Security Manager Career and Salary Outlook

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Published November 4, 2022

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A security manager career can offer a high salary and excellent opportunities for growth. Learn about the factors that influence a security manager's salary and career outlook.

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Security managers are responsible for keeping their organizations' computer networks secure and overseeing cybersecurity strategies and procedures.They are also called information security managers, cybersecurity managers, or information technology (IT) security managers.

Security manager careers offer high average salaries, many job openings, and opportunities for growth. Cybersecurity managers with the right experience can advance to IT director or chief information officer roles.

The strong demand for cybersecurity professionals will likely continue to grow. A Cybersecurity Ventures report found that the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs grew by 350% between 2013-2021.

This page explores the salary and job prospects of security managers. We analyze factors that can impact career opportunities for security managers, including location, education, experience, and industry.

What Does a Cybersecurity Manager Do?

A cybersecurity manager is a high-level role that oversees an organization's computer and information security to prevent security breaches. They create IT security best practices and policies, identify security threats, and oversee responses to security incidents.

Cybersecurity managers need excellent technical skills in vulnerability assessment, Linux, and network security. The job requires strong management, communication, and leadership acumen. Professionals also must stay up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity technology and news.

IT security managers interact with company executives to make security decisions. They may supervise other cybersecurity and IT staff, such as information security analysts, software developers, and computer support specialists.

Security managers work in many sectors as organizations recognize the need to keep their data safe. Major industries that employ cybersecurity managers include computer systems design, information, finance and insurance, and management.

How Much Does a Security Manager Make?

Security manager jobs can offer high-paying, competitive salaries because of the demand for skilled professionals. According to Payscale, the average annual salary for a security manager was nearly $120,000 as of August 2022.

Factors that can influence a security manager's salary include cybersecurity education, experience, and specialization. Location and industry also affect how much you can expect to make.


$119,890

Average Annual Salary of Security Managers, 2022

Source: Payscale

Security Manager Average Salary by Experience

Experience can affect the average salary for a security manager over time. People just starting out in the field make close to $80,000 on average, but this figure quickly rises and continues to increase over time. The most experienced security managers earn nearly $130,000 a year on average.

Security Manager Average Salary by Education

Education level can affect a security manager's average salary, and compensation can increase with additional education. Security managers who pursue further degrees, bootcamps, or industry certifications may pursue promotions or higher-paying jobs.

Payscale reports that earning a master's degree in cybersecurity can increase your average salary by about $17,000 compared to just a bachelor's degree. An advanced degree can offer many potential benefits, but before pursuing additional education, consider the time and money it will cost. Determine your projected return on investment by subtracting potential earnings after graduation from your total education costs.

The data below does not represent solely security managers but rather all respondents in the cybersecurity field who hold that degree.

Discover Which Education Path Is Right for You

Average Salary for Security Managers by Location

Location can affect a security manager's salary. Factors like demand for the job, cost of living, quality of life, and population density can impact a security manager's average salary. The places that offer the highest salaries may have higher costs of living.

For example, San Francisco pays security managers 28% more than the national average, but its cost of living is 94% more than the average. Living in San Francisco may be financially difficult even with a much higher-than-average salary. But, it may also offer an excellent quality of life with access to culture, diversity, and natural beauty.

Consider your priorities to help determine where to apply for jobs. The tables for top-paying metro areas and top-paying states below reference Payscale and BLS data for all computer and information systems managers, which includes IT security managers.

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

San Francisco, California

$153,540

28.1%

Los Angeles, California

$134,940

12.6%

Washington, District of Columbia

$134,716

12.4%

Colorado Springs, Colorado

$132,660

11%

Seattle, Washington

$132,490

11%

Source: Payscale

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

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

19,930

$228,030

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

25,690

$211,470

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

37,530

$202,800

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

11,220

$185,210

Boulder, CO

890

$181,080

Source: BLS

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

New York

29,360

$195,900

California

92,880

$193,500

New Jersey

19,700

$189,540

Washington

13,720

$178,130

District of Columbia

5,060

$176,000

Source: BLS

Security Managers' Job Outlook and Career Prospects

The security manager career outlook is excellent. The BLS projects a 16% growth rate for computer and information systems manager jobs between 2021 and 2031. This is much faster than the average projected growth rate for all occupations.

The BLS projects 48,500 job openings for computer and information systems managers each year in that time period. Choosing a career with higher-than-average demand can mean that you may have less difficulty in landing a job. It may also give you more leverage to negotiate a higher salary.

The data below is not specific to security managers. It represents all computer and information systems managers, which the BLS groups IT security managers into.


Change in Projected Employment for Computer and Information Systems Managers:

+16% from 2021-2031

Source: BLS

Best Locations for Cybersecurity Managers

Cybersecurity managers can find employment opportunities throughout the country. However, some locations offer more job openings than others. It's usually easier to discover better job opportunities in places with higher demand for your profession. Security managers typically find more job opportunities in metropolitan than rural areas.

Top States for Security Managers

States with plentiful roles for security managers include Texas, New York, Florida and Massachusetts. However, one state, California, employs 92,880 computer and information systems managers. This is more than double the number of computer and information systems managers that work in Texas, the second top-employing state.

All of the top-employing states for security managers have large populations and many densely populated urban areas. California and New York offer the highest average salaries, but the cost of living is higher than in some other places.

Look at states with the greatest projected increase in employment of computer and information systems managers. This can help you identify opportunities in places that may be less widely known in the industry.

The BLS does not collect separate data specific to security managers. The data in the tables below represent computer and information systems managers, a grouping that includes IT security managers.

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

California

92,880

$193,500

Texas

40,270

$154,860

New York

29,360

$195,900

Florida

22,670

$146,310

Massachusetts

21,690

$168,490

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

Utah

34.7%

600

Washington

31.4%

2,330

Colorado

30.4%

890

Florida

27.4%

2,320

Tennessee

27.4%

800

Most Projected Average Annual Openings

California

23.8%

10,000

New York

19.9%

3,090

Texas

26%

3,060

Massachusetts

26.5%

2,400

Florida

27.4%

2,320

Source: Projections Central

Top Metropolitan Areas for Security Managers

Some cities and metropolitan regions offer many more job opportunities and/or better salaries for security managers than others.

The data below represents computer and information systems managers, a BLS grouping of careers that includes security managers. The New York-Newark-Jersey City, San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim areas employ more computer and information systems managers than any other metro regions.

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

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

37,530

$202,800

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

25,690

$211,470

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

24,140

$172,880

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

19,930

$228,030

Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH

19,180

$172,010

Source: BLS

Best Industries for Cybersecurity Managers

A security manager's duties, salary, and potential for mobility can vary by setting. The computer systems design industry employs 113,870 computer and information systems managers, more than any other sector.

Top-paying industries include other information services, computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing, and natural gas distribution. Some of the top-paying industries employ a very small number of people, making it more difficult to land a position in these sectors. For example, only 370 computer and information systems managers work in natural gas distribution.

The data in the tables below is not specific to security managers. It represents computer and information systems managers, a grouping of careers that includes IT security managers.

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

Other Information Services

13,300

$220,320

Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing

2,830

$202,530

Natural Gas Distribution

370

$196,840

Other Support Activities for Transportation

50

$194,680

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

10,170

$193,810

Source: BLS

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

Computer Systems Design and Related Services

113,870

$166,810

Management of Companies and Enterprises

48,910

$164,800

Software Publishers

23,500

$172,770

Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services

20,150

$172,220

Insurance Carriers

18,380

$162,910

Source: BLS

Upward Mobility for Security Managers

Security manager is a high-level career that requires a degree and at least five years of relevant experience. However, highly experienced cybersecurity managers can find advancement opportunities in roles like IT or security director, chief technology officer, or chief information officer (CIO). A CIO can become one of their organization's top executives.

These advanced roles hold greater responsibility, provide higher-level leadership, and look at the bigger picture more than a security manager. Information security executives typically focus on creating long-term plans and developing security policies for their organizations.

A security manager can attain these higher jobs by completing additional education and professional certifications. Most of the careers above a security manager also require significant time in the role.

Learn More About Security Managers

Read a detailed explanation of what a security manager is and does. This includes typical work environments, daily tasks, responsibilities, and coworkers. We cover the typical education, experience, and certification requirements and explain the skills and character traits that make a successful security manager. We describe a sample day in the life of a security manager job. We outline typical daily tasks and the types of people they interact with. This page explores professional certifications for security managers. We explain eligibility criteria and the process for earning various certifications.

FAQ About Job Outlook and Pay for Security Managers


What is the highest salary a security manager can make?

Payscale reports that information security managers can make around $155,000 a year on average. But, salary can vary widely depending on experience, education, industry, and location. For example, security managers in California can earn $200,000 or more on average salary.

Where is the best state to work as a cybersecurity manager?

New York and California are two of the best states to pursue a security manager career. Both states rank in the top three for top-paying states and top-employing states for computer and information systems managers.

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

The best industries to work in as a security manager include computer systems design and related services and information services.

Is cybersecurity management a good career?

A career in cybersecurity management can offer a lucrative salary and many opportunities for growth. Security managers earn $119,890 a year on average. Also, the BLS projects 16% growth from 2021-2031 for computer and information systems managers, a closely related career.

Reviewed by: Monali Mirel Chuatico

In 2019, Monali Mirel Chuatico graduated with her bachelor's in computer science, which gave her the foundation that she needed to excel in roles such as a data engineer, front-end developer, UX designer, and computer science instructor.

Monali is currently a data engineer at Mission Lane. As a data analytics captain at a nonprofit called COOP Careers, Monali helps new grads and young professionals overcome underemployment by teaching them data analytics tools and mentoring them on their professional development journey.

Monali is passionate about implementing creative solutions, building community, advocating for mental health, empowering women, and educating youth. Monali's goal is to gain more experience in her field, expand her skill set, and do meaningful work that will positively impact the world.

Monali Mirel Chuatico is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education Integrity Network.

Page last reviewed Oct 9, 2022

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