Average Security+ salary [updated 2022]
The CompTIA Security+ certification is one of the preferred credentials for professionals looking to advance their cybersecurity careers and entry-level information security specialists looking to increase their earnings.
In the 2022 Dice Tech Salary Report, Security+ was listed as the second most popular certification, with 15% of the surveyed professionals holding it. This article will overview this popular certification and then explore the salary you can expect as a Security+ holder.
What the Security + exam covers
This globally recognized credential from Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) validates baseline skills needed to perform core security functions. Security+ covers a wide range of essential topics in today’s digital security realm, from attacks and vulnerabilities to risk management, governance, effective policy writing and implementation, cyber awareness, compliance and more.
The recent update (Security+ SY0-601) aligns with current working practitioners’ demands in the cybersecurity or InfoSec field.
Why is the Security+ in demand?
Many reasons make this certification one of the most sought after, especially by professionals in the first stages of their careers.
First of all, this vendor-neutral credential covers a wide range of hot topics (see the Security+ (SY0-601) certification exam objectives) in a way that stresses not only knowledge but also its application. CompTIA uses questions on a wide variety of scenarios, making the Security+ PBQs exam able to validate hands-on skills and the problem-solving abilities that employers are desperately looking for in their hired employees these days. Particular focus is on candidates’ knowledge of mitigation techniques or controls to secure an environment.
What’s more, the wide range of topics makes this certification valuable for a large variety of positions and a good option for entry-level professionals. It’s also a useful addition to the careers of seasoned IT specialists who want to add cybersecurity to their list of skills.
The fact that the credential does not have any prerequisites also attracts professionals who can acquire this highly-regarded qualification only based on what they know without proving any prior experience.
However, it is recommended that Security+ exam candidates have at least two years of work experience in IT systems administration, focusing on security, hands-on technical information security experience, and broad knowledge of security concepts.
Since it also fulfills the DoD 8570 compliance, it is one of the certifications of choice for those seeking government positions.
Job titles for CompTIA Security+ certified professionals
The job roles covered by CompTIA Security+ are categorized under network and computer systems administrators by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). For example, the positions for those with a Security+ certification are typically security administrator and systems administrator. However, the certification applies to a variety of other roles:
- Helpdesk managers and analysts
- Network and cloud engineers
- IT auditors
- Security engineer
- Security analyst
- IT project managers
- DevOps teams
- Software developers
Average pay after CompTIA Security+ certification
According to the U.S. BLS, the number of jobs in the network and computer systems administrators category is expected to grow by 5 percent by 2030.
According to the Certification Magazine 2022 Salary Survey, the average salary of a Security+ certified professional is $115,170 in the U.S. and 106,910 worldwide. Of course, pay depends on several different factors and, in fact, the average yearly salary for a professional with CompTIA Security+ certification according to PayScale, in the United States, is $78,000.
Average pay by job role
The average salary for various positions with a Security+ certification is as follows (as of 31 March 2022):
- IT Security administrator: $68,645
- Senior systems engineer: $108,459
- Cybersecurity engineer: $96,124
- Cybersecurity analyst: $77,038
- Information technology (IT) manager: $81,820
- Network engineer: $78,107
- Security engineer: $89,363
- Systems administrator: $66,721
- Network administrator: $63,482
You can view the most updated salaries at PayScale.
As you can see, the salary range can greatly vary according to the role.
Average pay by gender
When PayScale surveyed approximately 14,000 professionals, it found that the higher end of the salary range was different according to gender:
- 88.6% of the interviewees were men; they reported a salary range of $50,000-$123,000
- 10.6% were women; they reported a salary range of $50,000-$121,000
Employers are now proactively recruiting and empowering a gender-diverse workforce with a concerted effort to seek out more women with a certification who can prove their skill set and then use their past experiences to deliver significant value in the cybersecurity field.
How adding cybersecurity or risk management skills to your portfolio can increase your salary
Acquiring a certification like Security+ provides professionals with the cybersecurity skills that allow them to aspire to intermediate-level positions. It also can boost their chances to obtain higher salaries.
For example, when looking at the average pay of an information security specialist, PayScale found it was $77,093 with a salary range of $51,000-$124,000.
Adding cybersecurity skills, professionals saw an increase to the average pay of $78,634 with a range of $54,000-$125,000.
Adding security risk management skills also boosts pay with an average of $84,504 and a range of $55,000-$129,000.
Average salary of an information security specialist with cybersecurity skills by experience (PayScale)
While an information security specialist with less than one year of experience can expect to earn a total compensation of approximately $58,670, and $103,751 after having acquired over 20 years of experience, adding cybersecurity skills can help start a career on a more positive note as seen below:
- Less than one year of experience: $ 63,673
- 1-4 years of experience: $ 72,005
- 5-9 years of experience: $ 85,418
- 10-19 years of experience: $ 103,348
- 20-plus years of experience: $ 116,500
Average salary of an information security specialist with risk management skills by experience (PayScale)
Adding risk management skills can also provide a better starting pay for professionals, as shown below:
- Less than one year of experience: $59,343
- 1-4 years of experience: $69,751
- 5-9 years of experience: $ 87,658
- 10-19 years of experience: $ 100,676
- 20-plus years of experience: $ 105,651
Average salary of an Information security specialist by city (Salary.com)
While, according to Salary.com, an information security specialist has an average salary of $ 89,580 as of March 29, 2022, with range typically falling between $71,557 and $114,630, location of the job does affect pay. Below are the average salaries of such professionals in selected major cities.
- Boston $97,463
- New York $96,119
- Washington, D.C. $99,640
- San Francisco $100,061
- Miami $85,101
- Dallas $87,965
Average salary of a senior Information security specialist by city (Salary.com)
According to Salary.com, a senior information security specialist has an average salary of $104,578 as of March 29, 2022, with a range typically between $89,486 and $120,318. Below are the average salaries of such professionals in selected major cities.
- Boston $117,828
- New York $125,807
- Washington, D.C. $116,416
- San Francisco $130,722
- Miami $101,808
- Dallas $103,898
Gain the upper hand and better salary with Security+
In a recent interview, Mohammed Arif, director of modern workplace and security at Microsoft UAE, mentioned that “globally, cybersecurity jobs are among the fastest-growing profiles; there is a shortage of 2.5 million. It is important that we educate people on the key new trends and skills they need to have to become a strong security professional.”
ISACA State of Cybersecurity 2022 report confirms this. In fact, of the 2,000 security leaders interviewed on workforce challenges and opportunities, 63% reported having unfilled cybersecurity positions (up 8 points from 2021), 62% reported their cybersecurity team is understaffed and approximately 20% that it takes over 6 months to find qualified cybersecurity candidates for open positions.
A certification like Security+ can give IT practitioners the essential skills that are so in need nowadays. These professionals can help organizations manage cybersecurity more effectively and formulate digital resilience strategies while staying on budget and fulfilling business objectives efficiently and affordably.
Modern cybersecurity experts are key players in data protection and guide developing and implementing incident handling, contingency planning and disaster recovery. They are invaluable, especially when companies are looking for ways to minimize risks and address threats and vulnerabilities by utilizing robust safeguards against external attacks targeting data flowing through the network. Security+ Training to meet the SY0-601 exam objectives can help candidates by pointing out the knowledge and skills needed to get the job done.
The Security+ credential not only can help job seekers land a great job but also earn higher salaries compared to their non-certified counterparts. As we have seen, the average salary of a Security+ certified professional can vary greatly, from the $115,170 reported by the Certification Magazine to the $78,000 reported by PayScale, but when comparing the salary of certified professionals to that of uncertified counterparts, you can see the difference that being able to prove skills associated with Security+ does. For example, an entry level information security specialist can go from the basic $58,670 to $63,673 with cybersecurity skills.
It’s important to note that salaries do vary significantly according to the role, experience, location and even gender; however, the knowledge and skills that Security+ can certify are a great help in boosting job prospects and revenues.
For more on the Security+ certification, view our Security+ certification hub.
- Security+, CompTIA
- Security+ (SY0-601) Certification Exam Objectives, CompTIA
- The NEW CompTIA Security+: Your Questions Answered, CompTIA
- Salary for Certification: CompTIA Security+, PayScale
- Average Information Security Specialist Salary, PayScale
- Average Information Security Specialist with Cyber Security Skills Salary, PayScale
- Network and Computer Systems Administrators, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Average Information Security Specialist with Security Risk Management Skills Salary, PayScale
- 2022 Annual Salary Survey, Certification Magazine
- Gisec 2022: cyber security sector faces jobs gap of 2.5 million professionals, The National
- State of Cybersecurity 2022 | Infographic, ISACA
- Senior Information Security Specialist Salary, Salary.com
- Information Security Specialist Salary, Salary.com
- Tech 2022 Salary Report, Dice