Find top tech talent today

Thanks for signing up for a hired demo!

A Hired representative will reach out to you shortly. In the meantime, learn more about how we can help you meet your critical hiring needs.


Career Path: How to Become a Security Engineer

Becoming a Security Engineer is not as challenging as it might seem. It's a specialized field that's in high-demand according to the IDC and centered around the security aspects within the design of a system. Businesses are in need of skilled individuals that can keep their computer network safeguarded from disruptions due to malicious cyber attacks or natural disasters.

Getting Through the Door

To land an entry-level job as a security engineer, you need to know that there are subsets to the field that all have the same goal.

  • Network Security...more

Get matched with Security Engineer jobs

At Hired, we connect innovative companies with outstanding candidates like you. Plus, the employers apply to you, not the other way around.
Join Hired
Find candidates now
Looking to hire Security Engineers? Hired has them. With high response rates and deep expertise, we help you hire better talent, faster

Salary range for Security Engineers

See results by role, experience, and location.
Data is from real (not self-reported) interviews and offers on Hired.

Low data availability: this result is based on limited data.
To explore more salaries for Security Engineer, visit our Salary Calculator.

We've got salaries for other top technical roles, too.

Explore Salaries

Opportunities for Security Engineers

The job prospects and compensations for Security Engineers varies across cities. See where Security Engineers are the most sought after.


Want to land the salary you deserve?

Whether you're looking for a new job or want to land your next
promotion, salary negotiation is a critical career skill.

Our complete Salary Negotiation Guide will make sure you're prepared
to land the salary you deserve, articulate your skills, and common
mistakes to avoid during the interview process.


Career-building content for Security Engineers

We've collected tons of information on salaries, compensation, negotiation and more. See even more on our blog.

Job Searching? Online Networking Strategies to get you Started

Career Advice Job Search Remote Work

Embracing our new realm of human connection doesn’t have to feel impersonal or distant. You can and should be forming new social ties online as a job seeker. Now more than ever, it’s acceptable to reach out to people remotely. There are no parties to socialize, no events to make new encounters, no coffee shops […]

An Extrovert’s Guide to Remote Work

Career Advice Remote Work

Because of COVID-19 many of us are now in a position where we’re working full-time remote for the first time ever. As someone who thrives on human interaction in an office setting, working at home alone has been challenging to say the least. I sat down to have a coffee with Chethan Reddy to get some tips […]

How to Remain Proactive in your Job Search During the COVID-19 Crisis

Job Search The Career Strategist

In this time of uncertainty, many companies and job seekers are faced with a decision. Pause the interview process or adapt to the situation. If you are a job seeker, ask yourself, can your skills be leveraged remotely? While some companies are reassessing hiring needs as their industries may be experiencing a slow-down (travel, entertainment […]

How a Software Engineer Should Answer the “Tell Me About Yourself” Interview Question

Engineering Interview Process Job Search

I think that without a doubt the most common interview question is “so, tell me about yourself”.  As someone who’s gone through the HackReactor program, spoken to recruiters, and interviewed dozens of candidates myself, here are the most important things any candidate should keep top of mind.  Common Misconceptions  There are two common misconceptions with […]

4 Things I Wish I had Done Immediately After Graduating a Programming Bootcamp

Engineering Tech Skills

The process of securing a job after completing a coding bootcamp is not automatic. The good news is that coding bootcamps are certainly still a viable option for motivated students, but it’s important to have the right expectations ahead of time and to not see bootcamps as a means to an end. The right mentality […]

Running Effective Meetings: An Engineer’s Guide

Engineering Tech Skills Workplace Trends

If you’re the leader of a software development team, chances are good that your engineers spend more time than they’d prefer on things other than developing software. Much of this time is probably taken up by meetings; Harvard Business review reports that time spent attending meetings in the workplace has more than doubled since the […]

3 Habits of Successful Software Engineers

Career Advice Engineering

Whether you’re a seasoned software engineer or new to the craft, there are a number of things—beyond simply delivering great code—which can impact your success in a role. While it may be tempting to put your head down and focus on the code at hand, here are three habits of successful software engineers worth building. […]

How to Stand Out in the First 6 Months of a New Job

Career Advice

If you’re about to start a new job, chances are you’re rejoicing that the job hunt is over—but the hard work has just begun. While it’s important to impress your manager and colleagues in the job interview (and you must have if you got the job!), it’s arguably even more important to continue exceeding expectations […]

How to Ask Your Employer for Student Loan Benefits

Benefits Career Advice

If you’re under 30 and college educated, there’s a good chance you’re paying off student loan debt (a 49% chance, to be exact). And while earning more money is one obvious way to pay your loans off faster, the opportunity to increase your salary only comes around every so often—so you may be looking for […]


There's a better way to find work you love.


Answer a few questions to complete your profile.


Companies request interviews with upfront compensation.


Find your dream job!

Career Path: How to Become a Security Engineer

Becoming a Security Engineer is not as challenging as it might seem. It's a specialized field that's in high-demand according to the IDC and centered around the security aspects within the design of a system. Businesses are in need of skilled individuals that can keep their computer network safeguarded from disruptions due to malicious cyber attacks or natural disasters.

Getting Through the Door

To land an entry-level job as a security engineer, you need to know that there are subsets to the field that all have the same goal.

  • Network Security Engineers are focused on the security of network systems
  • Information Security Engineers maintain the integrity of all the data communicated and stored in a business
  • Cyber Security Engineers defend an organization’s networks, data and computers from unauthorized digital access
  • Information Systems Security Engineers implement and plan safety measures for computer networks
  • Information Assurance Engineers will oversee the processing and storing of information within a business to make sure that it's secure

It's easier for individuals already in an IT role to transition to that of a security engineer, but for those that are beginning from the ground up experts recommend being knowledgeable of operating systems such as Windows, Linux and UNIX. Entry-level security engineers must also understand network and system architectures, security concepts and principles, programming and software development.

Other technical skills that can give you an advantage include knowledge of virtualization software, disassemblers, assembly language, programming in Java, C or C++, as well as scripting languages like Perl and PHP. Some minimum requirements that you will need to qualify as an entry- or junior-level security engineer include:

  • Drafting system architectures and developing security designs
  • Responding to and tracking security incidents
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of security solutions against current and projected threats
  • Implementing tools, processes and techniques to assist in the prevention of security incidents
  • Using and installing software like firewalls and data encryption programs
  • Willing to learn and work in a team environment
  • Good problem-solving, as well as verbal and written communication skills

Degrees and Experience

To land that first job as a security engineer, employers look for you to have at least a bachelor's in cybersecurity, information systems, computer science or other related fields. Companies may also seek a few years of hands-on experience with building test networks or system prototypes. Having certifications like CompTIA Security+, the CERT-Certified Computer Security Incident Handler (CSIH) Certification or the GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC) will also help gain you employment.

Working as a Junior-Level Engineer

As a junior-level engineer, you are tasked with developing threat models, as well as implementing new security tools and frameworks. Researching threats and providing detailed reports is part of the job. A junior-level engineer may do malware analysis, breach and incident responses, security automation and cloud security. You can also perform black and white box security assessments of applications.

Moving Up the Ranks

You have now obtained the necessary experience as a security engineer to move up the ladder in your career. Being able to communicate and collaborate with others is very important when it comes to completing tasks successfully. You will be working around a team of very experienced engineers and asking for help is a wonderful way to gain valuable insight that will help further your career. There are other certifications for those with more experience in the field, which includes the CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) and the CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) You should also increase your problem-solving skills and familiarity with different security testing tools.

Advance Your Career: How to become a Senior Security Engineer

Senior Security Engineers oversee the functionality of security systems to ensure that security policies are being upheld. They are responsible for monitoring and maintenance. Senior-level engineers will perform risk assessments for projects, as well as provide guidance to management on the appropriate course of action. They will also create information security policies and processes, compile and analyze data, and respond to computer security incidents.

Study the Core Fields

To be an expert security engineer, you have to be skilled in your field. This involves being aware of the latest technologies in security software and testing tools. Gaining more experience with intrusion detection systems, firewalls for systems and web applications, DDOS prevention and network packet capture solutions is important. Senior security engineers are able to multitask and take ownership. Being adept in information security compliance frameworks is a must. You can also boost your résumé by getting an advanced degree.

Invest in Yourself

You have proven your expertise in the field as a security engineer. You understand security information and event management (SIEM), as well as security architectures. You can provide support when and where needed. Having excellent analytical, conflict resolution, time management and communication skills is something you possess. A good understanding of protocols and technologies like TCP, NetBios, UDP, SSL and FTP is helpful. To gain an advantage, employers also like to see experience with APIs, cloud services and cryptography.

Don't Stop at Security Engineer

Expand your knowledge by taking advantage of educational opportunities while on the job. There are organizations where you can gain valuable insight like ISSA (Information Systems Security Association) and the ISF (Information Security Forum). This can further accelerate your goals by helping you keep up with industry trends and building a stronger network of skilled individuals that may offer access to potential clients or employers.

Security Engineer Job Description

We’ve done the research for you. After evaluating numerous job descriptions, we’ve written our own representative job description for a mid-level engineer with between two and five years of relevant experience.

As a security engineer, you will screen and test security software, monitor networks and systems for breaches or intrusions. You can resolve the causes of security threats and recommend enhancements to prevent them. You can also work independently, as well as efficiently in a team environment. Our security engineers are self-motivated and display leadership qualities. We welcome diversity and encourage healthy debate and discussion.

What We Need Your Help With

  • Installing, maintaining and troubleshooting security software and hardware
  • Analyze, design, test and deploy standard security controls
  • Perform analysis against large data sets to identify potentially malicious behavior
  • Support of routers, switches and VPN devices
  • Secure remote access technologies
  • Build complex automated solutions that assist IT policy and risk assessment
  • Create and maintain documentation of networks and systems
  • Develop and integrate security features into new device platforms
  • Apply security patches and version updates for compliance
  • Generate trouble tickets and determine whether incidents are security events
  • Work with project managers, system and software engineers to ensure successful integration

What We Look For

  • 3+ years in information security and network engineering
  • 3+ years of incident detection and response
  • Experience in the terms, concepts, processes and policies of information security
  • Experience with data visualization and data integration tools
  • Experience with Python, Powershell or Perl scripting
  • Experience with agile software development such as Scrum
  • Experience with Windows/Linux operating systems and orchestration tools like Chef and Puppet
  • Familiarity with IPS/IDS, firewalls, cloud security, DDoS and SIEM
  • Strong understanding of IT security principles
  • Knowledge of Authentication, Authorization and Accountability (AAA) standards
  • Excellent project management, organizational, analytical, problem-solving and communication skills
  • B.S degree in information systems or technology, IT security, engineering, computer science or other related field or equivalent work experience

These Would Also Be Nice

  • Experience with cloud platforms like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud
  • Experience with database and data integration methods using SQL, Splunk, MySQL or HQL
  • Experience with continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), test-driven development (TDD), behavioral-driven development (BDD), DevOps and automation
  • Knowledge of markup languages such as HTML, XML and JSON
  • CEH, CCSP, CISSP or other related certifications

Senior Security Engineer Career Paths: Where To Go From Here

You have obtained 10 years of experience and are ready for a new challenge in your career. With organizations, companies and governments around the world storing data on their networks, cyber attacks are becoming frequent and in some cases harmful. The growth rate of jobs in this field is expected to continue to rise as the increase of information is being placed on the Internet.

Senior Security Engineers may work as a Security Architects where their responsibilities include planning, researching and designing elements of security for a company's network. There's the role of the IT Security Manager who's tasked with overseeing the security of a business's computer systems, as well as work with senior managers to design a security plan, anticipate and detect intrusions, and coordinate daily activities of a team. The position of Director of Security involves maintaining a company's policies, procedures and security of online assets. With the acquired experience, a senior security engineer can delve into the role of a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) who is responsible for overseeing the information systems and security of a company. This job also ensures that everything is in compliance with policies and regulations.

The positions listed generally require a bachelor's degree with a master's being an employer's preferred choice, such as an MBA in some cases. Managerial and industry certifications along with years of expertise in the field are a must-have on this journey. You will also need to possess not only superb communication skills but be able to work independently, lead effectively and make important decisions for the company as a whole.


C++ is an object-oriented language derived from C, and invented by Bjarne Stroustrup, while working at AT&T's Bell Labs. It is widely used for systems-level programming, and building applications on Windows and various Unix operating systems (Lin...


C is a widely used low-level, static-typed, compiled computer language known for its efficiency. Developed in the late sixties, C has become one of the most widely used languages of all time. It provides direct access to memory and due to its de...

Java is a statically-typed, cross-platform language. It is concurrent, class-based, and object-oriented. It has minimal implementation dependencies and compiled Java code can run on all platforms that support Java without the need for recompilat...

Python is an object-oriented programming language notable for its clarity, power and flexibility. Python is an interpreted language, meaning that an interpreter reads and runs the code directly, rather than compiling down into static lower level c...


PHP is a widely-used open-source scripting language that has seen wide use in web application development. PHP code must be processed by an interpreter like the Zend Engine. With a strong open-source community and large adoption world-wide, PHP ...

.NET is a framework created by Microsoft that consists of common language runtime and its own class library. Its key benefits are managing code at execution in the form of memory management, thread management and remoting. It also has added safet...


Structured Query Language (SQL) is a highly popular domain specific language (DSL) used to communicate with relational database management systems (RDBMS). SQL is a standard that is based on the "relational model", defined by professor E.F. Codd,...

Adobe Photoshop is the mode widely used photo editing and image manipulation application in the world. It is used by designers and hobbyists worldwide to design products, advertising, applications, websites, art, and more.

Scala is a strongly, statically typed functional/object-oriented language primarily targeted to the JVM. It brings a lot of powerful programming language concepts out of academia, placing them into the hands of practitioners. A key design emphas...

Top industries hiring Security Engineers


The retail landscape has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Retail was once a brick-and-mortar industry, comprised of small, independently owned-and-operated businesses and large chain stores with multiple outposts throughout the c...


Security industry jobs tend to involve the patrolling and guarding of physical assets, buildings and compounds, people, or anything else of value that one cares to protect. Jobs in the industry range from the individuals that actually perform t...


The aerospace industry involves designing and building machinery in the space industry, including parts, missiles and rockets. As of 2015, the aerospace industry was worth over $180.3 billion, with the majority of its net worth coming from comm...

Looking for a job as a Security Engineer?
Get matched on Hired.