CompTIA Security+

Average Security+ salary (2024): Your guide to a prosperous cybersecurity career

Infosec Institute
January 30, 2024 by
Infosec Institute

CompTIA Security+ gives candidates a solid foundation to build a cybersecurity career. Certification holders enter job interviews with solid evidence of their understanding of networks and how to use the latest tools and tactics to protect them. As a broad, foundational cybersecurity certification, the Security+ has become the most prevalent cybersecurity certification in the world. More than 700,000 professionals have earned their Security+. 

Become a SOC Analyst: get Security+ certified!

Become a SOC Analyst: get Security+ certified!

More than 47,000 new SOC analysts will be needed by 2030. Get your CompTIA Security+ to leap into this rapidly growing field — backed with an Exam Pass Guarantee.

Learn the basics of the CompTIA Security+ certification, the average cybersecurity salary for certification holders and how it can help you advance your career. 

Understanding CompTIA Security+ certification 

The CompTIA Security+ certification was updated in November 2023 to align with the most requested skills from employers around roles like network security administrator. 

It covers skills and knowledge regarding: 

  • New technologies and tools needed to defend against cybersecurity threats 

  • The attack methods hackers use to exploit network resources 

  • The design and architecture of effective cybersecurity systems 

  • How to identify and evaluate cybersecurity risks 

  • Identity and access management solutions 

  • Cryptography and public critical infrastructure (PKI) 

  • Issues about governance, risk and compliance challenges 


Watch the complete CompTIA Security+: Everything you need to know about the SY0-701 webinar with Join Patrick Lane, Director of Certification Product Management at CompTIA and grab your free Security+ ebook overview for more. 

The value of CompTIA Security+ in the job market 

CompTIA Security+ certification holders may have a distinct edge over other job applicants because they have demonstrable knowledge of how to protect digital ecosystems. It's like the difference between a licensed electrician and someone who knows how to wire a home but doesn't have the certification to prove it.

All other factors being equal, who would you instead hire? Though you need to be licensed to work as an electrician, holding a CompTIA certification, while not required, similarly proves your competency to employers. Certifications like Security+ are essential for early-career roles as many companies use it to know you have a baseline of skills even if there is no previous work experience. 

Now's a great time to leverage the advantages a Security+ certification can give you, especially in the current cybersecurity market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, security analyst jobs are growing 32% yearly, which the Bureau labels "Much faster than average." 

This growth in the sector makes a Security+ certification even more valuable. It distinguishes you from the rest of the crowd. 

The average salary for Security+ certified professionals in 2024 

Here are the average wages for security administrators, the primary roles for Security+ certification holders, as reported by leading job sites: 

Keep in mind that these figures represent base pay. The median salary with a bonus for 2024 is $105,605. 

In 2022, our data revealed that the average base salary for CompTIA Security+ professionals was $78,000. Based on the above sources, the average base Security+ salary ranges from around $71,071 to $96,000, with a rough average of $86,885. This is about 11.4% higher than the previous salary, showing an upward trend for Security+ compensation.  

Salary by location 

Salaries vary considerably by region, with some markets bringing in significantly higher wages and others coming in lower. For example, according to, the average security administrator makes 19.6% more in Houston, Texas. It's like security admins in Orlando, Florida, who earn 4.3% more. 

On the other side of the spectrum, security admins make 16% less in Madison, Wisconsin, and 21% less in Virginia Beach, Virginia. 

Some of the regional variations stem from factors such as: 

  • The cost of living 

  • The number of high-paying companies in each region 

  • The average pay in related sectors, which applicants may consider switching to, such as programming or IT support 

Here are some sample pay ranges for security admins in some of the major cities in the U.S., based on data from 

  • Boston, Massachusetts: $105,441 

  • Chicago, Illinois: $98,722 

  • Dallas, Texas: $92,976 

  • Miami, Florida: $90,824 

  • New York, New York: $109,961 

  • San Francisco, California: $116,980 

  • Washington, DC: $104,178 

Salary by experience 

Your pay as a security admin will also vary based on your experience level, which plays a significant role. For example, according to Glassdoor's stats, the pay ranges break down like this: 

  • 0-1 years of experience: $62,000 

  • 1-3 years of experience: $67,000 

  • 4-6 years of experience: $74,000 

  • 7-9 years of experience: $78,000 

Salary by Industry 

The industry you choose can also make a difference. On Glassdoor, for example, the top two industries for security admin pay are aerospace and defense, where security professionals earn a median income of $97,490, and information technology, which brings in a median salary of $90,740. Glassdoor also has data on other industries, so you can check to see what security admins make in your sector and compare. 

Career opportunities with Security+ certification 

Holding a Security+ certification prepares you for a range of different kinds of jobs. Here are some of the most common positions, along with pay data from 

  • Cybersecurity analyst, $115,000. A cybersecurity analyst analyzes and monitors security threats and mitigates and responds to them. 

  • Systems administrator, $98,000. A systems administrator with a security focus implements security policies, performs security audits and supports the security of the general IT infrastructure. 

  • Network administrator, $91,000. A network admin focusing on security aims to design and maintain a more secure network for an organization. In this role, they protect the company's data and work to make sure attacks don't compromise network components. 

  • Security consultant, $122,000. As a security consultant, you assess the security of your company and recommend ways the organization can improve. 

  • Help desk technician, $60,000. Help desk technicians who focus on security aid internal employees or external customers in situations that intersect with cybersecurity, such as suspected data breaches or malware-related issues. 

  • Security specialist, $69,000. As a security specialist, you work within a specific cybersecurity discipline, such as cryptography, identity and access control management. 

Security+ certified professionals report positive results after earning their cert. 

For instance, A Northrop Grumman computer system analyst used Security+ to help transition from a 20-year IT career into cybersecurity. She ended up transitioning into a role as a computer systems analyst. "I audit different computer systems to ensure that they comply," she said. "If folks come to audit our system within our department, I'm in charge of making sure that it's taken care of, alongside vulnerability scanning and vulnerability management." 

Is CompTIA Security+ enough to secure a job? 

CompTIA’s exams have performance-based questions, testing knowledge and hands-on skills. That’s why they are preferred by employers looking to see if you’ve got the needed skills. Still, you need more than a Security+ certification to secure a job. Many employers prefer candidates with at least some experience in the field before entrusting them with their digital assets  

If you don't have experience already, it's best to get some under your belt after you've passed the Security+ exam. Here’s how: 

  • Infosec cyber ranges are a significant middle step from knowledge to hands-on practice and real-world application. Our Security+ cyber range includes our Skills subscription and boot camp.   

  • Practice your skills at home by configuring a home network system and creating a home lab. 

  • Contribute to an open-source project. 

  • Volunteer your skills or offer consulting services to your local library, charity or community organization.  

  • Start with an entry-level IT position like a help desk to hone your networking and operating system. 

Industry experts recommend having a combination of experience and certification. Juan Fernandez, Channel Chief at, notes that when he writes job descriptions, "IT certifications are always a requirement." At the same time, he lists professional skills as the second most crucial requirement for landing a job in cybersecurity. 

The worth of CompTIA Security+ certification 

The return on investment after you earn your CompTIA Security+ certification is considerable. In the U.S., for instance, the exam cost is currently $392. Considering the average pre-bonus base pay of $86,885, you recoup that money several times over in only your first month of employment. 

A Security+ certification may also earn you more than other entry-level certs. For example, according to CompTIA, helpdesk technicians, a role held by many CompTIA A+ certification holders, earn an average of $49,770 annually. 

Security+ as an entry-level certification 

Getting a Security+ certification is a crucial building block for many cybersecurity professionals, serving as the foundation of a lucrative career. Since a Security+ cert covers such a wide range of skills, it prepares you to succeed in multiple roles in various companies. 

"We find that more job roles use Security+ for the baseline cybersecurity skills than any other certification in the industry," said CompTIA's Director of Products Patrick Lane on a recent Security+ webinar with Infosec. 

Approximately 20% of the Security+ was updated in the most recent version (SY0-701) to cover the latest cybersecurity, ranging from automation to zero trust to internet-of-things. 

"If you pass the exam, you should be equipped to excel in this ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape," said Lane. 

Also, Security+ assesses your on-the-job skills, helping it earn the distinction of being one of the only ISO/ANSI-accredited cybersecurity certifications. 

Enhancing your career with Security+ 

Your Security+ certification can be a powerful career advancement tool. Professionals working in other IT branches can use this cert to leapfrog into another career path. The certification can make it easier to land a job, especially if you only have a modest amount of experience with cybersecurity. 

To take your career to the next destination on your professional journey, you may want to pursue the following CompTIA certifications: 

  • CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+). The CySA+ focuses on incident detection and response. 

  • CompTIA PenTest+. The PenTest+ certification demonstrates your ability to test networks and their assets by performing penetration tests and producing reports on managing an organization's vulnerabilities. 

  • CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+). This provides evidence of your mastery of the kinds of skills someone with five to 10 years of experience would have. 

Real-world implications of Security+ in cybersecurity 

The Security+ exam consists of detailed questions, some of which are scenarios like what you could face in the real world. By navigating these questions, you exercise your critical thinking and decision-making skills in the context of cybersecurity, which can help prepare you to handle a vast range of security incidents. 

For example, one sample question outlines a situation where you're positioned as a threat mitigator on a cyber incident response team (CIRT). In this scenario, multiple hackers are attacking your customers' systems. One hacker is dangerously close to accessing sensitive information; another has already gained a foothold and has been exfiltrating data for weeks. 

You're called on to identify the stage of each attack, mitigation steps, prevention steps and exercises that would strengthen each company's defenses in the future. 

These questions prepare you well for real-world scenarios where you'd be called on to take the same or very similar actions. In this way, preparing for and passing the exam better equips you to defend organizations in real-life scenarios. 

Preparing for the Security+ certification 

To prepare for the test, begin by looking at the five different domains:  

  • General Security Concepts 

  • Threats, Vulnerabilities and Mitigations 

  • Security Architecture 

  • Security Operations 

  • Security Program Management and Oversight 

You should then focus on getting more comfortable in the areas where your knowledge may be weakest. For instance, if you've been the boots on the ground, combatting threats as they strike, for a considerable time, you may not be as familiar with the concepts in the Security Program Management and Oversight section. 

Next, enrolling in a preparation course to increase your chances of passing the exam would be a good idea. For instance, those who go through the Infosec Security+ Boot Camp average a 93% pass rate. 

The exam changes constantly as test designers try to keep up with the demands of the security landscape. For example, the newest version, SYO-701, has a much stronger focus on security operations than its predecessor, SYO-601. SYO-701 also has different domains. While both exams cover much of the same general knowledge, the new domains combine some topics under a central umbrella. For instance, SYO-701's domain "General Security Concepts" combines concepts spread across several other domains in SYO-601. 

CompTIA Security+ salary conclusion  

The CompTIA Security+ certification is an effective stepping stone for those who want to take their cybersecurity career to the next level—or get started. With an average salary of around $95,000 with base pay and bonuses for jobs you can get with a Security+ certification, you can have a lucrative career defending networks and their assets whether you're just getting going in cybersecurity or have been in the field for a few years.  

For more on the most popular certification in the world, join our Security+ SYO-701 webinar with Patrick Lane, Director of Certification Product Management at CompTIA and grab your free Security+ 701 ebook outlining all the exam changes. 

Frequently asked security+ questions 

How much does it cost to take the CompTIA Security+ exam? 

While the cost varies based on your location, in the U.S., you have to pay $392. 

Once I get certified, how long does my certification last? 

Your certification expires after three years. 

How can I renew my certification before it expires? 

You can renew by taking a training course, a certification or recertification exam or getting at least 50 continuing education credits (CEUs) by completing specific activities. 

Now's a great time to elevate your career with the training you need to pass the Security+ exam. Explore training and certification opportunities with Infosec experts today. 

Infosec Institute
Infosec Institute

Infosec’s mission is to put people at the center of cybersecurity. We help IT and security professionals advance their careers with skills development and certifications while empowering all employees with security awareness and phishing training to stay cyber safe at work and home. More than 70% of the Fortune 500 have relied on Infosec Skills to develop their security talent, and more than 5 million learners worldwide are more cyber-resilient from Infosec IQ’s security awareness training.