Penetration Tester Job Description – old

Penetration Tester Job Description

Become a qualified professional penetration tester that can provide comprehensive web application and infrastructure penetration tests. By identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities, a pen tester can help organizations identify and fix security weaknesses before they can be exploited by malicious actors.

Who is Penetration Tester?

Penetration Tester is one of the most popular and desired Career Paths. The main goal of the pen-tester, or ethical hacker, is to identify vulnerabilities and address them by designing, simulating and executing attacks on networks and infrastructure.

Ethical hackers perform vulnerability assessments by simulating actual cyberattacks using a broad range of tools and methods. 

The idea of a penetration test, is to probe all possible ways to penetrate any given computer system, to find gaps in security systems BEFORE the real hackers can get in. As a result, pentesters often work on highly confidential and time-sensitive projects, so being trustworthy and cool under pressure are important skills. 

Having the creativity to think on the fly, and being organized enough to track, record, and report on projects are also good qualities in penetration testing.



Industries to work at

  • government
  • health organizations
  • finance
  • electronic shopping 
  • information services
  • semiconductor or other electronic manufacturing
  • automotive repair and maintenance
  • legal services
  • private consultancies

Average Salary

$55560 – $153090 worldwide

₹18lakhs – ₹49lakhs in India

According to the Bureau of labour statistics, penetration testers make an annual median salary of $95,510. The lowest 10% earn $55,560, while top 10% earn over $153,090.

In India Average Annual  Compensation is ₹22lakhs, mostly ranging from ₹18lakhs to ₹49lakhs.

Information security professionals will be in high and rapidly-growing demand for the foreseeable future. In fact, there is a significant shortage of infosec professionals in all disciplines, and the shortage is expected to persist for the foreseeable future. As networks, applications, and information needs become consistently more complicated and critical to business and state operations, these systems become more directly targeted and more vulnerable. Pen testers are at the forefront of technical expertise, acting most closely to the role of would-be attackers. Top pen testers are now highly prized among infosec operators, and there are no signs on the horizon that this perception will be diminished in any way. 

Pentester Job Profile

Duties and Responsibilities

PHACK Career paths are a guided experience to take from zero knowledge to employed, experienced transitioned, or industry veteran to management.

With courses, virtual labs and practice tests all in one spot and taught just at the right time, you can stay focused on your career development.

You need to know

Six steps to become a Penetration Tester

  1. Self-analysis: Penetration testing is not for everyone. It requires exceptional problem-solving skills, a dogged determination, dedication to detail, and a desire to remain continually educated on the latest trends in the field. Successful ethical hackers must possess a high level of each of these qualities in order to excel. So be honest in the self-assessment before deciding whether pen testing is an appropriate career.

  2. Education: At one time, many employers were known to hire real-world hackers, and convert them from the “dark side” to work for the good guys. In recent years, however, college degrees have become near mandatory for penetration testers. Undergraduate degrees in the various disciplines of cybersecurity all provide viable entryways into the field. 

  3. Career path: There are several ways a would-be pen tester can break into the cybersecurity industry. Starting out in security administration, network administration, network engineer, system administrator, or web-based application programming, always focusing on the security side of each discipline, will provide a good foundation for pen testing.

  4. Professional certifications: Employers predominantly want to see a number of professional certifications on the resumes of assurance validators, and this is particularly true with more senior positions. Several organizations now offer widely-recognized certifications for penetration testing occupations.

  5. Honing the craft: Becoming an expert in a chosen field is a good idea in any career, but for penetration testers, there are varied ways of standing out from the crowd. Being active and recognized in cybersecurity disciplines, such as bug bounty programs, collecting open-source intelligence (OSINT), and developing proprietary attack programs, will all get pen testers recognized among peer groups.

  6. Keep current: As with most cybersecurity career paths, it is vital to remain current with what is happening in the industry. Keeping skills and knowledge up-to-date with all of the latest trends in programming and network security, ever-changing hacking techniques and security protocols, popularly exploited vulnerabilities, and anything else happening in the cybersecurity industry.

Penetration tester skills and experience

Employer requirements of new hires in the penetration testing field, as in all cybersecurity disciplines, will vary dramatically depending upon the detailed functions of each position and the level of the position. Associate or junior pen testers, mid-level pen testers, and senior or lead pen testers obviously represent sequentially advancing experience levels and responsibilities within the penetration testing umbrella. 

Some positions still require only a demonstration of relevant skills and an appropriate level of cybersecurity experience and knowledge. Increasingly, though, employers are seeking candidates with a bachelor’s degree in information security or related computer science degrees. Some more advanced positions require a master’s degree.

Work experience that often leads to careers in penetration testing includes software development and coding, security testing, vulnerability assessment, network engineer or administrator, security administrator.

Skill requirements likely to be encountered with employers include: 

Knowledge of specific computer languages, such as: 

  • Python
  • Powershell 
  • Golang
  • Bash

Experience with network OS, Windows/ Linux/ MacOS, communications protocols, firewalls, IPS/IDS systems, virtual environments, data encryption, and mobile penetration testing of IOS/Android systems.

Knowledge of common pen test and application security tools, such as:

  • Kali
  • Metasploit
  • Burpsuite
  • Wireshark
  • Web Inspect
  • Network Mapper (NMAP)
  • Nessus, and others

Common professional certifications often sought by employers include those available from: IEEE (Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers) OSCP (Offensive Security Certified Professional), SANS Technology InstituteGIAC (Global Information Assurance Certification), and EC-Council.

Soft skills and experience sought by employers include: excellent communication skills; self-driven, creative, and resourceful; contributions to open source projects and bug bounty programs; and familiarity with OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities.

Market Job Offer

Job positions you will be able to apply after finishing this Career Path:

Penetration Tester Job Offers Descriptions

Penetration/ethical hacking job scopes vary widely based on the employer and seniority level. Looking at stated responsibilities for senior-level positions provides insight into the eventual dream job for all ethical hackers. This real-life job description gives you an idea.

  • Lead enterprise and system-focused network and application penetration assessments to identify security risks and vulnerabilities.
  • Perform testing on a wide scope of systems, including web applications, security controls, network infrastructure, wireless, and mobile deployments.
  • Conduct hands-on technical testing beyond the use of automated tool validation. Plan, execute, report, and lead technical debriefs on testing activities and outcomes.
  • Execute covert Red Team Cyber operations to mimic adversary tactics and work closely in a Purple Team to test exploits needed to build detections.
  • Communicate findings and remediation strategies effectively to stakeholders, including technical staff and executive leadership.
  • OSCP, GPEN or GXPN certification preferred.
  • Performs penetration tests and vulnerability analysis on web and other applications, network infrastructure and operating system infrastructures.
  • Briefs executive summary and findings to stakeholders to include Sr. Leadership
  • Have an understanding of how to create unique exploit code, bypass AV and mimic adversarial threats.
  • Assesses the current state of the customer’s system security by identifying all vulnerabilities and security measures. 
  • Helps customers perform analysis and mitigation of security vulnerabilities.
  • Researches and maintains proficiency in tools, techniques, countermeasures, and trends in computer network vulnerabilities, data hiding, and network security and encryption.
  • Provide support to incident response teams through capability enhancement and reporting.
  • Mentor junior and mid-level staff members by creating and teaching the latest techniques in ethical hacking and vulnerability analysis.
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