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Information Security Analysts

At a Glance

  • Plan, build, and maintain security plans and systems
  • May work evenings and weekends
  • Sit for long periods of time
  • Have a bachelor's degree
  • Must keep up to date on latest technology

Career summary

Information security analysts set up plans to protect companies' information and technology from outsiders.

Information security analysts work with companies to build secure computer systems. They question managers and staff about their current security methods. They find out what information the company wants to protect. They determine what information employees should be able to access.

Analysts install software that protects the information. They may also make changes to existing software. They test the system once changes are made to make sure it works. They train staff on how to use security software and properly use computers to prevent security problems.

Analysts may build firewalls if the data are available to people over the Internet. These electronic walls keep people outside of an organization from accessing the protected information. They may encrypt information so that it remains confidential. They monitor virus software and update it regularly.

Information security analysts write rules and procedures for employees to follow once the security system is in place. Each part of the security plan must be followed for it to be effective. Analysts in some companies coordinate security for vendors and customers in addition to employees.

Analysts may also be responsible for physically locking down the hardware. They may buy equipment to secure servers, monitors, and hard drives so they cannot be removed from buildings. Larger companies may purchase metal detectors or video cameras as part of their security plan.

Information security analysts monitor data logs that report all the activity on a system. They look for any strange activity in the records. Some programs alert employees when there is a problem. Analysts evaluate security breaks and determine if there are problems or errors. If there is a problem, analysts track where the break came from and shut off the access point.

Some analysts work for temporary agencies that contract their services to different companies.

Related careers

This career is part of the Information Technology cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to information security analysts.

Common work activities

Information security analysts perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, information security analysts:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Information security analysts frequently:

It is important for information security analysts to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for information security analysts to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Information security analysts need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

Work with things

Perceive and visualize

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as an information security analyst, you typically need to:

Education after high school

A bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, or a related field is excellent preparation for this occupation. As the field of information security continues to grow, many schools are beginning to offer information security programs. Some employer's prefer a analysts to have a Master's of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems.

Work experience

An important part of preparing for this field is learning the latest technology. Some people learn through classes and others teach themselves. An ideal way to prepare for this field is to get a part-time job or internship. In these hands-on learning environments, you learn new tools as they are used in the field.

On-the-job training

Continuing education is very important in this field. Technology changes rapidly and specialists must stay up to date. Employers, hardware and software vendors, colleges and universities, and training institutes offer classes.

Military training

Some branches of the military train people to be computer systems specialists. Training lasts from seven to 13 weeks, depending on your specialty. Additional training occurs on the job.

Helpful high school courses

In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum (external link) may be different from your state's graduation requirements (external link).

You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups (PDF file) that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Most employers prefer security analysts who have formal college training, although knowledge about computer security issues is the most important criteria. Many employers also require a bachelor's degree; however, some may require only an associate degree. Most employers require related work experience. Some employers hire information security analysts who may have a lot of experience but little formal training. Employers often hire the candidate who knows the technology the company is using. Some employers prefer analysts who are certified.

Employers also look for information security analysts who can think logically and communicate well with others. Analysts must be able to communicate with managers, in-house users, and off-site users. Analysts must be able to do a number of tasks at once. They also must be able to pay attention to details. Employers look for analysts who can work both independently and on a team.

Costs to workers

Some workers join a professional association, which may have annual dues.


Information security analysts can obtain voluntary certification from the hardware and software manufacturers who offer certification programs on their products. Many employers require certification for employment.

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


Information security analysts (SOC 15-1122)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $31.16 $38.04 $50.52 $62.00 $75.26
Monthly $5,400 $6,592 $8,755 $10,745 $13,043
Yearly $64,810 $79,120 $105,080 $128,950 $156,540
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $27.20 $30.10 $36.61 $53.92 $60.50
Monthly $4,714 $5,216 $6,345 $9,344 $10,485
Yearly $56,574 $62,601 $76,139 $112,152 $125,841
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $33.98 $40.57 $56.71 $66.19 $76.90
Monthly $5,889 $7,031 $9,828 $11,471 $13,327
Yearly $70,672 $84,399 $117,948 $137,682 $159,947
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes Hourly $33.98 $37.96 $43.10 $47.65 $50.37
Monthly $5,889 $6,578 $7,469 $8,258 $8,729
Yearly $70,685 $78,947 $89,633 $99,099 $104,779
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly (1) (1) (1) (1) (1)
Monthly (1) (1) (1) (1) (1)
Yearly (1) (1) (1) (1) (1)
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $31.74 $39.83 $51.86 $62.90 $75.51
Monthly $5,501 $6,903 $8,987 $10,901 $13,086
Yearly $66,016 $82,850 $107,873 $130,830 $157,062
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $32.69 $39.03 $48.95 $62.08 $75.59
Monthly $5,665 $6,764 $8,483 $10,758 $13,100
Yearly $67,994 $81,169 $101,803 $129,127 $157,242
    Vancouver Hourly $25.23 $33.89 $47.63 $58.06 $65.86
Monthly $4,372 $5,873 $8,254 $10,062 $11,414
Yearly $52,490 $70,490 $99,066 $120,773 $136,985
United States Hourly $27.28 $35.52 $47.28 $60.99 $75.28
Monthly $4,728 $6,156 $8,194 $10,570 $13,046
Yearly $56,750 $73,890 $98,350 $126,870 $156,580

(1) Wage estimate is not available.

Wages vary by employer and project difficulty. For example, large companies usually pay more than small companies. In addition, analysts are usually paid more for working on high-security projects. Manufacturing companies tend to pay more than government agencies.

Most information security analysts who work full time receive benefits. Benefits may include health insurance and a retirement plan. They may also include vacation and sick leave. Some employers offer stock in their company or pay for continuing education courses. Self-employed information security analysts must provide their own insurance.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook


The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Information security analysts (SOC 15-1122)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 2,892 39.9% 16.1% 460
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 20 30.0% 13.4% 2
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 14 7.1% 8.6% 1
    Benton and Franklin Counties 177 34.5% 15.0% 26
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 42 19.0% 11.9% 5
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 53 32.1% 15.2% 8
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 128 41.4% 14.1% 21
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 67 46.3% 14.6% 11
    King County 1,639 51.5% 19.6% 305
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 13 30.8% 13.8% 1
    Pierce County 41 14.6% 15.2% 4
    Snohomish County 472 11.2% 12.4% 44
    Spokane County 81 46.9% 13.9% 14
United States 112,300 31.5% 5.2% 12,800

National employment

About 17% of information security analysts are self-employed.

Information security analysts positions are found throughout the nation. Larger cities have more companies that hire these workers. Larger companies also hire more security analysts. Small companies may be more likely to hire someone on a temporary or part-time basis, or as a consultant.

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand is very strong for this occupation. Cyber attacks have increased and many companies need to make sure their customer data is secure. The government also hires many information security analysts to make sure IT systems are safe. Demand for security analysts has also increased as the health care industry moves to electronic medical records.

Job prospects will be best for those with experience, especially in a related area such as database management.

Other resources

American Society for Industrial Security (external link)
1625 Prince Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Association for Computing Machinery (external link)
1601 Broadway, 10th Floor1
New York, NY 10019-7434
Association for Women in Computing - Puget Sound Chapter (external link)
3743 S. 170th Street
Sea-Tac, WA 98188
Computing Research Association (external link)
1828 L Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036-4632
Computing Technology Industry Association (external link)
3500 Lacey Road, Suite 100
Downers Grove, IL 60515
IEEE Computer Society (external link)
2001 L Street NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036
Information Systems Audit and Control Association (external link)
Information Technology Industry Council (external link)
1101 K Street NW, Suite 610
Washington, DC 20005
Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP) (external link)
244 S Randall Road #116
Elgin, IL 60123
International Association for Computer Information Systems (external link)
Security Industry Association (external link)
8405 Colesville Road, Suite 500
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Technology Student Association (external link)
1904 Association Drive
Reston, VA 20191-1540
The International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists (external link)
25 Catoctin Cir. SE, #2411
Leesburg, VA 20177


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Holland occupational cluster