What is a Security Engineer

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.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Security Engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $48.16 an hour? That's $100,165 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 32% and produce 35,500 job opportunities across the U.S.

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.

Learn more about what a Security Engineer does

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.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a Security Engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a Security Engineer, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Associate Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Security Engineer resumes include Master's Degree degrees or High School Diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Security Engineer. In fact, many Security Engineer jobs require experience in a role such as Network Engineer. Meanwhile, many Security Engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as Systems Administrator or Systems Engineer.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Meta Jobs (119)
  2. Google Jobs (129)
  3. Microsoft Jobs (27)
  4. Expedia Group Jobs (22)
  5. Amazon Jobs (275)
Average Salary
$100,165
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
32%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
94,490
Job Openings
resume document icon

Don't Have A Professional Resume?

0 selections

Security Engineer Career Paths

Security Engineer Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Security Engineer

Security Engineers in America make an average salary of $100,165 per year or $48 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $136,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $73,000 per year.
Average Salary
$100,165
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Security Engineer? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
See More Salary Information

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

5 Security Engineer Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Security Engineer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Security Engineer resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Security Engineer Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Meta Jobs (119)
  2. Google Jobs (129)
  3. Microsoft Jobs (27)
  4. Expedia Group Jobs (22)
  5. Amazon Jobs (275)

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.

Security Engineer Resume
Security Engineer Resume
Security Engineer Resume
Security Engineer Resume
Security Engineer Resume
Security Engineer Resume
Security Engineer Resume
Security Engineer Resume
Security Engineer Resume
Security Engineer Resume
Security Engineer Resume
Security Engineer Resume
Security Engineer Resume
Security Engineer Resume
Security Engineer Resume
Security Engineer Resume

Security Engineer Demographics

Security Engineer Gender Statistics

male

86.4 %

female

13.6 %

Security Engineer Ethnicity Statistics

White

72.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

9.1 %

Black or African American

8.0 %

Security Engineer Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

18.2 %

French

14.5 %

German

10.9 %
Job Openings

Find the best Security Engineer job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Security Engineer Jobs You Might Like

Security Engineer Education

Security Engineer Majors

Security Engineer Degrees

Bachelors

63.4 %

Associate

16.2 %

Masters

14.5 %

Top Colleges for Security Engineers

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

4. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

5. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

6. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

7. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

8. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089

9. Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,453
Enrollment
4,312

10. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451
Job Openings

Find the best Security Engineer job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Security Engineer Jobs You Might Like

Online Courses For Security Engineer That You May Like

Computer Networks Security from Scratch to Advanced
udemy
4.4
(2,176)

Computer Networks Security Technologies and Tools for Network Admins and Cyber Security Officers...

The Complete Cyber Security Course: Network Security!
udemy
4.6
(12,350)

Volume 2: Network Security, WiFi Security, WiFi Hackers, Firewalls, Wireshark, Secure Networking. + Password Managers...

Network Security & Database Vulnerabilities
coursera

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 variety...

Show More Security Engineer Courses
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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, 10.6% of Security Engineers listed Identity on their resume, but soft skills such as Detail oriented and Analytical skills are important as well.

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, Oregon, and Delaware. Security Engineers make the most in California with an average salary of $122,002. Whereas in Washington and Oregon, they would average $120,071 and $113,002, respectively. While Security Engineers would only make an average of $108,222 in Delaware, 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:
$165,000
Location Quotient:
1.26
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Delaware

Total Security Engineer Jobs:
264
Highest 10% Earn:
$146,000
Location Quotient:
1.33
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Oregon

Total Security Engineer Jobs:
663
Highest 10% Earn:
$155,000
Location Quotient:
1.01
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Security Engineers

How Do Security Engineer Rate Their Jobs?

Working as a Security Engineer? Share your experience anonymously.
Do you work as a Security Engineer?
Rate how you like work as Security Engineer. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.

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 $126,621. Google follows up with an average salary of $143,590, and then comes Facebook with an average of $156,995. 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 John Deere, VMware, and Humana

Most Common Employers For Security Engineer

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Security Engineer SalaryAverage Salary
1$156,995
2$143,590
3$140,072
4$129,709
5$126,621
6$124,089

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.

This means that the job responsibilities for a security engineer can range from controlling file access and credentialing, to maintaining firewalls and network updates, to proactively trying to hack systems to look for vulnerabilities and weaknesses.

Security engineers must constantly find new ways to defeat criminals' attempts to gain unauthorized access to a company's computer systems and networks. Their most common duties include:

  • The design and implementation of multilevel security strategies to protect networks and data resources.

  • Planning computer and network security upgrades and testing hardware and software related to the upgrade.

  • Addressing technical problems related to applications and production equipment.

  • Responding to intrusions using expertise in computer forensics.

  • Anticipating future problem areas by monitoring workflows and network traffic patterns.

So, as more companies utilize technology to run their business and cyberattacks continue to rise, the demand for qualified security engineers will also increase.

Learn more about this question

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.

In many industries, a security engineer's level of experience can have a big impact on how much they earn. This is especially true in cybersecurity, where hands-on experience is just as valuable, if not more important, to companies than education.

Entry-level security engineers make $60,000, while highly experienced individuals make over $115,000.

Security engineers can work in a variety of industries, especially as more companies turn to technology and connectivity to run their businesses. Location does not have a lot of influence on security engineer salaries because many of these positions are remote.

While cyber security analysts can find work across a range of industries, some tend to pay more than others. The highest paying industries for cyber security analysts are information technology, finance, and insurance.

Learn more about this question

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.

The 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.

Therefore security engineers need a combination of technical skills paired with highly developed analytical and problem-solving skills.

The top technical skills a security engineer needs include the following:

  • Information systems

  • Linux

  • Network security

  • Python(r)

  • Cryptography

  • NIST Cybersecurity Framework

  • Vulnerability assessment

  • Penetration testing

Meanwhile, the top soft skills that a security engineer needs include analytical and problem-solving skills. These are needed to respond to the technical problems they encounter. A security engineer does not only have to find security issues; they must also develop responses to alleviate any actual or potential breach of security.

This means developing analytical and problem-solving skills as well as the following common soft skills:

Learn more about this question

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.

In a cybersecurity degree program, students will study various information systems and data protection methods. They are also trained in business and technical skills, including system administration, database applications, and data recovery.

Coursework focuses on digital forensics, criminal psychology, and policy analysis to fully understand cybersecurity.

Although a person may be able to fill a position without experience, it is important to take an internship during the degree program if possible, as most employers require at least some initial experience.

With an internship and upon earning their bachelor's degree, graduates qualify for entry-level positions as computer forensic analysts, cybersecurity analysts, or information security analysts.

However, a person could also consider various certifications in order to enhance their candidacy to an employer.

Earning certifications can be both costly and time-consuming but are well worth it considering that the credentials you will obtain will help you stand out from the competition and allow you to negotiate a higher starting salary.

Some of the Certifications available for Cybersecurity Professionals are:

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

  • GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC)

  • GIAC Penetration Tester (GPEN)

  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

  • CompTIA Security+ EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA)

Learn more about this question

Search For Security Engineer Jobs

0 selections
0 selections