With the rate of cybercrimes increasing every year, cybersecurity is a rapidly growing field, and many people interested in joining this field wonder what the average starting salary is in the field of cybersecurity. Although cybersecurity jobs are said to pay very well, the average starting salary varies by many factors, including degree level, the job and the location. What makes this field so exciting is not just that cybersecurity jobs pay well, but they also offer excellent career growth.
Different Jobs – Different Salaries
While cybersecurity in and of itself may be just one field, it’s a field that offers many different types of jobs. The reason for this is that cybercrimes can occur in so many different ways. Cybersecurity professionals must be knowledgeable in the specific area in which they specialize. For instance, one individual may specialize in software, while another specializes in hardware.
We also have smartphones and tablets. Keeping these devices secure from outside breaches may require an entirely different set of skills than what’s needed to keep a large organization’s computer system secure. Here are a few different cybersecurity jobs and potential wages for these careers according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The wages listed are those at the lowest 10 percent, which would typically be starting wages and those at the top 90 percent.
- Information Security Analyst – $56,750 to $156,580
- Network and Computer Systems Administrator – $49,830 to $130,200
- Computer Network Architect – $58,160 to $162,390
- Computer and Information Systems Manager – $85,380 to $180,190
- Computer and Information Research Scientists – $69,230 to $183,820
Experience Equals Higher Salary
Cybersecurity analysts is a title that covers many professionals working in the computer and networking field. They are trained professionals who deal with cyber crimes and breaches. Their main goal is keeping a computer or similar electronic device secure and free from cyber attacks. PayScale reports that while the average annual wage for cybersecurity analysts is $75,754, those starting in this career or with less than a year of experience usually earn about $61,437 annually.
As the cybersecurity analyst obtains more work experience, the wages increase. Here are some average annual wages a cybersecurity analyst might earn based on experience and years on the job.
- One to four years of experience – $70,117
- Five to nine years of experience – $87,691
- 10 to 19 years of experience – $100,433
- 20 years of experience or more – $110,541
Factors Affecting Salary
While there are average starting wages for different careers, these are based on the national average or the amount paid out most often across the nation. Various factors can affect wage potential. PayScale indicates that cybersecurity analysts who have specific skills or are knowledgeable in certain areas of cybersecurity may earn a higher starting wage.
For instance, cybersecurity analysts who are knowledgeable in the area of vulnerability management may see a three percent increase in wages. Here are other helpful skills and the amount they can add to the national average wage for cybersecurity analysts.
- Security Intrusion Detection – 3 percent
- Security Information and Event Management – 3 percent
- Security Policies and Procedures – 4 percent
- Security Risk Management – 6 percent
- Security Testing and Auditing – 9 percent
Where the cybersecurity analyst chooses to work will also affect the wages. To demonstrate this point, here are some average wages for cybersecurity analysts working in different industries of companies.
- U.S. Army – $65,000
- BAE Systems Inc. – $70,000
- Lockheed Martin Corp. – $88,000
- ManTech International Corp. – $106,000
Location is probably the factor that can have the biggest impact on wages. Here are five states that pay the highest wages for information security analysts as reported by the BLS in May 2018. Below those states are the five lowest-paying states. Comparing the two lists can demonstrate how much of an impact location can play on wages.
- New Jersey – $122,000
- New York – 121,600
- District of Columbia – $118,080
- Connecticut – $112,900
- Virginia – $111,780
- Montana – $64,790
- Wyoming – $73,280
- Mississippi – $73,550
- Louisiana – $74,350
- South Carolina – $75,770
According to a 2018 Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey by PWC Global, 49 percent of organizations were victims of fraud and 31 percent of these organizations were victims of cybercrimes. Working as a cybersecurity specialist is ideal for an individual who enjoys solving problems and is also up for a challenge. Considering that the average starting salary for cybersecurity is typically more than $50,000, it’s easy to see that wages will continue to grow as the professional obtain more work experience.
Related Resource: What Can I Do With a Computer Science Degree?