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Expected salary of Security Professional

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Old 18-01-2006, 11:01 PM   #1
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Expected salary of Security Professional

Hi to all,

As mentioned in previous threads, I had recently entered the job market. My dilemna is that I had some recruiters reflect to me that my expected salary is too high. I started off as a IT admin in a foreign bank for a year, followed by doing Intrusion detection and response for 3.5 years.

- Security events correlations
- Incident handling
- Vulnerabilities Assessment
- Payload and TCPDump analysis
- Threat/ Impact analysis
- Trend analysis

My current salary is pretty low between 2000-3000. Its my company's pay structure, boh bian.
From a hiring manager's point of view, what should be the expected salary for a similar candidate with CISSP and/or CISA?

And advices
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Old 19-01-2006, 12:26 AM   #2
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Let me qualify my comments first, I am neither HR nor an expert in benchmarking salaries for security professionals. I will give my take of what I understand and perceive as an ITSEC manager.

When determining salary, I will ask
1) What are the base qualification and academic achievements?
2) What are the relevant experience and professional achievements?
3) How good is the fit of candidate to job specs? Is there a min 70% fit?
4) What is the candidate's expectation vs job budget range?

A fresh graduate with good academic result and good fit for the job would get between $2.2-$2.4k. Throw in 3+ years of experience and using $2.4k as base, I will extrapolate your pay with conservative 6% growth. That should hit about $2.86k. If you have any promotional increment, that would certainly increase your salary above $3k.

I must caution that a renumeration package IMHO would also include intangible and tangible benefits. Besides "cash" salary, you would have to consider the value of the other benefits and bonus (I tot your current bank employer should give good bonus?!). Also, your new employer may check on your background for your reputation and past performance. Recognization for certifications varies from companies to companies.

Last but not least, how you present yourself and articulate your abilities during the interview would have an effect on how aggressive your future employer be in pursueing you. In conclusion, I would estimate your next range to be $2.8k - $3.5k depending on how you perform against those criteria that I have listed.

Last edited by Lokimack; 19-01-2006 at 12:29 AM..
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Old 19-01-2006, 01:49 AM   #3
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Some explanations. I started off as a freshie in the foreign bank. After a year, I moved on to a security company doing IDR till now (3.5 yrs). I started off with a base salary 2k when I initially joined and currently draw close to 2.5K.

Got my cissp, and waiting for cisa outcome. Got an mba too.

Seems like 3.5k negotiable shld be more reasonable

Last edited by Xiaosa; 19-01-2006 at 02:02 AM..
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Old 19-01-2006, 01:52 PM   #4
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eh... do u hav an undergrad deg? local, overseas or DL beside yr mba? which uni etc ? for both yr under/postgrad? they all plays a part too. if u ans my ques, mayb i can help u gauge better. academic achievement & academic reference is as important as yr job reference. do take note. certifications, however, i tink in SG is for show nia. who or how many reali value it? as i post bef, to me, they would like or want you to have, thts all.
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Old 19-01-2006, 04:30 PM   #5
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If you have an impressive CV and the means to prove it with references, academic and certs are not so important. The pay range will depends if you are joining a vendor, big MNC, banks etc. Also are they headhunting you or are you applying for it. I will normally factor additional at least 15% more if headhuntered.
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Old 19-01-2006, 06:00 PM   #6
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I do have an undergrad degree in Information Technology. After which I completed my MBA this year.. Curtin for Undergrad. University of Western Aus for Post grad..

eh... do u hav an undergrad deg? local, overseas or DL beside yr mba? which uni etc ? for both yr under/postgrad? they all plays a part too. if u ans my ques, mayb i can help u gauge better. academic achievement & academic reference is as important as yr job reference. do take note. certifications, however, i tink in SG is for show nia. who or how many reali value it? as i post bef, to me, they would like or want you to have, thts all.
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Old 20-01-2006, 10:11 AM   #7
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it looks to me like DL deg rite?
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Old 20-01-2006, 10:48 AM   #8
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yes...... Anyway, I have adjusted my expected to 3200- 3500. Reasonable a not ??

it looks to me like DL deg rite?
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Old 20-01-2006, 10:49 AM   #9
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Yes. it is reasonable. Don't let all these companies snooker you into low pay. $2.5k is too little.
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Old 20-01-2006, 10:51 AM   #10
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not looking to really use my mba to find a IT Sec position. Seemed meaning less. Just on my 4.5 years of exp and technical certs + basic degree. and job scope
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Old 20-01-2006, 10:59 AM   #11
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2.5k is my current salary, which based on my years of exp + CISSP is pretty low. But that's the pay structure my company uses, so boh bian. After so 3.5 years, time for change.

The method I got my expected salary is use +0.25 - 0.35 percent of current salary. Even I WAS looking at a higher expected before. But I got some advices saying that based on my current drawn, my expected is difficult. So I adjusted a bit.......

Yes. it is reasonable. Don't let all these companies snooker you into low pay. $2.5k is too little.
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Old 20-01-2006, 12:05 PM   #12
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Most HR have a up limit of 25% from the last drawn so the range you are asking for is Ok. But be prepared when they ask you about your MBA. if you are applying for a Engineer job they may hesitate. As you may move as soon as you get a management role.

If this is via a headhunter or agency why not check with them what is the range they are prepared to pay instead of you telling them how much you want?
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Old 20-01-2006, 05:35 PM   #13
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DL deg could be difficult in Gov sector as oversea study deg already lost out to ntu & nus liao in-terms of ITSec unless u frm prestigeous oversea InfoSec Uni but again, still loose against the local uni juz tht won't loose so much onli. thus i tink, if u go gov, asking $3k or above could be hard. in private, yr askin of $3.2k i tink is ok. for any of them to take u, i don't see a prob, based on yr ITSec exp juz tht u may need sometime to get yrself familiar with other aspect of the security domain thts all.

as fr basing on yr current $2.5k to ask, it can be hard. ask for wat u feel the min u r worth is better. to be conservative abit, the range i advised is a gd range, u can try askin for $3.5 - $4k even. i don't see a prob in this. after-all, they will neg to cut yr pay anyway.
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Old 20-01-2006, 05:38 PM   #14
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I think before all of get engrossed with monthly salary, pls note that most salary packages are calculated based on annual gross. I mentioned it earlier and Wiz also mentioned about whether it's vendor, MNC, banks etc. Banks payroll, if I am not wrong, tends to pay lesser upfront in monthly but compensate with bigger bonuses. Vendors however are different and they would tend to pay more upfront to prevent poaching by rivals but will compensate with lesser bonus. If any of you come across companies paying huge salaries and bonuses, pls let me know.

To illustrate, a bank pays you $2.5k for 12 fixed + 3 variable means that total annual gross is $37.5k.
A vendor pays you $2.8k for 12 fixed and 1 variable means that total annual gross is $36.4k. So, which do you prefer?

In summary, pls consider annual, NOT monthly.
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Old 20-01-2006, 05:47 PM   #15
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don't dream of bonuses. tht's my advise. mothly salary is still the key to look at. u cannot confirm how much bonus u can get as it depends on alot of factors. u can onli confirm yr mthly salary. thts my 2cts worth.
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