risk to a particular system. You would be rewriting the white paper constantly.”

cyber security salary

In addition, (ISC)2 reports that in a 2019 study, "A shortage in the global cybersecurity workforce continues to be a problem for companies in all industries and of all sizes. In fact, this shortage remains the number one job concern for those working in the field. That’s not surprising given that 2018 was “the year of the megabreach.” Municipalities are getting hit hard by ransomware, and mobile malware attacks have doubled."

Cyber Security Education Requirements

While education requirements are a key part of the job, there is a widespread shortage of skills required for cybersecurity professionals. The State of Cybersecurity: Implications for 2015 study reports that fewer than 25% of cybersecurity applicants are qualified to perform the skills needed for the job due to a lack of credentials and the ability to understand the business. While this study was performed in 2015, as technology advances—so do the methods and techniques used to perform computer systems attacks.

According to Data USA, a project of the media lab at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), more than 91,500 cyber security analysts were employed through the United States between 2017 and 2018. With those numbers projected to grow by more than 32%. Expected to pass 147,000 employed professionals by 2028.

Types of cyber security professionals include the following:

Cyber Security Ethical Hacker

Requires an IT degree, and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification approved by the International Council of E-commerce Consultants (EC-Council).

Cyber Security Cryptographer

Requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer engineering. As well as a master’s degree in mathematics or computer science. Requires a Certified Encryption Specialist (CES) certification.

Cyber Security Architect

Requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer engineering. An additional master’s degree in cyber security or computer science is preferred. A “Security+” certification is required for this job.

Cyber Security Engineer

Requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer engineering. Individuals in this profession should consider a master’s degree in cybersecurity as well as having the Certified Ethical Hacker certification, CISCO Certified Network Professional Security Certification, GIAC Security Certification, and Certified Information Systems Security Professional Certification.

IT Security Consultant

Requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a related Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification and credential.

Information Security Analyst

Requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a technical field like network and system administration.

It’s a requirement that cybersecurity professionals have a background in computer science, and knowledge of firewalls, proxies, SIEM, antivirus software, IDPS concept, and comprehensive background in patch management with the ability to deploy security patches in a timely manner (without disrupting business operations).

Cyber Security Analyst Job Description

An information security analyst or cybersecurity analyst designs and implements security systems to protect a company or organizations’ computer system networks from cyber attacks. They design software, network security, and other protocols to set and maintain cybersecurity standards and practices.

Below are sample job duties and cybersecurity analyst responsibilities:

  • Monitor the organization’s networks for security breaches and investigate a violation when one occurs.
  • Install and use cybersecurity software, such as firewalls and data encryption programs, to protect sensitive information.
  • Prepare reports that document security breaches and the extent of the damage caused by the security breaches.
  • Conduct penetration testing, which is when analysts simulate attacks to look for vulnerabilities in their systems before they can be exploited.
  • Research the latest information technology (IT) security trends.
  • Develop security standards and best practices for their organization.
  • Recommend security enhancements to management or senior IT staff.
  • Help computer users when they need to install or learn about new security products and procedures.
  • Monitor computer networks for signs of security issues.
  • Work with the security team to perform tests and uncover network vulnerabilities.
  • Research security enhancement and make recommendations to IT management.
  • Install security measures and other operational software to protect computer systems and information infrastructure, which includes installing firewalls and data encryption programs or protocols.

Cyber Security Salary Information

With more than 805,000 cybersecurity professionals working in the United States, this field is growing and desirable amongst computer science professionals. Which has opened doors in education to offers programs like a master's degree in cybersecurity.

Cyber security as a profession has a number of factors that play into the specialization, job title, experience, and industry-focus that all play a key factor in the compensation packages to be expected by a professional. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a cybersecurity analyst can see wages starting from $51,000 for entry-level positions or junior-level positions. Leading up to as high as $117,000 in median annual salary for more experienced professionals who have specialized training or expertise.

Cyber security is expected to grow in the following sectors (as indicated by the (ISC)2 reports in 2019):

  • IT services: 22% or more.
  • Financial services and banking: 8% or more.
  • Government: 7% or more.
  • Manufacturing: 6% or more.
  • Healthcare: 6% or more.
  • Education: 5% or more.
  • Engineering: 5% or more.
  • General Retail: 5% or more.

A cyber security analyst’s salary is largely dictated by geography, experience, education, and certifications. For example, an employee working in San Francisco is expected to earn median wages and salaries in the $160,000 per year range. Those with varying levels of education and experience may receive more or fewer wages depending on the employer.

  • Entry-level: $61,647 median annual salary.
  • Early career: $69,972 median annual salary.
  • Mid-career: $87,708 median annual salary.
  • Experienced: $100,397 median annual salary.
  • Highly experienced director: $111,442 median annual salary.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the following industries pay the most for cyber security analysts and professionals. They are as follows:

  • Computer systems design and related services: $102,620 median annual salary.
  • Finance and insurance: $101,130 median annual salary.
  • Information: $96,580 median annual salary.
  • Management of companies and enterprises: $94,180 median annual salary.
  • Administrative and support services: $94,120 median annual salary.

In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides information about which states pay the highest for cybersecurity professionals and cyber security analysts. Stating the following states as compensating the most for cyber security analysts:

  • New York: $122,000 median annual salary.
  • New Jersey: $121,600 median annual salary.
  • District of Columbia: $118,080 median annual salary.
  • Connecticut: $112,900 median annual salary.
  • Virginia: $111,780 median annual salary.

Specialization is a significant part of the salary and compensation packages, as well. Specializations and job titles are listed below, along with their median annual salary or wages.

Cyber Security Salary by State

Full list of cybersecurity median annual salary information and wages by state:

  • Washington: $91,785 median annual salary.
  • New Jersey: $87,772 median annual salary.
  • New Work: $88,217 median annual salary.
  • Rhode Island: $79,234 median annual salary.
  • District of Columbia: $88,234 median annual salary.
  • Utah: $79,351 median annual salary.
  • Nevada: $83,926 median annual salary.
  • Nebraska: $76,728 median annual salary.
  • Maryland: $82,751 median annual salary.
  • Delaware: $82, 255 median annual salary.
  • North Carolina: $76,030 median annual salary.
  • Virginia: $79,020 median annual salary.
  • Connecticut: $79,917 median annual salary.
  • Idaho: $79,647 median annual salary.
  • Oregon: $79,173 median annual salary.
  • West Virginia: $75,022 median annual salary.
  • Mississippi: $77,333 median annual salary.
  • Texas: $73,346 median annual salary.
  • Pennsylvania: $73,293 median annual salary.
  • Alaska: $70,474 median annual salary.
  • Massachusetts: $73,926 median annual salary.
  • Colorado: $72,133 median annual salary.
  • Oklahoma: $73,440 median annual salary.
  • Illinois: $72,335 median annual salary.
  • New Mexico: $71,511 median annual salary.
  • Ohio: $68,632 median annual salary.
  • Kansas: $73,218 median annual salary.
  • New Hampshire: $72,806 median annual salary.
  • Kentucky: $72,160 median annual salary.
  • Florida: $65,495 median annual salary.
  • Arizona: $67,982 median annual salary.
  • Arkansas: $69,714 median annual salary.
  • Alabama: $64,067 median annual salary.
  • Minnesota: $68,910 median annual salary.
  • Wyoming: $70,064 median annual salary.
  • North Dakota: $69,253 median annual salary.
  • Georgia: $65,636 median annual salary.
  • Michigan: $66,205 median annual salary.
  • Missouri: $66,004 median annual salary.
  • Maine: $69,230 median annual salary.
  • Vermont: $67,454 median annual salary.
  • Tennessee: $60,313 median annual salary.
  • Wisconsin: $61,588 median annual salary.
  • Iowa: $59,071 median annual salary.
  • Hawaii: $41,343 median annual salary.
  • Louisiana: $54,929 median annual salary.
  • South Carolina: $52,452 median annual salary.
  • Indiana: $56,930 median annual salary.
  • Montana: $55,232 median annual salary.
  • South Dakota: $52,693 median annual salary.

The top state for cyber security analysts happens to be Washington, with the lowest 10% of workers earning an average of $58,000 per year. And the average annual salary is $91,785 per year. Making Washington a great state to pursue a career in cybersecurity and IT security.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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