According to the results of a recent survey of 500 cyber security professionals from 40 different industries across 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, the average salary of a cyber security professional is $116,000 a year, or approximately $55.77 per hour.

Still, the Cyber Security Census [PDF], which was conducted by Semper Secure and underwritten by Northrop Grumman, NetApp, and MeriTalk's Cyber Security Exchange, found that cyber security professionals are largely motivated by interest in the work, not by money -- 56 percent say the most interesting aspect of their profession is the challenge, 44 percent say it's about doing something important and meaningful, 39 percent say they love the technology, and only 25 percent say the salary and benefits are the most interesting aspect of the job.

Similarly, 44 percent of cyber security professionals say they want an employer who can demonstrate a well-respected code of honor, while 34 percent are looking for an employer with a reputation as a leader in cyber security -- and just 31 percent say they're looking for one that offers a relatively high compensation scale.

"For top talent, cyber security isn’t about just a job and a paycheck," Jim Duffey, Secretary of Technology in the Office of the Governor of Virginia, said in a statement. "It is about the hottest technology, deployed by honorable organizations, for a purpose that is inherently important."

The full survey results can be viewed here [PDF].