CompTIA PenTest+

Average CompTIA PenTest+ salary

Daniel Brecht
February 22, 2022 by
Daniel Brecht

CompTIA's PenTest+ is a valuable certification for penetration testing and vulnerability management career. 

PenTest+ can serve as a springboard for many cybersecurity careers, ensuring pentesting professionals are better prepared to solve a wide variety of challenges when securing and defending networks in today's complicated business computing landscape.

This certification exam (PT0-002) will test, validate and establish the core knowledge of pentesting techniques for the latest attack surfaces, including the cloud, hybrid environments and web applications. It also addresses more ethical hacking concepts, vulnerability scanning and code analysis. Its appeal for professionals is that it addresses communication with stakeholders and regulatory requirements in addition to covering actual tools and techniques and analysis of results. It is also compliant with ISO 17024 standards and approved by the US DoD to meet directive 8140/8570.01-M requirements, so it's a good choice for practitioners who are looking for government positions.

Earn your PenTest+, guaranteed!

Earn your PenTest+, guaranteed!

Enroll in a PenTest+ Boot Camp and earn one of the industry’s most respected certifications — guaranteed.

So, what is the salary of a pentester, and what factors can you expect to impact your potential earnings? According to PayScale, the average salary for a Penetration Tester is $88,040 (last updated Dec 21, 2021).

Different skills can affect your salary.

  • IT consulting ▲14%
  • IT security and infrastructure ▲3%
  • Security testing and auditing ▲2%
  • Cyber security ▲1%

In fact, according to a recent survey by Certification Magazine, in 2021, PenTest+ holders were earning an average salary of $114,840 in the U.S. and the equivalent of $99,950 worldwide.

As we will see, several factors can greatly affect your pay.

PenTest+ salary by city

Here are the highest paying cities for Penetration Testers in the United States, according to

  • Sterling, VA - $140,136 per year
  • New York, NY - $137,959 per year
  • Washington, DC - $135,441 per year
  • Alexandria, VA - $127,422 per year
  • Dallas, TX - $118,782 per year
  • Seattle, WA - $111,753 per year
  • San Francisco, CA - $108,002 per year
  • Arlington, VA - $105,677 per year
  • Denver, CO - $105,001 per year

PenTest+ salary by years of experience

Experience level is an important factor in determining salary. As per PayScale's latest salary figures, an entry-level Penetration Tester with less than one year of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $69,061. An early career Penetration Tester with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $82,297. A mid-career Penetration Tester with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $110,948. An experienced Penetration Tester with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $120,171. In their late career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of $124,607.

PenTest+ salary by job title

There are several careers for professionals who are PenTest+ certified. This credential can help you land a job as a Penetration Tester, Vulnerability Tester, Security Analyst, Vulnerability Assessment Analyst and Network/Cloud/Application Security Specialist.

According to PayScale, these are the average salaries that you can expect when you land a related job:

  • Penetration tester $88,040
  • Security analyst $69,710
  • Cyber security analyst $76,963
  • Vulnerability assessment analyst $83,000
  • Network security analyst $73,747
  • Security consultant, (networking/IT) $87,705

Let's now look at additional salary estimates and information for the top three jobs normally associated with PenTest+.

Penetration testers

These professionals check for exploitable vulnerabilities in systems, devices, and emerging technologies. Penetration tester employment is projected to grow 31 percent from 2019 to 2029, as per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The salary range typically falls between $76,628 and $100,391 (, but it also depends on the particular role of the employee:

  • Cloud penetration testers (who assess a cloud environment to identify and mitigate security risks) earn an average salary of $103,000 a year (
  • Web App Penetration Testers (who focus on internet-facing web applications) are expected to see position availability grow by 33%, with 47,100 net new jobs expected during the 10 years from 2020 to 2030, as per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average salary for a Web Applications Penetration Tester is $107,054.

Cybersecurity analysts

These professionals use penetration testing techniques to identify network vulnerabilities. Their average salary is $99,730 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). PayScale reports average pay of $79,997 per year (with peak-pay of $113,000) for Cyber Security Analysts with penetration testing skills.

Earn your PenTest+, guaranteed!

Earn your PenTest+, guaranteed!

Enroll in a PenTest+ Boot Camp and earn one of the industry’s most respected certifications — guaranteed.

Vulnerability analysts

These professionals detect weaknesses in networks through penetration testing. Their average salary is $99,730 (Burning Glass Technologies).

How can PenTest+ earn you more money? 

Is PenTest+ for you? Whether you are thinking of a role as an employee in an IT security team or as a freelance penetration tester, the skills covered by the credential continue to be in high demand in the tech industry. The need for penetration testers is only going to continue as companies strive to harden and secure their IT infrastructure against ever-evolving threats.

As you consider a position that involves pentesting, you can count on the PenTest+ certifications to boost your salary potential and employment opportunities since employers value specialized training that validates an essential skill. A credential like CompTIA's PenTest+ offers countless paths to rewarding pay and fulfilling jobs, ranging from a network or security specialist to cybersecurity or cloud security specialist who may be tasked with hands-on penetration testing to identify, exploit, report and manage vulnerabilities on a network. 

Not yet certified? To start your path towards earning your credential, review the topics covered in CompTIA PenTest+ Certification Exam Objectives, and consider training from reputable education institutions to help you better focus your preparation and success.


Daniel Brecht
Daniel Brecht

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.