Penetration Tester

Learn about the daily duties and required skills of penetration testers. Discover information on industry growth, salary range, and employment opportunities.


Penetration testers fall under the category of “ethical hackers”. In contrast to the latter’s broad spectrum of tasks, however, penetration testers are focused on assessing the security measures of a specific area in a business’ network. They have acute skills in executing a wide range of hacking methodologies; along with the purpose of each, and how and when to implement them.

Penetration testers perform the regular security procedure of exploring weak points in a company’s network systems, mitigating them before malicious attacks take place. Their work forms a vital role in strengthening a organisation’s cyber security, ensuring all applications and programs are working as required.

Those working in ICT security can expect industry growth in the coming years, with an expected increase of 43,900 workers in 2018 to 47,300 by 2023.

Key Skills

  • A comprehensive knowledge of security and web communications technologies; and ways of exploiting their functionalities

  • Ability to write and understand code; required for in-depth assessments of software, applications, and systems

  • Excellent communication skills, with an ability to relay complex problems and ideas through non-technical language

  • A willingness to continually learn and educate themselves on the latest threats and security developments

  • A sound knowledge of networking, networking protocols, and routing

  • Exceptional perception, critical thinking, and complex problem-solving skills

Quick Facts

Employment for database and systems administrators and ICT security is large, with weekly earnings higher than the all-jobs average (these tend to be lower when starting out – increasing as experience grows). Most work full time, with opportunities across many regions of Australia.

Salary Range

$57,000 - $108,000 (Median: $77,000)*

*Source: Payscale

Average Weekly Hours

41 hours (vs. all jobs average of 44 hours)*

*Source: Job Outlook

Main Industries

Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Financial and Insurance Services

Most Common Qualification Level

38.3% hold a Bachelor’s Degree


Getting the skills you need is simple by studying one of our information technology courses below.

*Sources: and – All information is to be used as a guide only, and are accurate at the time of publication.