An exponential rise in technology brings a barrage of cybercrime, placing a high demand for cyber security professionals who present promising protective solutions for digital information and intellectual property, creating hack-proof client records, and fighting online fraud. As cyber crimes continue to be a menacing threat, top companies offer lucrative salary packages to the most skilled professionals. 

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Is Cyber Security a Good Career Option in the US?

Cyber security jobs are one of the fastest-growing career opportunities in the US. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts these jobs to grow by 31% in the upcoming ten years, i.e., more than seven times faster than the average national job growth. 

The increase in demand for any particular skill in the job market provokes companies to pay generously and add additional perks to the package. Cybersecurity is one such skill. With high market demand and a gap in the supply of the right talent, cyber security candidates can bag remunerative offers across different sectors. 

Key Skills Needed to be a Cyber Security Engineer

Cyber security engineers can have varied school and professional backgrounds. The basic requirements for a cyber security engineer are:

  • A bachelor's degree in engineering or CS 
  • A master's degree (optional)
  • Proven skills in security testing and auditing and security risk management

Other skills can help boost a cyber security applicant's appeal factor. Some in-demand skills are:

  • Cybersecurity leadership
  • Cryptology
  • Knowledge of government and national security
  • Network security
  • Privacy engineering
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Analytical skill
  • Technical writing skills
  • Coding
  • Expertise in law 

Companies also seek individuals with proficient project management abilities and professional experience. An analytics and data science background can help cyber security engineers advance to higher positions. 

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Responsibilities of Cyber Security Engineers 

The roles of a cyber security engineer can differ from one company to another. The basic responsibilities are:

  • Planning out and implementing solutions that not just prevent but also reduce security risks associated with the company's data and infrastructure
  • Enhancing efficiency, scalability, and stability of the assigned products or systems
  • Proficient coding, using C++, PHP/Hack, Python, Golang, or Java 
  • Conducting code reviews 
  • Identifying and driving changes in the assigned systems, product area, or codebase
  • Collaborating with other departments and incorporating their innovations to come up with promising solutions

Cyber Security Salaries in the US for Freshers and Experienced Professionals

The average cyber security salary in the US ranges from $88,325 to $164,861 per year. The median average cyber security salary in the US is $117,058 annually. The average base salary is a fixed component paid to the engineer irrespective of their company's performance. Several companies also offer average bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $6,000 per annum. Cyber security engineers' stock grants and profit-sharing range from $995 to $10,000 per year. 

Factors Affecting Cyber Security Salary in US

Several factors that affect the cyber security salary in US are as follows:

  • Skills: Relevant skills are critical determiners of cyber security salary in the US. They are crucial for entry-level candidates. So, taking a certified course can help advance your skill-set and career. 
  • Years of Experience: The most important contributors to your salary numbers. You can expect a salary hike of $1000 per year of experience.
  • Industry: The industry also decides the cyber security engineers' salary figures. They can earn a higher salary when working in the financial and government sectors than when they associate with a retail firm.
  • Specific location: The company's location significantly affects the salary. For instance, the average cyber security engineer salary in West Virginia is $148,500 per year and in Rhode Island is $44,000 per year as per Talent.
  • Type and size of the organization: Bigger brands like Amazon and Facebook offer lucrative salary packages compared to other companies.  
  • Education and training: While most job openings require a bachelor's degree, a master's or certified training can help negotiate a higher salary. 
  • Performance: A better performance can promote you to a senior position and elevate your salary.

Types of Cyber Security Roles: Which Positions Earn the Highest?

The Cyber Security salary in the US depends highly on an individual's position and the team they are a part of. For instance, a security engineer designs and implements secure network systems for the company, matching the unique requirements while protecting sensitive data/systems from cyber threats. They are also responsible for testing and monitoring their implementations to ensure optimal operation and complete protection. The average salary of a security engineer is $119,981 per annum

Contrastingly, a chief information security officer oversees the complete cybersecurity infrastructure of an organization. They maintain policies, standards, and procedures, protecting privacy and integrity. CISOs also evaluate, report on, and suggest ideas for safeguarding the organization from any potential cyber threats by heading a team of security engineers. It is the senior-most position in the department, earning the highest average base salary of $230,801 per year. 

The following table enumerates the various cyber security roles and their yearly salaries. 

Position

Average Salary/year

Systems Administrator

$79,990

Programmer Analyst

$81,334

Systems Analyst

$81,970

Security Analyst

$92,552

Network Engineer

$100,000

Security Engineer

$119,981

Chief Information Security Officer

$230,801

Source

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Comparison of Cyber Security Salary in US by Location: Which City Pays the Highest?

A cyber security engineer's salary can vary dramatically depending on the location of the job. The following table includes the highest and the lowest paying cities for cyber security individuals in the US.   

City

Average Salary/year 

West Virginia

$148,500

New York

$124,933

Texas

$116,850

Washington

$117,500

North Carolina

$110,000

New Mexico

$100,213

Minnesota

$98,300

Ohio

$97,500

Idaho

$90,355

Louisiana

$66,942

Rhode Island

$44,000

Tips to Negotiate Cyber Security Engineer Salary

  • Be aware of the strengths and value you would bring to the position and the company.
  • Familiarize yourself with the company's salary trends.
  • Factor in the benefits and perks. 
  • Keep in mind that you aren't obligated to disclose your current compensation. 
  • Build a healthy relationship with the hiring manager.
  • Don't insist on written offers.
  • Do ask for a relocation package.
  • Compare the offer you have received to the publicly available compensation data before agreeing to anything.

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FAQs

1. What are the different career paths for a cyber security engineer?

A cyber security engineer can take any of the following career paths:

  • Security consultant 
  • Security architect
  • Penetration tester (ethical hackers)
  • Chief information security officer (CISO)

2. What is the average cyber security salary in the US per hour? 

The average cyber security salary in the US is $60.03 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $45.30 per hour, while most experienced workers earn $84.54

3. What is the average cyber security salary in the US at Facebook?

The cyber security engineer's salary at Facebook is $115,684 per year. The total compensation also includes bonuses, stocks, perks, and other benefits in addition to the base salary. 

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Conclusion

If you do not have a cybersecurity degree, it's never too late to advance your skill set and pursue course programs that help you gain a competitive edge in the job market. Enroll in Simplilearn’s Cybersecurity Bootcamp to develop expertise in both offensive and defensive cybersecurity, malware analysis, application security, ethical hacking, and much more. 

If you have any questions or queries regarding the article or course, feel free to comment below and our experts will get back to you at the earliest. Get started now!

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Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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