How to Become a Security Manager
Security managers run their organizations information security-related operations. They supervise information security analysts and administrators and assume responsibility for the big-picture elements of cybersecurity. Because their work proves so important to their companies success, security managers often earn handsome salaries. PayScale reports that information security managers earn a median annual income of over $, per year.
This page covers how to become a security manager, outlining the necessary steps to enter this lucrative, exciting career. Read on to learn about the educational, experience, and certification requirements for companies hiring security managers. This page also details the hard and soft skills employers look for in security managers. Read to the end of this guide for a sense of security manager salary expectations and job growth.
What Does a Security Manager Do?
Security managers daily duties depend on where they work, their industry, and the size of their company. Those at large investment banks, for example, may oversee teams of security analysts and other technology personnel. Security managers working for small businesses may manage just a few people. In big companies, these professionals often focus on managerial responsibilities, while managers in smaller companies may take on more hands-on roles.
Security managers deal with high-level IT security issues, supervising employees who implement and configure security measures. Their duties include hiring new employees, preparing and overseeing budgets, and evaluating and ordering new security tools and technologies. They also develop wide-ranging policies, regulations, and strategies to enhance the security of their organizations computer networks and systems.
Security managers prove crucial to their firms success, since they oversee operations that defend against unwanted cyber intrusions. Through their work, security managers ensure their organizations data, financial assets, and customer information stay safe.
Steps to Become a Security Manager
Prospective security managers should understand the basic steps they need to undertake. No degree guarantees entry into a particular career, but this section explores potential academic paths for security managers. It also details the professional experience IT professionals must complete before assuming roles as security managers.
When it comes to education, employers generally require information security workers to hold a bachelors degree. They usually prefer applicants with degrees in information security-related disciplines, such as information technology, information assurance, or cybersecurity. Many universities offer information security as a concentration within a computer science bachelors program.
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Senior-level security manager jobs often require a masters degree in a field like cybersecurity or information systems. Since security managers need excellent managerial skills, degrees in IT management or business administration may prove beneficial for finding a job. By earning a bachelors or masters degree in an IT-related field, graduates can show potential employers that they possess the technical skills and conceptual knowledge necessary to protect information systems from attack.
Aspiring security managers can demonstrate mastery in the field through professional experience. Security managers supervise lower-level security employees, so they need strong managerial skills, as well as a robust command of information security procedures and technologies. These professionals generally need at least five years experience in the information security field, and they can work their way up to a management role through jobs such as information security analyst, security administrator, or network administrator.
Along the way, security professionals can further develop their security and management abilities through cybersecurity certifications.
Top Required Skills for a Security Manager
As with any job, employers seek some specific abilities when hiring new security managers. These include soft skills which apply to most jobs, such as communication, listening, writing, and collaboration. Information technology careers, such as security management, also require certain hard skills. Many companies test job applicants on their technical abilities through skills exams.
Prospective security managers enjoy several options for building their hard and soft skills. Security managers often develop foundational IT skills through bachelors degrees in computer science, cybersecurity, and information systems. These programs teach students the basics of hardware, software, networks, and security. Students gain additional skills through masters degrees in the field.
Outside the classroom, information technology employees can build their skill sets on the job by learning from more experienced colleagues and supervisors. Certifications represent another way to sharpen skills and demonstrate expertise to employers.
In terms of hard skills, security managers need a strong command of information security measures, IT security architecture, and network architecture. On a basic level, they must know their way around various operating systems, including Linux and Windows. They must also be familiar with firewalls, intrusion detection protocols, and intrusion prevention measures. The aforementioned skills apply to many entry-level and intermediate cybersecurity jobs, such as information security analyst and security administrator.
In addition, security managers need strong communication, leadership, and strategic decision-making skills, since they need to manage employees and make important, timely decisions.
Security Manager Salary
Information technology occupations generally pay well, which proves especially true of senior-level positions in the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer and IT professionals earn a median annual salary of $86, more than double the median salary for all occupations ($38,).
BLS data indicates that computer and information systems managers take home a median pay of $, per year. The top 25% of information systems management earners make at least $, per year. Even the bottom 10% of information systems managers take home up to $85, per year.
This salary range is due in part to differences between various industries and locations. For instance, the top-paying industries for IT managers include financial services and electronic component manufacturing. In New York, California, and New Jersey, IT managers earn more than their counterparts in other states.
The career is experiencing rapid growth, as well. The BLS projects employment for computer and information systems managers to jump by 11% from , creating almost 50, new jobs.
Looking for More Cyber Degree Programs?
NOTE: Take a look at our Guide to Cybersecurity Certifications for more information and advice.
SEE MORE SALARIES FOR MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION PROFESSIONALSA Security Manager can get an average wage on a scale from $56, and $, based on levels of tenure. usually receive an average salary of one hundred and eight thousand one hundred and twenty dollars each year.
can expect the most salary in New York, where they can get compensation, on average, of near $, People in this job function can make the highest salaries in Finance and Insurance, which has job pay of $,
Are you an aspiring security manager ? Want a new opportunity where you can earn a higher salary? Join our security manager talent pool today, and get scouted!
Security Managers tend to make the most in the following industries:
In general, they earn less within the industries below:
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How much does a Security Manager make in the United States? The average Security Manager salary in the United States is $96, as of September 27, , but the range typically falls between $82, and $,. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession. With more online, real-time compensation data than any other website, Salary.com helps you determine your exact pay target.
SalarySalary + BonusBenefits
Security Manager Salaries by Percentile
|10th Percentile Security Manager Salary||$69,||US||September 27,|
|25th Percentile Security Manager Salary||$82,||US||September 27,|
|50th Percentile Security Manager Salary||$96,||US||September 27,|
|75th Percentile Security Manager Salary||$,||US||September 27,|
|90th Percentile Security Manager Salary||$,||US||September 27,|
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Job Description for Security Manager
Security Manager manages a group of security guards who ensure the protection of an organization's facilities. Develops and enforces security procedures and regulations. Being a Security Manager acts as a liaison to all departments on security measures, procedures, and needs. Requires a bachelor's degree. Additionally, Security Manager typically reports to a manager or head of a unit/department. The Security Manager manages subordinate staff in the day-to-day performance of their jobs. True first level manager. Ensures that project/department milestones/goals are met and adhering to approved budgets. Has full authority for personnel actions. Extensive knowledge of department processes. To be a Security Manager typically requires 5 years experience in the related area as an individual contributor. 1 to 3 years supervisory experience may be required. (Copyright Salary.com) View full job description
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What does a Security Manager do?
Security Manager in Addison, TX
Provide practical threat hunting and attack detection expertise to customers.
Incorporate attack findings into advanced Security Analytics and Threat Detection Platform.
Develop ways to detect attack activity using Security Analytics and Data Science.
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Security Manager Pay Difference by Location
|City, State||Compared to national average|
|City, StateSan Francisco, CA||Compared to national average|
|City, StateWashington, DC||Compared to national average|
|City, StateMiami, FL||Compared to national average|
|City, StateChicago, IL||Compared to national average|
|City, StateBoston, MA||Compared to national average|
|City, StateNew York, NY||Compared to national average|
|City, StateDallas, TX||Compared to national average|
Security Manager Salary by Global Country
Security Manager Salary by State
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Understand the total compensation opportunity for a Security Manager, base salary plus other pay elements
Average Base Salary
Average Total Cash Compensation
Includes base and annual incentives
These charts show the average base salary (core compensation), as well as the average total cash compensation for the job of Security Manager in the United States. The base salary for Security Manager ranges from $82, to $, with the average base salary of $96, The total cash compensation, which includes base, and annual incentives, can vary anywhere from $85, to $, with the average total cash compensation of $,
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Highest paying cities in United States for Security Managers
Most common benefits for Security Managers
Based on ratings
57% of Security managers in the United States think their salaries are enough for the cost of living in their area
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Average Security Manager Salary
Avg. Base Salary (USD)
The average salary for a Security Manager is $70,
$ - $32k
What is the Pay by Experience Level for Security Managers?
An entry-level Security Manager with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $54, based on 12 salaries. An early career Security Manager with years of experience earns an average total compensation of $56, based on salaries. A …Read more
What Do Security Managers Do?
Security managers are employed in a range of industries, from retail to computer technology. Because the work can vary greatly, some employers require that applicants have a bachelor's degree in management, while others prefer work experience over education; this is a managerial position, so most employers require anywhere between three and ten years of experience.
Some organizations require their security managers to be proficient in basic office software, such as Microsoft Office programs, …Read more
Job Satisfaction for Security Manager
Based on responses, the job of Security Manager has received a job satisfaction rating of out of 5. On average, Security Managers are highly satisfied with their job.
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This data is based on survey responses. Learn more about the gender pay gap.
Common Health Benefits
Security Manager Average Salary in United States
How much money does a Security Manager make in United States?
Average Yearly Salary
( 12, USD monthly)
A person working as a Security Manager in United States typically earns around , USD per year. Salaries range from 77, USD (lowest) to , USD (highest).
This is the average yearly salary including housing, transport, and other benefits. Security Manager salaries vary drastically based on experience, skills, gender, or location. Below you will find a detailed breakdown based on many different criteria.
Security Manager Salary Distribution in United States
The median, the maximum, the minimum, and the range
Security Manager salaries in United States range from 77, USD per year (minimum salary) to , USD per year (maximum salary).
The median salary is , USD per year, which means that half (50%) of people working as Security Manager(s) are earning less than , USD while the other half are earning more than , USD. The median represents the middle salary value. Generally speaking, you would want to be on the right side of the graph with the group earning more than the median salary.
Closely related to the median are two values: the 25th and the 75th percentiles. Reading from the salary distribution diagram, 25% of Security Manager(s) are earning less than 96, USD while 75% of them are earning more than 96, USD. Also from the diagram, 75% of Security Manager(s) are earning less than , USD while 25% are earning more than , USD.
What is the difference between the median and the average salary?
Both are indicators. If your salary is higher than both of the average and the median then you are doing very well. If your salary is lower than both, then many people are earning more than you and there is plenty of room for improvement. If your wage is between the average and the median, then things can be a bit complicated. We wrote a guide to explain all about the different scenarios. How to compare your salary
Security Manager Salary Comparison by Years of Experience
How does experience and age affect your pay?
The experience level is the most important factor in determining the salary. Naturally the more years of experience the higher your wage. We broke down Security Manager salaries by experience level and this is what we found.
A Security Manager with less than two years of experience makes approximately 88, USD per year.
While someone with an experience level between two and five years is expected to earn , USD per year, 23% more than someone with less than two years experience.
Moving forward, an experience level between five and ten years lands a salary of , USD per year, 42% more than someone with two to five years of experience.
Additionally, Security Manager(s) whose expertise span anywhere between ten and fifteen years get a salary equivalent to , USD per year, 17% more than someone with five to ten years of experience.
If the experience level is between fifteen and twenty years, then the expected wage is , USD per year, 10% more than someone with ten to fifteen years of experience.
Lastly, employees with more than twenty years of professional experience get a salary of , USD per year, 6% more than people with fifteen to twenty years of experience.
Security Manager average salary change by experience in United States
|0 - 2 Years|
|2 - 5 Years||+23%|
|5 - 10 Years||+42%|
|10 - 15 Years||+17%|
|15 - 20 Years||+10%|
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value
Typical Salary Progress for Most Careers
Security Manager Salary Comparison By Education
How do education levels affect salaries?
Displayed below is the average salary difference between different Security Manager(s) who have the same experience but different education levels.
We all know that higher education equals a bigger salary, but how much more money can a degree add to your income? We broke down Security Manager salaries by education level in order to make a comparison.
When the education level is Certificate or Diploma, the average salary of a Security Manager is , USD per year.
While someone with a Bachelors Degree gets a salary of , USD per year, 29% more than someone having a Certificate or Diploma degree.
A Masters Degree gets its holder an average salary of , USD per year, 43% more than someone with a Bachelors Degree.
Security Manager average salary difference by education level in United States
|Certificate or Diploma|
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value
Is a Masters degree or an MBA worth it? Should you pursue higher education?
A Masters degree program or any post-graduate program in United States costs anywhere from 39, US Dollar(s) to , US Dollar(s) and lasts approximately two years. That is quite an investment.
You cant really expect any salary increases during the study period, assuming you already have a job. In most cases, a salary review is conducted once education is completed and the degree has been attained.
Many people pursue higher education as a tactic to switch into a higher paying job. The numbers seem to support the thoery. The average increase in compensation while changing jobs is approximately 10% more than the customary salary increment.
If you can afford the costs of higher education, the return on investment is definitely worth it. You should be able to recover the costs in roughly a year or so.
Typical Salary Difference by Education for Most Careers
Security Manager Salary Comparison By Gender
Though gender should not have an effect on pay, in reality, it does. So who gets paid more: men or women? Male Security Manager employees in United States earn 6% more than their female counterparts on average.
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value
Salary Comparison By Gender in United States for all Careers
Security Manager Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage in United States
How much are annual salary increments in United States for Security Manager(s)? How often do employees get salary raises?
Security Manager(s) in United States are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 10% every 20 months. The national average annual increment for all professions combined is 8% granted to employees every 16 months.
The figures provided here are averages of numbers. Those figures should be taken as general guidelines. Salary increments will vary from person to person and depend on many factors, but your performance and contribution to the success of the organization remain the most important factors in determining how much and how often you will be granted a raise.
United States / All Professions
The term Annual Salary Increase usually refers to the increase in 12 calendar month period, but because it is rarely that people get their salaries reviewed exactly on the one year mark, it is more meaningful to know the frequency and the rate at the time of the increase.
How to calculate the salary increment percentage?
The annual salary Increase in a calendar year (12 months) can be easily calculated as follows: Annual Salary Increase = Increase Rate x 12 ÷ Increase Frequency
“The average salary increase in one year (12 months) in United States is 6%.”
Annual Increment Rate By Industry
Listed above are the average annual increase rates for each industry in United States for the year Companies within thriving industries tend to provide higher and more frequent raises. Exceptions do exist, but generally speaking, the situation of any company is closely related to the economic situation in the country or region. These figures tend to change frequently.
Worldwide Salary Raises: All Countries and All Jobs
Security Manager Bonus and Incentive Rates in United States
How much and how often are bonuses being awarded?Share This Chart Tweet Get Chart Link
A Security Manager is considered to be a low bonus-based job due to the generally limited involvement in direct revenue generation, with exceptions of course. The people who get the highest bonuses are usually somehow involved in the revenue generation cycle.
71% of surveyed staff reported that they havent received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year while 29% said that they received at least one form of monetary bonus.
Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 1% to 3% of their annual salary.
Types of Bonuses ConsideredIndividual Performance-Based Bonuses
The most standard form of bonus where the employee is awarded based on their exceptional performance.Company Performance Bonuses
Occasionally, some companies like to celebrate excess earnings and profits with their staff collectively in the form of bonuses that are granted to everyone. The amount of the bonus will probably be different from person to person depending on their role within the organization.Goal-Based Bonuses
Granted upon achieving an important goal or milestone.Holiday / End of Year Bonuses
These types of bonuses are given without a reason and usually resemble an appreciation token.
Bonuses Are Not Commissions!
People tend to confuse bonuses with commissions. A commission is a prefixed rate at which someone gets paid for items sold or deals completed while a bonus is in most cases arbitrary and unplanned.
What makes a position worthy of good bonuses and a high salary?
The main two types of jobs
|Revenue Generators||Supporting Cast|
Employees that are directly involved in generating revenue or profit for the organization. Their field of expertise usually matches the type of business.
Employees that support and facilitate the work of revenue generators. Their expertise is usually different from that of the core business operations.
Revenue generators usually get more and higher bonuses, higher salaries, and more frequent salary increments. The reason is quite simple: it is easier to quantify your value to the company in monetary terms when you participate in revenue generation.
“Try to work for companies where your skills can generate revenue. We cant all generate revenue and thats perfectly fine.”
Bonus Comparison by Seniority Level
Top management personnel and senior employees naturally exhibit higher bonus rates and frequencies than juniors. This is very predictable due to the inherent responsibilities of being higher in the hierarchy. People in top positions can easily get double or triple bonus rates than employees down the pyramid.
Security Manager Average Hourly Wage in United States
The average hourly wage (pay per hour) in United States is 70 USD. This means that the average Security Manager in United States earns approximately 70 USD for every worked hour.
Hourly Wage = Annual Salary ( 52 x 5 x 8 )
The hourly wage is the salary paid in one worked hour. Usually jobs are classified into two categories: salaried jobs and hourly jobs. Salaried jobs pay a fix amount regardless of the hours worked. Hourly jobs pay per worked hour. To convert salary into hourly wage the above formula is used (assuming 5 working days in a week and 8 working hours per day which is the standard for most jobs). The hourly wage calculation may differ slightly depending on the worked hours per week and the annual vacation allowance. The figures mentioned above are good approximations and are considered to be the standard. One major difference between salaried employees and hourly paid employees is overtime eligibility. Salaried employees are usually exempt from overtime as opposed to hourly paid staff.
Security Manager VS Other Jobs
The average salary for Security Manager is 93% more than that of Law Enforcement / Security / Fire. Also, Law Enforcement / Security / Fire salaries are 20% less than those of All Jobs.
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|Security Management Specialist||, USD||-3%|
|Security Manager||, USD||+0%|
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Salary Comparison By City
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Salary Comparison By State
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Government vs Private Sector Salary Comparison
Where can you get paid more, working for a private company or for the government? Public sector employees in United States earn 5% more than their private sector counterparts on average across all sectors.
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value
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