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Security Engineer Salary

Very much a male-dominated career in the United States, Security Engineers earn an average of $86K per year. Overall incomes of Security Engineers generally bottom out at around $56K and peak near $128K; the final number can, in exceptional cases, include upwards of $15K each for bonuses and profit sharing proceeds. Geographic location and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Security Engineers like their work and job satisfaction is high. Almost all report receiving medical and dental coverage from their employers and a fair number collect vision insurance. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
$55,535 - $121,690
(Median)
56K
70K
86K
100K
120K
MEDIAN: $85,569
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

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$20.84 - $66.58
(Median)
21
39
55
67
MEDIAN: $38.00
10%
50%
75%
90%

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Show Annual Salary Show Hourly Rate

National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$55,535 - $121,690  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,920  
Profit Sharing
$984 - $15,142  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$55,562 - $128,126  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 789
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$20.84 - $66.58  
   
Overtime
$27.10 - $135.74  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,920  
   
Profit Sharing
$984 - $15,142  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$55,562 - $128,126  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 60
United States (change)

Job Description for Security Engineer

Security engineers are responsible for developing effective computing solutions to increase the security of their company's systems and projects. They are in charge of creating new ways to solve existing production security issues and must possess an advanced understanding of intrusion detection and prevention protocols. One of their main responsibilities is to handle technical problems dealing with applications and production equipment. These individuals possess exceptional incident-response skills, and a high understanding of computer forensics. They assess current workflows to determine possible future issues. As a result, they work with other engineers and professionals to deploy new strategies to contain and mitigate production problems.

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Security Engineer Tasks

  • Create test plans which will allow for a proper evaluation of security issues for new hardware and software.
  • Identify security solutions and implement a multi-layered defense to protect the networks.
  • Test new or upgraded hardware and software and implement new technologies.
  • Configure and set up firewalls and intrusion detection systems.
  • Respond to network intrusions and be familiar with performing forensic investigation.

Common Career Paths for Security Engineer


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Security Engineers who go on to become IT Security Architects may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for IT Security Architects is $112K annually.

Security Engineer, Information Systems Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Security Engineer


Security Engineers report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Web Security & Encryption, Computer Security, Security Risk Management, and Security Testing and Auditing are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 10 percent and 15 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Switches & Firewall Installation and Administration. Most people skilled in IT Security & Infrastructure are similarly competent in Network Security Management and Security Intrusion Detection.

Pay by Experience Level for Security Engineer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $73K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $91K. Between one and two decades on the job, average salaries pass the six-figure mark at around $103K. Security Engineers who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $108K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


For Security Engineers, working in the bustling city of Washington has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Security Engineers will also find cushy salaries in San Jose (+25 percent), San Francisco (+18 percent), Minneapolis (+16 percent), and Seattle (+16 percent). Nashville is the lowest-paying area, 15 percent south of the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Boston and Chicago (10 percent lower and 8 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Security Engineer Salaries




National Average
$88,000


Skills That Affect Security Engineer Salaries

Web Security & Encryption
up arrow 15%

Computer Security
up arrow 11%



IT Security & Infrastructure
up arrow 3%

Security Intrusion Detection
up arrow 1%

Network Security Management
0%

National Average
$88,000

Security Policies and Procedures
up arrow 1%

Cisco Networking
up arrow 3%


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 146 votes.

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
30%
5-9 years
32%
10-19 years
30%
20 years or more
5%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 92% dental benefits Dental: 87%
vision benefits Vision: 77% employee benefits None: 6%