What salary should people expect for IT security jobs?

In Information Security ByTeam Acumin / 8th September 2016

Most IT security jobs are reasonably well paid, but like most jobs, salaries vary according to experience, seniority and level of responsibilities. The average UK salary is currently £27,531. IT security jobs are generally above this level and have risen by over 10% year on year since 2014.

The figures

The Acumin Security Salary Index 2016 can be downloaded free of charge, and takes a look at the salaries predicted for IT security jobs during the 2016/17 period.

Results are wide ranging, but the report indicates that all positions are likely to pay comfortably above the average UK salary. Positions in risk management are forecast to range from £42,000 to £66,000 for a security analyst, to £70,000 to £90,000 for a security project manager. Executive management positions in information security go well into six-figure sums, with sales directors predicted to earn somewhere between £220,000 and £275,000 during the year, all of which highlights a “positive time from a financial perspective” for those in the industry.

The ITJobsWatch website has figures for the average salary for cyber jobs as a whole for the three-month period up to 4th September 2016. In England, the average or median salary is £60,000. This is an increase of 9% when compared to a year ago. In London, the figure is higher at £67,500 a year.

Last December, The Guardian created a list of the highest earners in the UK, based on data from the Office for National Statistics. The role of IT director was listed at number 10 with an average salary of £70,971. Many of the responsibilities of an IT director may not be strictly to do with security, but cyber security will be one of his or her main responsibilities. IT directors need relevant business experience as well as technical skills.

Location

The higher London salaries highlight that IT security job salaries vary according to your location. In San Francisco, home of Silicon Valley, the range of salaries for a chief information security officer ranges from $154,000 (£115,837) to $380,000 (£285,832), with an average salary of $249,000 (£187,295).

IT security jobs in the Middle East are high too, at around £80,000 a year. Salaries in many Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia are also subject to little or no income tax. Often, IT security jobs in the Middle East include free accommodation.

How to increase your IT security salary

There is a wide range between the lowest paid IT security job and the top paid ones, and there are many strategies to increase a cyber security worker’s salary. Many cyber security jobs require certification so to enhance an IT security career, so it helps to have as many qualifications as possible.

It also helps to keep an eye on the main skills that are in demand and especially those areas where there is a skills shortage. Some areas to look at are cloud security, security software development and threat intelligence. It may be useful to specialise in one of these areas to attract a larger salary.

The good news for IT security professionals is that there is a worldwide skills shortage of suitably qualified personnel. The effect of this is that IT security job salaries are not expected to fall and will likely continue to rise.