Professional development

The top 10 highest-paying jobs in information security in 2021

Greg Belding
May 4, 2021 by
Greg Belding

Information security continues to grow. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the information security field is expected to grow by a whopping 31% between 2019 and 2029. 

This article will detail the top 10 highest-paying jobs in information security for 2021, presented in ascending order, so you can get a high-level idea of what these roles pay on average.

FREE role-guided training plans

FREE role-guided training plans

Get 12 cybersecurity training plans — one for each of the most common roles requested by employers.

10. Penetration tester ($84,690)

Rounding out the number 10 position is the intrepid role of the penetration tester. Also known as an ethical hacker, penetration testers are responsible for hacking into their organization’s computer systems, with permission, of course, to test their relative level of security. After testing, their day consists of writing reports based upon the findings from testing and communicating results to the executives and decision-makers of the organization. This role would be the first one to determine security weaknesses within an organization and are normally the first to break the bad news to the organization. 

9. Vulnerability assessor ($90,000)

Ever wonder who is responsible for keeping track of an organization's vulnerabilities and errors with an organization’s network security and computer systems? Wonder no more vulnerability assessors do just that. After searching for and analyzing the vulnerabilities and errors in these systems, an assessor creates and describes vulnerability assessments, uses custom scripts and applications to test these vulnerabilities and uses creative strategies to underscore additional organizational risks related to information security.

8. Information security analyst ($95,510)

Information security analysts are in demand and receive great pay. Ranked as the #4 Best Technology Job by U.S. News and World Report, this role has a wide scope of responsibilities within an organization and is regarded as the gatekeeper of an organization’s information systems. Their day-to-day responsibilities center on monitoring, preventing and responding to cyberattacks and data breaches. 

7. Information systems security engineer ($107,365)

Information security is one of the top priorities of most organizations today. An information systems security engineer is an information security professional with the right knowledge and skills needed to plan and implement information security systems and infrastructure. The role is responsible for designing the information security infrastructure and software for organizations and their respective testing. Creating these solutions requires a team of engineers so there is a heightened demand for those who can effectively lead a team of said engineers. Other commonly assigned tasks include ensuring the integrity of organization computer systems and maintaining existing information security systems as well as implementing new information security technologies.

6. Senior systems engineer ($110,675)

The system engineer of an organization fills some profound shoes. They design the systems that organizations rely on to conduct business which can include choosing which servers to select as well as the specifications such as which network cards to use. They also participate in the day-to-day administration of servers and data storage solutions. If your organization has lost its physical site due to catastrophe yet your data remains safe and business can function as usual the day after, this is the role that you need to thank.

5. Information security manager ($118,819)

This critical role for an organization is more than just another manager. Information security managers are responsible for creating, executing and maintaining security protocols and policies throughout an organization. They also review updates and configurations to ensure the organization’s software and infrastructure are adequately protected and manage security testing platforms, as well as cybersecurity training. Information security managers are also responsible for leading IT/information security teams and communicating security policies to the organization.

4. IT security architect ($127,000)

This role is tasked with leading the team that first designs and plans an organization’s security infrastructure and assists with design and implementation. The security architect will be the individual who assigns who will work on which security module, and it is this role that then puts it all together. After the infrastructure is implemented and meets business requirements, the security architect turns to working on problem reports and tickets as well as creating post-event analysis when security incidents arise.

3. Cybersecurity manager ($132,453)

Cybersecurity managers need sharp, top-flight cybersecurity skills and management skills. This role focuses on the protection of information systems, managing threat responders and managing the responses to both threats and cyberattacks alike. This is the role that will plan out exactly how an organization will react to a cyber incident and plays a key role in cybersecurity training management.

2. Security director ($147,000)

Security directors create, review and manage security policies, oversee compliance with relevant laws and work with the organization as a whole to build cybersecurity training programs and manage the upkeep and maintenance of said programs. This role is normally the top information security role within an organization that does not have a CISO.

1. CISO ($171,022)

Chief information security officers, or CISOs, rule the roost in information security. They create, evaluate and report new ideas in information security to the organization. They are the head of all other management roles in information security and supervise both the development and application of organizational security protocols and procedures. For most large organizations with an information security department, the proverbial buck stops here concerning both seniority and control of information security.

What should you learn next?

What should you learn next?

From SOC Analyst to Secure Coder to Security Manager — our team of experts has 12 free training plans to help you hit your goals. Get your free copy now.

Pursuing a high-paying information security job

Information security is made up of many roles with most paying relatively well. It should be noted that the bottom of this list may be the top of the mountain for many other fields. And with information security jobs expected to see substantial growth until 2029, pursuing one of these roles will pay off. 



Top paying Cybersecurity Jobs in 2021, University of San Diego

Cyber Security Job Outlook in 2021, New England Institute of Technology


Greg Belding
Greg Belding

Greg is a Veteran IT Professional working in the Healthcare field. He enjoys Information Security, creating Information Defensive Strategy, and writing – both as a Cybersecurity Blogger as well as for fun.