It is clear that you want to become a high-paid security engineer, but how can you get there? It turns out that there are many types of security engineers such as system, network, and application specialists.
The question is: Does it matter in which branch of security the high-paid security engineer is employed or do all security engineers get the same salary?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some positions can pay more than $200,000 annually.
The following factors affect how much you can make:
- Cybersecurity branch
Let’s take an in-depth look at what it takes to be a security engineer.
What is a Cybersecurity Engineer?
An IT specialist, a cybersecurity engineer, is someone who specializes in Information Security (IT). This group of IT engineers can perform a variety of roles, including the initial system design and implementation of security solutions to protect networks from cybercriminal activity.
The job titles in cybersecurity are difficult to understand. For all job descriptions, some companies use the term “engineer”. Some companies use the word “engineer” for specific skills.
Engineers are people who design and build complex systems or solutions to a specific purpose within functional constraints.
Engineers focus on practical solutions to real-world problems.
The following three subfields of cybersecurity are where engineers most often find themselves:
Because these areas are most involved with the creation and deployment of cyber defense systems, security engineers make the highest-paid salaries.
Programming knowledge is required for system creation and deployment. To put it another way, to succeed in this field, one must learn and utilize programming languages.
What do Cybersecurity Engineers do?
Cybersecurity engineers can protect data from hackers, regardless of their expertise. To identify potential vulnerabilities, they must be able to understand the interplay of various network components and systems.
To minimize software flaws, applications engineers need to understand how different software modules are interconnected. These are the three most popular Highly-paid cybersecurity engineers include:
- System Engineers: Cybersecurity system engineers focus on how an enterprise functions. They do not focus on individual applications, but on the underlying operating system and tools that enable the network to function at its full potential. They are responsible for ensuring that new components don’t pose a security threat as networks expand.
- Network Engineer: Network engineer is responsible for computers, routers, and firewalls that make up the physical network. They design and configure networks to prevent intrusion and maintain operational efficiency. They also ensure that any new devices are secured against potential breaches.
- Applications Engineer: Individual pieces of software are the focus of cybersecurity specialists who specialize in applications. They identify and fix any vulnerabilities in software. Applications engineers are not required to develop software, but they must manage the enterprise-wide use of software applications. They work with providers to correct weaknesses, create workarounds until code can be secure, and monitor new applications that are added to a network.
Cybersecurity engineers, regardless of their specialty, are committed to protecting against cyberattacks online and unexpected criminal activity.
What Skills Does a Cybersecurity Engineer Need?
There is no universal skill set for cybersecurity professionals. Every engineer should be familiar with basic cybersecurity concepts like:
- Assessments of vulnerability
- Threat modeling
- Network architectures
- Operating Systems
- Security on the Internet
- Programming is the final step.
The area of cybersecurity will determine how deep you understand these concepts.
Network engineers will need to have a deep understanding of network architectures.
An application engineer, however, will need more knowledge of the programming language as well as database platforms.
Being a highly-paid security engineer requires soft skills like leadership and communication.
What Do High-Paid Security Engineers Earn?
It takes years of experience to become a highly-paid security engineer. Companies pay not only for your technical skills but also for the ability to spot potential problems earlier.
Engineers should have a better understanding of interoperability within an enterprise.
- Cybersecurity systems engineer salary: An average annual salary of almost $130,000, with salaries that can reach as high as $185,000 depending on where you live. Higher salaries are found in California and Washington where there is a high cost of living.
- Application security engineer salary: The average salary is $135,000 with some high-paying positions up to $200,000. Variation in salary will depend on where the engineer works and whether they are using third-party solutions.
- Network security engineer salary: Security engineers can earn between $120,000 to $185,000 annually, with average salaries of around $150,000. The most important skill in network security is experience. You will acquire many of the skills you need on the job.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that individuals working in this field can expect a 32% rise in employment between 2018-2028.
What are the Steps to Becoming A High-Paid Security Engineer?
To become a highly-paid security engineer, the first step is to choose which subfields you want to focus on. It is easy to lose sight of the main goal and get distracted.
Engineers in any specialty need to have a working knowledge of math, science, and computer operations.
Because cybersecurity engineers are required to communicate with others, it is a good idea to learn both written and spoken communication classes. This soft skill is one that highly-paid engineers are proficient in.
A roadmap is a list of skills that are needed. This makes it easier for people to know where to begin. It is easy to get lost when you look at different cybersecurity programs. This makes it difficult to make a decision.
Certifications are a requirement for most high-paid security engineers. Security professionals need to ensure their knowledge is up-to-date because the industry is constantly changing.
Certifications can be substituted for experience in certain situations. Engineers with five to ten years of experience are preferred by companies.