Discover the Highest Paying Cybersecurity Jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Area
Washington D.C. is one of the top three cities for cybersecurity professionals in terms of job openings and compensation. And with over 700,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions across the U.S., there’s never been a better time to enter the industry. The salaries are lucrative too. For experienced professionals at the top companies, some salaries can reach as high as $400,000.
In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the specific cybersecurity roles with the best earning potential in Washington D.C., and its greater metropolitan area, also known as the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia).
High Paying Cybersecurity Jobs in DMV
There are various roles within cybersecurity, some more general and others more specialized. Some professionals focus on keeping threats at bay, while others are trained to deal with breaches in action. In this section, you’ll learn which roles are paid the most and what those roles entail.
Cyber Intelligence Analyst
This is one of the most general role titles in the field, sometimes also called “cybersecurity analyst.” It’s common for junior professionals to work under this title before they move into a specialization or a managerial role. Tasks include identifying, monitoring, assessing, and countering all types of cybersecurity threats.
Average salary range in DMV: $67,000 - $110,000
Cyber Threat Analyst
Cyber threat analysts focus on specific threat types and evolving cybercrime trends. As new countermeasures are developed by cybersecurity professionals, so too are new breaching methods developed by cyber criminals. A cyber threat analyst monitors these developments, analyzes them, and suggests potential countermeasures and extra security methods to keep their attempts from succeeding.
Average salary range in DMV: $68,000 - $111,000
Firewalls are a type of network security that monitors incoming and outgoing traffic and decides what can enter based on a set of rules. Firewall engineers are in charge of developing and monitoring this type of security feature, making sure to keep the wall effective against whatever methods cyber criminals are currently using to try and bypass it.
Average salary range in DMV: $82,000 - $136,000
Network Security Engineer
A network security engineer protects the data and devices of users and customers connected to the network, as well as company data. To do this, they use a variety of tools such as firewalls, routers, and network monitoring tools which all need to be monitored and updated frequently to maximize efficacy.
Average salary range in DMV: $83,000 - $137,000
Application Security Engineer
Application Security professionals focus specifically on the security of mobile and web applications. During the software development cycle, they work to eliminate as many risks as possible so that users can safely download, operate, and entrust data with their apps.
Average salary range in DMV: $88,000 - $144,000
Cloud Security Engineer
Rather than dealing with on-site servers and networks, cloud security engineers work with cloud networks that can be accessed remotely by companies and users. An important part of securing these kinds of systems is regulating proper access control, data encryption, and network security. It’s also important to comply with security and data storage regulations and standards.
Average salary range in DMV: $89,000 - $148,000
Lead Software Security Engineer
A lead software security engineer is a managerial role that heads an organization's cybersecurity team and works to shape its overall security strategy. This position often includes developing wider strategies, presenting ideas, and delegating implementation tasks to other team members.
Average salary range in DMV: $111,000 - $180,000
Security Solutions Architect
When a new company needs to set up a security system or an existing company needs a major update, they hire or contract a security solutions architect to design a bespoke solution. A security architect then develops an organization’s security systems from scratch. Full-time solutions architects are also responsible for maintaining and updating the systems they design, as well as making sure both technical and non-technical employees are trained in security best practices.
Average salary range in DMV: $142,000 - $248,000
Cloud Security Architect
Similar to a security solutions architect, a cloud architect designs and builds bespoke cloud security systems. These systems are accessed online and don’t require any onsite hardware, so the required knowledge and tooling can be quite different from a normal security architect.
Average salary range in DMV: $152,000 - $266,000
Director of Information Security
This is a senior managerial role for skilled professionals with usually around 10 years of experience in the field. As a director, this role typically involves leading a number of teams in a significantly-sized organization and taking responsibility for the overarching direction of security strategies and their effective implementation.
Average salary range in DMV: $153,000 - $267,000
Chief Information Security Officer
This is the highest-ranking security role in an organization, equivalent to other C-suite executives, such as CEOs, CTOs, and COOs. The CISO is responsible for the entirety of an organization’s security strategy and has to stay up to date with their department by liaising with the director and high-ranking leads, and then reporting back to other executives.
Average salary range in DMV: $178,000 - $314,000
Starting Your Cyber Security Career: Entry-Level Jobs in DMV
Despite being built with cutting-edge technologies, cybersecurity still requires human monitoring. This is often done by entry-level cybersecurity professionals, meaning that there are plenty of opportunities to get your foot in the door if you don’t yet have a ton of experience. Here are some of the most common entry-level cybersecurity positions:
Junior CND Analyst
Computer Network Defense (CND) analysts monitor and investigate potential threats. Working on a team of more experienced cybersecurity professionals, this role allows entry-level cybersecurity professionals to learn from the work of more senior members.
Average junior salary range in DMV: $55,000 - $84,000
Supply Chain Risk Management Analyst - Junior
Supply chain risk management involves developing and maintaining robust cybersecurity systems to minimize the chances of a breach that could disrupt the supply chain. However, since supply chain disruptions can cause extensive damage very quickly, the role also involves setting up contingencies to fall back on in the event of a breach.
Average junior salary range in DMV: $68,000 - $107,000
Junior Cybersecurity Specialist
While some junior positions can have very specific role titles like the two above examples, you’ll also find a lot of jobs simply titled “Junior Cybersecurity Specialist/Analyst.” This role will likely involve working on a team of more experienced professionals and taking on whatever tasks are delegated to you. In addition to contributing directly to the maintenance of security systems, you’ll likely also be assigned professional development tasks.
Average junior salary range in DMV: $57,000 - $95,000
How to Land a Cybersecurity Job in the Washington Metropolitan Area
Depending on your background, there are different paths you can follow to become a cybersecurity professional and land a job in the Washington Metropolitan Area.
If you don’t have any experience, then follow these steps:
Acquire the skills: If you’re a new high school graduate or you haven’t entered the workforce yet, there are multiple full-time and part-time education options to choose from. You can attend college—common majors for cybersecurity professionals include computer science, information security and assurance, network administration, and cloud computing. You can also study independently or enroll in an online course like the UMGC Cybersecurity Bootcamp.
Create a portfolio: It’s important to craft a portfolio of projects to showcase your skills to potential employers. Some forms of education like cybersecurity bootcamps will include portfolio projects in the curriculum but it’s a good idea to work on your own projects too. As a newcomer, you can take part in open-source, volunteer, personal, or freelance projects.
Find a job: Once you’re ready, you can call on the alumni services of your educational institution, recruiting agencies, and DMV-specific job boards to find a cybersecurity job in the Washington Metropolitan Area.
If you’ve already established a career in another field, follow these steps to pivot into cybersecurity:
Acquire the skills: If you’re already working full-time, getting into cybersecurity can seem more difficult. Luckily, there are ways to study around your existing schedule without having to quit your job or cut back on hours. Online bootcamps are specifically designed to help people transition into a new career and their flexible schedules and hands-on curriculum can get you job-ready in under a year.
Create a portfolio: Your bootcamp projects can make for great portfolio projects. You can develop your portfolio even further with other personal, freelance, open-source, and freelance projects. Portfolios are all about showcasing your skills—your bootcamp career coaches can give you great advice on how to build the perfect set of projects.
Find a job: After graduation, you can call on the career services team again to help you prepare for the job search, practice interviews, and craft the perfect resume. Cybersecurity is essential for just about any industry that makes use of computers, so whatever your previous career, you may be able to leverage your existing network to find some openings. You can also check out DMV-specific job boards or work with a recruitment agency.
What Companies Are Hiring Cyber Security Professionals in the Washington Metropolitan Area?
There are many private and government bodies hiring cybersecurity professionals in Washington D.C., including many names you’ll be familiar with.
One of the biggest consulting firms in the world, Accenture specializes in IT services. Accenture has offices in the Washington Metropolitan Area and posts openings for roles such as “Cybersecurity Analysis and Triage Analyst.”
The highest court in the land currently has job openings for roles like “Senior Information Technology Specialist (Cyber Incident Response Analyst).”
S&P Global is an American corporation specializing in financial information and analytics. With offices in Washington D.C., the firm posts openings for cybersecurity roles such as “Cyber Risk Analyst” and “Cybersecurity Compliance and Controls Analyst.”
TikTok is a popular video-based social media platform with offices in Washington D.C. Cybersecurity roles they hire include “Incident Response Analyst” and “Vulnerability Management Analyst.”
ICF is a global consulting and technology services company that serves both governments and businesses. At its D.C. office, openings have been posted for roles such as “Cybersecurity Program Analyst.”
Where To Find Cyber Security Positions in the Washington Metropolitan Area
With so many unfilled positions in cybersecurity right now, finding job openings in the Washington Metropolitan Area isn’t very hard. Still, you should conduct your search through all means available to you, including job boards, LinkedIn, and your network.
Here are some popular national and region-specific job boards used in Washington D.C.:
LinkedIn helps keep in contact with your own network, is a great place to search for jobs, and is the best place for recruiters to find you. With a well-maintained and detailed profile that showcases your skills and experience, you can start gaining profile views and receiving recruitment offers.
Become a Cybersecurity Professional in DMV
Armed with this comprehensive overview of the cybersecurity industry in Washington, there’s nothing stopping you from getting started on your own tech career. With an online cybersecurity bootcamp, like those provided by The University of Maryland Global Campus, you can become a fully-fledged cybersecurity engineer in as little as nine months.
FAQs About Cyber Security Jobs in the Washington Metropolitan Area
We’ve got the answers to your most frequently asked questions.
Is Cyber Security a Good Career in DMV?
The Washington Metropolitan Area is undoubtedly a great place for security professionals to work, with both high salaries and ample job opportunities. As the home of the U.S Government, Washington D.C. is also a hub of cutting-edge cybersecurity technologies.
Can I Get Into Cyber Security Without a Degree in Northern Virginia?
Yes, alternative forms of education are accepted in Northern Virginia as long as you can showcase your skills and pass other elements of the application process. This attitude is somewhat helped by the severe personnel shortage in cybersecurity right now.
Is It Hard To Get a Cyber Security Job Without Experience in the Washington Metropolitan Area?
Washington has plenty of entry-level opportunities for junior cybersecurity professionals and an urgent need to fill positions, so having full-time professional experience is not a hard requirement.