A Digital Forensics salary varies based on your experience level, qualifications, and location. This article will discuss the average salary for a Digital Forensics analyst and how you can advance your career to increase that salary.
Although the average salary for Cyber or Digital Forensics is roughly $77,703, this varies. Typically, the average national Digital Forensics salary ranges from $67,213 or $32 an hour to $86,681 or approximately $44 an hour.
However, this does not include possible bonuses you may earn, and it also doesn’t reflect the experienced or entry-level Digital Forensic positions. Instead, it averages potential salaries and projects a potential income.
With that in mind, how much can you expect to earn when you start working in Digital Forensics?
The average starting Digital Forensics salary varies widely and can be as low as $31,000., which is approximately $15.90 an hour or $1,919 a month.
Conversely, it can start at $53,000, depending on the company and the location of the job. This salary is approximately $27 an hour or $2,317 a month.
As discussed, entry-level Digital Forensics salaries fluctuate wildly regarding what companies offer.
The wide salary range is true for all Digital Forensics career experience levels. However, senior or experienced digital forensics analysts can earn as much as $96,782 a year or approximately $49 an hour.
Digital forensics analysts who fall between the entry and experienced ends of the career spectrum can expect to earn something closer to the mean salary of roughly $78,819.
Bonuses can augment these earnings. These vary based on location, but a hard-working Digital Forensics specialist with a reasonable amount of experience can expect about $2,357 in annual bonuses.
Sometimes location makes a difference when you are looking at Digital Forensics salaries. The salary difference has to do with the number of job opportunities available and whether or not the surrounding area needs Digital Forensics.
Some of the highest paying cities when it comes to Digital Forensics salaries are:
Just as some cities can offer higher Digital Forensics salaries, some states offer better opportunities and higher pay for the same positions.
Based on research, these are the best states for people wanting to earn a better Digital Forensics salary are:
This list doesn’t take into consideration extra earnings, like annual bonuses. There is also a wide variety of work available in Digital Forensics. Depending on the career you choose, the best states and cities to work in may similarly vary.
So, that’s how much you can expect your Digital Forensics salary to average with time. We’ve also looked at where some of the best places to look for Digital Forensics work are. But how does Digital Forensics compare with other cybersecurity careers and their salaries?
As discussed, there are different types of Digital Forensics. Financial Forensics compares similarly to Digital Forensics in that an entry-level position is around $62,000 a year.
However, a mid-career Financial Forensics expert earns slightly more than the average Digital Forensics analyst, with a salary of $80,000.
Another similar career is that of a Computer Forensic Technician. These technicians earn less than people in Digital Forensics, earning an average of $54,5000 annually.
Like other cybersecurity careers, Digital Forensics is one with ample growth opportunities. The industry projects a rate of 18% growth over the next five years.
That means experienced Digital Forensics advisors can expect the mean Digital Forensics salary to increase to approximately $93,000 a year.
It’s an admirable goal to try and achieve, but how do you get started in Digital Forensics, and once there, how do you move up the career ladder?
While there are entry-level Digital Forensics positions, these typically require you to have at least an undergraduate degree to apply. That’s because there’s a lot to learn to do your job effectively, and trying to pick everything up while on the job is challenging.
Many people in Digital Forensics also pursue a postgraduate degree. However, it’s possible to do this once you have secured a job. Furthering your study this way can be helpful because it allows you to pick up additional knowledge, and your existing Digital Forensics salary helps cover the cost of further education.
Degrees in mathematics and cybersecurity or information are assets for people considering a Digital Forensics career.
While a bachelor’s in cybersecurity is enough to start you off on a Digital Forensics career, postgraduate study is one of the best ways to advance your career to the next level.
In addition to a degree, there are job-specific certifications that can help advance your career and increase your Digital Forensics salary.
These include vendor-neutral certifications like:
Finally, nothing stays the same. If you want to continue moving up the rungs of your chosen career, you need to keep on top of the new information and certifications available.
You may need to learn new systems or software or even undertake additional courses to ensure your skills stay relevant.
The average Digital Forensics salary is approximately $67,213 a year or $32 an hour. However, this often varies, and many people earn closer to $77,703.
However, there are a variety of careers in cybersecurity open to people considering Digital Forensics, and depending on the path you choose, salary levels differ.
Don’t forget that location also makes a difference. A Digital Forensics salary may be higher or lower depending on the demand for experts in a particular field.
Lastly, remember to keep up-to-date on your skills and certificates, and you may soon find you are earning above the average Digital Forensics salary projections.