Unsurprisingly, one of the first things anyone looks for when looking for a job in cyber security is the salary.
A quick search on Indeed for cyber security job will bring up approximately a dozen different categories of work, ranging from entry-level jobs through to cyber security engineers and analysts to cyber security managers. All salary figures quoted below are as of April 2022
Many entry-level job openings do not show any salary information at all, normally a fairly good indication that the pay rate is quite low.
Some entry-level jobs do have official job titles, such as cyber associate data engineer, which is a job as an entry-level software engineer, showing salaries of between US$50,000 and US$75,000.
Many jobs listed in the cyber security industry do not show salaries at all. This is not because they are low, but because they expect to negotiate salaries directly with any individual who wants a job position, once it has been agreed.
As an example, job sites list openings for cyber intelligence analysts, risk management analysts, information security analysts, cyber audit analysts, cyber threat intelligence analysts etc.
It is likely that much of the experience and qualifications needed for these jobs is very similar, and the ones that do show salaries, indicate a range of between US$ 50,000 to US$ 120,000.
Similarly, salaries for penetration testers are often not listed, although a salary for a senior vulnerability specialist is currently listed on Indeed at a salary of US$ 135,000.
There is a moral to this. That in order to work out what sort of salary one can expect for a particular job in cyber security it is sometimes necessary to do a bit of research to find comparable jobs that do have salaries advertised
This is one of the confusing areas of cyber security jobs – that there are a myriad of different job titles used for different roles, many of which have essentially the same job responsibilities. It does make searching for a job a bit harder, and changes the focus of the job search.
What it means for the job applicant is that they cannot simply rely on the job title of the position advertised. They need to have a clear understanding of their own qualifications and experience, and see to what extent this fits the needs of the company advertising the job.
The important thing is to look at what benefits are offered alongside the salary. All market indicators suggest that there is a significant imbalance between jobs and applicants, in the applicants favour.
This puts most job applicants in a much stronger position to negotiate salary and benefits for any position they are applying for.
Aside from traditional benefit packages, one of the most common areas of negotiation nowadays is that of remote/on-site working.
Many people prefer flexibility of mixing their ability to work from home with working in an office, and value the worklife balance that it brings.
Many employers are willing to be more flexible in this area nowadays, and see this as an important element in both recruiting and retaining valuable staff.