eLearnSecurity Blog

Pentesters: Employment Options & Salaries

Are you a professional pentester or aspiring to become one? Penetration testing is a skill-based role, and the more skills and practical experience you have, the more your value will increase. Here are some of the employment options and salaries for professional penetration testers.

Employment Options of Penetration Testers


IT Security freelancers get paid by the project and directly by companies requesting their services. As a freelancer, you can offer any service a company may need, from simple penetration tests to consulting on their entire security strategy.

One common path for professional penetration testers is Bug Hunting. Not only will your existing skills help you to be good at it, but you will also have a choice to hunt for bugs during your free time or on a more full-time manner. Attention, revenue is not guaranteed. Bug hunters usually get paid based on the vulnerability type and severity. There are numerous online platforms here to help you find the right gig. Some companies offering freelance gigs for experienced professionals that you can try are BugCrowd & HackerOne.

Find out how to use your pentesting skills to make extra bucks as a Bug Hunter here.

IT Security Service Company 

Here, you are working with a company as a third-party contractor providing a service. Clients can request a various range of services from basic vulnerability assessments to incident handling and response after a breach. Some of the services corporations frequently ask for are:

  • Mapping of their organization’s IT infrastructure
  • Implementing the right cybersecurity strategy for their company
  • Performing pentests on their systems, networks, mobile or web applications, etc.
  • Hunting for vulnerabilities in their infrastructure, applications, etc.
  • Incident handling and/or response after a data breach

There is an infinite number of requests depending on the organization asking, so professionals working with IT Security service companies must have extensive knowledge.

In-house Employee 

When working ‘In-House’, you are directly hired by the company as a part of the IT Security department. Depending on your job role, you might be in charge of monitoring computer networks for security issues, simulating cyber attacks in order to identify and report security flaws, operating software to protect systems and information infrastructure, investigating security breaches and other incidents, and much more…

As an in-house employee, you do not have external clients. Your client is the company you work for.

How Much Does a Penetration Tester Earn?

Standard penetration tests can range from $4,000 up to $15,000 if done as a renown service company. As a freelancer, you can choose to either get paid per hour of service or per project. The cost depends on the size and scope of the penetration test, so make sure to read all the details before agreeing to a freelance gig.

According to Glassdoor, in-house penetration testers in the US can earn between $49K and $109K per year. Depending on your specialization, expertise, and experience, it can be much more. The highest paying skills associated with this job deal with network security management, web security & encryption, and security testing & auditing.

Read more about the skills next-level IT Security professionals should have here.

With more malware created in just a few hours than in the entire 20th century, corporations are on high-alert to keep their data and those of their customers secure. For this reason, more and more organizations find themselves searching for temporary workers to help with their extra security needs – and professionals turn to different employment options, either full-time or as a side-hustle.

Find out everything you need to know to keep your company secure and become a professional pentester with the PTP training course.

Source: Prospects | Business Insider

Connect with us on Social Media:

Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Go to top of page