How To Become A Security Engineer?

Take a look around and see how technology has made tremendous progress and is used in all areas of life. Have you ever wondered about the security issues that threaten the systems? Whether it’s hospitals, offices, businesses, name any place, they need an active cybersecurity force to tackle the security issues.

Security engineers lead the cybersecurity team from the front lines. In 2020, security engineers top the list of the most in-demand IT careers, which means they have an excellent scope and bright career opportunities.

Are you interested to know more about this vital role? If yes, then you are at the right place. This guide will cover all the details about security engineers and includes everything you need to get a job as a security engineer.

What Do Security Engineers Do?


You already know that security engineers play an essential role in the cybersecurity world, but that is not enough information. So, let’s learn what exactly a security engineer does.

They protect the computer and network systems from cyber-attacks and help companies to guard their sensitive data. For instance, the client records in hospitals and financial details in banks include sensitive information and need a secure system to stay confidential.

However, hackers and potential cybercriminals try to fetch such essential data, which is an alarming situation. This is where security engineers come into action to protect the data and resolve security issues.

Their job is to prevent such mishaps from happening and build a strong security system. That’s not all; their scope of job also includes:

As cybersecurity leaders, we have to create our message of influence because security is a culture and you need the business to take place and be part of that security culture.

  • Developing security plans,
  • Identifying the vulnerabilities
  • Implementing the solutions
  • Offering advice to solve security issues

This was all about the responsibilities of security engineers. The next part will include all about getting to this position.

All good things come to those who put all their effort and dedication to make a dream come true. Talking about becoming a security engineer, these are some prerequisites that will get you the job.


The right education boosts the chances of becoming a security engineer. However, if you are confused about the specific field and education requirements, we have covered the details for you.

As it’s a cybersecurity-related job position, having a background in the same field is a must. Not to mention, having an interest in math, computer science, and technical subjects is a plus. After completing high school, get enrolled in a bachelor’s program in computer science, IT, software engineering, or a related field.

Then, continue further studies and get a master’s degree in networking, IT, or similar field as some employees require candidates with a master’s degree for the position of a security engineer.


You might be thinking that after getting an education, why certifications are needed. Here is the answer to this question.

As technology gets updated and becomes more efficient with time, systems continue to get complicated as well. This means security engineers need enhanced skills to deal with complex security issues. Certifications offer up-to-date knowledge and technical expertise to deal with such technicalities.

Now, when you know why certifications are important, here are the most popular certifications for security engineers. These will add stars on your resume and keep you on the right track.

  • CCNP Security: Cisco Certified Network Professional Security
  • CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker
  • CISA: Certified Information Systems Auditor
  • Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
  • CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional
  • GIAC Security Certifications

Maybe, you are wondering about some other rewards of getting certifications. So, certifications increase your value among other potential candidates and boost your pay as well.

Keeping all these benefits in mind, don’t wait anymore. If you are planning to join some company as a security engineer, grab some certifications and win the job.


Of course, education and technical knowledge are essential, but you can’t qualify as a security engineer if you lack the skills.

Hard Skills

Because it’s a technical job, a security engineer job requires some essential hard skills as mentioned below:

  • Familiarity with intrusion detection, firewalls, and threat modeling.
  • Be able to perform ethical hacking.
  • Hands-on experience of Linux, UNIX, and Windows
  • Have a good understanding of database platforms like MySQL and MSSQL.
  • Ability to handle virus detection and prevention and security compliance.

While you’ll learn some skills during your student life, practical exposure refines them. Internships followed by job experience will develop all the right skills to become a security engineer.

Soft Skills

In this profession, soft skills are equally as important as hard skills. As it’s a team job, you need to have excellent communication skills. Sometimes you need to share the critical security issues with the management and senior personnel. So, you need to be good at communicating ideas and views.

Other than this, you should have a problem-solving attitude because there are technical issues that you need to resolve. You need to have a unique personality to be a security engineer. You must be energetic and confident to deal with any security issue.

Moreover, you must analyze things logically and rationally whereas, a curious and investigative nature can help you a lot with the job. Remember, these soft skills enhance your personality and make you the right fit as a security engineer.

Work Experience


Having work experience under your best is essential to get the job as a security engineer. After getting a college degree, start a career right away if you want to become a security engineer. Begin with some entry-level jobs like database management or some other position under senior engineers, as this is the only way to enter the IT industry.

After getting three to five years of experience, you can get to the position of a security engineer. Until then, polish your skills, get the certifications, and create a solid resume. Not only that, but it’s also important to develop essential skills and learn about new technology.

Make sure to impress the employer and show them that you are well prepared and the best candidate for the position.

Join Professional Organizations

Whether you have started a career or you are an aspiring student looking for advanced knowledge, you should consider joining networking organizations. This would help you stay abreast of the industry’s current trends.

Moreover, you’ll find different job opportunities, latest researches, and certifications on such platforms. Also, you’ll get many opportunities to learn more about the field and groom your skills and knowledge.

Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) is a networking organization for security engineers. The members can connect with other cybersecurity professionals and stay tuned with the latest technology. You can attend seminars, international conferences, and meetings that offer excellent learning opportunities.

Another such organization is (ISC)2 International Information System Security Certification Consortium. They provide up-to-date educational stuff, certifications for security professionals. Moreover, it’s a reputed platform to get certifications and learn about the current trends in the industry.

How Much Do Security Engineers Earn?


Alright, you’ll get the technical expertise, work experience, education, certifications, but what about the pay? Is it worth all the hard work? These are some questions that might be bothering you.

That’s why we guess it’s time to break the big secret. Yes, security engineers take home a handsome salary. It’s a much-demanded profession; likewise, the salary figures are too good.

According to Payscale, the average pay of security engineers is $89,957. Let’s take a closer look according to the different levels of experience.

An entry-level engineer makes about $70,059. After working for 3-4 years, the salary rises to $81,291.

Moving further, after gaining experience for five to nine years, you can expect salaries around $98,216. Whereas, professionals with experience of 15 to 20 years receive pay as high as $115,155.

No, we are not looking with rose-colored glasses. The average salary for security engineers, according to the data on Indeed, is $114,818 annually. As you analyze these salary figures, you would realize that it is such a well-paid profession.

Some factors influence the salaries of security engineers, which are education, work experience, and the firm that you are applying to. Therefore, having the required skill-set and other qualities is important to get good pay as a security engineer.

The top-paying and reputable companies for security engineers are Cisco,, and Google. It’s a dream to get a job in such companies. After all, there are no boundaries to success, so if you aim high, you might get your dream job as well.


Here are some common questions related to security engineers that people might have.

What’s the Demand for Security Engineers?

Well, it’s one of the hottest job positions all over the world. According to BLS, security job positions are expected to increase to 32% from 2018-2028. With the increasing dependence on technology, there are more job slots for security engineers in every industry.

Whether its health institutes, finance companies, insurance companies, IT businesses, or banks, security engineers are needed everywhere as security requirements increase with the emerging trends. So, if you are planning for a career with a bright future, a security engineer is the right profession for you.

Is it Difficult to Get a Job as a Security Engineer?

Honestly, this depends on your skills, whether you’ll get the job or not. There are chances that you’ll face some competition to get the job. But you need to be consistent and clear about your goals.

Nevertheless, it’s a technical job, but if you have an interest in this field, you’ll get all the essential education and skills. That’s what impresses employers and increases the chances of getting a job.

What’s the Difference between a Security Engineer and Security Analyst?

Security analysts detect the security issues in the system and report them. Their job is to perform tests and ensure that there are no threats to the system. In case they find an issue, they have to report it.

Whereas, security engineers build security systems and work to maintain it. However, some companies offer a job as a security engineer where you have to fill in both roles, one of a security engineer and the other as a security analyst. So, you better check the job responsibilities to know what they expect from you.


To conclude, security engineers play an essential role in any organization. They are an all-in-one solution to any security issues that threaten the system of companies and businesses.

We have shared all the details to become a security engineer for your assistance. So, if you plan to get into the field, you know the requirements for a security engineer. However, extraordinary technical skills, education in the relevant field, and certifications are the essential elements for getting the job.

If you have all these prerequisites, nothing can hold you back from getting the job. Apply for the position, get that job, and prove yourself in the industry with a brilliant performance and work ethics. There will be endless opportunities waiting for you then.

Jonathan Holmes

Jonathan Holmes is a writer for HKS Siblab, an education and business blog. He has a MSc in Cyber Security & Digital Forensics from the University of Hertfordshire and has been working in the cyber security industry since 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing guitar and spending time with his family.

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