It's no secret that cybersecurity jobs often pay very well. In fact, according to LinkedIn data, the median base salary of a cybersecurity professional in the U.S. is about $92,500 per year.
But not all cybersecurity salaries are the same across the board. More senior-level positions in the field command higher salaries, along with higher responsibilities.
If you're considering joining the cybersecurity field, and wondering how much your earnings could increase over the years, here's what you should know.
CyberSeek, a program funded in part by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, has an interactive career pathways map on its website. It provides information on the various domains of expertise in the cybersecurity world—such as networking, software development, and auditing—and how those backgrounds can lead to various entry-level roles. These include security technician, incident responder, and security analyst. The interactive map shows the average cybersecurity salaries for various roles in field.
Using the data from CyberSeek, let's explore a potential career path for a recent graduate starting their career as a cybersecurity specialist or technician. 58% of postings for jobs with these titles require a bachelor's degree, with another 27% requiring a master's degree, and the average salary for these jobs is $75,000.
After some years of experience, and perhaps some additional education or certifications, the professional moves up to a cybersecurity analyst position, a role that requires a bachelor's degree or higher in 75% of job postings, and boasts an average salary of $85,000.
Continuing their upward trajectory, the professional now applies to be a cybersecurity engineer, which offers an average salary of $108,000. Finally, after some more time, they move up to cybersecurity architect, which has an average salary of $129,000.
We can track another career path using Payscale.com's salary data instead, which also accounts for bonuses and profit-sharing options as parts of total compensation packages. In this case, the security analyst moves up to a security engineer position to earn a median salary of over $94,000 (not including bonuses between $1,000 and $17,000).
Next, they move up to a security manager position, with a median salary of over $112,000 (not including bonuses of up to $20,000). Finally, this professional lands a role as a chief information security officer, with a median salary of nearly $160,000 or more, depending on the location and bonuses or profit-sharing.
The numbers prove that a career in cybersecurity can be rewarding in terms of salaries, and luckily, the field is in high demand. For example, according to LinkedIn data, there were more than 25,000 cybersecurity job postings in the Washington D.C. area in 2017, but there were only 7,200 cybersecurity professionals located in the region.
If you're interested in getting your foot in the door and launching a career in cybersecurity, check out this full jobs guide to learn more about the current market for these professionals and what your future could look like.