FAQ: What Types of Jobs Require a Security+ Certification?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 6, 2022

Many IT and cybersecurity professionals earn certifications, such as the Security+ certificate, to develop their skills and advance their careers. Having a Security+ certificate can allow you to pursue diverse jobs in technology, like ones in network administration or penetration testing. Knowing more about the skills you can hone through earning the Security+ certification may help you decide if this certificate can help you achieve your career goals.

In this article, we discuss what a Security+ certificate is, explore different types of jobs that require a Security+ certification and explain how to earn this certification.

What is a Security+ certification?

A Security+ certification is a professional cybersecurity certificate offered by CompTIA. Security+ certifications can demonstrate that professionals possess fundamental skills related to digital security and IT administration. Professionals across the globe may recognize the validity of this certificate.

Related: 10 Top Information Security Certifications To Strengthen Your Career

What subjects does the Security+ certificate cover?

The Security+ certification exam tests candidates on a range of IT and cybersecurity skills and sets of knowledge, including:

  • Analyzing and eliminating threats or vulnerabilities

  • Complying with local and industry regulations about security, confidentiality and technology

  • Evaluating the security of an organization's network

  • Making targeted suggestions on how to strengthen a company's digital systems

  • Conducting risk management

  • Monitoring and protecting hybrid environments, like on the cloud

Related: Explaining the CompTIA IT Certification Assessments

What types of jobs require a Security+ certification?

Following are six types of jobs that you can pursue with a Security+ certificate:

1. Network administrator

National average salary: $69,918 per year

Primary duties: A network administrator manages the daily operations of an organization's digital network. This digital network may be a wide area network (WAN), local area network (LAN), intranet or another type of data communication system. Network administrators ensure that all employees can easily perform functions like sharing data, organizing digital information and interacting with one another through their company's network.

A network administrator sets up and organizes an organization's network based on the design plans created by a network engineer or architect. Network administrators also perform upgrades and troubleshoot basic issues on the network. Additional responsibilities include monitoring network security protocols, adjusting user permissions for individual employees, teaching colleagues how to use network hardware or software components and regularly testing different parts of the network.

Read more: Learn About Being a Network Administrator

2. Systems integration specialist

National average salary: $78,023 per year

Primary duties: A systems integration specialist manages the communications between different components of an organization's computerized network. Systems integration specialists ensure that all components within an organization's network can interact effectively with one another to conduct various crucial tasks, such as file transfers, application to application integrations, database queries and internal or external application programming interfaces (APIs).

Many systems integration specialists work for companies with very large or complex digital networks, like for enterprises with multiple worksites or a business with a large remote workforce. A systems integration specialist regularly analyzes and tests the network's communications, performing upgrades or repairs as necessary. Specific job duties may include conducting feasibility studies, managing confidential information stored inside databases and determining ways to optimize employee workflows through technological integrations.

3. Security analyst

National average salary: $84,945 per year

Primary duties: A security analyst protects a company's digital information and systems, such as customer details, financial data, network components or proprietary information. Also called information security analysts, security analysts help organizations eliminate cyber threats like hackers or viruses from their computerized systems. A security analyst also devises and implements strategies or technologies that can proactively prevent these cyber-attacks from occurring.

Security analysts may begin by evaluating a company's existing computerized network and digital assets. They can then determine which hardware, software or other components to strengthen with various cybersecurity measures. Security analysts can work for any organization that stores are transfers important information digitally, including companies in the technology, health care, education or business development industries.

Read more: Learn About Being an Information Security Analyst

4. IT auditor

National average salary: $94,339 per year

Primary duties: An IT auditor conducts audits of an organization's IT systems and components. IT auditors ensure that a company's network can both run efficiently and that all components comply with local or federal regulations.

An IT auditor may be a member of a business's internal workforce, find employment at a consulting firm or work for a government agency. Some of their job duties can vary based on their employer and industry. For example, while an internal IT auditor may collaborate with company executives to devise a more efficient network, an IT auditor with a government agency may spend more time traveling to different businesses and assigning them official auditing grades. Additional job duties may include preparing reports about their findings, fixing security issues and performing system upgrades.

5. Cybersecurity engineer

National average salary: $110,297 per year

Primary duties: A cyber security engineer develops, analyzes and tests personalized cybersecurity systems for organizations. Cybersecurity engineers evaluate a system's potential vulnerabilities, such as through in-depth software scans, and devise ways to strengthen them. A cybersecurity engineer understands how to eliminate attackers from an organization's network and how to reduce the likelihood of these attacks occurring. Specific responsibilities may include conducting vulnerability evaluations, changing a network's architecture, updating software and training employees in basic cybersecurity practices they can use to help keep their company safe.

While information security analysts and cybersecurity engineers share some job responsibilities, they also have several key distinctions. A cybersecurity engineer understands how to use engineering principles and practical skills to build and test new hardware or software components related to cybersecurity. Cybersecurity engineers may also gain professional experience in other roles before advancing to these positions.

6. Penetration tester

National average salary: $115,999 per year

Primary duties: A penetration tester is a type of ethical hacker. Ethical hackers are professionals who deliberately try to conduct cyberattacks on an organization's computerized network to expose and then strengthen its vulnerabilities. A penetration tester specializes in creating and launching these authorized cyberattacks. Penetration testers can then evaluate how potential hackers might get into a company's network and assist other technology professionals in developing personalized security protocols to reduce those vulnerabilities.

A penetration tester may be an internal company employee or work for a cybersecurity consulting firm. Some penetration testers also conduct social engineering tests, meaning that they deliberately try to get confidential information from a company's employees to see if they might be susceptible to phishing scams or other cyber attacks that target human vulnerabilities. Additional responsibilities may include creating written reports of their findings, discussing strategies for bolstering cybersecurity with company executives and staying up to date on the latest industry developments.

Who qualifies for Security+ certification?

Professionals who want to earn the Security+ certificate don't need to fulfill any prerequisites. The CompTIA organization, however, advises that professionals undergo at least two years of experience in IT administration with an emphasis on security. Having this professional experience can help you gain both the theoretical and practical knowledge to pass the certification exam.

Related: Q&A: How Long Does It Take To Get the CISSP Certification?

What's the job outlook for Security+ professionals?

While there's not enough data available to evaluate the career outlook for professionals with a Security+ credential, there is data available to determine the job outlook for professionals with computer or information technology careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for computer and information technology professionals might grow by 13%. This is faster than the average growth rate for all occupations and equals approximately 667,600 new jobs total. The BLS predicts this increase in jobs in part because of the expected demand for big data, information security and cloud computing services.

Related: What Is Configuration Management and How Does It Work?

How do you earn the Security+ certification?

The following are the steps you can take to get a Security+ certificate:

1. Evaluate your existing knowledge

Assess what you already know and what you might still need to learn in relation to cybersecurity, network administration and other topics relevant to the Security+ certificate. Think about what you've learned already, such as from school or your professional experience, and which subjects you are less familiar with. Knowing ahead of time which topics you know the most and least about can help you create a personalized study plan that focuses on strengthening your knowledge base.

Related: 44 Network Administrator Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

2. Prepare for the exam

Study for the Security+ certificate exam with preparation materials. Both CompTIA and third-party organizations offer a range of test prep materials and methods, including study guides, practice questions and classroom sessions. Choose the best method for you based on your existing security knowledge and learning style.

Related: Information Systems Security Degree: Coursework and Job Options

3. Purchase a voucher

Buy a Security+ certificate voucher from the CompTIA online shop. Purchasing the voucher gives you a code that you can use to register for the exam. If you're interested in getting official study materials from CompTIA, you can buy a bundle package from this organization's website that allows you to both take the exam and get access to these materials.

Related: How To Write a Resume Objective for a Cybersecurity Job

4. Schedule your exam

Sign up to take your Security+ certificate exam at one of the in-person testing locations. CompTIA allows you to take the Security+ certificate exam at a range of approved Pearson VUE testing centers across the nation. If you're in the military, you may instead be able to take the exam from your base.

Related: 17 Top Cloud Security Certifications (With Benefits and Tips)

How long does a Security+ certification last?

A Security+ certification lasts for three years. If your Security+ certificate is about to expire, you can apply to renew it. Alternatively, you might decide to pursue a more advanced security certification from CompTIA, such as cybersecurity analyst (CySA+) or advanced security practitioner (CASP+).

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Explore more articles