CompTIA PenTest+ Salary: How to Get Paid What You’re Worth?

As the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals continues to rise, the CompTIA PenTest+ certification has become an increasingly popular option for those looking to specialize in penetration testing.

However with so many different factors at play it can be difficult to determine exactly what salary you can expect to earn as a certified PenTest+ professional. 

Overview of CompTIA PenTest+ Certification

CompTIA PenTest+ is a vendor-neutral certification that focuses on penetration testing and vulnerability assessment.

It is designed for cybersecurity professionals who specialize in identifying and mitigating security threats in networks, systems, and applications. 

The certification validates the skills and knowledge necessary to perform penetration testing, vulnerability assessment, and other related tasks.

What are the benefits of earning this certification?

  • Validation of skills and knowledge in penetration testing and vulnerability assessment.

  • Increased credibility and recognition in the industry as a certified PenTest+ professional.

  • Opportunities for career advancement and higher salaries.

  • Access to a community of certified professionals and resources to continue learning and developing skills.

Exam details and requirements

  • The certification exam consists of both multiple-choice and performance-based questions.

  • This exam assesses the candidate's ability to perform real-world scenarios in a simulated environment. 

  • It covers topics such as planning and scoping, information gathering and vulnerability identification attacks and exploits.

  • To be eligible for the exam, candidates should have at least three to four years of hands-on experience in information security.

  • It is also recommended that candidates have a CompTIA Network+ or Security+ certification or equivalent knowledge and experience.

The State of the Cybersecurity Job Market

The cybersecurity job market is experiencing tremendous growth and offers numerous opportunities for job seekers. 

  • The Increasing Demand for Cybersecurity Professionals

    Demand is increasing rapidly due to the growing threat of cyberattacks and the need to secure sensitive data and systems. This trend has been accelerated as organizations transitioned to remote work.   

  • Job Prospects for PenTest+ Certified Professionals 

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in information security is projected to grow 31% from 2019 to 2029, with a high demand for penetration testers and other cybersecurity professionals. 

  • Salaries in the Cybersecurity Field 

    The median salary for cybersecurity professionals at $99,000 according to a report by Burning Glass Technologies. According to Indeed, the

Factors that Affect PenTest+ Salaries

While PenTest+ certification is an essential factor in determining salaries in the cybersecurity field, several other factors can influence how much a PenTest+ certified professional can earn. 

  1. 1

    Geographic Location 

    Salaries can vary significantly based on location. A PenTest+ certified expert working in major metropolitan areas such as NYC can expect higher salaries due to the higher cost of living in these areas.

  2. 2

    Years of Experience

    The amount of experience a professional has can significantly impact their salary. PenTest+ certified professionals with several years of experience can command higher salaries for their experience. 

  3. 3

    Level of Education 

    Professionals with advanced degrees or certifications beyond PenTest+ may be able to command higher salaries due to their specialized knowledge and skills. 

  4. 4


    The industry can also influence their salary. For example, professionals working in the financial services or healthcare industries may be able to command higher salaries due to the sensitive nature of the data.

Understanding PenTest+ Salary Ranges

Here is a breakdown of the average PenTest+ salaries for entry-level, mid-level and senior-level professionals:

  • Entry-Level PenTest+ Salaries

    Entry-level PenTest+ professionals with less than two years of experience can expect to earn an average salary of $69,000 per year according to data from PayScale.

  • Mid-Level PenTest+ Salaries

    Mid-level PenTest+ professionals with 2-5 years of experience can expect to earn an average salary of $88,000 per year according to data from Glassdoor.

  • Senior-Level PenTest+ Salaries

    Senior-level PenTest+ professionals with more than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average salary of $116,000 per year according to data from Indeed.

Negotiating Your PenTest+ Salary

Once you have an understanding of PenTest+ salary ranges and the factors that affect them, it's time to negotiate your own salary. Here are some tips for negotiating your PenTest+ salary:

  1. 1

    Researching Salaries

    Before negotiating your salary, use websites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and PayScale to get a sense of what other PenTest+ professionals are earning and being offered in your area.

  2. 2

    Understanding Your Worth

    Take a closer look at your own qualifications and experience to understand your worth. Consider factors like your level of education, years of experience, and any additional certifications or skills. 

  3. 3

    Preparing for Negotiations

    Come prepared to negotiations with a clear idea of what you want to earn. Be ready to back up your arguments with concrete examples of your experience and qualifications.

  4. 4

    Making the Ask

    Once you're in negotiations, don't be afraid to make the ask. Start by expressing your enthusiasm for the role and the company, and state the salary range you are hoping to achieve.  

PenTest+ Salaries by Industry

Another factor that can have a significant impact on salary is the industry in which you work. Here is a closer look at PenTest+ salaries by industry: 

  • Government

    PenTest+ professionals who work in the government sector can expect to earn salaries in the range of $80,000 to $120,000 per year depending on their level of experience and qualifications.

  • Finance

    The finance industry offers some of the highest salaries for cybersecurity professionals including PenTest+ certified professionals. Salaries for PenTest+ professionals can range from $90,000 to $150,000 per year.

  • Healthcare

    Healthcare organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of cybersecurity and are investing in cybersecurity professionals. PenTest+ professionals can expect to earn salaries in the range of $75,000 to $120,000 per year.

  • Technology

    The technology industry is one of the largest employers of PenTest+ certified professionals, and salaries in this industry can range from $80,000 to $140,000 per year depending on experience. 

PenTest+ Salaries by Location

In addition to industry the geographic location is another important factor that can impact PenTest+ salaries. Here's a closer look at PenTest+ salaries by location:

  • United States

    PenTest+ professionals can expect to earn salaries in the range of $70,000 to $130,000 per year. Salaries tend to be highest in major metropolitan areas such as NYC, San Francisco and Washington DC.

  • Europe

    In general, salaries tend to be highest in countries such as Switzerland, Germany and the United Kingdom. Salaries in Europe can range from €50,000 to €100,000 per year.

  • Asia

    In general, salaries tend to be highest in countries such as Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. Salaries in Asia can range from ¥5,000,000 to ¥15,000,000 per year.

Job Titles and PenTest+ Salaries

PenTest+ certification can open up a range of job opportunities in the cybersecurity field. Here's a closer look at some of the most common job titles for PenTest+ certified professionals and their associated salaries:

  • Penetration Tester 

    Penetration testers identify and exploit vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks. According to PayScale, the average salary for a penetration tester with PenTest+ certification is around $84,000/year.  

  • Information Security Analyst 

    According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for information security analysts was $103,590 as of May 2020 with some professionals earning more than $130,000/year.  

  • Security Consultant

    Security consultants provide expert advice and guidance on cybersecurity issues to organizations. According to PayScale the average salary for a security consultant with PenTest+ certification is around $96,000/year.

  • Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)

    CISOs are responsible for overseeing an organization's overall cybersecurity strategy and ensuring that it aligns with business objectives. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a CISO in the US is around $185,000/year.  

Advancing Your PenTest+ Career

PenTest+ certification is just the beginning of a career in cybersecurity. Here are some ways you can advance your PenTest+ career:

  • Certifications to consider

    Some certifications to consider include Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP).

  • Education and training opportunities

    Consider pursuing a master's degree in cybersecurity or taking specialized training courses in areas such as cloud security, mobile security or network security.

  • Networking opportunities

    Consider joining cybersecurity organizations such as ISACA attending cybersecurity conferences and events or participating in online forums and discussion groups.


In conclusion, the demand for cybersecurity professionals is on the rise, and PenTest+ certified professionals are likely to benefit from this trend.

PenTest+ salaries vary depending on several factors such as geographic location, years of experience, education level, and industry.

It is essential to research salaries, understand your worth, and prepare for negotiations to secure the best possible compensation. 

About the author


Youssef is a Senior Cloud Consultant & Founder of

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