The annual salary of a penetration tester depends primarily on their experience and competence, but also on their social skills. The classic distinction between the typical IT job levels of junior consultant, consultant, senior consultant, etc. cannot really be transferred to penetration testing.
A junior penetration tester, i.e. a penetration tester without any significant experience - fresh out of university - can probably carry out a penetration test, but whether the pentest is directly structured and also includes complex tests is questionable. However, a structured approach in particular characterizes a professional pentest.
Typically, good penetration testers are equivalent to senior penetration testers, so to speak. Penetration testing was not their first job, they have previously worked as a consultant, software developer or IT administrator, for example. There are exceptions, but these are rare.
A reasonable annual salary for a penetration tester (i.e. "senior penetration tester") is between €60,000 and €80,000. The less free time, the more responsibility, the more customer acquisition, the higher of course.
Last modified: Nov. 15, 2022