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Cybersecurity Careers Offer High Salaries, But Pay Disparities Persist

According to a comprehensive study by ISC2, cybersecurity professionals in the United States enjoy an average annual salary of $147,138, positioning the field not only as a vital protector against digital threats but also as a lucrative career choice. The annual workforce survey, which garnered close to 15,000 responses—a third of which came from the U.S.—offers a detailed look at the financial landscape of this booming sector.

Salary Variations Across Levels of Seniority

The study indicates that salaries in cybersecurity vary widely with level of seniority, ranging from entry-level positions to executive roles:

  • Entry- and junior-level professionals average at $86,000 annually.

  • Nonmanagerial, mid-advanced staff earn around $137,000.

  • Managers report an average salary of $149,000.

  • Directors and middle managers typically make $175,000.

  • C-suite executives and senior management average at $215,000.

These figures are particularly striking when compared to the median U.S. wage of $59,428 as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, underscoring the financial benefits of a career in cybersecurity.

Exploring Salaries by Gender

Despite the high earnings potential, the survey revealed significant gender disparities in pay across different levels:

  • Women in nonmanagerial, mid-advanced roles earn $131,000, which is 5% less than their male counterparts.

  • Female managers make $138,000, 9% less than male managers.

  • At the director and middle-manager level, women slightly outearn men, with salaries of $177,000 compared to $175,000 for men.

  • Women in the C-suite and executive roles earn an average of $220,000, surpassing their male peers by 4%.

Cybersecurity Salaries by Race and Ethnicity

Pay disparities also extend to race and ethnicity within the cybersecurity field:

  • South Asian professionals lead with an average salary of $155,000.

  • East and Southeast Asian professionals follow at $151,000.

  • White professionals earn $148,000 on average.

  • American Indians and Alaska Natives report $147,000.

  • Hispanic/Latinx and Black/African American professionals earn the least, at $136,000 and $132,000 respectively.


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