Aug 05, 2016 | By Rosalie L. Donlon, PropertyCasualty360.com

 

As the demand for cyber security professionals grows, salaries are increasing too. But where do you find the best-paying cyber security jobs, after factoring in expenses? (Photo: iStock)
As the demand for cyber security professionals grows, salaries are increasing too. But where do you find the best-paying cyber security jobs, after factoring in expenses? (Photo: iStock)

Cyber attacks continue to dominate the headlines with the Democratic National Committee as the most recent high-profile victim.

As the hackers get bolder, companies of all sizes and in all industries are looking to improve their cybersecurity. This translates into high demand for cybersecurity professionals, according to a recent analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data by Stanford University, which projects demand to grow by 53 percent through 2018.

Job-search site Indeed notes that companies don’t have enough IT staff with cybersecurity experience to provide the protection the companies say they need. As insurers and underwriters assess a company’s risk profile, the lack of qualified personnel to manage cybersecurity could have an impact on rates, policy provisions and coverage.

In determining its list of where the best-paying cybersecurity jobs are, Indeed used the title of “information security specialist,” which includes responsibilities for design, implementation, monitoring and testing of different types of cyber defense. If you’re thinking of applying for one of these jobs, be aware that employers are looking for certifications as well skills and experience.

Total cost-of-living calculations

 

When you add high demand with low supply, skilled and experienced cybersecurity professionals can command high salaries. But, as with most job categories, salaries vary across the United States, based on the cost of living in a particular location, among other factors. Indeed also noted that the titles of jobs can vary by industry and location as well.

And the salaries themselves don’t tell the whole story. The price of rent, tax, food, transportation and education all have a big effect on take-home pay, and those costs can vary widely across the country. If you’re looking for a job as an information security specialist, where will your salary go farther?

Here are the 15 cities on Indeed’s list of popular tech job search destinations by the “real” value of an information security specialist’s salary, adjusted for the cost of living, using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis:

Pentagon-Arlington-Va

(Photo: iStock)

15. Arlington, Va.

Arlington, Va., is home to the Pentagon as well as several government contractors.

Average salary (adjusted): $74, 254.

Dollar amount higher than closest salary: $0.

Percent higher than closest salary: 0%.

Average salary (unadjusted): $92,587.

 

City of Los Angeles Road Sign

(Photo: iStock)

14. Los Angeles

In the City of Angeles, the second largest city in the United States, you’ll find most leading companies in the entertainment industry.

Average salary (adjusted): $86,072.

Dollar mount higher than closest salary: $11,818.

Percent higher than closest salary: 15.9%.

Average salary (unadjusted): $104,584.

 

Old-North-Church-and-Paul-Revere-statue

(Photo: iStock)

13. Boston

One of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston hosts several well-known colleges and universities as well as biotechnology companies, among others.

Average salary (adjusted): $88,453.

Dollar amount higher than closest salary: $2,381.

Percent higher than closest salary: 2.8%.

Average salary (unadjusted): $99,274.

 

US-Capitol-at-night

(Photo: iStock)

12. Washington, D.C.

Potential employers in Washington, D.C., include the federal government, colleges and universities, health care facilities and government contractors.

Average salary (adjusted): $92,191.

Dollar amount higher than closest salary: $3,738.

Percent higher than closest salary: 4.2%.

Average salary (unadjusted): $114,951.

 

Gaslamp-Quarter-San-Diego

(Photo: iStock)

11. San Diego

San Diego is known for its mild climate year-round as well as its association with the U.S. Navy, tourism and the biotech industry.

Average salary (adjusted): $98,303.

Dollar amount higher than closest salary: $6,113.

Percent higher than closest salary: 6.6%.

Average salary (unadjusted): $119,300.

 

San-Jose-Calif-pin-on-map

(Photo: iStock)

10. San Jose, Calif.

Do you know the way to San Jose? It’s considered the capital of Silicon Valley and is populated by many high-tech and electronics companies.

Average salary (adjusted): $99,075.

Dollar amount higher than closest salary: $771.

Percent higher than closest salary: 0.8%.

Average salary (unadjusted): $125,889.

 

NYC-Statue-of-Liberty-Lower-Manhattan-skyline

(Photo: iStock)

9. New York City

From Wall Street to Broadway, from the fashion houses on Seventh Avenue to the major league sports venues througout the five boroughs, New York City is home to every industry in the United States, and they all need cybersecurity professionals.

Average salary (adjusted): $102,271.

Dollar amount higher than closest salary: $3,197.

Percent higher than closest salary: 3.2%.

Average salary (unadjusted): $131,623.

 

Salt-Lake-City-with-mountains

(Photo: iStock)

8. Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City may be best known as the home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (also called the Mormon Church), but it’s also the Utah state capital and the industrial banking center of the country with a thriving tourist industry for outdoor recreation.

Average salary (adjusted): $106,207.

Dollar amount higher than closest salary: $3,935.

Percent higher than closest salary: 3.8%.

Average salary (unadjusted): $105,889.

 

Sign-Austin

(Photo: iStock)

7. Austin, Texas

Calling itself the “Live Music Capital of the World,” thanks in part to the PBS concert series, “Austin City Limits,” Austin is the capital of Tecas and the location of many high-tech companies, including Advanced Micro Devices, Apple Inc., IBM, Intel, as well as high-end grocery chain Whole Foods.

Average salary (adjusted): $110,190.

Dollar amount higher than closest salary: $3,984.

Percent higher than closest salary: 3.8%.

Average salary (unadjusted): $108,776.

 

Chicago Loop highway sign

(Photo: iStock)

6. Chicago

Chicago is an international center for the finance, technology, telecommunications and transportation industries, among others, thanks to its many colleges and universities as well as its proximity to Lake Michigan and O’Hare International Airport, the second busiest in the world (measured by aircraft traffic).

Average salary (adjusted): $111,303.

Dollar amount higher than closest salary: $1,113.

Percent higher than closest salary: 1%.

Average salary (unadjusted): $119,168.

 

Sign-Gone-to-Denver

(Photo: iStock)

5. Denver

The Mile High City, home to the 2015 Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, is well situated for transportation and distribution of goods to the Mountain and Western states as well as satellite uplinks to six continents, making it attractive to telecommunications companies.

Average salary (adjusted): $117,308.

Dollar amount higher than closest salary: $6,004.

Percent higher than closest salary: 5.4%.

Average salary (unadjusted): $123,222.

 

Big Tex Dallas Texas

(Photo: iStock)

4. Dallas

Although Big Tex the cowboy is a well-recognized symbol of Dallas and the Texas State Fair, the city is also known for its broad economic base including banking, commerce, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare and medical research, and transportation and logistics companies.

Average salary (adjusted): $117,890.

Dollar amount higher than closest salary: $582.

Percent higher than closest salary: 0.5%.

Average salary (unadjusted): $118,841.

 

San-Francisco-cable-car

(Photo: iStock)

3. San Francisco

More than steep hills and the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco has the corporate headquarters of five major banking institutions, as well as established companies such as Levi Strauss & Co. and newcomers Airbnb, Uber and Lyft, just to name a few.

Average salary (adjusted): $119,346.

Dollar amount higher than closest salary: $1,456.

Percent higher than closest salary: 1.2%.

Average salary (unadjusted): $149,744.

 

Seattle-Space-Needle-Mount-Rainier

(Photo: iStock)

2. Seattle

Seattle, in addition to being the home of coffee giant Starbucks, is the headquarters of internet retailer Amazon and Microsoft (in nearby Redmond), as well as attractive to other tech companies doing business with the larger companies.

Average salary (adjusted): $119,349.

Dollar amount higher than closest salary: $3.

Percent higher than closest salary: 0%.

Average salary (unadjusted): $128,470.

 

Minneapolis-highway-sign

(Photo: iStock)

1. Minneapolis

And the city that came out tops in best-paying jobs for cybersecurity professionals is Minneapolis, which hosts the headquarters of Target (victim of a well-publicized cyber attack), U.S. Bankcorp, Ameriprise Financial and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, among other financial services companies.

Average salary (adjusted): $127,757.

Dollar amount higher than closest salary: $8,408.

Percent higher than closest salary: 7%.

Average salary (unadjusted): $131,302.

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