CompTIA PenTest+

PenTest+ certification job titles and career outlook

February 17, 2022 by Daniel Brecht

The CompTIA PenTest+ certification is a valuable option for cybersecurity professionals in positions that require penetration testing and vulnerability management in any environment, from traditional on-premises to cloud and Internet of Things (IoT). This article outlines common job positions for PenTest+ holders, salary prospects and tips for resumes and interviews. 

PenTest+ job outlook

As cyberattacks continue to be a growing threat to businesses, companies are looking for qualified individuals who can help them better secure their IT infrastructure by identifying and mitigating network vulnerabilities. In particular, they are looking for professionals who can prove their skills, up-to-date knowledge and passion for a field that is in constant evolution. A credential like the CompTIA PenTest+ is often sought after in job candidates as a means to validate their intermediate-level expertise and know-how in mastering and to manage the penetration testing process effectively.

With the constant rise in cybercrime, pentesters will have many job opportunities ahead of them. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 33 percent from 2020 to 2030, with about 16,300 openings projected each year; this is much faster growth than the average for all occupations. Jobs are available not only in the private sector but also in government. The US DoD also approves PenTest+ certification to meet directive 8140/8570.01-M requirements. It is listed as one of the certifications needed to hold jobs as CSSP Analyst, CSSP Incident Responder and CSSP Auditor.

Common job positions for PenTest+ holders

PenTest+ holders are sought-out professionals who evaluate an organization’s cybersecurity stance by simulating a cyberattack to identify IT infrastructure weaknesses through their findings. They allow a company to implement necessary protective measures to safeguard its network. Pentesters have become part of an organization’s first step towards preventing breaches and protecting data and assets.

The new CompTIA PenTest+ is ANSI/IEC/ISO 17024 accredited and has been mapped to NICE’s specialty areas to include those involved in locating, assessing and managing vulnerabilities. It is designed for those professionals in positions tasked with the following competencies:

  • Plan and scope an assessment
  • Understand legal and compliance requirements
  • Perform vulnerability scanning and penetration testing
  • Analyze data and effectively report and communicate results

CompTIA PenTest+ (PT0-002) uses a mixture of performance-based and knowledge-based questions to address all stages of pentesting and ensure certified professionals have the technical knowledge and know-how needed to identify vulnerabilities and act on them quickly to minimize damage.

The certification Exam Objectives 4.0 (Exam Number: PT0-002) lists the specific topics across five domains on which professionals will be tested:

  • Planning and scoping (14%)
  • Information gathering and vulnerability scanning (22%)
  • Attacks and exploits (30%)
  • Reporting and communication (18%)
  • Tools and code analysis (16%)

Given its technical, practical scope, the PenTest+ certification is valuable, especially for the following roles:

  • Penetration tester
  • Vulnerability tester
  • Security analyst (II)
  • Vulnerability assessment analyst
  • Network/cloud/application security specialist

What’s the current job market like for penetration testers?

The demand for certified professionals who have the expertise to perform penetration testing in various IT environments such as mobile, cloud, IoT, and on-site networks is consistently growing each year. Both employment opportunities and possibilities for freelance penetration testers are available worldwide. A quick search on job sites reveals a constant availability of positions that include penetration testing in duties or, specifically, the PenTest+ certification in the requirements.

Employers that recommend or require CompTIA PenTest+ certification include:

  • Global cyber security
  • SecureWorks
  • North state technology solutions
  • BlackFire consulting
  • TransUnion
  • Integra lifeSciences
  • Enterprise holdings
  • Paylocity

These are only some of the key global players in the Global Penetration Testing Market, valued at $1.39 Billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $7.79 Billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 24% from 2021 to 2028. This considerable market growth will stem from the continuous movement from on-premises-based solutions to cloud-based solutions; this shift will likely bring an increased need for penetration testing to safeguard servers, endpoints, online applications, wireless networks, network devices, mobile devices, and other potential sources of exposure from cyberattacks.

Salary is also a good incentive for professionals to acquire the credential. BLS reports that the median annual wage for information security analysts was $103,590 in May 2020. PayScale mentions the average salary for a Penetration Tester is $88,040, with entry-level professionals earning around $69,000 and experienced ones (20-plus years) around $125,000. 

According to a recent survey by “Certification Magazine,” PenTest+ holders saw an average salary in 2021 of $114,840 in the U.S. and the equivalent of $99,950 worldwide.

How to stand out in your pentesting resume and interview

The PenTest+ certification provides IT security practitioners with opportunities to earn a good salary and find several job prospects. While a technology degree is not always essential to getting your start in this line of work, some employers are still looking for specific credentials in their job candidates. PenTest+ certified professionals can validate their up-to-date knowledge and skills; therefore, the credential should be highlighted early in the resume, to be easily spotted by busy recruiters and managers sorting through several applications.

If you’re called for an interview, preparation is key. It is important to learn as much as possible about the company you are applying for, its structure, management, mission statement, and possibly, reasons for hiring in that particular role. It is also important to learn specific terminology linked to the particular industry you are looking to work in and policies and compliance regulations.

In the interview, you can expect to be asked technical questions and soft-skills ones, including some related to teamwork and communication skills. When asked about your previous experience, it is important to show how your previous roles prepared you for this job, how your technical preparation is in line with the position’s duties, and how your certification makes you stand out. Take a look at detailed pentester resume tips and interview role-specific questions for more ideas on how to best prepare for your career in pen-testing.

Sources

Posted: February 17, 2022
Author
Daniel Brecht
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Daniel Brecht has been writing for the Web since 2007. His interests include computers, mobile devices and cyber security standards. He has enjoyed writing on a variety of topics ranging from cloud computing to application development, web development and e-commerce. Brecht has several years of experience as an Information Technician in the military and as an education counselor. He holds a graduate Certificate in Information Assurance and a Master of Science in Information Technology.

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