Salary and Career Outlook for Security Directors


Updated January 13, 2023

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Security directors are also known information security directors, cybersecurity directors, information security managers, or information security officers.

These professionals need strong leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills. They are responsible for overseeing the safety standards and policies of an organization, including incident prevention and response and safety and regulatory compliance.

A bachelor's degree in information technology, computer science, or cybersecurity is often the minimum requirement for a security director job. For management positions, a master's degree may be preferred.

This page takes an in-depth look at the career and salary outlook for security directors.

What Does a Security Director Do?

Information security directors oversee an organization's security systems and personnel that safeguard company data. They play a vital role in preventing, diagnosing, and mitigating security threats and risks.

An information security director's key duties include risk management, implementing safety solutions, incident response and investigation, team management, and developing disaster recovery plans.

Security directors are an important part of information security. These professionals need a strong background in computer science, information technology, and computer engineering.

Every industry needs information security directors, and many sectors employ these professionals. Top-employing sectors for security directors are computer systems design, management, software publishing, scientific and technical consulting, and insurance.

Security directors work with human resource management and security personnel, along with IT professionals like computer network architects and systems managers.

How Much Does a Security Director Make?

According to Payscale, the average annual salary of a security director is $92,825. A security director's salary depends on their education, experience, industry, and area of focus. Location also impacts pay.


Average Annual Salary of Information Security Managers

Source: Payscale, November 2022

Security Director Salary by Experience

Relevant experience is a major factor in determining the salary potential for information security directors. More years of relevant experience often correlate with a rise in salary.

For instance, an information security director with under one year of experience earns over $78,000 in average annual salary compared to $125,000 for an experienced professional with over 10 years of experience.

Security Director Salary by Education

An information security director's education level has a direct impact on their average salary. Security directors typically hold degrees in cybersecurity, information security, information technology, or a related field. With more advanced degrees and credentials, professionals can increase their earning potential.

Payscale data indicates that security directors with bachelor's in information security may earn slightly more than professionals with bachelor's degrees in cybersecurity or IT. Security directors with a master's degree in the field can boost their earning potential and advancement opportunities.

The data below does not only represent the salary for security directors but rather for respondents in the fields of information security and cybersecurity with the following credentials.

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Security Director Salary by Location

An information security director's salary varies across locations. Security directors usually find higher-paying opportunities in larger cities than in rural areas. Places with a high population density typically may have more information security jobs, offering more competitive salaries.

It is important to consider the population density, cost of living, and quality of life when reviewing salaries from different areas.

The following tables represent salary data for top-paying metropolitan areas and states for information security managers and computer and information systems managers, similar careers to security directors.

Top-Paying Cities for Information Security Managers, 2022
City and State Average Annual Salary Percent Above the National Average

Mountain View, California



San Francisco, California



San Jose, California



Fairfax, Virginia



Reston, Virginia



Source: Payscale

Top-Paying States for Computer and Information Systems Managers, 2021
State Number of Security Directors Employed Average Annual Salary

New York






New Jersey






District of Columbia



Source: BLS

Security Directors' Job Outlook and Career Prospects

The demand for information security directors will likely keep growing in the future. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 16% job growth rate between 2021 and 2031 for computer and information systems managers, an occupation similar to security directors. This rate is double the average, leading to 82,400 open positions in the coming decade.

However, the demand for information security and cybersecurity positions is growing rapidly. According to a 2022 Fortune report, an increasing number of companies are seeking qualified professionals to fill more than 700,000 open roles.

The data below is not specific to security directors but includes all computer and information systems managers.

Change in Projected Employment for Computer and Information Systems Managers:

+16% from 2021-2031

Source: BLS

Best Locations for Cybersecurity Directors

Location affects a security director's average salary. Certain states and cities have more cybersecurity jobs and opportunities than others. Metropolitan areas tend to have a higher rate of employment for security directors than small towns and rural areas.

We highlight top states, cities, and metropolitan regions for a security director career.

Top States for Security Directors

A few of the best states for security directors are California, Texas, and New York. These states feature some of the highest employment of computer and systems managers and offer the most competitive salaries in the country.

However, even though states like New York and California offer greater earning potential for security directors, these regions also have a higher cost of living than many other states. According to C2ER's 2022 survey, New York's cost of living index is the fifth highest in the country at 135.7, while the national average is 100.

The data in the following tables is not specific to security directors but represents computer and information systems managers, a similar occupation.

Top-Employing States for Computer and Information Systems Managers, 2021
Top-Employing States Number of Security Directors Employed Average Annual Salary







New York









Source: BLS

States With the Greatest Projected Increase in Employment for Computer and Information Systems Managers, 2020-30
State Percent Projected Change, 2020-30 Average Annual Openings

Greatest Projected Percentage Increase
















Most Projected Average Annual Openings




New York












Source: Projections Central

Top Metropolitan Areas for Security Directors

Metropolitan regions typically employ more cybersecurity directors than suburban or rural areas. These regions tend to offer higher salaries and more cybersecurity positions.

New York-Newark-Jersey City and San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward areas are some of the top-employing regions for information security directors.

The data below represents computer and information systems management careers grouped together by the BLS.

Top-Employing Metropolitan Areas for Information Systems Managers, 2021
Metropolitan Area Number of Security Directors Employed Average Annual Salary

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



San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA



Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA



San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA



Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH



Source: BLS

Best Industries for Cybersecurity Directors

With an increasing number of businesses making use of cybersecurity tools and services, nearly every industry employs security directors. However, some industries offer higher salaries and more opportunities than others.

According to BLS data, information services, equipment manufacturing, and natural gas are a few of the highest-paying industries for information systems managers. Computer systems design, software publishing, and data processing are among the top-employing industries for cybersecurity professionals.

The following data represents all computer and information systems managers and is not specific to security directors.

Top-Paying Industries for Computer and Information Systems Managers, 2021
Top-Paying Industries Number of Security Directors Employed Average Annual Salary

Other Information Services



Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing



Natural Gas Distribution



Other Support Activities for Transportation



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



Source: BLS

Employment by Industry for Computer and Information Systems Managers, 2021
Industries With Highest Employment Number of Security Directors Employed Average Annual Salary

Computer Systems Design and Related Services



Software Publishers



Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services



Other Information Services



Monetary Authorities-Central Bank



Source: BLS

Upward Mobility for Cybersecurity Directors

With years and experience, security directors can advance to chief information security officer (CISO) roles. CISO positions require 7-10 years of cybersecurity experience, plus proficiency in management and leadership skills. Security directors can also boost their salaries by taking on more responsibilities or getting promoted.

Many employers prefer additional certifications for advanced cybersecurity positions. Although there is no mandatory certification, adding a CISM or CISSP credential to their resume can elevate a cybersecurity director's career.

Learn More About Security Directors

What Is a Security Director?

What Is a Security Director?

How to Become a Security Director

How to Become a Security Director

Day in the Life of a Security Director

Day in the Life of a Security Director

Certifications for Security Directors

Certifications for Security Directors

Questions About a Security Director's Career

  • What is the average pay for an information security director?

    According to Payscale, the average security director salary is $92,825. Professionals with over 20 years of experience can earn more than $95,000 on average annually.

  • Where is the best state to work as a cybersecurity director?

    California, New York, and Texas are among the top-employing states for security directors, while Utah and Washington have the greatest projected job growth between 2020 and 2030, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • What is the best industry to work in as an information security director?

    Information services, manufacturing, and natural gas are the top-paying industries for computer and information systems managers. The industries with the highest employment for security directors include software publishing, banking, and computer systems design.

  • Does cybersecurity pay well?

    A cybersecurity career offers high-paying opportunities, a challenging and constantly evolving environment, and advancement potential. Accumulating experience and industry credentials can help cybersecurity professionals advance their careers and boost income.

Page last reviewed on December 7, 2022

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