Security Consultant Career and Salary Outlook


Updated October 13, 2022

Interested in a career as a security consultant? This guide covers salary expectations, job outlook, and the top states for security consultants. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Woman looking at laptop in office Credit: kate_sept2004 / E+ / Getty Images

Security consultants ensure internet safety for corporations and consumers. These professionals collaborate with other specialists to prevent cyberattacks and data breaches. Security consultants work for organizations in nearly every industry to protect assets and enhance cybersecurity.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 33% growth for careers in the information security analysis field.

Pursuing a career in cybersecurity may also be a smart career move, as demand for these professionals continues to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 33% growth for careers in the information security analysis field.

This page explores salary and job prospects for security consultants. Keep reading to learn about the top-employing areas with the strongest projected growth for security consultants.

What Does a Security Consultant Do?

As our economy continues to shift into a digital space, information security becomes more crucial. Security consultants develop protocols to minimize the risks of cyberattacks. These professionals also implement security systems, predict potential breaches, and troubleshoot system errors.

Security consultants use algorithms and software to enhance their organizations' security. Digital business enterprises increasingly rely on security specialists to implement privileged access management systems to protect sensitive data.

Security consultants can work in virtually any environment or industry with an online presence. Some of the best industries for career security consultants include computer systems design, insurance carriers, and electronic shopping.

Top Online Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

How Much Does a Security Consultant Make?

Security consultants play an important role in maintaining internet safety, and they are well-compensated for their efforts. PayScale reported an average annual salary of $87,810 for these professionals as of November of 2021.

Factors like education, experience, location, and industry affect security consultant salaries. With more education and work experience, consultants can negotiate higher pay. Growing regions and industries offer competitive pay to attract the best candidates. Continue reading for a detailed analysis of how these factors affect salaries.

Security Consultants

Average Annual Salary, November 2021


Source: PayScale

Security Consultant Salary by Experience

Like many computer and information technology careers, security consulting relies heavily on practical experience. Security consultant salaries naturally increase with time and work experience. At the midpoint in their careers, consultants can earn 14% more than the national average. In late-career stages, they can make 35% more.

Security Consultant Salary by Education

Specialized degrees can prepare graduates for niche computer science careers. Earning a technology degree with a concentration in network or information security can help professionals secure employment as security consultants. Similarly, earning a graduate degree, like a master of science in information security, can help candidates earn higher salaries.

The salary figures listed for each degree below reflect the data of all respondent professionals who hold that degree rather than only security consultants.

Tech professionals who want to break into security consulting quickly can pursue cybersecurity bootcamps. These offer intensive career training in a short period.

Discover Which Education Path Is Right for You

Security Consultant Salary by Location

Location helps determine salary for security consultants. For example, the cybersecurity company Expel's presence in Herndon, Virginia, makes the city a hub for security professionals. PayScale reports that security consultants in Herndon make 63% above the national average as of November of 2021.

Top-Paying Cities for Security Consultants

City Average Annual Salary Percent Above the National Average
Herndon, Virginia $143,500 63%
Columbia, Maryland $137,000 56%
San Francisco, California $122,530 40%
Omaha, Nebraska $117,920 34%
Reading, Pennsylvania $110,000 25%
Source: PayScale, November 2021

Growing metropolitan areas and states that host large tech industries also offer more competitive pay rates. The data for top-paying metro areas and states listed below reflects the larger BLS category of information security analysts rather than just security consultants.

Top-Paying Metropolitan Areas for Security Consultants

Metropolitan Area Number of Security Consultants Employed Average Annual Salary
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 1,870 $147,160
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 2,590 $136,910
Idaho Falls, ID 210 $130,620
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 8,280 $130,000
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 160 $128,750
Source: BLS, 2020

Top-Paying States for Security Consultants

State Number of Security Consultants Employed Average Annual Salary
California 10,470 $125,990
New York 6,450 $125,920
New Jersey 4,000 $123,280
District of Columbia 1,810 $119,460
Virginia 16,160 $116,920
Source: BLS, 2020

Security Consultants' Job Outlook and Career Prospects

Security consultants can work from nearly anywhere. They enjoy job security, as their skills continue to increase in demand. The growing tech industry, implementation of cloud services, and rise in cybersecurity threats all drive demand for security specialists.

The BLS projects an extremely high growth of 33% in security analysis occupations from 2020-2030. Some states will experience even more rapid growth in job availability. Urban areas with growing technology sectors can offer more job opportunities and more competitive salaries for security consultants.

The projected employment growth listed below reflects the larger category of information security analysts grouped by the BLS rather than security consultants alone.

Information Security Analysts

Change in Projected Employment

+33% from 2020-2030

Source: BLS

Best Locations for Security Consultants

Career security consultants can find work in many locations across the country, but some areas offer more promising employment opportunities. Some states feature high current employment rates, while others project especially high growth in the coming years.

Top States for Security Consultants

According to the BLS, the top-employing states for security professionals are Virginia, Texas, and California. Each of these states employed over 10,000 security professionals in 2020. Virginia and Texas also show some of the highest projected annual job openings from 2018-2028, according to Projections Central.

According to the BLS, the top-employing states for security professionals are Virginia, Texas, and California.

The data below provides insight into the working climate for security consultants in top states and metropolitan areas.

Top-Employing States for Security Consultants

Top-Employing States Number of Security Consultants Employed Average Annual Salary
Virginia 16,160 $116,920
Texas 13,410 $113,400
California 10,470 $125,990
Florida 7,600 $95,190
Maryland 7,090 $111,310
Source: BLS, 2020

States With the Greatest Projected Increase in Employment for Security Consultants

State Percent Projected Change, 2018-28 Average Annual Openings
Greatest Projected Percentage Increase
Utah 59.3% 80
District of Columbia 52.6% 220
Colorado 50.3% 510
Virginia 45.4% 1,930
Nevada 44.2% 70
Most Projected Average Annual Openings
Virginia 45.4% 1,930
Texas 38.2% 1,040
New York 34.3% 830
Florida 44% 750
California 32.7% 630
Source: Projections Central, 2018-28

Top Metropolitan Areas for Security Consultants

In densely populated metropolitan areas, industry demand drives employment. Many of the top-employing areas for security professionals offer exciting cybersecurity opportunities. For example, the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area offers employment in national security, defense, and federal intelligence agencies. These organizations require specialized security professionals to protect large sets of sensitive data.

The greater New York, Dallas, and Boston metropolitan areas also demonstrate high employment rates, with more than 4,000 people employed in 2020. The table below offers BLS data on all security analyst careers.

Top-Employing Metropolitan Areas for Security Consultants

Metropolitan Area Number of Security Consultants Employed Average Annual Salary
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 15,750 $117,920
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 8,280 $130,000
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 6,130 $117,480
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH 4,520 $109,220
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 4,370 $112,870
Source: BLS, 2020

Best Industries for Security Consultants

Security consultants can work to maintain internet safety in nearly any industry. Some of the highest paying industries, like online shopping, depend heavily on qualified security professionals to protect their data and consumers. These top industries also offer steep compensation packages to attract the most talented candidates.

Top-Paying Industries for Security Consultants

Top-Paying Industries Number of Security Consultants Employed Average Annual Salary
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses 330 $132,150
Other Information Services 680 $131,050
Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing 790 $128,330
Automotive Repair and Maintenance 40 $127,150
Legal Services 660 $125,980
Source: BLS, 2020

Employment by Industry for Security Consultants

Industries With Highest Employment Number of Security Consultants Employed Average Annual Salary
Computer Systems Design and Related Services 36,280 $108,910
Management of Companies and Enterprises 13,330 $104,960
Credit Intermediation and Related Activities (5221 and 5223 only) 10,880 $110,490
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services 7,410 $110,440
Insurance Carriers 5,450 $103,230
Source: BLS, 2020

Upward Mobility for Security Consultants

Gaining experience as a security consultant can help tech workers advance professionally and increase their salaries. Security managers, security architects, and chief information security officers all hold important roles in the cybersecurity field.

  • Security Manager: These managers supervise the information security operations of an organization. They collaborate with analysts and administrators to create, maintain, and improve cybersecurity. Security managers earned an average annual salary of $118,410 as of November 2021.
  • Security Architect: Security architects, like security consultants, develop plans to address security issues. These senior security professionals integrate hardware and software knowledge with programming proficiency and research skills. Security architects earn an average annual salary of $125,510 as of November 2021.
  • Chief Information Security Officer: CISOs act in senior management roles to oversee strategic, operational, and budgetary aspects of cybersecurity. These professionals lead teams of computer analysts to identify and eradicate security threats. Chief information security officers earn an average annual salary of $165,290 as of November 2021.

Learn More About Security Consultants

What Is a Security Consultant?

What Is a Security Consultant?

This page offers more information about the role, job description, and responsibilities of a security consultant.

How to Become a Security Consultant

How to Become a Security Consultant

Follow this link for information about available security consulting roles, including the recommended degrees, specializations, certifications, and work experience needed to pursue work in the field.

Day in the Life of a Security Consultant

Day in the Life of a Security Consultant

Read about the daily methods that security consultants use to predict threats and troubleshoot cybersecurity breaches.

Certifications for Security Consultants

Certifications for Security Consultants

This page offers detailed information about the certifications that security consultants need to pursue employment in the information security sector.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Career of a Security Consultant

What is the average salary for security consulting?

According to PayScale, security consultants earned an average salary of $87,810 as of November 2021. This figure varies based on location, experience, and education.

Where is the best state to work as a security consultant?

There are many states with high employment and high salaries for security professionals, but Virginia currently offers very high pay and received strong employment growth projections for 2018-2028.

What is the best industry to work in as a security consultant?

The top-paying industry for security consultants is electronic shopping and mail-order houses. Computer systems design offers the top-employing industry for these professionals.

Can you get into cybersecurity without a degree?

Cybersecurity bootcamps offer fast-paced, practical training in cybersecurity. Many of these programs prepare graduates for immediate entry into cybersecurity positions. While some employers prefer candidates with college degrees, others prioritize experience over formal education.

Recommended Reading

Take the next step toward your future.

Discover programs you’re interested in and take charge of your education.