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What Factors Affect Computer Forensics Salaries?

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  • Written By: N. Swensson
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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Computer forensics salaries can range from $50,000 to more than $200,000 US Dollars (USD) per annum and vary considerably depending on a number of factors. Demand for these types of professionals is increasing in certain areas of the United States, including New York, Los Angeles, and Washington DC, making salaries higher in these cities than in other parts of the country. Being employed in the public sector can sometimes pay less than working for a private firm, although many government employees are protected by labor unions and have better benefits. As with most careers, computer forensics salaries are also affected by an individual’s level of education, training, and experience.

In the United States, major cities, including New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas, have high demand for computer forensics professionals. The high-population density in these areas makes computer-based crimes more common than in smaller cities, creating a significant need for people who are trained in digital forensics. The availability of jobs combined with the more expensive cost of living in many larger cities often leads to higher starting salaries for computer forensics positions.

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In general, computer forensics professionals are employed in either the public or private sector. Public sector employers include the government, law enforcement agencies, and various law enforcement branches of the military. Like many other jobs, computer forensics salaries in the public sector are often lower than comparable positions in the private sector, but may offer job protection associated with labor union membership as well as more time off and more comprehensive benefits packages. In the private sector, digital forensics consulting firms often pay the highest salaries, and independent consultants or private business owners may make the most money.

As with any career, computer forensics salaries are affected by factors like education, experience, and training. Advanced degrees in this field are available at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s levels, with a higher level of education usually bringing a higher pay rate. Professionals who have experience in an independent consulting firm are often in demand and can make a larger salary than those who have worked only in the public sector. Other advanced training and certifications in the field, including government and military security clearances, may also be associated with higher salaries.

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