IT security salary: This is how much IT security experts earn

The earnings prospects for cybersecurity experts have never been better: In times of Corona and home offices, damage from cyber attacks is the order of the day. According to a study by the digital association Bitcom, nine out of ten companies in Germany were affected by cyber attacks in 2020 and 2021. Estimated damage per year: 223 billion euros. No wonder demand for experts in IT security is booming. Because more and more employers are realizing that they need cybersecurity experts and that their expertise is extremely important to protect a company with all its data and assets. 

Wie hoch die Gehälter in der IT-Security sind und was die jeweiligen Cybersecurity-Experten verdienen, erfährst du in diesem Blogartikel.

IT security: professional experience, industry and company size play a major role in salary 

According to the IT Study 2021, into which around 12,000 data records from 172 companies flowed, IT security experts are among the best-paid IT professions. With an average annual salary of 69,900 euros, IT security experts land in second place in the IT occupation ranking. Only IT consultants earn more. 

The top earners among IT security experts include chief information security officers (CISOs), IT forensic specialists and security architects (see chart). A CISO goes home with around
84,300 a year, IT forensic experts earn an average of 78,000 euros, and security architects earn an average of 70,100 euros. Professional experience pays off: Experienced IT security experts can expect a monthly salary of around 7,000 euros, while those in management positions can expect to earn around 9,100 euros a month. Career starters earn an average of around 4,100 euros per month. 

The size of the company and the sector also influence your salary: in a small company with up to 100 employees, IT specialists can expect to earn an average of 51,000 euros a year, while in large companies, earnings are around 74,000 euros. The pay is particularly good in biotechnology, the semiconductor industry, mechanical engineering and the software industry. Those who also work in Munich or Frankfurt am Main also go home with more pay. There, IT experts earn around 20 percent more than the national average. In terms of federal states, the best salaries are paid in Hesse, Baden-Württemberg, Hamburg and Bavaria.

Tip: Looking for a job in cybersecurity and want to know what your market value is? Recruiters who specialize in cybersecurity know the industry and where the top jobs are.  

IT security salary: This is what cybersecurity experts earn

In der Grafik findest du die wichtigsten Jobs im Bereich Cybersicherheit und das dazugehörige durchschnittliche Jahresgehalt. Je nach Berufserfahrung, Branche und Unternehmensgröße kann der Verdienst wesentlich höher ausfallen. 




Skill check: Which qualifications pay off for cybersecurity experts?

Many cybersecurity experts have studied computer science. But you also have good chances as a career changer who is at home in the world of computers and computer systems. There are now dual courses of study as well as specialized courses at universities of applied sciences, universities and technical universities where you can study IT security specifically. The cybercriminalistics course is offered by police universities of applied sciences.

Overall, higher educational qualifications pay off: IT security experts with a doctorate earn an average of 82,000 euros a year, those with a master's degree around 75,000 euros and those with a bachelor's degree 68,000 euros. IT security experts who have completed an apprenticeship earn an average salary of 50,000 euros a year.  

There are numerous certificates with which cybersecurity experts can improve their skills and thus additionally increase their market value, for example: OSCP, OSWP, OSCE, OSWE and CEH.

Tip: You want to position yourself even better with a suitable certification? Recruiters who specialize in the placement of IT security experts know which certificates will bring you the most. Let them advise you!

Wanted: Cybersecurity experts have a high market value

According to the (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, there is a shortage of more than four million cybersecurity experts worldwide. In Germany, too, there are more jobs than applicants due to the high demand. If you search for jobs in the field of "IT security" at, about 42,000 job offers are displayed. Depending on professional experience, industry and size of the employer, six-figure salaries are sometimes possible. In public authorities and the civil service, salaries are usually paid according to the salary scale or collective wage agreement. Here you earn significantly less, but still above average. IT security experts are therefore usually in the comfortable position of being able to choose between different offers.

Hot Spots: Where do cybersecurity experts work?

Cybersecurity experts work in particular for large industrial companies, banks, insurance companies, organizations, authorities or government institutions such as the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) or work as independent service providers on a contract basis. Due to the increasing threat of cybercrime, however, more and more small and medium-sized companies are also affording themselves IT security experts.

The range of tasks is diverse and differs depending on the profession and focus. Cybersecurity experts:

  • develop security concepts
  • assess risks
  • ensure secure computer software, networks, systems and data program
  • detect security vulnerabilities
  • hack security holes
  • search for clues to solve criminal cyber attacks
  • sensitize and train employees, for example, on the use of secure passwords, phishing e-mails and virus scanners 

Tip: You're not sure whether you're in the right place with your skills? Recruiting experts will analyze which job is right for you.  


Due to the rise in cybercrime, the chances for cybersecurity experts to be employed at top conditions are better than ever. IT security experts are in demand: There are more job offers than applicants. Chief information security officers, IT forensic specialists and security architects earn the most. Large corporations pay six-figure salaries. IT security experts earn top salaries in Munich and Frankfurt am Main in particular.


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