Security Engineer Salary – For Freshers and Experienced [2023]

Security Engineer Salary in US

The security engineer is a member of the security team that designs, implements, and maintains security controls for an organization. In other words, the security engineer is in charge of making sure that the company’s data is protected from hackers and other cyber criminals.  While the role of a security engineer is fairly broad and does not come with a specific salary, it does require a fair amount of technical know-how. To help you get a better understanding of the job, here is a list of what you can expect as a security engineer and how much you can earn.

What Is a Security Engineer?

A security engineer is responsible for designing and implementing a company’s security controls. This includes making sure that all the company’s data is protected from hackers and other cyber criminals. The role of a security engineer isn’t limited to the design and implementation of security controls, however. It also includes the management of other engineers and the security operations of the company. This means that a security engineer should be comfortable with their role as a security leader, as well as with the technical aspects of their job.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Security Engineer

Creating security strategies – The security engineer is the one who creates a company’s security strategies. They do this by assessing the risks posed by the company’s data and operations and then designing and implementing a mitigation strategy. 

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Designing the security architecture – It is the security engineer’s responsibility to design the company’s security architecture. They do this by identifying the various components in the company’s architecture and then designing the security controls to protect them.  

Implementing Security controls – It is the security engineer’s responsibility to implement the security controls in the architecture. They do this by writing the code that implements the security controls in their architecture. 

Operating security – It is the security engineer’s responsibility to manage the engineering team and the security operations of the company. This means that they need to be familiar with the company’s policies, procedures, and tools.

Security Engineer Salary

Security engineers make good money, but the salary is not an indicator of the level of experience needed to be successful. It’s important to note that security engineers are often also IT professionals, so the starting salary often reflects the experience level of the engineer. The salary for a security engineer varies widely depending on the size of the organization and the location. The average security engineer’s salary is $107,042. 

Security Engineer Salary

The lowest salary is $31000, while the highest is $227,000. Security engineering jobs are plentiful, and employment rates are very high. The employment rate is 96.4%, and 2.4% of security engineers are unemployed. Let’s look into detail:

Source: Glassdoor

Security Engineer Salary by Experience:

Security engineers with one to five years of experience and no CS degree earn an average of $90,000 and a salary range across all experience levels is roughly $80K -$166K. The overall lowest mean salary ($80,078) is much higher than the overall middle ceiling ($97,163).In 2020, pay for similar roles has been increased in the US by 30%, so yes the job market is relatively stable. The median increase based on qualification level is 8.7% and the average annual increases have been over 10% whereas increases in 2019 were 14.3%. 

Security Engineer Salary by Experience

Security Engineer Salary by Location:

Security engineers who work in California make an average of $99,024 annually. US security engineers earn $104,425, on average, each year. The District of Columbia and Maryland are the next highest paying states for salary. Security engineers in Arizona must get paid well though — their annual median salary is $83,914. 43% of employed software security engineers make more annual than the national average; only 8% less. Here is a list of top city’s salaries:

Security Engineer Salary by Location

Security Engineer Salary by Skillset:

The two most common sets of security engineering positions are network and network infrastructure, which constitute approximately 42% of all security positions. The remaining positions include data access or governance, applications or application security, and organisation. Note that other combinations labelled as “other” covers other areas such as identity management, threat intelligence and others that security engineers also handle. Here is the top list of positions by skill:

Security Engineer Salary by Skills

Security Engineer Salary by Employer:

Security engineering roles typically have a salary just above the entry level, some being over $190,000. The Associate Level ranges from $142,616 – $190,533. Above this is the Senior Associate level, which averages between $161,234 – $305,630. The Senior Full-time level’s salary range varies up to around $196K -350K. The Executing Director level covers the wider group and throughout that range varies between the highest of $295K – $750K.

Security Engineer Salary by Employer

How to Become a Security Engineer?

There are only a few routes to becoming a security engineer. The most common route is to become a computer science or software engineering graduate with a degree in cybersecurity. Other options include obtaining a degree in a related field or becoming an experienced engineer. Some companies also offer a specialized master’s degree in cybersecurity. Since the job requires a fair amount of technical know-how, it’s also important to mention that a security engineer doesn’t necessarily need to be a software engineer. The most important thing is to have the right technical skills for the job. If you have a degree in computer science or software engineering, then you have the technical knowledge and skills necessary to become a security engineer. If you don’t have a degree in either computer science or software engineering, then you can still become a security engineer through a course or certification program. There are some important tips to become a security engineer:

  • The easiest way to get a good understanding of system admin ideals is to become a systems administrator. By taking on this role, you will learn about things like DNS – something that if I hadn’t ever taken charge of when it came time for troubleshooting and configuration, I would only be able to talk theory about. The sysadmin role exposes me to many different opportunities in the field; one example includes running virtual machines within AWS and connecting them together with various open source services that don’t always work from scratch (the fun part).
  • If you don’t have Virtual Box installed on your laptop, the program that lets you create a virtual machine now is the time to do so. Virtual Machines are a great way for practicing with different systems of operating software without getting arrested! Use them to test things and learn how they work at home or in school as well. Instead of having an administrator mindset that is focused solely on technicalities and accuracy, consider applying yourself towards system administration skills too.
  • The security industry is constantly changing, and it’s important to keep learning. Reading a lot of books will help you learn more about information that could be helpful in your work, whether it’s new technologies or techniques. In college, take notes on what caught you the most from reading the book (a face-to-face conversation with someone else who has read the said book might also help clarify this) and then use those insights when conducting research for future projects. Additionally – don’t go as far as to stick strictly to nonfiction; throw fiction into the mix!
  • By taking advantage of the training resources online, you can learn a variety of security concepts for free. There are so many courses and lectures that offer quality content on how to keep yourself safe from hackers (MIT, Stanford), and how to be more secure with your computer system (Security Tube) through live conferences from experts in their field who want to share their skills and knowledge.
  • Networking is a good way to make friends in the industry. The worst thing that happens is if you meet someone on Linkedin, who isn’t interested in what you have to say about security? They ignore you and don’t respond when they see your tweets or replies! However, attending conferences can help with this. You should introduce yourself before sessions start and become an active part of the community by participating in panels and chatting during breaks between sessions!
  • It’s important to consider what type of role you can get into and think about your career path. If you have the skills for a cybersecurity position, as an analyst or engineer, this is a good starting point. Remember that in order to grow your career as much as possible it’ll be best if you build on this initial opportunity with some extra training or credentials beyond just where they are hiring at first.


If you are interested in joining the cybersecurity field, a good place to start is to look for open vacancies in cybersecurity companies. This way, you can get a better idea of what the job will be like and how much a security engineer makes. Once you find a cybersecurity position that interests you, don’t be afraid to ask about salary and benefits. Some cybersecurity companies may be willing to provide more information about the salary, benefits, and company culture.


Q: Is it hard to become a Security Engineer?
Answer:  Becoming a security engineer isn’t very hard. Numerous cyber security academies have been established for this aim. They help the aspirants to find better jobs in the market. Many security training companies offer online training and certifications that you can get from the comfort of your home and with relative ease….

Q: How much does a Security Engineer earn in the UK?
Answer: Security engineers are any company’s first line of defence against security breaches, which should make them an integral part of any large corporation’s staff. There are more than 250 cyber-security jobs listed on one website alone, with salaries ranging from £35,000 to £70,000 per year.

Q: Required skills of a security engineer?
Answer:  Although it can be said that any person with an interest in IT security and networking is eligible to become a security engineer, you do need certain skills.

  • Computer networking.
  • Operating systems.
  • IT Support.
  • Network security.
  • Computer hardware and software.
  • Computer programming.
  • Virus protection software.
  • Database management.

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