Penetration Testers

A subset of this occupation's profile is available. Data collection is currently underway to populate other parts of the profile.

Evaluate network system security by conducting simulated internal and external cyberattacks using adversary tools and techniques. Attempt to breach and exploit critical systems and gain access to sensitive information to assess system security.

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks Save Table: XLSX CSV

  • Assess the physical security of servers, systems, or network devices to identify vulnerability to temperature, vandalism, or natural disasters.
  • Collect stakeholder data to evaluate risk and to develop mitigation strategies.
  • Conduct network and security system audits, using established criteria.
  • Configure information systems to incorporate principles of least functionality and least access.
  • Design security solutions to address known device vulnerabilities.
  • Develop and execute tests that simulate the techniques of known cyber threat actors.
  • Develop infiltration tests that exploit device vulnerabilities.
  • Develop presentations on threat intelligence.
  • Develop security penetration testing processes, such as wireless, data networks, and telecommunication security tests.
  • Discuss security solutions with information technology teams or management.
  • Document penetration test findings.
  • Evaluate vulnerability assessments of local computing environments, networks, infrastructures, or enclave boundaries.
  • Gather cyber intelligence to identify vulnerabilities.
  • Identify new threat tactics, techniques, or procedures used by cyber threat actors.
  • Identify security system weaknesses, using penetration tests.
  • Investigate security incidents, using computer forensics, network forensics, root cause analysis, or malware analysis.
  • Keep up with new penetration testing tools and methods.
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of hacking trends.
  • Prepare and submit reports describing the results of security fixes.
  • Test the security of systems by attempting to gain access to networks, Web-based applications, or computers.
  • Update corporate policies to improve cyber security.
  • Write audit reports to communicate technical and procedural findings and recommend solutions.

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Technology Skills Save Table: XLSX CSV

Hot technology
Hot Technologies are requirements most frequently included across all employer job postings.
In demand
In Demand skills are frequently included in employer job postings for this occupation.

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Occupational Requirements

Detailed Work Activities Save Table: XLSX CSV

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone Save Table: XLSX CSV

Title
Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education
Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, conservation scientists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range
(7.0 to < 8.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications

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Apprenticeship Opportunities

Example apprenticeship titles for this occupation:

  • Hardware Hacker
  • Penetration Tester

Specific title(s) listed above are vetted by industry and approved by the U.S. Department of Labor for use in a Registered Apprenticeship Program.

Start your career and build your skillset. Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to learn about opportunities related to this occupation.

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Worker Characteristics

Interests Save Table: XLSX CSV

Occupational InterestInterest
70
 
Investigative — Work involves studying and researching non-living objects, living organisms, disease or other forms of impairment, or human behavior. Investigative occupations are often associated with physical, life, medical, or social sciences, and can be found in the fields of humanities, mathematics/statistics, information technology, or health care service.
69
 
Conventional — Work involves following procedures and regulations to organize information or data, typically in a business setting. Conventional occupations are often associated with office work, accounting, mathematics/statistics, information technology, finance, or human resources.
48
 
Realistic — Work involves designing, building, or repairing of equipment, materials, or structures, engaging in physical activity, or working outdoors. Realistic occupations are often associated with engineering, mechanics and electronics, construction, woodworking, transportation, machine operation, agriculture, animal services, physical or manual labor, athletics, or protective services.
18
 
Enterprising — Work involves managing, negotiating, marketing, or selling, typically in a business setting, or leading or advising people in political and legal situations. Enterprising occupations are often associated with business initiatives, sales, marketing/advertising, finance, management/administration, professional advising, public speaking, politics, or law.
16
 
Social — Work involves helping, teaching, advising, assisting, or providing service to others. Social occupations are often associated with social, health care, personal service, teaching/education, or religious activities.
5
 
Artistic — Work involves creating original visual artwork, performances, written works, food, or music for a variety of media, or applying artistic principles to the design of various objects and materials. Artistic occupations are often associated with visual arts, applied arts and design, performing arts, music, creative writing, media, or culinary art.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wage data for Computer Occupations, All Other.
Employment data for Computer Occupations, All Other.
Industry data for Computer Occupations, All Other.
Median wages (2022)
$47.47 hourly, $98,740 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2022)
449,400 employees
Projected growth (2022-2032)
Much faster than average (9% or higher)
Projected job openings (2022-2032)
33,500
State trends
Top industries (2022)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2022 wage data external site and 2022-2032 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2022-2032). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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