According to the 2024 ClearanceJobs Security Clearance Compensation Report, cleared respondents reported an average total compensation of $114,956. But the report revealed salaries for IT and engineering respondents were higher. While not every IT and engineering occupation sails past the overall average, many of them do – especially in engineering. Download the full Cleared Engineering and IT Compensation Report here. 

Here are a few things to know about cleared IT and engineering compensation in 2024.   

1. You make more money with a higher clearance in tech. 

There is a direct correlation between clearance levels and compensation. Top Secret/SCI IT and engineering professionals earn significantly more than those with lower clearances. Cleared engineers with a TS/SCI clearance report average total compensation exceeding $147,000, while IT professionals with the same clearance level earn nearly $132,000 on average. 

2. A higher poly means more money. 

Additionally, a full scope polygraph can substantially impact compensation. Cleared IT and engineering professionals with a full scope polygraph report an average total compensation of over $150,000. 

3. Experience is a big compensation driver.  

Compensation rises steadily with experience and seniority. Entry-level engineers and IT professionals start at over $70,000, but mid-level roles offer a notable increase, with average total compensation reaching just over $110,000. Meanwhile, management roles average over $173,000 for engineers and over $161,000 for IT professionals. 

4. Go for a degree and more certifications.  

Advanced degrees and specialized certifications significantly boost earning potential. Cleared professionals with advanced degrees and certifications can earn substantially more than those with only a bachelor’s degree. 

5. Where you live matters.  

The report highlights regional disparities in salaries, with top-paying states for engineers including Maryland, Virginia, and Colorado, while Virginia commands attention for IT professionals with an average compensation of over $138,000.  

Although tech layoffs show signs of slowing from the previous two years, the industry still faces challenges. Amidst a tightening venture capital market, smaller tech firms are prioritizing profitability and even tech giants are tightening their belts. But there are glimmers of hope for the cleared tech job seekers. Both engineers and IT professionals can find a variety of jobs that offer not only higher compensation but also job stability.  

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Phoebe Wells is the Public Relations & Partnerships Marketing Manager at ClearanceJobs and loves every aspect of her role. Creating content and working with the CJ team to connect cleared candidates with employers is incredibly rewarding, as the work ClearanceJobs does ultimately supports the mission of the U.S. As the daughter of a veteran and former cleared worker, she knows the sacrifices security and defense professionals make. She is honored to assist them in leveling up their careers. Plus, she gets to work from home in the Adirondack Mountains with her partner and two huskies!