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Cybersecurity Average Salary: How Much Can You Earn?

February 02, 2023
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If you’re thinking of pursuing a career in cybersecurity, then you've picked the perfect time. Data breaches, online fraud and sensitive data leaks are nothing to celebrate, but having the skills and ability to fight them certainly is. And because employer demand is so strong, the high end of average salaries for many cybersecurity positions exceed $130,000 a year.1

Here, we’ll outline some of the most in-demand cybersecurity jobs and salaries by position, industry and state. With the right skills and experience, you can join them in this highly lucrative career that’s poised to dominate the future.

The State of the Cybersecurity Industry

First, we must ground ourselves in what the demand for cybersecurity professionals looks like today. From October 2021 through September 2022, the demand for cybersecurity professionals grew 2.4 times faster than for other positions, and U.S. employers had more than 760,000 open positions that required cybersecurity skills.2 Even more promising, 52% of midmarket and enterprise organizations expect to increase their IT spending in 2023.3

For information security analyst specifically, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 35% job growth between 2021 and 2031, with an average annual salary of $102,600.4

Typical Cybersecurity Career Paths

One of the great things about cybersecurity is that professionals from any background are welcome and encouraged to enter the field. If you’re just starting out, entry level positions will usually be a variation of a cybersecurity analyst, specialist, engineer, architect and auditor (e.g., network specialist or internal auditor). Mid-level roles also use those titles, but they can also include consultants, developers and testers (e.g., penetration testers or security software developers). Once you’ve reached executive-level positions and the C-suite, you’ll see positions with the words “chief,” “manager,” “administrator” and “director.”

You can read more in-depth about in-demand careers for cybersecurity professionals in this blog post. Pay special attention to titles and job descriptions, as there can be a lot of overlap and you don’t want to be overwhelmed with the entirety of an organization’s cyber duties.

Average Cybersecurity Salary by Position

In cybersecurity, average salary levels are significantly higher than in many other industries due to the advanced skills required and the shortage of qualified workers. According to technology staffing agency Mondo’s 2023 Tech Salary Guide, cybersecurity salaries for the six top-paying positions range from $80,000 to $225,000 annually.1

Browse the list of jobs below to find general cybersecurity responsibilities and salary potential.

Information Security Manager

Average salary: $150,000 - $225,0001

These cybersecurity experts help companies prevent security breaches by assessing their security operations, finding system vulnerabilities and taking steps to avoid problems in the future. They focus on computer systems, networks and critical data.1

Cybersecurity Engineer

Average salary: $126,000 - $213,0001

Responsibilities for this role include the design, development and implementation of secure networks that protect against potential hackers, data breaches and any other kind of cyber threat.1

Network Security Engineer

Average salary: $120,000 - $208,0001

As the title suggests, this cybersecurity position is responsible for the security of the organization’s networks—that is, wide area network (WAN), local area network (LAN) and server architecture, in addition to other computer systems and applications. A network security engineer maintains and monitors email security, virtual networks, web protocols, security, firewalls and computer programs.1

Application Security Engineer

Average salary: $130,000 - $200,0001

An essential role for any business that uses third-party software or even custom-built applications, the application security engineers secure a company’s software and applications to keep infrastructure and data from being compromised. They ensure that all applications are stable and secure, adhering to compliance and privacy requirements.1

Cybersecurity Analyst

Average salary: $114,000 - $160,000

Cybersecurity analysts develop and implement security measures that are designed to keep a company’s infrastructure protected from malicious intruders. They frequently work with information security managers and penetration testers to prevent cyberattacks or mitigate the consequences if a data breach or cyber-attack occurs. They can also help to proactively identify system vulnerabilities.1

Penetration Tester

Average salary $80,000 - $130,0001

Also known as an “ethical hacker,” a penetration tester provides invaluable information to a business about how hackers operate and where their systems are at risk. This specialist helps run regular security tests and checks for vulnerabilities.1

Other average cybersecurity salaries include chief information security officer ($173,705), security architect ($126,981), and data protection engineer ($109,717).6

Average Cybersecurity Salary by Industry

As you’re honing your skills for a career in cybersecurity, it’s helpful to determine which industry has the most room for growth and the greatest earning potential. In terms of opportunity and demand, the education industry experiences the most cyber attacks, with government and military organizations in second place. Healthcare, the third most attacked sector, saw the greatest increase in attacks in the third quarter of 2022, with one in 42 organizations impacted.7

All that said, the three top-paying industries for average cybersecurity salaries are information technology at $144,141, telecommunications at $120,324 and financial services at $112,841.8

Average Cybersecurity Salary by State

Are you willing to relocate for the best cybersecurity position? Average salary offers can vary significantly by state, or even within that state. For example, a cybersecurity engineer salary in downtown Chicago will be much higher than in rural Illinois because of the high number of large, multinational corporations there who need cybersecurity talent. However, as previously mentioned, the overall number of cybersecurity jobs is rapidly increasing all over the world and presents endless opportunities for career growth.

When it comes down to it, the highest annual cybersecurity salaries in the United States are in New York, Idaho, California, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts or Hawaii. Annual salaries in those states for cybersecurity leaders range from $109,375 to $122,954.9

Required Skills & Certifications

The best way to get started in this booming field is to earn a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity, computer science or a related field. This will give you a strong foundation from which you can choose to specialize and/or get certified in multiple subject areas. For example, cybersecurity engineers should be well-versed in information security/assurance; security operations; cryptography; threat analysis; risk assessment and management; authentication; and network security, to name a few. They should also have the following certifications: CompTIA Security+ Certification, Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).5

To succeed in the cybersecurity industry, you’ll need a wide range of skills and, preferably, hands-on experience. As technology evolves, you will have to be able to demonstrate:

  • Technological skills such as network configuration and management, administration of operating systems, firewall installation and programming
  • Risk identification, risk management and vulnerability testing, which includes monitoring and analysis
  • Data management and analytics, which includes creating systems that assemble, organize, analyze and protect data
  • Cloud computing knowledge of implementation and management to ensure the security of an organization’s data sharing and storage
  • Troubleshooting and logical reasoning skills to handle emergencies and develop longer-term solutions to various problems
  • Automated systems for evaluating risks and benefits and moving select security operations to automated processes
  • Flexibility and on-the-go decision making to identify and address new threats quickly
  • Effective communication skills to discuss technological challenges with a variety of audiences with various levels of cybersecurity knowledge
  • Access management that may involve identity verification, system monitoring and security alerts10

Because of the ever-changing digital landscape, cybersecurity professionals must be able to learn new technologies quickly as soon as they’re introduced. They must also be adept at adjusting systems and processes and making changes whenever necessary, all while staying current with the latest industry innovations and best practices.10 To be at the top of your game among your peers (and the cyber criminals you’re defending against), you must be an active, inquisitive learner.

Gain a Competitive Edge for a Higher Salary

Ranked #2 in the nation by Fortune, the Yeshiva University Katz School of Science and Health online Master of Science in Cybersecurity program prepares you to succeed in this exciting field in less than two years, with no technical background required.11 Taught by renowned experts and full of hands-on experience, the program will arm you with the knowledge and skills to stand out amongst your peers. You’ll also be ready to sit for essential cybersecurity certification exams that will give your career pursuits a major boost.

The Online MS in Cybersecurity is created precisely to help you land jobs like the ones listed above, with core classes in network, data and communications security; risk management; and architecture of secure operating systems, applications and devices. You can also choose from electives in incident response, cybercrime and emerging cybersecurity threats.

Talk to an Admissions Advisor about the YU Katz online master’s degree in cybersecurity today.