Top 5 Best-Paying Cyber Security Jobs: How to Earn a Cyber Security Salary of $200k – $500k

The cyber security jobs with the highest salaries all have a few things in common.

The result is an industry-wide race to find and hire the best cyber security talent available, and demand far outstrips supply. Conservative estimates place the number of unfilled cyber security positions at nearly 2 million by 2022.

This situation means that the demand for certain cyber security skills is skyrocketing – along with the salaries for security professionals who have those skills. While almost all cyber security jobs pay well, a handful pays extremely well. In fact, there are five cyber security jobs that pay more than $200,000 per year in total compensation, and we’ve outlined them below.

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The Five Best Cyber Security Jobs for 2020, by Salary

If you are looking to maximize your earning potential in the email security services field, there are a few positions that stand out head and shoulders among the rest. Understandably, many of these positions come with significant barriers to entry, but they are not impossible to achieve – and number one is immediately available to anyone with the right skillset!



Freelance Bug Bounty Hunter

The bug bounty platform HackerOne paid out $40 million to ethical hackers in 2019. Zero-day exploits are rising in frequency to become a daily occurrence, and highly skilled freelance bug hunters are among the best line of defense against them. These self-employed white-hat hackers report vulnerabilities to major companies like Google and Tesla and earn significant paychecks for their work – up to $500,000 in some cases.

However, high-paying bug bounties are rare and extremely difficult to earn. Altogether they represent the top 1% of all bug bounties in the industry – so expect competition to be fierce. However, if you have the time and skills necessary to find and exploit security flaws in Facebook, Microsoft, or even the US Department of Defense, you can earn a healthy living working on your terms.


Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

Cyber security has become a necessity for the modern enterprise, and it has grown considerably in complexity over the past decade. As a result, increasing numbers of corporate firms are adding an executive-level cyber security position to their open positions.

Until recently, CIOs and CTOs were expected to handle cyber security-related issues. Today, security compliance is fundamental to nearly every aspect of business – from customer service to email server architecture and more. The CISO’s job is to navigate the security landscape in close partnership with the rest of the executive board to ensure data safety and compliance. Fortune 500 CISOs can earn up to $420,000 per year, although the majority of CISOs in mid-sized corporations earn just under half that figure.


Deputy CISO

One of the consequences of the cyber security skills gap is that employee turnover becomes an existential threat. Experienced CISOs can quickly gain an aura of irreplaceability, which introduces a new set of uncertainties into the security equation. What happens if your top security executive has to take an extended leave of absence? What if he or she finds a new position somewhere else?

The average security leader only serves for two years before jumping ship. These high turnover rates establish the need for an experienced, well-equipped successor. Deputy CISOs at Fortune 500 firms can earn $200,000 per year, and have a direct line of access to the company’s executive suite.


Lead Software Security Engineer

Programmers with leadership skills are in high demand, and the best can earn salaries of upwards of $225,000. Lead software security engineers can earn more than CISOs in some organizations. The intersection of programming mastery and leadership-related soft skills makes this an excellent starting point for security-oriented coders looking to enter senior management.

This position can be especially valuable in highly regulated industries like finance, where compliance and security concerns often go hand-in-hand. Employers are looking for top-level programmers who can lead teams to develop efficient, compliant solutions to some of the industry’s toughest problems.

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Cyber Security Sales Engineer

Organizations around the world are set to spend $1 trillion on cyber security products and solutions by 2021. Sales can offer a major boost to security professionals who can close those deals. Programmers who know how to set up convincing demos and get clients on board with the latest technologies can earn between $180,000 and $220,000 per year doing so.

Higher than average salaries await sales engineers with expertise in highly regulated industries who suffer large cyber attack volumes – like finance and healthcare. Cyber security sales jobs can rely on individual certifications more than other jobs since employers believe that sending a technical expert sends a message to their customers, and it’s a message that pays off.


Maximize Your Earning Power Starting Today

In the United States alone, the cyber security skills gap consists of about 500,000 unfilled positions. Everyone observing the state of cyber security today understands that the effect of supply and demand is ensuring an industry-wide unemployment rate of 0%, and pushing salaries up further than ever.

But the cyber crime industry is growing, and with it, corporate spending on cyber security initiatives is set to increase year-by-year for the foreseeable future. There has never been a better time to capitalize on key cyber security skills or to earn a cyber security certification. Almost every single job in the global economy now carries a cyber security element to it, and preventing data breaches helps secure the market for everyone involved.

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