Penetration Tester Salary

Male Penetration Testers number significantly more than their female counterparts, and average earnings in this role come out to $79K per year in the United States. In the world of Penetration Testers, total cash compensation can vary between $47K and $130K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $15K and $25K, respectively. Residence and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The majority of Penetration Testers claim high levels of job satisfaction. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$50,081 - $122,579
$50K
$80K
$120K
MEDIAN: $79,568
10%
50%
90%

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$12.54 - $60.82
$13
$29
$61
MEDIAN: $29.48
10%
50%
90%

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$0$127K
Salary $50,081 - $122,579
Bonus $761 - $14,597
Profit Sharing $405 - $25,000
Commission $12,000
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$48,067 - $127,959
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 Dec 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 608
Hourly Data $0$60
Hourly Rate $12.54 - $60.82
Overtime $12.42 - $54.88
Annual Data $0$127K
Bonus $761 - $14,597
Commission $12,000
Profit Sharing $405 - $25,000
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$48,067 - $127,959
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 Dec 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 50

Job Description for Penetration Tester

The integrity of internal systems connected with the wider Internet is crucial to the operations of many organizations, from financial institutions to health care companies to government agencies. Organizations often employ cybersecurity experts to help protect their vital systems from malicious attacks. One of the basic tasks that must be accomplished to secure a system is to find where vulnerabilities exist. The penetration tester uses a wide variety of tools (some of which may be self-constructed) to probe the organization's network, attempting to find any areas which are vulnerable to attack and identifying methods by which attackers could exploit security flaws. Penetration testers also seek out and ameliorate passive threats to network integrity, such as poor password policies and user security practices.

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Penetration Tester Tasks

  • Conduct IT/Cyber Security assessments / penetration tests (hands-on work), as an individual, self-managed tester, or in small project teams.
  • Work with customers to determine their need for security assessments, present and explain the employed methodology, and support them with feedback and verification during mitigation.
  • Document findings for management and technical staff and recommend mitigating actions.
  • Follow industry best practice methodologies for penetration testing, and be able to use tools for a basis level assessment.
  • Search for security vulnerabilities in web applications, fat/thin client applications, and standard applications, and assess the secure configuration of operating systems and network devices.

Penetration Tester Job Listings

Popular Skills for Penetration Tester


Penetration Testers generally report applying a varied skill set to their work. Most notably, skills in Black Box Testing, Web Security & Encryption, Security Testing and Auditing, and Network Security Management are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 20 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Cyber Security, Security Risk Management, and IT Security & Infrastructure. Those educated in Security Testing and Auditing tend to be well versed in Network Security Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Penetration Tester

Pay by Experience for a Penetration Tester has a positive trend. An entry-level Penetration Tester with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $73,000 based on 253 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Penetration Tester with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $99,000 based on 120 salaries. An experienced Penetration Tester which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $118,000 based on 66 salaries. A Penetration Tester with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $95,000 based on 12 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $80,616

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For Penetration Testers, working in the bustling city of Arlington has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Penetration Testers will also find cushy salaries in Atlanta (+21 percent), Chicago (+17 percent), Charlotte (+15 percent), and Washington (+11 percent). Penetration Testers' salaries are heavily influenced by location — Penetration Testers in Salt Lake City bring in salaries that are 46 percent lower than the national average. Employers in Austin and New York also lean toward paying below-median salaries (40 percent lower and 35 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Penetration Tester

Gender

Female
7 %
Male
93 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 77 votes.
Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
49%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
4%

Experience Affects Penetration Tester Salaries

▲46%

▲23%

▲18%

National Average
$81,000

▼10%

Skills That Affect Penetration Tester Salaries

Black Box Testing
▲19%




National Average
$81,000

Computer Security
▼5%

IT Security & Infrastructure
▼5%

Security Risk Management
▼7%

Cyber Security
▼10%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 77 votes.

Gender

Female
7 %
Male
93 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
49%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
4%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 90%
dental benefits
Dental: 78%
vision benefits
Vision: 69%
no benefits
None: 8%