Security Analyst Salary and Career Outlook
| Liz Simmons Modified on March 21, 2022
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Security analysts help organizations protect sensitive data. These cybersecurity professionals use software and penetration testing to help safeguard computer networks and systems from intrusion. As cybercrimes and attacks rise, many computer security job openings are unfilled.
Cyberseek notes there were 162,700 information security analyst job postings from October 2020 to September 2021 in the United States. However, only 138,000 positions were filled. With this high demand, security analysts may command lucrative salaries.
Read on to learn what to expect from a security analyst career, including earning potential, top employment locations, and career outlook.
What Does a Security Analyst Do?
Information security analysts coordinate and conduct security procedures to protect computer systems, networks, and digital information. Security analysts often work in IT departments with other tech professionals. Their colleagues may include computer systems analysts and network administrators.
With cyberattacks on the rise, companies increasingly prioritize information security. The career outlook for security analysts is excellent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects information security analyst jobs to grow 33% from 2020-2030.
Demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals far outpaces supply. With fewer qualified candidates to fill these crucial roles, many employers offer competitive salaries. According to Burning Glass Technologies, cybersecurity jobs paid 16% more than other IT positions as of 2019.
How Much Can You Earn as a Security Analyst?
Security analysts can pursue high-paying computer and IT positions. The BLS reports that information security analysts earned a median annual salary of $103,590 as of 2020. In comparison, the national median for all jobs is $41,950 for the same period.
Factors that may influence salary include education level, experience, and specialization. Location and industry can also affect earnings. For example, security analysts working in electronic shopping and mail-order houses — the profession's top-paying industry — earned a median annual salary of $132,150 as of 2020.
Median Annual Salary of Security Analysts, 2020
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Security Analyst Salary by Experience
Experience level can affect a security analyst's salary. Typically, earnings increase as analysts gain more professional experience.
Entry-level security analysts may see average earnings of over $60,000. Salary expectations may then increase by midcareer. Analysts with 10-20 years of experience earned an average salary of nearly $100,000 as of January 2022.
Security Analyst Salary by Education
Both education level and degree type can affect information security analyst salaries. For example, professionals with a bachelor's degree in computer security net $7,000 more per year on average than bachelor's in cybersecurity graduates.
Salary outlook for security analysts with a master's degree is even higher. Average salaries increase significantly for graduates with master's degrees in fields like cybersecurity, information security, and computer security than those with just bachelor's degrees.
Prospective students should consider wage differences by degree type and level when choosing a program.
Security Analyst Salary by Location
An information security analyst's salary can vary by location. Some areas may offer higher salaries due to higher cost of living and greater demand for skilled security analysts. In some cases, the wage increase may be offset by the higher cost of living.
|State||Average Annual Wage||Percent Above the National Average|
|New York City, New York||$81,530||11.4%|
|State||Number of Security Analysts Employed||Annual Average Wage|
|District of Columbia||1,810||$119,460|
Career Outlook for Security Analysts
Now is an ideal time to pursue an information security analyst career. Demand for skilled analysts is growing quickly as more businesses adopt cloud services and cyberattacks increase.
The BLS notes a strong career outlook for these professionals. The agency projects job growth of 33% — much faster than average — for security analysts from 2020-2030. Many of the projected 16,300 yearly openings during this period will likely occur when workers move to other occupations or retire.
Employment Outlook for Security Analysts, 2020-2030
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Best Locations for Security Analysts
Some states offer a better career outlook for information security analysts than others. Moving from one state to another may improve your chances of earning more money. States that employ many security analysts typically offer more job opportunities.
Virginia is the top-employing state for security analysts. The state also ranks among the highest-paying states for information security analysts. Projections Central anticipates that security analysts in Virginia will see 45.4% job growth from 2018-2028, faster than the national projected average in the field.
|Top-Employing States||Number of Security Analysts Employed||Annual Average Wage|
|State||Percent Projected Change, 2018-28||Average Annual Openings|
|District of Columbia||52.6%||220|
Career Opportunities for Security Analysts
Some advancement possibilities include management and administrative positions in computers and IT. Potential next-step jobs include chief security officer, systems manager, or IT security manager.
Master's degrees and professional certifications can help further an information security analyst's career. Analysts interested in university-level teaching and research may want to earn a Ph.D.
Security Analyst Salary Questions
What does a security analyst do?true Information security analysts use their knowledge of computer networks and system security to protect sensitive data. They conduct penetration testing, check for breaches, and help develop security best practices.
What education do you need to be a security analyst?true A successful information security analyst career usually requires at least a bachelor's degree. Some employers prefer applicants with a master's degree. Other workplaces may accept security analysts who can substitute experience for education.
What skills do you need to be a security analyst?Security analysts need strong problem-solving and analytical skills. They should understand security procedures and IT infrastructure. Security analysts also benefit from skills in auditing, identity management, training program development, and project management.
How long does it take to become a security analyst?It can take about nine years to launch a security analyst career. Most people spend four years earning a bachelor's degree. Employers require up to five years of relevant professional experience for information security analyst positions, according to the BLS.
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