California’s 13 Highest Paying Cybersecurity Jobs
If you go on any job board and search for cybersecurity jobs, thousands will pop up. That’s because cybercriminals are constantly hacking their way past security measures and stealing data and or holding companies hostage with ransomware. These data breaches are crippling companies in every industry and putting billions of people’s personal information at risk, especially in California.
Cybersecurity professionals are the first line of defense against cyberattacks, and there is a shortage of people to fill the positions. There are 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally, and California is paying big bucks to lure as many cybersecurity professionals as possible to the Golden State. Let’s break down the highest-paying cybersecurity jobs in California and what you can do to get hired.
Starting Your Cybersecurity Career: Entry-Level Jobs in California
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a record 35% growth rate in cybersecurity jobs through 2031, nearly five times the national average growth rate of 7.7%. There are thousands of cybersecurity jobs in California, especially for those just starting out. Here are three of the top entry-level cybersecurity salaries for those with less than one year of experience in California:
How To Get a Cybersecurity Job in California
Cybersecurity careers require a strong foundation in computer science and information technology and technical skills like programming languages, network security, and risk management. Many cybersecurity jobs require certifications, and the top three include CompTIA Security+, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). Here are some ways to get the education you’ll need:
Cybersecurity Degree Programs
Colleges and universities offer cybersecurity associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees, and master's degrees. Degree programs usually take two to four years and can put a dent in your wallet.
You can master hard and soft cybersecurity skills through online courses, books, blogs, and practice labs. Self-learners can also benefit from networking with communities and mentorship, participating in competitions, or signing up for bug bounty programs.
Cybersecurity bootcamps are immersive programs that can be completed in six to nine months. They provide hands-on training and real-world projects, and many have instructors that work in the industry. They are also much cheaper than most degree programs, costing between $7,000- $18,000 in California.
What Companies Are Hiring Cybersecurity Professionals in California?
According to LinkedIn, there are more than 21,000 cybersecurity jobs in California, with positions in government agencies, the public and private sectors. Below are seven of the top companies hiring cybersecurity professionals in California.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Livermore, CA | Current Jobs
Booz Allen Hamilton - El Segundo, CA | Current Jobs
Millennium Space Systems, A Boeing Company - El Segundo, CA | Current Jobs
Kroll - Los Angeles, CA | Current Jobs
LinQuest - El Segundo, CA | Current Jobs
ISYS Technologies - El Segundo, CA | Current Jobs
Palo Alto Networks - Santa Clara, CA | Current Jobs
Where To Find Cybersecurity Positions in California
Here are some resources for finding cybersecurity jobs:
Networking - Networking through events, online communities, and Slack groups can give you access to jobs that aren’t even posted. Plus you can use your connections for recommendations and referrals.
LinkedIn - this social media platform is tailor-made for professionals. You can use it to build connections, join groups for self-learning opportunities, and find jobs.
Highest Paying Cybersecurity Jobs in California
How much does cybersecurity pay? California leads the nation in cybersecurity salaries, with positions like Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) averaging about $364,000 a year. Freelance contractors and consultants have even earned $500,000 as bug bounty hunters. Below you’ll find 13 of the highest-paying cybersecurity jobs in California.
Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts are tasked with the design and implementation of protective software and security standards in order to secure an entity’s computer networks and prevent cyber threats. They also supervise safety measures to guarantee security and safeguard data infrastructures. When cyber attacks arise, analysts work to detect and eliminate glitches or mistakes in their systems. Security analysts can find work in the public or private sectors, or as consultants.
Annual Salary Range - $107,500 - $176,009 | Talent
Identity & Access Control Manager
Identity managers construct secure onsite and cloud network environments. Their aim is to manage data efficiently and block unauthorized access to confidential material. In some circumstances, identity managers cooperate with developers to devise systems that validate a user's identity when they try to access platforms. Identity management is a vital and burgeoning field, as many technology users are concerned about how their private information is stored and used.
Annual Salary Range - $127,971 - $173,430 | Salary
Cloud consultants are experts who assist organizations with internet-based systems and services. It is common for cloud consultants to analyze data for clients and then assess which cloud solutions most adequately meet their needs for storage capability and security measures. They then execute these systems and also provide regular support and maintenance. Additionally, cloud consultants sometimes serve to customize cloud systems by building programming code.
Annual Salary Range - $79,317 - $183,115 | ZipRecruiter
Security engineers develop and supervise security and data software for the prevention of data theft and other cybercrimes. They also analyze security protocols, create new systems to protect computer networks and other digital property, construct firewalls, and handle penetration tests to root out system vulnerabilities. Other duties require them to develop new processes for authorization and authentication. On most teams, cybersecurity engineers tend to be the most meticulous and precise, as security breaches can frequently be attributed to tiny errors in coding.
Annual Salary Range - $68,539 - $215,093 | Indeed
Network Security Engineer
Network security engineers are commonly required to maintain the safety of a private network by devising, creating, enhancing, and inspecting network systems. They routinely troubleshoot processes to boost network efficiency and safeguard information from breaches and viruses. They act as monitors in search of existing vulnerabilities and threats to the system and then eradicate those they find. A substantial aspect of a network security engineer's work is looking after a network's sustainability so that it can recover in a timely manner from incidents and attacks.
Annual Salary Range - $97,433 - $155,697 | ZipRecruiter
Cloud engineers work alongside other engineers and development teams to determine effective internet-based security processes for various organizations. They develop, construct, and improve upon cloud-based applications, guaranteeing they align with current security guidelines. Furthermore, cloud engineers see to the routine maintenance of the aforementioned platforms, such as eliminating bugs so systems can operate at maximum optimization. Cloud engineers are analytical problem solvers, system engineers, and software developers.
Annual Salary Range - $89,082 - $195,111 | Indeed
Cybersecurity risk management is the ongoing process of diagnosing and addressing an organization’s cybersecurity threats, so cybersecurity risk managers are those who evaluate systems and cross-examine findings against the standard practices of the industry in order to assess risk. By auditing security documentation, they make sure no delicate data or business operations are vulnerable. Also, risk managers often work with a team to establish, regulate, and maintain security protocols.
Annual Salary Range - $108,812 - $170,000 | Talent
Penetration testers are specialists who administer high-caliber security audits to web applications across various IT functions to ensure that quality standards, methodologies, and procedures are obeyed. Penetration testers are essentially ethical hackers, their foremost duty being the simulation of attempted breaches on computer and network security systems to aid in identifying holes in security. Penetration testers are often hired as freelance consultants or as a member of an in-house cybersecurity team.
Annual Salary range - $99,715 - $172,812 | Indeed
Senior Security Consultant
Senior security consultants supply expert technical guidance in the spheres of secure application development, security architecture risk management and assessment, security policies and standards, and security architectures and implementations. They perform internal analysis of security networks to ascertain system health, as well as identify vulnerabilities. They then provide information technology teams with tools and techniques to enhance security. Senior security consultants also compile info during a data breach in order to counteract damage and take preventative steps against future attacks.
Annual Salary Range: $134,000 - $233,000 | GlassDoor
Chief Information Security Officer
A chief information security officer (CISO) is an executive responsible for an organization’s information technology and data security systems. They make assessments of security processes, execute upgrades to software, and oversee that teams such as development personnel are complying with best practices. In addition, CISOs may reside over customer service platforms and evaluate how technology can achieve better business value. In some circles, CISOs have salaries of approximately $500k a year.
Annual Salary Range: $235,036 - $372,485 | Salary
Application Security Engineer
Application security engineers are required to secure data, systems, and applications. They assure that applications and services meet quality standards and best practices without compromising security. They work alongside a security engineering team to ensure an organization’s software and infrastructure are up to par. They also work with developers and product managers to design, establish, and support security releases. Additionally, application security engineers perform threat modeling tests, security reviews, and penetration testing support to identify potential vulnerabilities within products and optimize a product's efficiency.
Annual Salary Range: $136,500 - $195,000 | Talent
Software architects are innovational leaders who create and launch new software or program features. They manage and advise a team of programmers who create websites, programs, or products. Furthermore, software architects discover solutions for common problems surrounding the product development process. They are masters in software coding.
Annual Salary Range: $156,000 - $259,000 | GlassDoor
Director of Information Security
Directors of information security build procedures for facilitating successful technological security systems. They guide many elements of cybersecurity. Directors of information security usually implement the infrastructure for security protocols, set team goals, and establish programming to expose vulnerabilities in products. Directors sometimes hire and train employees to ensure that teams work well together.
Annual salary range - $184,494 - $226,992 |Salary
Start Your Cybersecurity Career
Cybersecurity careers are booming, especially in California. The UMass Global 100% Online Cybersecurity Bootcamp can get you job-ready in six months through an immersive curriculum, hands-on training, and a mentor-led capstone project. You’ll also study for the CompTIA Security+ exam and get a free voucher to sit for the test. Contact our admissions advisor today or fill out an application online.
FAQs About Cybersecurity Jobs in California
We’ve got the answers to your most frequently asked questions.
Is Cybersecurity a Good Career in California?
Absolutely! With more than a dozen Fortune 500 companies, California employs the second-highest number of cybersecurity professionals in the nation and also has the nation’s highest cybersecurity salaries.
Can I Get Into Cybersecurity Without a Degree?
Yes. In-person or online programs like the UMass Global Cybersecurity Bootcamp can get you job-ready in six to nine months. Bootcamp programs provide hands-on experience and portfolio-building projects, teach key technical skills like risk management, data privacy, and threat intelligence, and training for key certifications.
Is It Hard To Get a Cybersecurity Job Without Experience in California?
Hard and soft cybersecurity skills are necessary to get a job in California, but there are plenty of resources to help you gain the knowledge and training you need, such as cybersecurity bootcamps and online courses. Some jobs will even pay for your training!