Secure coder salary
Security is one of the hottest areas in IT today, but did you know that most organizations still don’t have a professional on staff to help ensure the security of their development/coding? To fill the shoes of this security professional, enter the secure coder.
This article will detail the average salary of a secure coder in 2023. It will explore what secure coders do, what the average secure coder salary is, different factors impacting the secure coder salary, the outlook for this job role and recommendations for those looking to maximize their secure coder salary.
What is a secure coder?
As you are probably aware, software coding is not perfect because imperfect humans create it. With this imperfection comes the possibility of security vulnerabilities, flaws and errors that throw a proverbial monkey wrench into your project. Secure coders help ensure this does not occur by minimizing exposure to known risks which in turn helps produce more secure coding and a more secure product.
With two-thirds of organizations reporting needing a secure coder on staff, the demand for secure coders will be around for a while. It will likely be high until secure coders are as commonplace as other software development professionals such as testers.
What is the average secure coder salary?
Here’s a summary of what some of the leading career salary reporting websites have to say about the average secure coding salary:
Based on the above figures, the average secure coder salary falls between $75,000 and $93,000 annually and allows us to calculate a rough average secure coder salary of $85,847. This salary blows away the United States national average for salaries of $61,900!
There are different factors that can impact how much you will earn as a secure coder. We will explore those factors below.
While there is no requirement for a specific degree to be a secure coder, most secure coders have a bachelor’s degree. This bachelor’s degree can vary in terms of its concentration. However, most secure coders will have earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics or cybersecurity. Since most secure coders have a degree, it should be the presumed default that you will need one, but that is not always the case. Like most information security/IT/software coding job roles, the skills you have mastered will really carry the weight of how much you will earn as an average salary.
For those with a bachelor’s degree, consider earning an advanced degree, such as a master’s degree in computer science or cybersecurity, to help put the proverbial cherry on your salary potential.
Aside from earning a degree, certifications are another great way to prove you have the knowledge and skills that hiring organizations seek in a secure coder. The following certifications will help you stand out from the pack:
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)
CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+)
Another impactful factor on what your average salary will be as a secure coder is your experience level. Hiring organizations are looking for secure coders with a strong knowledge of vulnerabilities, flaws and errors in coding (from a security perspective), and this generally translates into more pay for more knowledge and skills that you are assimilating as you gain more job experience. Please find the average salary for different experience levels of a secure coder below:
Entry-level secure coder average salary - $76,882
Mid-level secure coder average salary - $108,249
Senior-level secure coder average salary - $141,706
As you can see above, the experience level you have as a secure coder not only has a massive impact on the average salary that you will take home but it can also move you leaps and bounds beyond the rough average salary that we calculated earlier in the article. The large gap between the average salary we calculated and the senior-level average salary can be explained by far fewer senior-level secure coders in the job market. There are more secure coders between entry-level and mid-level than there are for those at the top of their practice.
Another substantial factor determining how much your average secure coder salary depends on where you live in the United States. Depending on where you live, this factor can be nearly as large as your experience level. Below are some average secure coder salaries in different locales in the United States:
|San Francisco, CA||$144,740|
|San Jose, CA||$157,480|
Secure coder outlook and recommendations
With the scarcity and need for secure coders being high in today’s world, the job outlook for secure coders is strong. With most hiring organizations still lacking a secure coder on staff, skillful secure coders will find it relatively easy to find a job with good job security. If you have a strong security interest and are currently a coder/software developer, this is the time to become a secure coder!
Regarding recommendations, learning as much as possible about security vulnerabilities, flaws and errors will carry a lot of the weight for what you can ask for your secure coder salary. Earning a degree is still important, as most secure coders have one, but it is less important than the skills you have, the experience you have earned working as a secure coder or the geographical location that you live in. Those with biology degrees and a high level of information security skills will probably be more marketable as secure coders than one with a computer science degree and little information security knowledge.
Secure coder salary summary
Working as a secure coder offers you many great opportunities, from filling a void niche in the job market to using your high level of security skills to make coding better than it would be otherwise. It also offers a healthy salary above the United States national average. This average salary can increase even more with the right combination of education, experience and area of the United States that you live in.