Security Architect Salary – How Much Can You Earn as a Security Architect?

Security architects are some of the higher-paid cyber security experts. Though salary depends on experience level and location, most security architects can expect to earn over $100,000 after establishing their career.

In this guide, we’ll explain the average national salary of security architects and dig into the differences in experience levels and show you some of the higher paid areas in the United States.

The National Annual Salary of a Security Architect

The national average for security architects is about $125,000 per year, or about $65 an hour. However, the range can be anywhere from about $100,000 to $200,000. That’s a pretty extensive range.

There are two primary reasons why the average range for a security architect is so broad in the United States: experience and location. Like in any career, someone less experienced is also likely to earn less than their veteran counterparts.

However, location also plays a large part in the pay scale. The United States is a massive country with a wide variety of income levels. The cost of living in your particular area will also greatly influence your salary.

The National Annual Salary of an Entry Level Security Architect

For those just starting out in security architecture, expect your pay to be about half of the national average for a security architect. Entry-level pay is about $60,000 or so annually, or about $29 hourly.

How long is someone considered entry-level? There’s no set standard. Anywhere between 0-5 years is average, with one year being most common. Once you’re promoted from entry-level status, you can expect a pay raise as well.

The National Annual Salary of a Security Architect by Experience Level

As mentioned above, experience is a primary factor in determining an employee’s salary. For security architects, pay varies widely depending on experience level.

  • Entry-level: As shown above, entry-level security architects average about $60,000 annually or $29 hourly per year
  • Early Career (no longer entry-level but less than five years): A base rate of about $100,000 annually and $50 per hour.
  • Mid-Career (5-10 years): Security architects midway into their career average $120,000 base pay per year and about $60 annually
  • Experienced (10-20 years): Security architects who have been at their job for a decade or more average a base pay of about $130,000 and about $65 annually
  • Late-Career (20+ years): In those last years before retirement, security architects average about $150,000 a year, or $76 an hour

Of course, these are all averages. While experience level is important, so is your skill level. You could find yourself moving into a higher salary faster or slower than these estimates. Of course, your location will matter as well.

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Highest Paying Cities for a Security Architect

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the highest paying city in the United States for a security architect is in California. San Mateo, a city on the San Francisco Peninsula, pays its security architects an average of $186,000 per year.

It makes sense for San Mateo to pay their cyber security experts well. The city is a hub for many technology companies, hosting the headquarters for Sony, GoPro, and Roblox Corporation.

Highest Paying States for a Security Architect

With the highest paying city being in California, it’s also no surprise that the state paying the highest for security architects is California. In fact, seven of the ten top-paying cities in the United States for security architects are in California. Aside from San Mateo, those cities are Berkley, Daly City, Richmond, Irvine, Mountain View, and Orange. What do they have in common? They’re all near Silicon Valley and the Bay area.

California, on average, pays security architects an annual salary of $150,000, and all of the aforementioned cities are over $169,000. Many other states average over $140,000, including Washington State, New York State, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

How Does the Salary for a Security Architect Compare With Other Roles in Cybersecurity?

We now know that nationally, a security architect averages $125,000 a year annually. How does that stack up against other cybersecurity jobs?

While a security architect isn’t the highest paying cybersecurity job, it’s near the top as one of the only careers averaging over six figures nationally.

How Do I Advance My Career and Earn More in This Role?

Technology evolves rapidly, and as that technology advances, so do cybersecurity threats. As a result, experts need to be vigilant and constantly educate themselves on new methods of cyberattacks.

To stay up-to-date, security architects should attend training courses and conferences. Some may be on a regular schedule, but it should be expected that training may come up in the face of a dangerous cybersecurity threat.

Additionally, you can specialize within the security architect role and earn more. For example, an application security architect averages nearly $150,000 annually, and a cloud security architect averages $166,000 annually.


Security architects are an integral part of keeping an organization’s network safe and secure. The national average for a security architect is about $125,000 annually in the United States. However, pay will depend on your experience level and where you’re working. Entry-level security architects earn around $60,000 annually, while veterans can make around $150,000. California pays security architects the highest of any state, at $150,000 annually.

Security architects are one of the only cybersecurity experts earning over six figures a year. To advance your career and increase your salary, constant updating and training are necessary. Security architects may also decide to go into a security niche, which could raise their annual salary. Regardless, with the rate of technological evolution, security architects will likely never be lacking in job opportunities.