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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.