Information security analysts
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Overview
Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. Their responsibilities are continually expanding as the number of cyberattacks increases.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for information security analysts are expected to grow by 29%, and should have about 10,400 job openings a year.
Workforce size
Information security analysts, with 100,000 workers, form a larger workforce than 65% of careers.
Education
About 66% of information security analysts have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by information security analysts
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
More information security analysts have bachelor's degrees than 79% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for information security analysts is higher than 92% of all other jobs' middle salaries. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most information security analysts.
This job's median $98KAll jobs' median $39K$95K$38K20142015201620172018$0$50K$100K$150K$200K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 20% of information security analysts -- that's a smaller percentage than 63% of other jobs.
Gender of information security analysts
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For information security analysts, the median men's salary was 13% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 24% of information security analysts are minority, and 12% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of information security analysts
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (12%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Information Security Analysts per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
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Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 65% of information security analysts, and 79% have company-sponsored health insurance (13% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for information security analysts
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
Top college degrees
Here are the top college degrees held by the 68% of people in this job who have at least a bachelor's degree. Some of degrees may link to multiple programs due to the way Census classifies college majors. Click on a program to learn more about career opportunities for people who major in that field.
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of information security analysts who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Consequence of Error (51%)
  • Time Pressure (49%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (31%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do information security analysts earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for information security analysts, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for information security analysts compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for information security analysts (BLS Salary Data)
$98K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$98K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. We first show the full salary distribution for all information security analysts, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for information security analysts compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for information security analysts (ACS Salary Data)
$88K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$88K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where information security analysts work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Information security analysts (ACS)
Private for-profit (72.8%)
Private not-for-profit (6.7%)
Local government (2.0%)
State government (4.5%)
Federal government (12.9%)
Self-employed incorporated (0.5%)
Self-employed not incorporated (0.5%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of information security analysts by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$88K$89K$74K$86K$92K$82K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of information security analysts by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$98K$103K$77K$99K$79K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000$200,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for information security analysts

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$97K$98K$97K$104K$70K$98K$78K$91K$40K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
02K4K6K8K10K12KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Information security analysts and gender

With 20% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 63% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
20%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Information security analysts
Men (80%)
Women (20%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%. The situation is a little better for information security analysts, with the median salary for men 13% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$80K$91K$0$50K$100K$150KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Information security analysts have one of the middle percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase for the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job higher than that for 35% of other jobs.

13%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of information security analysts

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a higher percentage of minority information security analysts than for 68% of other careers. The percentage of foreign-born workers in this career is near the middle of all careers.

Race/origin of information security analysts
White (74% )
Black (12% )
Asian (8% )
Multiracial (3% )
Other (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
24%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
12%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for information security analysts by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$66K$78K$82K$85K$89K$97K$0$50K$100K$150KOtherBlackHispanicMultiracialWhiteAsian
Distribution: Salaries for information security analysts by nativity
$87K$95K$0$50K$100K$150KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by information security analysts

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), information security analysts typically hold a bachelor's degree.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as information security analysts as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for information security analysts.

Education attained by information security analysts
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for information security analysts

Information security analysts usually need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information assurance, programming, or a related field. 

Some employers prefer applicants who have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems. Programs offering the MBA in information systems generally require 2 years of study beyond the undergraduate level and include both business and computer-related courses.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for information security analysts

There are a number of information security certifications available, and many employers prefer candidates to have certification, which validates the knowledge and best practices required from information security analysts. Some are general information security certificates, such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), while others have a more narrow focus, such as penetration testing or systems auditing.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for information security analysts? Below we see the distribution of information security analysts salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as information security analysts, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$72K$81K$75K$87K$103K$107K$145K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KHigh School (5%)Some College (17%)Associate's Degree (11%)Bachelor's Degree (45%)Master's Degree (20%)Professional Deg/Doct (1%)Doctorate (1%)
Bachelor's degree pathways
College majors held by information security analysts

This table shows the college majors held by people working as information security analysts. Select any degree to see detailed information. We are able to connect careers to degrees using the American Community Survey (ACS), and their degrees are defined a little differently from our programs, which are based on standard CIP classifications. Therefore, selecting some degrees will lead to a selection of CIP-level programs from which to choose.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Degree
Select any title to learn more about that degree
Percentage of Information security analysts with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
The link between degrees and careers
The link between degrees and careers

With the following "sankey" diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as information security analysts, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. This visualization links fields of studies and careers, suggesting both similar careers and options for degrees. The full list of bachelor's degrees held by information security analysts given in the previous section reminds us that there are many paths to these careers beyond what we can summarize here.

This job
Top 10 majors
Each major's top ten jobs
Applications and systems software developersComputer programmersManagers (specialized areas)Computer and information systems managersComputer occupations (specialized areas)Computer systems analystsComputer support specialistsManagement analystsNetwork and computer systems administratorsChief executives and legislatorsAccountants and auditorsFirst-line supervisors of retail sales workersFinancial managersWholesale and manufacturing sales representativesSecretaries and administrative assistantsHuman resources workersFirst-line supervisors of non-retail sales workersMarketing and sales managersInformation security analystsWeb developersElectrical and electronics engineersEngineers (specialized areas)Architectural and engineering managersPostsecondary teachersCivil engineersComputer hardware engineersRetail salespersonsElementary and middle school teachersPolice officersSocial workersProbation officers and correctional treatment specialistsSecurity Guards and Gaming Surveillance OfficersBailiffs, correctional officers, and jailersLawyers, judges, and magistratesDetectives and criminal investigatorsFirst-Line Supervisors of Police and DetectivesComputer ScienceGeneral Computer andInformation SystemsBusiness Management andAdministrationComputer AdministrationManagement and SecurityElectrical EngineeringManagement InformationSystems and StatisticsComputer EngineeringGeneral BusinessInformation SciencesCriminal Justice and FireProtectionAll other degrees
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for information security analysts

What jobs will most information security analysts hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of information security analysts reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Information security analystsManagers (specialized areas)Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance OfficersComputer systems analystsComputer occupations (specialized areas)Computer and information systems managersComputer network architectsComputer support specialistsNetwork and computer systems administratorsComputer programmersApplications and systems software developersArchitectsFirst-line supervisors of office and administrative support workersEducation administrators
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for information security analysts

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 8 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as information security analysts as well as 1% of respondents after working as information security analysts. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for information security analysts
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers
159,200
$0$200K$29K
Applications and systems software developers
118,900
$0$200K$96K
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
Computer support specialists
72,300
$0$200K$54K
Computer systems analysts
45,200
$0$200K$75K
Computer and information systems managers
32,500
$0$200K$99K
Network and computer systems administrators
27,000
$0$200K$71K
Computer occupations (specialized areas)
22,500
$0$200K$68K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for information security analysts: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as information security analysts? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of information security analysts surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for information security analysts
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Retail salespersons
676,200
$0$200K$31K
2.4%
Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers
159,200
$0$200K$29K
3.8%
Applications and systems software developers
118,900
$0$200K$96K
5.3%
Management analysts
87,200
$0$200K$76K
2.5%
Secondary school teachers
85,500
$0$200K$53K
1.1%
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
6.3%
Computer support specialists
72,300
$0$200K$54K
4.5%
Billing and posting clerks
59,700
$0$200K$34K
1.4%
Marketing and sales managers
57,800
$0$200K$74K
1.6%
Computer systems analysts
45,200
$0$200K$75K
3.7%
Production workers
37,400
$0$200K$32K
1.3%
Computer and information systems managers
32,500
$0$200K$99K
2.9%
Office and administrative support workers
30,900
$0$200K$40K
1.0%
Network and computer systems administrators
27,000
$0$200K$71K
2.7%
Compliance officers
26,000
$0$200K$65K
1.0%
Computer occupations (specialized areas)
22,500
$0$200K$68K
5.6%
Computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers
11,500
$0$200K$43K
2.4%
Information security analysts
10,400
$0$200K$88K
30.1%
Physical scientists (specialized areas)
2,000
$0$200K$69K
1.3%
No occupation
4.9%
Read about information security analysts
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

Information security analysts typically do the following:

  • Monitor their organization’s networks for security breaches and investigate a violation when one occurs
  • Install and use software, such as firewalls and data encryption programs, to protect sensitive information
  • Prepare reports that document security breaches and the extent of the damage caused by the breaches
  • Conduct penetration testing, which is when analysts simulate attacks to look for vulnerabilities in their systems before they can be exploited
  • Research the latest information technology (IT) security trends
  • Develop security standards and best practices for their organization
  • Recommend security enhancements to management or senior IT staff
  • Help computer users when they need to install or learn about new security products and procedures

IT security analysts are heavily involved with creating their organization’s disaster recovery plan, a procedure that IT employees follow in case of emergency. These plans allow for the continued operation of an organization’s IT department. The recovery plan includes preventive measures such as regularly copying and transferring data to an offsite location. It also involves plans to restore proper IT functioning after a disaster. Analysts continually test the steps in their recovery plans.

Information security analysts must stay up to date on IT security and on the latest methods attackers are using to infiltrate computer systems. Analysts need to research new security technology to decide what will most effectively protect their organization.

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of information security analysts? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Analytical skills
Information security analysts must carefully study computer systems and networks and assess risks to determine how security policies and protocols can be improved.
Detail oriented
Because cyberattacks can be difficult to detect, information security analysts must pay careful attention to computer systems and watch for minor changes in performance.
Ingenuity
Information security analysts must anticipate information security risks and implement new ways to protect their organizations’ computer systems and networks.
Problem-solving skills
Information security analysts must respond to security alerts and uncover and fix flaws in computer systems and networks.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for information security analysts
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) salary for information security analysts was higher than 92% of all other jobs' middle salaries. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $98KAll jobs' median $39K$94K$38K2012201320142015201620172018$0$50K$100K$150K$200K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for information security analysts are anticipated to grow by 29% over the next decade; only 1% of jobs are predicted to grow more.

The projected employment for information security analysts is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

20102015202020252030050,000100,000150,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most information security analysts? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as information security analysts. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Information Security Analysts per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.01.02.03.04.0
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where information security analysts earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for information security analysts compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for information security analysts.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Median salary ratio: Information Security Analysts to all workers (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which information security analysts earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
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0.01.02.03.0
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Information security analysts (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
Interests
Environment
Knowledge
Physical Abilities
Jobs that are similar by Interests and Salary (All education levels)
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