Security engineers are the good guys on the internet battlefront, preventing the bad guys from breaking into companies' computer systems to steal data or cause trouble by installing harmful software. Also referred to as white hat hackers, security engineers are the heroes of cybersecurity.

As a security engineer, your employer will pin all of his/her or her hopes on you to thwart the ever-increasing number of cyberattacks against your company's computers. Your job will be to design impenetrable computer systems and ward off danger for good.

You will analyze computer networks to prevent malware, spyware, adware, phishing, and even disruptions due to natural disasters. You will test and screen security software and keep an eye on networks to spot any intrusion and predict possible threats.

What Does a Security Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many security engineers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed detail oriented, analytical skills and problem-solving skills.

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How To Become a Security Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a security engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 63.4% of security engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 14.5% of security engineers have master's degrees. Even though most security engineers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

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Security Engineer Job Description

A security engineer is responsible for the oversight and management of the digital security of their clients. Their duties include testing and maintaining IT systems, responding to breaches, and creating safety protocols..

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Security Engineer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Security Engineer

Security Engineers in America make an average salary of $104,524 per year or $50 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $141,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $77,000 per year.
Average Security Engineer Salary
$104,524 Yearly
$50.25 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Security Engineer

The role of a security engineer includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general security engineer responsibilities:

  • Work with internal teams to obtain an in-depth understanding of the cyberdefense technology & process used by the gis engineering department
  • 1. Perform scans to identify vulnerabilities or confirm compliance to security standards. Provide operational analysis of vulnerabilities
  • Establishes security perimeters, firewalls, intrusion detection

There are several types of security engineer, including:



Engineers design and develop new products in a variety of different industries. They might be mechanical or software engineers or create electric machinery, design chemical or geotechnical processes, or help to structure civil or management disciplines. Whatever the case may be, engineers are involved in creating the diverse technologies that facilitate the processes of our lives in different areas. Combining creative thinking with the principles of mathematics and science using a wide range of technical skills, engineers work on the design, manufacturing, installation, and maintenance of various products from machines, vehicles, buildings, and roads to software or social processes serving consumers, businesses, and societies.

Engineers are creative thinkers and brilliant problem solvers. They excel at mathematical, scientific, and mechanical analysis. They follow plans and blueprints with a strong focus, yet remain flexible and work well under pressure.

Engineers develop systems for solving various problems as members of a team. They know that a single component is worthless without their counterparts, so they have to be great communicators, as well, to be successful at their job.

  • Average Salary: $92,077
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Systems Engineer


If you're looking for a job that has a lot of job opportunities tied to it, look no further. Systems engineers are in full demand from all sorts of companies across multiple industries. Everyone needs an "I.T." person in their midst because it's no secret that very few actually know how to use technology.

Sure, most people may refer to you as the I.T. person, but your job is much more complicated than that. Of course, the majority of your time will be spent managing the I.T. services and solving any issues that present themselves, but you will have days that you'll have to recover important emails or divert a disaster.

The only thing stopping you from becoming a systems engineer is a bachelor's degree. Once you've got that under your belt, you'll be on your way to becoming a systems engineer. A really important aspect of being a systems engineer is having the communication skills necessary. The hardest part of your job will be "dumbing" down technology terms so that people can understand what's going on with the I.T. system. Once you get through that, the rest of your job will be easy peasy.

  • Average Salary: $82,834
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Network Engineer


Network engineers design, develop, and maintain computer networks. They support clients and staff using the network babies, which may function internally within an organization or link to separate ones.

Network engineers are sometimes employed by companies as a member of their permanent staff on the IT team or might work for an IT consultancy firm.

As unfair as it sounds, network engineers usually do not get away with speaking only the computer language. They have to have great interpersonal communication skills as well, because a big part of their job is troubleshooting for digital dummies.

  • Average Salary: $83,557
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Security Engineer Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active security engineer jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where security engineers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Security Engineer Jobs By State

Security Engineer Education

Security Engineer Majors

Security Engineer Degrees


63.4 %


16.2 %


14.5 %

Top Colleges for Security Engineers

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




4. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




5. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




6. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition




7. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




8. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition




9. Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH • Private

In-State Tuition




10. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Security Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 8.5% of security engineers listed java on their resume, but soft skills such as detail oriented and analytical skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Security Engineer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Security Engineer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Security Engineer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Security Engineer diversity

Security Engineer Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among security engineers, 13.6% of them are women, while 86.4% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among security engineers is White, which makes up 65.7% of all security engineers.

  • The most common foreign language among security engineers is Spanish at 18.2%.

Online Courses For Security Engineer That You May Like

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1. Introduction to Cybersecurity


Explore the fundamental building blocks of cybersecurity. Learn how networks handle routing, DNS, load-balancing, and more. Learn the Linux operating system, and review programming and APIs. Start building cloud infrastructure...

2. Network Security & Database Vulnerabilities


This course gives you the background needed to understand basic network security. You will learn the about Local Area Networks, TCP/IP, the OSI Framework and routing basics. You will learn how networking affects security systems within an organization. You will learn the network components that guard an organization from cybersecurity attacks. In addition to networking, you will learn about database vulnerabilities and the tools/knowledge needed to research a database vulnerability for a...

3. Network Security


Welcome to course 4 of 5 of this Specialization, Network Security. In this course, we will look at computer networking and securing the network. In today’s world, the internet connects nearly everyone and everything, and this is accomplished through networking. While most see computer networking as a positive, criminals routinely use the internet, and the networking protocols themselves, as weapons and tools to exploit vulnerabilities and for this reason we must do our best to secure the...

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Best States For a Security Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a security engineer. The best states for people in this position are California, Washington, Nevada, and New York. Security engineers make the most in California with an average salary of $129,113. Whereas in Washington and Nevada, they would average $114,711 and $109,997, respectively. While security engineers would only make an average of $105,949 in New York, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Security Engineer Jobs: 1,460
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. California

Total Security Engineer Jobs: 4,669
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Arizona

Total Security Engineer Jobs: 1,126
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Security Engineers

How Do Security Engineers Rate Their Jobs?

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Top Security Engineer Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ security engineers and discovered their number of security engineer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Amazon was the best, especially with an average salary of $143,088. Salesforce follows up with an average salary of $124,370, and then comes Regions Financial with an average of $82,987. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a security engineer. The employers include Netflix, U.S. Bank, and Booz Allen Hamilton

Most Common Employers For Security Engineer

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
7Arrow Electronics$119,900$57.6447
9Motion Recruitment$115,486$55.5265
10Robert Half$114,490$55.0449

Security Engineer Videos

Becoming a Security Engineer FAQs

Are Security Engineers In Demand?

Yes, security engineers are in demand. As more companies turn to technology and connectivity to run their business, this demand will only increase.

A security engineer is responsible for keeping an organization's sensitive and proprietary information secure. This is a role that involves identifying and correcting defects and flaws found in the company's programs, applications, and security systems.

How Much Money Does A Security Engineer Make?

A security engineer makes $100,000 a year, on average. The salary for security engineers can vary depending on a variety of factors, including experience level, education, and industry. But the typical range is between $85,000 per year and $125,000 per year.

What Does A Security Engineer Need To Know?

A security engineer needs to know how to apply technical information to the business environment. This is needed in order to protect the company's proprietary information as well as the information and data of its customers.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Cyber Security Engineer?

The qualifications that a person needs to be a cyber security engineer is a bachelor's degree in information technology or a related field.

Although there are some cybersecurity positions that only need an associate's degree, most employers desire a bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, or a related area.

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