highest-paying cyber security jobs



The hype around Cybersecurity seems not to be ending anytime soon. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Cybersecurity professionals will grow by 32 percent from 2022-2032. If your goal is to aim for the highest-paying security jobs, these will be the highlights of this blog post.

Cybersecurity is growing in importance as we now depend on “machines or computers” to run our day-to-day activities. Businesses rely on devices and technologies prone to an ever-increasing number of attacks. The security professional ensures that these are safe from malicious attacks and compromise.

The highest-paying security jobs we will briefly describe in this blog post are

  1. Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
  2. Cybersecurity Engineer/Analyst
  3. Security Architect
  4. Penetration Tester (Ethical Hacker)
  5. Cybersecurity Consultant

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

A CISO Oversees an Organization’s Security Posture

The Chief Information Security Officer or simply CISO is an organization’s senior executive responsible for managing an organization’s information security. A CISO oversees the overall Information and Cybersecurity posture of an organization.

Roles and Responsibilities of CISO

Some of the roles and responsibilities of a CISO are as follows;

  • They protect an organization’s critical data by developing, implementing, and enforcing security policies.
  • They report to the organization’s top management and act as risk advisors.
  • They help align Information security and business objectives
  • They Implement and manage the cyber governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) process
  • They plan and effectively utilize security budgets effectively

CISO is a C-level position – a top-level job, responsible for making critical and strategic decisions that can make or mar an organization. Their impact can be enormous on the overall financial stance of the organization.


The typical salary range for a CISO in the United States (according to Salary.com) is $217k – $275k per year.

Skills and Qualifications

Becoming a Chief Information Security Officer requires years of industry experience in security-related roles. They have strong management, sales, leadership, and communication skills. Some of the common certifications that most CISOs have are

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • GIAC Strategic Planning, Policy, and Leadership (GSTRT)
  • IAC Law of Data Security & Investigations (GLEG)

The ISC2 is responsible for the CISSP and the CISM Certification. They are the most common, while GSTRT and GLEG are from the SANs Institute.

Security Architect

Security architects Design and lead the implementation of secure systems

The Security Architect is a senior-level security professional whose job is to create, plan, and provide guidance on implementing the security solution for an organization. They are responsible for the blueprint of the organization’s overall security.

In a large organization, the Security Architect will work with the Cybersecurity Engineer (and other Professionals) to implement the security designs. They design the security system while the Cybersecurity Engineer builds it.

Roles and Responsibilities of Security Architect

Some specifics of the roles and responsibilities of the Security Architect are;

  • They plan and design the security system of an organization
  • They perform up-to-date threat analysis to keep pace with security challenges
  • They advise management of the security needs of the organization
  • They manage the security team to keep security at optimal levels
  • They ensure compliance with regulatory requirements
  • They oversee security testing strategy, including penetration testing and vulnerability scans


The salary of a Security Architect ranges from $158k- $249k per year (Glassdoor). This is justified by the fact that the job is a leadership role.

Skills and Qualifications

A Security Architect is knowledgeable in network designs, Cloud Technologies, Security systems, Operating Systems, and the overall IT Infrastructure of the organization. They should also understand Risk Management from the organization’s perspective and be able to lead others to achieve security goals.

The qualification will range from a degree in Cybersecurity, Information Technology, etc, or having years of experience in security jobs and some professional certifications.

Some useful Certifications will include;

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Cybersecurity Engineer/Information Security Engineer

Cybersecurity engineers, or Security Engineers are IT professionals who build tools, design systems or implement solutions to defend organizations from intruders. They are also often called Information Security Engineers since their work primarily focuses on the safety of sensitive Information or data in an organization.

Cybersecurity engineers are an integral part of the overall security makeup of any organization. They often work with other IT professionals like the CISO, CIO, Security Analyst, Cybersecurity Architect, etc to identify and mitigate cyber threats.

Roles and Responsibilities

Some of the typical roles and responsibilities of a Cybersecurity Engineer include the following;

  • They are responsible for implementing, hardening, and updating the defense strategy for the organization.
  • They Configure and install firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS), and other security hardware
  • They create solutions for pre-existing security issues
  • They conduct security risk assessments and implement patches.
  • They promptly respond to data security crises, and implement recovery procedures in cases of data breaches.
  • They provide information assurance.


A Cybersecurity Engineer in the US earns about $140k per year on average ( according to Ziprecruiter and Glassdoor). This is higher than other similar tech roles in the same cadre.

Skills and Qualifications

Cybersecurity skills include both technical and interpersonal skills. The technical background can range from software development, networking, experience in dealing with firmware and hardware, firewalls, programming skills, etc. Be good at problem-solving, analytical, and communication skills.

Some useful certifications for Cybersecurity Engineering include;

  • CompTIA CySA+
  • CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner
  • CompTIA Security+
  • Certified Ethical Hacker CEH
  • CCNP Security

Cybersecurity Consultant

Cybersecurity Consultants Provide Expert Security Advice

A Cybersecurity Consultant is a Security Expert who provides expert advice to organizations to help protect them from cyberattacks. It is typically a customer-facing role where you will interact with people, make presentations, and lead meetings to address security concerns.

Although a Cybersecurity consultant may work as an independent business owner, the more common practice is to work for a large Security firm to address the Security Concerns of many businesses. The most notable Security Consulting firms are Deloitte, Ernst & Young (EY), PricewaterhouseCoopers( PwC), and KPMG (the Big Four), others are big tech like Google, Cisco, IBM, Amazon, Facebook, etc for their internal projects.

Roles and Responsibilities

Some of the roles and responsibilities include;

  • Vulnerability testing of existing security infrastructure of an organization.
  • Developing a security strategy to help safeguard an organization’s sensitive data.
  • Offer expert advice to organizations on security concerts.
  • Carry out Security audits and reports.
  • Working cohesively with IT departments to implement security solutions
  • Assessment of the extent of damage in a security breach and conducting a disaster recovery.


The salary range for a Cybersecurity Consultant in the US is $109K – $197K per year

Skills and Qualifications

Cybersecurity Consultants are usually experienced Security professionals, sometimes from the C-Level position. Their expertise will cover both technical and non-technical domains to help. Depending on the type of consultancy service they are rendering to organizations, their qualifications in terms of certifications may include;

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC)

Penetration Tester/Ethical Hacker

Ethical Hackers and Penetration Testers Find Vulnerabilities

Penetration Testers and Ethical Hackers are security professionals who work to identify vulnerabilities in the IT infrastructure to prevent different types of cyberattacks. They employ different tools to identify vulnerabilities in the system so that they can be patched before they are exploited.

The Ethical hacker’s job is broader and more focused on building and improving the organization’s security system. Penetration testers focus more on finding vulnerabilities and doing an in-depth report on their findings.

Roles and Responsibilities

Some of the roles and responsibilities of Ethical Hacker/Penetration testers include;

  • Finding vulnerabilities in IT infrastructure
  • Performing Social Engineering tests
  • They form red and blue teams for exploitation attacks on the IT infrastructure
  • They compile detailed risk reports for the organization.


The average salary for a Penetration Tester/ Ethical Hacker in the US is about $120k per year and $135k/per year respectively (according to ZipRecruiter). Glassdoor puts the value for Ethical hackers range to be $123k-$229k per year.

Skills and Qualifications

The common certifications that are useful for the Ethical hacking/Penetration testing career include;

  • Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP).
  • eLearnSecurity Certified Professional Penetration Tester (eCPPT)
  • Certified Penetration Testing Professional CPENT
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)


Cybersecurity jobs are high-paying because of their importance to organizations and businesses. The highest-paying security jobs are; Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at $217k – $275k/year, Security Architects at $158k- $249k/year, Cybersecurity Engineer (Information Security Engineer) at $140k, Penetration Tester/Ethical Hacker at $120k/$135k, Cybersecurity Consultant at $109K – $197K per year.


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