A person who is considering a career in information security may wonder, “Does cybersecurity pay well?” It is important for a student to know the answer to this before they take out student loans or create expectations for how much money they are likely to make upon entering the field after graduation. Knowing what to expect in terms of annual salaries could also help a person plan their budget and save for the future.
Related resource: 20 Best Online Schools for Cyber Security
Median Annual Wage for Information Security Analysts
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for a person who works in information security analysis was $98,350 as of May 2018. Half of the workers earn less than this amount, and half of them earn more. The median annual salary for all occupations in the United States as of May 2018 was $38,640, so the people who are employed in cyber and information security earn much more than the median wage for all occupations. The lowest-paid 10 percent of workers in information security earned an average of $56,750 per year, and the highest-paid 10 percent earned an average of $156,850 per year.
Pay By the Industry of Employment for Cyber Security Specialists
A degree candidate or new graduate should also look at the annual salaries of cybersecurity specialists by the industry of employment. Those who work in computer systems design and related services have the highest average annual salaries, earning more than $102,000 per year. Cybersecurity specialists who work in finance are not far behind, earning an average of more than $101,000 per year. Those who work in information systems earn an average of more than $96,000 per year. Cybersecurity specialists who work in the management of companies or in administrative functions earn an average of more than $94,000 per year.
Salary By City, Metropolitan Area, and State
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the states or districts with the highest average annual salaries for cyber and information security analysts include New York, New Jersey, District of Columbia, Connecticut and Virginia. Each of these places has an average annual salary exceeding $111,000 for information security specialists. Another way to look at the pay is by city. The metropolitan areas or cities with the highest average annual pay for a cybersecurity specialist include New York, Chambersburg, San Jose, Midland, San Francisco, Beaumont, Danbury, Arlington, Austin, and Anchorage.
Some Other Factors in the Pay of a Cyber Security Analyst
There are some additional factors related to the salary of a cybersecurity specialist. Those who are adept at multiple platforms and coding languages may be able to negotiate a higher salary. Those with additional training in fraud detection, law enforcement or business may also command a higher pay rate. More years of experience or an advanced degree can also lead to higher earnings for a person in the field of cybersecurity.
The cybersecurity field salaries are just one part of the total compensation package. Knowing the median annual salary, the highest paying states and the highest paying industries gives a person a better sense of what to expect when they get a job offer. Knowing the answer to, “Does cybersecurity pay well?” could also help a person decide if the salary offer they get for a job is a fair one or not.