$72,751
Avg. Salary

Average additional compensation for this job:

Bonus

$4,837

Profit Sharing

$4,880
Average Entry-Level Penetration Testers make around $73K per year. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $12K and $26K, respectively — total cash payment to Entry-Level Penetration Testers can bottom out near $43K or peak near $111K depending on individual performance. For the most part, Entry-Level Penetration Testers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Almost all 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.
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$48,134 - $104,467
$48K
$73K
$100K
MEDIAN: $72,751
10%
50%
90%

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$13.02 - $51.20
$13
$26
$51
MEDIAN: $26.44
10%
50%
90%

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$0$110K
Salary $48,134 - $104,467
Bonus $749 - $11,000
Profit Sharing $10.21 - $25,168
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).
)
$42,413 - $110,971
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 13 Aug 2018
  • Individuals Reporting: 461
Hourly Data $0$56
Hourly Rate $13.02 - $51.20
Overtime $12.13 - $56.22
Annual Data $0$110K
Bonus $749 - $11,000
Profit Sharing $10.21 - $25,168
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).
)
$42,413 - $110,971
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 13 Aug 2018
  • Individuals Reporting: 49

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

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $73,437

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

Chicago offers some of the highest pay in the country for Entry-Level Penetration Testers, 23 percent above the national average. Entry-Level Penetration Testers will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+4 percent). Entry-Level Penetration Testers in Salt Lake City earn salaries far below the national average by 41 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Austin (35 percent lower) and New York (30 percent lower).

Penetration Tester Advice

Q: What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?

Penetration Tester in Fort Washington:
"Hands On is A Must."
Practice as much as you can. Set aside time to practice new techniques every day.

Key Stats for Penetration Tester

Gender

Female
6 %
Male
94 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 59 votes.
Less than 1 year
14%
1-4 years
70%
5-9 years
16%

Skills That Affect Penetration Tester Salaries



Network Security Management
▲2%

Computer Security
▲2%

National Average
$73,000

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 59 votes.

Gender

Female
6 %
Male
94 %

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 89%
dental benefits
Dental: 77%
vision benefits
Vision: 69%
no benefits
None: 8%