CompTIA Pentest is one of the most hyped credentials of cybersecurity. The rising trend creates an urge in a candidate to search for the career, scope, job, and salary of pentester. The Pentester or Penetration Tester are highly sought-after job role. But are they actually worth it? In this blog, you will learn about the CompTIA Pentest+, and it’s earning potential. The salary values have been taken as an average from authentic salary sites like ZipRecruiter and Glassdoor.

What is CompTIA Pentest+ Exam?

The CompTIA Pentest+ exam is a cybersecurity testament ensuring that the certified candidate has the penetration tester skills to scan, test, analyze, and prepare the remedial techniques. Pentest exam is also known as the Penetration tester exam. The code for the exam is PT0-002. The exam has 85 multiple-choice or multiple-response questions. It is available in English, Japanese, Portuguese and Thai. The exam time is 165 minutes. It is valid for 3 years. The passing score of the exam is 750. It is available for USD 392

What are the Roles and Responsibilities of Penetration Testers?

A Pentest Officer, or Penetration Testing Officer, typically holds a role that involves assessing and strengthening the security of an organization’s information systems. Job roles for a Pentest Officer may include:

  • Conducting penetration tests on networks, applications, and systems to identify vulnerabilities.
  • Using ethical hacking techniques to simulate real-world cyber-attacks and assess the security posture.
  • Analyzing and assessing vulnerabilities discovered during penetration testing.
  • Providing detailed reports on identified vulnerabilities and recommending remediation measures.
  • Designing and implementing security measures to protect systems and data.
  • Collaborating with IT teams to integrate security solutions and configurations.
  • Assisting in reponding to and mitigating security incidents.
  • Providing expertise in understanding and addressing security breaches.
  • Monitoring and analyzing security alerts and incidents.
  • Investigating and responding to security events to ensure the integrity of systems.
  • Ensuring that systems and processes comply with relevant cybersecurity regulations and standards.
  • Collaborating with internal and external auditors to assess compliance.
  • Collaborating with Blue Team (defensive) counterparts to enhance overall security.

The specific responsibilities may vary based on the organization’s size, industry, and security needs. Pentest Officers play a crucial role in helping organizations proactively identify and address potential security risks, ultimately contributing to the overall cybersecurity posture of the entity.

What is the Worth and Scope of the CompTIA Pentest+ Exam? 7 Major Factors

The CompTIA PenTest+ exam holds significant worth in the field of cybersecurity, primarily focusing on penetration testing and ethical hacking. Here’s a detailed note on its worth and scope:

  1. Validation of Penetration Testing Skills

The exam rigorously assesses candidates on their ability to perform penetration testing and ethical hacking activities. Successful completion demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of various testing methodologies, tools, and techniques.

     2. Top-security Recognition

CompTIA is a globally recognized certification body, and PenTest+ is no exception. Employers often value certifications from CompTIA, considering them as reliable indicators of a candidate’s technical proficiency.

   3. Multiple Career Openings 

Holding the CompTIA PenTest+ certification can open doors to various career opportunities in the cybersecurity domain. Job roles such as penetration tester, ethical hacker, security consultant, and vulnerability assessor are some of the potential avenues.

  4. Broad Skill Coverage

  The exam covers a wide range of skills, including planning and scoping, information gathering and vulnerability identification, attacks and exploits, as well as post-exploitation techniques. This breadth ensures that certified professionals have a well-rounded skill set.

  5. Adaptability to Industry Needs

 As cybersecurity threats evolve, organizations seek professionals who can adapt and respond effectively. The PenTest+ certification is designed to stay current with industry trends, ensuring that certified individuals are equipped to tackle modern cybersecurity challenges.

  6. Promotes Practical Knowledge

 Unlike some certifications that focus solely on theoretical knowledge, PenTest+ includes a practical component. This means candidates must demonstrate their ability to apply concepts in real-world scenarios, enhancing the certification’s credibility.

  7. Growing Security Demand

 With the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber threats, there is a growing demand for skilled professionals who can identify and address vulnerabilities. The PenTest+ certification aligns with this demand, making it a sought-after qualification.

Read more: CompTIA IT Certification Roadmap

What is the Salary Overview of CompTIA Pentest+

The following are the hourly, weekly, monthly, and yearly salaries of penetration testers in the US.

Minimum Average Highest
Hourly $11.53 $61 $82.390
Weekly $471 $2,518 $3,901
Monthly $2,131 $9,572 $15,192
Yearly $23,910 $120,146 $171,432

a) Salary Based on Cities

The cities in which one works play a crucial role in determining the yearly salary of the penetration tester. All major IT US cities have been compared to give you a fair comparison.

City Maximum Yearly Salary
Austin 157,739
Seattle 170,213
San Francisco 169,560
Washington 168,991
Raleigh 166,664
Atlanta 170,096
Baltimore 167,303
Boston 165,390

b) Salary Based on Country

The following data provides the lowest and the highest salary of Pentester in the major countries of the world. 

Country Least Salary Highest Salary
USA 58,728 172,224
UK 55,648 169,285
Canada 54,001 171,553
India 57,681 165,930
Germany 56,640 166,232
Norway 54,829 168,937
Denmark 55,638 167,342
Germany 56,947 169,283

c) Salary Based on Experience

The more experience you attain, the more your salary will be. The following table describes the increase in the salary with increasing years of experience. 

Experience Level Salary Range
0-1 year 54k-69k
1-3 years 70k-93k
3-5 years 94k-118k
5-7 years 120k-130k
7-10 years 130k-155k
10+ years 155k-165k

d) Salary Based on Job Roles

Job roles play a slight variation in the salary of Penetration testers. It opens doors to major security job positions. The following table shows the job roles along with their salaries. 

Job Role Average Yearly Salary
Penetration Tester $121,452
Vulnerability Analyst $120,638
Security Consultant $117,721
Security Engineer $129,468
Incident Responder $125,336
Security Analyst $119,389
Compliance Analyst $118,849
Security Researcher $117,012
Security Trainer $122,600
Cybersecurity Consultant $121,049
Red Teamer $120,270

Which Companies Hire Penetration Testers?

  1. Big Tech Companies: 
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  1. Financial Institutions
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Bank of America
  • Citigroup
  1. Consulting and Professional Services
  • Deloitte
  • PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
  • KPMG
  • Accenture
  1. Technology and Cybersecurity Firms
  • IBM
  • Cisco
  • Palo Alto Networks
  • Symantec (now part of Broadcom)
  1. Defense Contractors
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Raytheon Technologies
  • Lockheed Martin
  1. Automotive and Manufacturing
  • Tesla
  • General Motors
  • Ford
  1. E-commerce and Retail
  • eBay
  • PayPal
  • Shopify
  • Walmart
  1. Telecommunications
  • AT&T
  • Verizon
  • T-Mobile
  1. Healthcare
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Siemens Healthineers
  • Philips
  1. Social Media and Networking
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn (Microsoft-owned)

Read more: CompTIA Cloud Certification Worth it

What Factors do the Salary of CompTIA Pentest+ Depend on?

Penetration testing (pentesting) salaries can vary based on several factors. Understanding these factors and tailoring one’s skills and experience accordingly can help professionals navigate the pentest job market and negotiate competitive salaries. These factors can also be taken as tips to enhance and improve your working ability. 

  1. Earn More Experience

The level of experience plays a crucial role. Entry-level pentesters generally earn less than those with several years of hands-on experience.

  1.  Obtain Maximum Certifications 

Industry-recognized certifications, such as Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), or Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), can positively impact salary by demonstrating skills and expertise. The most valuable is the CompTIA Pentest+ certification. 

  1. Specialize in Testing Skills 

Pentesters with specialized skills in areas like web application security, mobile security, or cloud security may command higher salaries. Continuous learning and staying updated on the latest technologies also play a role.

  1. Work in Areas with Earning Potential 

Salaries vary based on the cost of living in different regions. Cities or regions with a higher cost of living generally offer higher salaries to compensate.

  1. Employ in Major Industry  

Pentesters working in industries with a higher risk profile, such as finance or healthcare, may receive higher compensation due to the increased sensitivity of the data they handle. Salaries can differ based on the size of the employing organization. Larger companies may offer higher salaries and additional benefits compared to smaller firms.

Is the Salary of CompTIA Pentest+ Worth Its Cost? Final Coda

The Penetration Tester cost and salary have a huge fluctuation. Let’s discuss the complete pathway of obtaining the CompTIA Tester+ exam. If you start through CompTIA IT Fundamentals (USD 134), then CompTIA A+ (USD 246) followed by CompTIA Security+ (USD 392). Then some miscellaneous costs account for the preparation courses and study guides. Thus, the total cost of CompTIA Pentest adds up to $850. Taking into account the time factor, 2 to 3 years of working experience is preferable for the Penetration Tester exam. The salary, on the other hand, is 120k per annum. This is a clear pointer that the penetration tester’s salary is worth its cost and time.

Frequently Asked Questions

The exam belongs to cybersecurity. It is a challenging exam that tests the candidate through performance-based questions. 

It takes a minimum of 4-5 weeks to prepare for the Pentest+ PT0-002 exam. Proper study material and exam practice material are necessary for exam preparation. 

The most reliable way to prepare for the PT0-002 exam is to prepare from the exam dumps. The dumps contain practice questions which are the most recent and updated. 

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