Security Administrator Career and Salary Outlook

Security Administrator Career and Salary Outlook

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With cyberattacks continuing to grow more prevalent, security administrators do the essential duty of protecting their organizations' computer systems by overseeing IT security. Security administrators create a secure IT environment by identifying, mitigating, and minimizing risks.

To qualify for a security administrator career, tech professionals usually need at least a bachelor's degree in a field like information technology. For management roles, employers may prefer a security administrator with a master's degree.

Payscale reports the average annual salary for security administrators is $68,310 as of July 2022, with pay increasing commensurate with experience. For example, Payscale July 2022 data shows security administrators with over 20 years of experience earn an average annual salary of $95,690, significantly higher than entry-level workers in the same role.

Because so many industries operate partly or fully online, demand for cybersecurity professionals is stable. For network and computer systems administrators, a career category similar to security administrators, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 5% job growth from 2020 to 2030.

This page provides an in-depth exploration of the career and salary outlook for security administrators.

What Does a Security Administrator Do?

Security administrators manage information technology security issues for their organizations. They help set company cybersecurity policies and procedures, oversee the implementation of new security systems, and analyze potential risks. Typical job tasks include making system upgrades, optimizing networks to increase safety, and training employees to use security software.

Security administration is an important subfield of computer science and cybersecurity. Security administrators need a broad understanding of information technology, computer security and systems, and computer engineering.

Nearly any organization can benefit from the skills of a knowledgeable security administrator. Accordingly, these professionals work in every sector. Top-employing industries include computer systems design; management; and colleges, universities, and professional schools.

Security administrators usually work with other IT professionals, including computer support specialists, computer network architects, and computer and information systems managers.

How Much Does a Security Administrator Make?

Payscale reports the average salary for a security administrator is $68,310 as of July 2022. Pay varies based on education, experience, and specialization. Location and industry also impact average salaries. This section explores how these factors affect earning potential.


$68,310

Average Annual Salary of Security Administrators, July 2022

Source: Payscale

Security Administrator Salary by Experience

Experience can significantly impact the salary for a security administrator. Average wages tend to increase as professionals accrue experience.

For example, security administrators with less than a year of experience make $55,490 on average, but this amount steadily rises over time. By the time they hold 20 years of experience, security administrators make $95,690 on average.

Security Administrator Salary by Education

Education level can affect the average salary for a security administrator. As people accumulate additional educational credentials, they typically to earn higher salaries.

People who pursue a security administrator career often hold a degree in information technology, cybersecurity, or a related field. Payscale data shows IT degree-holders earn slightly higher average salaries than cybersecurity graduates. A master's degree in cybersecurity or information technology increases average annual salary by over $15,000.

The data in the table below does not represent solely salary data for security administrators, but rather all respondents in the cybersecurity and information technology fields who hold the following degrees.

Discover Which Education Path Is Right for You

Security Administrator Salary by Location

The salary for security administrator jobs varies by location. Generally, security administrators in cities and large metropolitan areas can find more job opportunities and higher average salaries than workers in rural locations. Densely populated areas with higher demand for security administrators' skills usually offer higher pay to attract workers.

When comparing salaries in different regions, consider factors like cost of living, quality of life, and population density.

The tables below for top-paying metro areas and top-paying states draw from BLS data for network and computer systems administrators, a career category similar to security administrators.

Top-Paying Metropolitan Areas for Network and Computer Systems Administrators, 2021
Metropolitan Area Number of Security Administrators Employed Average Annual Salary

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

3,990

$135,440

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

6,560

$116,370

New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

23,220

$110,930

Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

510

$110,810

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-VA-MD-WV

13,470

$108,430

Source: BLS

Top-Paying States for Network and Computer Systems Administrators, 2021
State Number of Security Administrators Employed Average Annual Salary

New Jersey

10,170

$108,860

Maryland

9,470

$106,480

California

28,790

$105,770

District of Columbia

1,410

$104,490

Massachusetts

7,170

$102,990

Source: BLS

Security Administrators' Job Outlook and Career Prospects

The number of security administrator jobs available will likely continue growing in the future. From 2020 to 2030, the BLS projects a 5% job growth rate for network and computer systems administrators, a career similar to security administrators. Although this is slower than average, the agency projects 24,900 openings annually for network and computer systems administrators.

The BLS does not provide data specific to security administrators, so it is possible that demand for this particular career is greater. In general, the number of open cybersecurity positions outnumbers the amount of qualified professionals: Cyberseek reports there were 714,548 job openings in the cybersecurity field between May 2021 and April 2022.

The data below is not specific to security administrator careers, but represents network and computer systems administrators, a related BLS career category.


Change in Projected Employment for Network and Computer Systems Administrators:;

+5%, 2020-2030

Source: BLS

Best Locations for Security Administrators

Location impacts outlook for security administrator jobs. Some states, cities, and metropolitan areas offer more openings and higher projected job growth than others. Generally, security administrators find more job openings in large cities than rural areas.

Below, we highlight top states, areas, and cities for security administrator careers.

Top States for Security Administrators

Some of the best states for security administrators include Texas, California, and New York. These states employ more network and computer systems administrators than any other states and have the most projected annual openings.

The average salary for network and computer systems administrators in California and New York exceeds $100,000. However, both states also have a higher-than-average cost of living. According to World Population Review's cost of living index, where the nationwide average is scored as 100, California's cost index is 142.2 and New York's is 148.2, both significantly higher than the average cost of living.

The data in the tables below is not specific to security administrators, but represents network and computer systems administrators, a similar BLS career category.

Top-Employing States for Network and Computer Systems Administrators, 2021
Top-Employing States Number of Security Administrators Employed Average Annual Salary

Texas

30,810

$89,630

California

28,790

$105,770

New York

23,060

$102,480

Florida

20,100

$81,840

Virginia

15,410

$98,810

Source: BLS

States With the Greatest Projected Increase in Employment for Network and Computer Systems Administrators, 2018-28
State Percent Projected Change, 2018-28 Average Annual Openings

Greatest Projected Percentage Increase

Utah

33%

330

Washington

19.9%

1,020

Colorado

17.6%

1,140

Nevada

17.6%

140

District of Columbia

15.6%

180

Most Projected Average Annual Openings

Texas

13.5%

3,080

New York

9.2%

2,270

California

5.8%

2,000

Virginia

12.8%

1,650

Florida

11%

1,640

Source: Projections Central

Top Metropolitan Areas for Security Administrators

Some metro regions offer higher-than-average salaries and more job opportunities for security administrators than others. For instance, the New York-Newark-Jersey City and the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria areas employ large numbers of network and computer systems administrators.

The data below is not specific to security administrators, but represents network and computer systems administrators, a related BLS career category.

Top-Employing Metropolitan Areas for Network and Computer Systems Administrators, 2021
Metropolitan Area Number of Security Administrators Employed Average Annual Salary

New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

23,220

$110,930

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-VA-MD-WV

13,470

$108,430

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

11,100

$97,400

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

8,490

$96,250

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

7,450

$96,530

Source: BLS

Best Industries for Security Administrators

Because most organizations have digitized some or all of their operations, you can launch a security administrator career in almost any industry. However, some industries offer better pay and more job opportunities than others.

The computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing; securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments; and monetary authorities industries offer top salaries to network and computer systems administrators. Top-employing industries include computer systems design and management.

The data in the table below is not specific to security administrators, but represents network and computer systems administrators, a similar BLS career category.

Top-Paying Industries for Network and Computer Systems Administrators, 2021
Top-Paying Industries Number of Security Administrators Employed Average Annual Salary

Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing

1,430

$139,910

Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities

3,580

$129,830

Monetary Authorities-Central Bank

180

$123,260

Natural Gas Distribution

160

$122,270

Cable and Other Subscription Programming

650

$118,220

Source: BLS

Employment by Industry for Network and Computer Systems Administrators, 2021
Industries With Highest Employment Number of Security Administrators Employed Average Annual Salary

Computer Systems Design and Related Services

56,820

$91,520

Management of Companies and Enterprises

27,370

$97,250

Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools

15,040

$83,070

Local Government, Excluding Schools and Hospitals (OEWS Designation)

14,600

$84,630

Elementary and Secondary Schools

12,450

$75,360

Source: BLS

Upward Mobility for Security Administrators

Career opportunities for security administrators include advancing to roles like computer network architect, security manager, computer and information systems manager, or security director. Security administrators can also earn higher salaries by getting promoted or taking on more advanced responsibilities.

Some of these upper-level careers may require additional education credentials, professional certifications, or multiple years of experience.

Learn More About Security Administrators

Learn what to expect from a security administrator career, including typical job tasks, work environments, and industry expectations. Find out what it takes to qualify for a security administrator career. This includes education, experience, and certification requirements and recommendations for security administrators. This page describes a typical day in the life at a security administrator job. We explain who you might interact with, where you could work, and a potential schedule. Explore various professional certifications for security administrators. We discuss why to consider earning credentials and how it can help your career.

FAQ About Salaries for Security Administrators


What is the average salary for a security administrator?

Payscale reports the average salary for a security administrator is $68,310 as of July 2022. Salaries vary depending on experience, education, industry, and location. Security administrators with 20 or more years of experience earned a $95,690 average annual salary as of July 2022.

How much do security administrators make in their first year?

The average salary for a security administrator with less than one year of experience is $55,490 according to Payscale data from July 2022. The average salary for security administrators increases with experience: Professionals with 1-4 years of experience make an average salary of $62,730 as of July 2022.

Where is the best state to work as a security administrator?

California, Texas, and New York are among the best states to look for security administrator jobs. These states are among the highest-employing states for computer systems administrators. The average salaries for security administrators working in these states also exceeds the national median salary for network and computer systems administrators.

What is the best industry to work in as a security administrator?

The best industries for a security administrator career include computer systems design; colleges, universities, and professional schools; and securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities. These industries are among the top-employing and highest-paying for network and computer systems administrators.


Featured Image: Erik Isakson / DigitalVision / Getty Image

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