Best Penetration Tester Certifications for 2024: Stay Abreast with Market Trends

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Best Penetration Tester Cetification

 Looking to become a pentest expert? Look no further than these best penetration tester certifications for 2024 and get a chance to excel in your career. 

Assessing vulnerabilities and weak spots in an organization’s security system is crucial before it is exploited by any malicious actors. Penetration testers play this role and help organizations establish a robust security posture by stimulating attacks on the system. With the ever-evolving realm of cyber threats, tackling sophisticated hackers is the real challenge. Even if you’re a pro pen tester, you still need to level up your game by having cutting-edge knowledge to handle these threats. 

In penetration testing or cybersecurity certification is the way to showcase your experience and top-notch skills in the field. Now you must be thinking about which certification to consider in the sea of certifications. You might not know yet but eventually after reading this blog. We’ve covered the best penetration tester certification for 2024 which you can review to start your journey. 

Reasons Why Should You Have A Penetration Tester Certification

Don’t follow the rat race. Don’t pursue a certification because your friend or your colleague is taking it. Dig deep into the benefits that it will bring for you and first learn the importance of holding a certification. Certification in the penetration testing field holds so much value and the below reasons will help you discover it. 

1. Dynamic Evolution in Cybersecurity Demands Innovation

In recent years, cybersecurity witnessed a dynamic change that also fueled the risk of more sophisticated cyber threats. The significant growth in cybersecurity isn’t just temporary, it is long-lasting and so are the cyber threats. To tackle the dynamic change and implement a robust security system, you must have innovative skills and that is the first reason you should have penetration tester certification.

2. Increased Workforce Gap Demand Trained Pen Tester

Other security professionals can identify the security systems and networks for vulnerabilities, however, penetration testers are specialized and trained to think like hackers. Moreover, as the demand for pen testers increases, so does the workforce gap. According to the latest study conducted by ISC2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, the cybersecurity domain showed a global gap of 3.4 million workers, with 436,080 workers needed in North America. The workforce gap can be reduced by hiring potential employers in this domain and what does make you a potential employee, is surely a penetration testing certification.

3. Increased Market Demand

The demand for penetration testers is on the rise and that’s good news for those who want to become a penetration tester. The following statistics from various sources will help you understand the current market demand for penetration testers.  

  • According to CyberSeek, penetration tester is the most in-demand cybersecurity job title with 21,048 job openings in the U.S.
  • The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates that jobs like pen testers are likely to grow by 35% between the years 2021 to 2023.
Best Penetration Tester

Best Penetration Tester Certifications for 2024

We have listed the best penetration tester certifications in categories such as entry-level, intermediate-level, and professional-level certifications. The categorization of levels will help you understand which certification is best for you based on your knowledge, experience, and career level. 

Are You Novice? Start with the Entry-Level Penetration Testing Certification

1. GIAC Penetration Tester Certification (GPEN)

GIAC penetration tester certification (GPEN) is considered a beginner-level certification that validates a practitioner’s ability to conduct a penetration test using best-practice techniques and methodologies. The certified individual has the ability and skills to conduct exploits and identity attacks and implement a process-oriented approach to penetration testing projects.

Read more: Penetration Certification (GPEN) A Complete Pathway

2. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

EC Council offers Certified Ethical Hacker credentials and it is one of the best ethical hacking or penetration testing certifications. The certification enables you to get a grasp on the foundation of ethical hacking by covering 20 modules. This module will enhance your ability to use ethical hacking techniques like network scanning, hacking techniques, hijacking, and conducting vulnerability analyses. If you’re looking to start your cybersecurity career or in penetration testing, this certification is a great place to start.

Read more: details of the CEH certification, covering its complete worth and benefits 

3. OffSec’s Penetration Testing with Kali Linux Certification (OSCP)

OSCP is a penetration testing offered by Offensive Security. This certification validates professional hands-on knowledge of penetration testing methodologies using Kali Linux distribution. The certification is considered to be more technical than other ethical hacking certifications and it is also one of the few that require proof of practical penetration testing skills.

Read more: A Complete (OSCP) Certification Guide

4. Certified Penetration Tester Certification (CPT)

The Certified Penetration Tester certification is from Infosec and it is the first of several ethical hacking or penetration testing certifications it offers. This certification demonstrates your knowledge and skills for pen-testing across nine domains and enables to you understand various pen-testing methodologies, attacking and networking reconnaissance, vulnerability identification, and exploiting across various networking systems.

General Details of Entry-Level Penetration Tester Certifications

Certifications Vendor Exam Details Valid Period Exam Fee
GPEN GIAC 82 Questions, 3 Hours 4 years $979
CEH EC-Council 125 Questions, 4 Hours 6 Hours Practical Lab 3 years $950 (Written exam) $550 (Practical)
OSCP OffSec Security Hands-on exam, 23 hours and 45 minutes Valid for Lifetime $1,499 - $24,99
CPT InfoSec 40 Questions, 2 Hours Valid for Lifetime $499

Entry-Level Penetration Testing Certifications Salary

Certifications Average
GIAC Penetration Tester $108,130
Certified Ethical Hacker $101,561
OffSec Penetration Testing (OSCP) $100,101
Certified Penetration Tester $106,121

Entry-Level Job Titles and Average Salary

Job Titles Average Salary
Application Penetration Tester $120,274
Cybersecurity Penetration Tester $114,007
Network Penetration Tester $109,029
Remote Penetration Tester $105,033
Cloud Penetration Tester $103,590
Junior Penetration Tester $97,838
Associate Penetration tester $87,116

Deep Delve into Penetration Testing with Intermediate-Level Certifications

1. CompTIA PenTest+

CompTIA PenTest+ is one of the most acknowledged certifications for cybersecurity professionals tasked with penetration testing and vulnerability management. This is the only certification available covering hands-on vulnerability assessment, scanning, and analysis, as well as scoping, and managing weaknesses. This certification requires you to have relevant pen testing skills for the cloud, hybrid environments, web applications, Internet of Things (IoT), and traditional on-premises.

2. Certified Penetration Tester (CPENT)

The EC-Council Certified Penetration Tester (CPENT) program is all about the pen test and demonstrates your expertise working in an enterprise network environment that is attacked, exploited, evaded, and defended. This certification live practical range teaches you to gain skills to the next level getting you acquainted with pen test IoT systems, and OT systems as well as how to write your exploits, build your tools, conduct advanced binaries exploitation, double pivot to access hidden networks, and customization of scripts and exploit to get into the private segments of the network. 

3. GIAC Certified Incident Handler Certification (GCIH)

The GIAC Incident Handler (GCIH) certification validates your ability to detect, respond, and resolve computer security incidents using cutting-edge and essential security skills. This certification allows you to have the knowledge needed to manage security incidents by understanding common attack techniques, vectors, and tools, as well as to respond against such attacks. 

Read more: A Complete Guide to (GCIH) Certification 

4. OffSec Experienced Pentester Certification (OSEP)

Offsec Experienced Pentester (OSEP) certification demonstrates your knowledge of Penetration Testing with Kali Linux and your ability to perform advanced penetration tests against mature organizations with an established security function and focus on bypassing security mechanisms that are designed to block attacks. Candidates who complete the course and pass the exam will earn the Offsec Experienced Pentester certification. 

5. Add Your Heading Text Certified Mobile and Web Application Penetration Tester (CMWAPT)

The Certified Mobile and Web Application Penetration Tester will build your skills around using pen testing methodologies and tools to conduct tests on Web and mobile apps and assess their security. To qualify for this certification, you should have a good understanding of pen testing concepts and principles of secure coding. 

General Details of Intermediate-Level Penetration Tester Certifications

Certifications Vendor Exam Details Valid Period Exam/Training Fee
PenTest+ CompTIA 85 multiple-choice and performance-based questions, 165 minutes 3 years $999
CPENT EC-Council Online, Proctored Practical exam, 24-hour-performance based, hands-on exam 3 years $950 (Written exam) $550 (Practical)
OSEP OffSec Security Proctored, hands-on exam, 48-hours Valid for Lifetime $1,649 - $5,499
GCIH GIAH 106 questions, 4 hours 4 years $979
CMWAPT InfoSec Multiple-choice, 2 hours 4 years $499
Intermediate Level

Intermediate–level Penetration Testing Certification Salary

Below are the salary statistics that show you how much you can earn with an advanced/intermediate-level penetration tester certification.

Certifications Average Salary
PenTest+ $104,000
CPENT $116,478
OSEP $105,869
CMWAPT $107,054
Mid Level

Mid-level PenTest Job Titles and Average Salary

Generally, the mid-level PenTest jobs you get after earning any of the above certifications are:

Job Titles Average Salary
Penetration Tester $120,662
Security Analyst $107,517
Security Consultant $93,000
Vulnerability Analyst $120,662
Web App Penetration Tester $120,662

Want to Level-up Game? Advance Your Career with Expert-level Penetration Testing Certification?

1. GIAC Exploit Researcher and Advanced Penetration Tester (GXPN)

The GIAC Exploit Researcher and Advanced Penetration Tester (GXPN) demonstrates a candidate’s ability to identify and mitigate security flaws in systems and networks. This certification helps you showcase skills to conduct higher-level penetration tests and imitate the behavior of attackers to improve system security, and the knowledge to demonstrate the business risk associated with this behavior.

2. Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT)

The Licensed Penetration Tester is the master-level certification that demonstrates your mastery of deploying advanced pen-testing techniques and tools including multi-level pivoting, OS vulnerabilities exploits, SSH tunneling, host-based application exploits, privilege escalation, web application exploitation, and SQL injection. To earn this certification, you have to score 90% on the exam. Moreover, if you score 70%, you will be accredited as CPENT certified.

3. Offensive Security Certified Expert (OSCE)

The Offensive Security Certified Expert (OSCE) is an advanced-level certification that demonstrates expert-level penetration testing skills. The certification will help you prove your expertise in creating your exploits, execute attacks to compromise systems, and gain administrative access.

4. Certified Expert Penetration Tester (CEPT)

The Certified Expert Penetration Tester certification is a highly specialized certification built for information security engineer professionals. This certification program demonstrates an advanced level of penetration testing skills. Moreover, CEPT offers skills and knowledge to properly conduct penetration tests using the most up-to-date techniques.

General Details of Expert-level Penetration Tester Certifications

Certifications Vendor Exam Details Valid Period Exam Fee
GXPN GIAC 60 Questions, 3 Hours 4 years $979
LPT EC-Council Hands-on 18 Hours Exam 3 years $3,895
OSCE OffSec Security Hands-on exam, 48-hours Valid for Lifetime $1,200
CEPT InfoSec 40 Questions, 2 Hours 4 years $499

6. Expert-level Penetration Tester Certifications Salary

Certifications Average Salary
GXPN $113,000
LPT $106,000
OSCE $105,000
CEPT $94,000

7. Expert-level Penetration Job Titles and Average Salary

Job Titles Average Salary
Penetration Tester $106,121
Chief Information Security Officer $157,000
Cyber Security Engineer $105,385
Senior IT Manager $89,000
IT Lead $148,800

How to Choose the Best Penetration Certification for One’s Career?

Research the Available Options: Before deciding which certification is best for you, it is essential to research all the available options. 

Eligibility Requirement: Review the certification eligibility criteria. If it matches your skill level, give it a go. 

Difficulty Level: The next thing you have to look for is certification rigor level. Choose the certification that matches your current knowledge and experience level and whose difficulty you can stand for. 

Industry Validation: While reviewing other criteria, also look what is status of a credential body globally. An industry-recognized certification gives you a competitive edge and validates your expertise to the next level. 

These are some factors that will aid you in opting for the best certification for your career. Moreover, by reviewing our list of best penetration tester certifications, you can also make an informed decision. 


The fact that the demand for penetration testers has skyrocketed has given plenty of job opportunities for pentest professionals. Not just for today but the craze of penetration testers is continuing. But as the demand increased, so as the workforce gap. Now organizations want professionals with dynamic skills because of the current revolution in cyber tech. Penetration tester certifications are a new hope for seasoned as well as emerging professionals. Our list of best penetration tester certifications gives you insights on which is best for you and which you should pursue for your career jump. Read out the list of top pen testing certifications now and make an informed decision.


It depends on you because out of various penetration tester certifications, you must choose the one that matches your prior experience, and skill level, and is industry-recognized. If you are in doubt about which certification to choose, read this blog. It might help you build a firm decision.

The major difference between these two certifications is that OSCP focuses on the practical skills and hands-on experience of penetration testing methodologies in Kali Linux distribution while CPENT focuses on validating your skills with PenTest IoT and OT systems. 

Well, yes, and why not? Pentest certifications showcase your skills and advanced knowledge. Having a certification also shows your dedication and persistence, and it is proof of continuous learning. The certification sets you apart from the competition and also provides you with surplus job opportunities. 

You can prepare from so many available options. Pentest certification requires advanced knowledge and it is important to take training courses provided by specific vendors. Apart from this, you can take practice tests that give you real exam experience. Moreover, Dumpsgate also provides exam dumps for each pentest certification that will give you exposure to practical as well as theoretical knowledge.



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