Average Security+ Salary [Updated 2021]
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.
The globally recognized certification from Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) validates baseline skills needed to perform core security functions. It 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.
Why CompTIA Security+ is so popular
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 and 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 particular prior experience. Security+ exam candidates should 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 who aspire to 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 more than 4 percent by 2029, and the median pay in 2020 was $84,810 per year.
The average salary for a professional with CompTIA Security+ certification varies according to the designation; according to PayScale, the average salary range of professionals with CompTIA Security+ in the United States is $76,608.
Average pay by job role
The average salary for various positions is as follows (as of June 2021):
- Security administrator: $67,000
- Senior systems engineer: $108,000
- Cybersecurity engineer: $95,000
- Cybersecurity analyst: $76,000
- Information technology (IT) manager: $80,000
- Network engineer: $77,000
- Security engineer: $87,000
- Systems administrator: $66,000
- Network administrator: $63,000
As you can see, the salary range can vary depending on the role in question.
Average pay by gender
When PayScale surveyed over 15,000 professionals, it found that the higher end of the salary range was different according to gender:
- 88.8% of men reported a salary range of $49,000-$122,000
- 10.6% of women reported a salary range of $49,000-$117,000
Nonetheless, companies 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 $76,923 with a salary range of $48,000-$123,000.
Adding cybersecurity skills, professionals saw an increase to the average pay of $78,945 with a range of $52,000-$127,000.
Adding security risk management skills also boosts pay with an average of $80,574 and a range of $51,000-$131,000.
Average salary of an information security specialist with cybersecurity skills by experience
While an information security specialist with less than one year of experience can expect to earn a total compensation of approximately $59,000 and just over $100,000 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: $63,375
- 1-4 years of experience: $70,749
- 5-9 years of experience: $87,145
- 10-19 years of experience: $100,506
- 20-plus years of experience: $107,215
Average salary of an Information security specialist with cybersecurity skills by city
- Seattle $88,475
- New York $124,800
- Washington, D.C. $108,562
- San Diego $117,966
- Dallas $88,561
Average salary of an information security specialist with risk management skills by experience
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: $85,763
- 10-19 years of experience: $96,425
- 20-plus years of experience: $104,440
Average salary of an information security specialist with risk management skills by city
- Seattle $105,000
- New York $145,000
- Washington, D.C. $97,190
- Sacramento $119,000
- Dallas $105,000
Gain the upper hand and better salary with Security+
According to research company Cybersecurity Ventures, a staggering 3.5 million open cybersecurity positions are expected by 2021, with very few hopes of filling them all. The company reports the U.S. has a total employed cybersecurity workforce consisting of 715,000 people. Hence, it is clear how it is the right time to enter the field for professionals looking for a rewarding career.
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 affordable.
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. 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. 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.
Network and Computer Systems Administrators, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Cybersecurity Talent Crunch To Create 3.5 Million Unfilled Jobs Globally By 2021, Cybersecurity Ventures