Cyber security professionals earn 17% more in Germany than in the UK

Cyber security

Employees who work in the cyber security sector can earn 17% more if they are based in Germany compared to if they work in the UK, according to research by Willis Towers Watson.

Its Data services high tech compensation survey, which captures remuneration data from over 1,800 participants across Europe who work at private sector organisations, found that the median base salary for a mid-level cyber security professional in Germany is £56,485 compared to £48,020 in the UK.

Mid-level cyber security professionals who work in Ireland have a median base salary of £55,485, which is more than cyber security professionals can earn in both France (£51,197) and the Netherlands (£48,996).

European countries that pay its mid-level cyber security professionals less than the UK include Italy, which offers a median base salary of £36,960, and Spain, which has a median base salary of £36,082.

The research also found that cyber professionals with between three and six years’ experience can expect annual salary increases of approximately 7% to 8%. This is nearly three times more than the UK national average for annual salary increases.

Tim Rees, UK cyber strategy leader, risk solutions at Willis Towers Watson, said: “The results show that businesses are recognising the value of cyber security professionals and galvanising an increasingly competitive European job market. While Germany currently leads European pay, the increasing frequency of cyber-attacks and incoming regulations such as [General Data Protection Regulation] will boost demand for cyber security professionals and drive salaries across the region.

“Cyber-attacks are not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. In addition to managing cyber risk through technology and risk transfer strategies, [organisations] will have to compete for the best talent to protect them against this growing threat. Chief information security officers are a growing role and bright career prospects are attracting the best digital talent, making cyber security a dynamic, yet well-established industry.”

Paul Richards, global data services practice leader at Willis Towers Watson, added: “Cyber security skills are among the most highly desirable in the technology and security industry at the moment as the level of supply and demand pushes [organisations] to offer very competitive salaries to attract the limited pool of talent with [these] skills. Most of the roles covered in our survey attract above average pay at each level but cyber roles stand out even in this group of specialist and well remunerated jobs.”