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Posted On: April 15, 2018 by Henry R. Steele

The following article discusses the career path of Security Engineer. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Security Engineers.

Job Duties

Security engineers are responsible for the development of computer solutions that effectively render their business’ projects and systems more secure. They do this by developing new strategies to resolve security issues, while also remaining up to date with new potential threats. They must have a full grasp of prevention protocols and intrusion detection.

Security engineers also deal with technical issues in relation to production equipment and applications. They know how to respond to incidents and understand IT forensics completely. They also manage the workflow and develop emergency preparedness strategies and responses. They often work together with other professionals and engineers to ensure that production problems are avoided or mitigated.

Security engineers perform security checks and keep logs on their results, thereby spotting vulnerabilities before there is a breach. They also write automation scripts that enable them to track and handle different incidents. They must be multitaskers, performing engineering duties while also reporting to senior chiefs and managers. Usually, they work regular hours, although they will be required to render overtime work if needed, for instance, if there is a security breach.

Other duties of a security engineer are:

  • To develop and initialize intrusion detection systems and firewalls
  • To develop proper responses to network intrusions
  • To conduct forensic investigations
  • To upgrade hardware and software and test them, implementing modern technologies as and where required
  • To develop test plans that enable security to be properly evaluated at all times
  • To find solutions to security issues and implement an appropriate defense system

Where We Work

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 100,000 information security analysts in 2016, a profession closely related to that of the security engineer. The largest employers of these professionals are:

  • Computer systems design and related services: 28%
  • Finance and insurance: 19%
  • Management of companies and enterprises: 9%
  • Information: 8%
  • Administrative and support services: 6%

How to Become

Security engineers need to be strong communicators and excellent team players. They also have to focus on delivering results, often in a very high pressure environment. They must be excellent problem solvers who can work on their own and who have strong math skills to deal with complex issues. Naturally, they must be fully up to date with operating systems and computer languages.

Generally, they need to hold a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer science or engineering. Most also have a number of years of work experience in entry level positions. Additionally, it is common for them to hold certifications in industry security.

Work experience is very important as this ensures that they understand computer systems and networks, and that their knowledge is current and up to date. Additionally, it is common for them to become security engineers in industries in which they previously worked. For instance, someone who worked as an IT support officer in a health care environment will be more likely to be hired as a security engineer in that same environment.

Education Requirements

A security engineer should hold a bachelor’s degree in a field related to programming, information assurance, or computer science as a minimum. It is becoming common for employers to look for those who hold a master’s degree, with the master of business administration (MBA) being particularly popular.

A number of different licenses and certifications exist that a security engineer could choose to obtain. Certification is not mandatory in most cases, but it is preferred as it demonstrates their commitment towards excellence, while at the same time indicating that their knowledge is up to date, as continuous education is generally required to maintain certification. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is quite popular for this.

Traits & Qualities

The most effective security engineers have the following traits to some degree or other:

– Strong analytical skills
– Detail oriented
– Ingenuity
– Excellent problem solving skills
– Ability to think outside the box
– Strong communication skills, particularly verbal

Minimum Education

Bachelor’s Degree

National Salary

The national average salary estimate for Security Engineer was $103,459. This number is estimated from over 2,159,636 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $53.88 and monthly of $8,622.

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$31,000

$218,000

Salary Distribution

Salary by State

The following section lists Security Engineer salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, California had the largest quoted salary of $124,737 while Idaho had the smallest quoted salary of $43,200.

Alaska Idaho Missouri Pennsylvania
Alabama Illinois North Carolina South Carolina
Arizona Indiana Nebraska Tennessee
California Kansas New Hampshire Texas
Colorado Kentucky New Jersey Utah
Connecticut Louisiana New Mexico Virginia
DC Massachusetts Nevada Washington
Delaware Maryland New York Wisconsin
Florida Maine Ohio
Georgia Michigan Oklahoma
Iowa Minnesota Oregon
Alaska$51,379 Rank: 40th

The average salary ranks 40th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like TEKsystems and Kodiak Island Borough School District.

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$13.50

$44.40

Salary Distribution
Alabama$76,359 Rank: 28th

The average salary ranks 28th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like TEKsystems, Ignite education, Sharp Communication & Security Solutions, and CyberCoders.

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$14,000

$190,000

Salary Distribution
Arizona$91,973 Rank: 21st

The average salary ranks 21st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like VORTECHX Applied Technologies, LLC, Career Evolutions, Tech Finders, and Request Technology.

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$30,000

$185,000

Salary Distribution
California$124,737 Rank: 1st

The average salary ranks 1st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like HERO.jobs, Intelletec, SAP, and Growing, leading wireless hotspot company.

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$34,000

$270,000

Salary Distribution
Colorado$101,666 Rank: 12th

The average salary ranks 12th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like First Data, LatAm Connex, University of Colorado, and Principle Group.

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$29,000

$218,000

Salary Distribution
Connecticut$103,575 Rank: 10th

The average salary ranks 10th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CareerFactor LLC, Hamilton Technical Personnel, Inc., Infotree Service, and Siemens.

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$28,000

$226,000

Salary Distribution
DC$117,306 Rank: 2nd

The average salary ranks 2nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like AMS Staffing, Contract position DC Gov, Primastep LLC, and CipherStaff.

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$53,000

$205,000

Salary Distribution
Delaware$104,635 Rank: 8th

The average salary ranks 8th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Request Technology – Brian Martin.

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$38,000

$203,000

Salary Distribution
Florida$94,314 Rank: 18th

The average salary ranks 18th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like InfoStaff, Enet IT Group, Principle Solutions Group, and Vaco – Memphis.

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$33,000

$186,000

Salary Distribution
Georgia$103,870 Rank: 9th

The average salary ranks 9th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like The Centrics Group, Vision Information Technology, Talent Logic, Inc., and permIT LLC.

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$42,000

$192,000

Salary Distribution
Iowa$70,696 Rank: 32nd

The average salary ranks 32nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Technology, Aerotek, The University of Iowa, and Midwest Alarm Company, Inc..

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$18,000

$159,000

Salary Distribution
Idaho$43,200 Rank: 41st

The average salary ranks 41st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, V Dart, Inc., and TEKsystems.

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$7.25

$61.75

Salary Distribution
Illinois$107,141 Rank: 7th

The average salary ranks 7th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Huxley Financial Services, HireNexus, Motion Recruitment Partners Prod, and Request Technology – Antonio Gonzalez.

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$45,000

$194,000

Salary Distribution
Indiana$71,475 Rank: 31st

The average salary ranks 31st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Technology, IN-Momentum, Momentum LLC, and ITT Educational Services Inc..

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$20,000

$152,000

Salary Distribution
Kansas$54,194 Rank: 39th

The average salary ranks 39th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Tri-Starr Personnel, YRC Freight, and Remprex.

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$14,000

$140,000

Salary Distribution
Kentucky$82,893 Rank: 27th

The average salary ranks 27th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, TEKsystems, University of Kentucky, and Infinity Consulting Solutions.

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$24,000

$175,000

Salary Distribution
Louisiana$57,582 Rank: 35th

The average salary ranks 35th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like U.S. Air Force and Robert Half Technology.

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$14,000

$148,000

Salary Distribution
Massachusetts$101,027 Rank: 13th

The average salary ranks 13th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Cube Management, Ashley Ellis, River Group Technologies, and WinterWyman.

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$35,000

$200,000

Salary Distribution
Maryland$102,689 Rank: 11th

The average salary ranks 11th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Deborah Michael Recruiting, National Security Agency, Gina's Tech Jobs, and GinasTechJobs.com.

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$31,000

$216,000

Salary Distribution
Maine$91,775 Rank: 22nd

The average salary ranks 22nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Melon Sky Corporation.

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$41,000

$161,000

Salary Distribution
Michigan$98,158 Rank: 15th

The average salary ranks 15th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Request Technology, Recruitment Management Consultants, LLC, Robert Half Technology, and Crossfire.

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$31,000

$201,000

Salary Distribution
Minnesota$87,293 Rank: 25th

The average salary ranks 25th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like tt, Infinity Consulting Solutions, Minnesota IT Services, and MN.IT Services.

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$26,000

$183,000

Salary Distribution
Missouri$92,784 Rank: 20th

The average salary ranks 20th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Net2Source, Allied Universal, Project Controls Group, Inc., and CyberCoders.

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$22,000

$212,000

Salary Distribution
North Carolina$97,470 Rank: 16th

The average salary ranks 16th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like SSI Technical/Medical, Request Technology, iSwan Recruitment Solutions, and Veredus.

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$32,000

$196,000

Salary Distribution
Nebraska$75,732 Rank: 30th

The average salary ranks 30th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like University of Nebraska Medical Center, CyberCoders, and Randstad.

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$17,000

$177,000

Salary Distribution
New Hampshire$68,959 Rank: 33rd

The average salary ranks 33rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Liberty Mutual.

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$18,000

$151,000

Salary Distribution
New Jersey$107,433 Rank: 6th

The average salary ranks 6th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Motion Recruitment Partners Prod, EC STAFFING, PRI Technology, and DSNSearch.

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$37,000

$214,000

Salary Distribution
New Mexico$54,590 Rank: 38th

The average salary ranks 38th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Request Technology.

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$14,000

$138,000

Salary Distribution
Nevada$66,893 Rank: 34th

The average salary ranks 34th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like TEKsystems, Clark County, NV, and ABC FIRE.

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$21,000

$138,000

Salary Distribution
New York$109,178 Rank: 5th

The average salary ranks 5th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Two Sigma, AMS Staffing, Harrington Starr, and Motion Recruitment Partners Prod.

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$32,000

$230,000

Salary Distribution
Ohio$90,891 Rank: 24th

The average salary ranks 24th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, Affinity Executive Search, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), and Career Brokers, Inc..

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$36,000

$170,000

Salary Distribution
Oklahoma$55,380 Rank: 36th

The average salary ranks 36th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Western Farmers Electric Cooperative.

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$14,000

$145,000

Salary Distribution
Oregon$86,922 Rank: 26th

The average salary ranks 26th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, DEFENDERS, Spirit Mountain Casino, and Personnel Source, Inc.

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$30,000

$171,000

Salary Distribution
Pennsylvania$91,681 Rank: 23rd

The average salary ranks 23rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Workbridge Associates, TechInMotion, Computer Enterprises, Inc., and SS, Inc.

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$29,000

$189,000

Salary Distribution
South Carolina$76,204 Rank: 29th

The average salary ranks 29th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Revolution Technologies, Talent Logic, Inc., SBF Search, LLC, and The Centrics Group.

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$19,000

$171,000

Salary Distribution
Tennessee$93,193 Rank: 19th

The average salary ranks 19th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like TEKsystems, Robert Half Technology, Integrity Technology Solutions, and SHELBY COUNTY GOVERNMENT.

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$29,000

$192,000

Salary Distribution
Texas$99,633 Rank: 14th

The average salary ranks 14th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Vaco, Vaco – Memphis, AVISPA LLC, and WDF Funds.

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$32,000

$203,000

Salary Distribution
Utah$95,563 Rank: 17th

The average salary ranks 17th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Spherion, CyberCoders, Robert Half Technology, and CENTRAL UTAH WATER CONSERVANCY DISTRICT.

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$33,000

$189,000

Salary Distribution
Virginia$109,396 Rank: 4th

The average salary ranks 4th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Vaco, Vaco – Memphis, TEEMA Solutions Group Inc., and Cipher3.

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$39,000

$214,000

Salary Distribution
Washington$110,314 Rank: 3rd

The average salary ranks 3rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like TEKsystems, Next Level Systems, Inc., Prime Team Partners, and Prime Team Partners, Inc.

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$35,000

$227,000

Salary Distribution
Wisconsin$54,988 Rank: 37th

The average salary ranks 37th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like TEKsystems, Robert Half Technology, Drake & Company Staffing Solutions, and Rust-Oleum.

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$7.25

$75.60

Salary Distribution

Top 20 National Employers

According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Security Engineer. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.

Employer Name Location Average Salary

Learn More

Related Careers

Career Name Average Salary
Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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