How To Become A Freelance Pentester

The practice of determining a computer system or network’s weaknesses and strengths is called penetration testing. This is performed by reaching the different layers of a system utilizing security tools and methodologies, 

A penetration tester is in charge of assessing the security of a website and reporting any security problems to the client. Becoming a freelance pentester is more challenging than it may seem. There is a lot of competition, and it can be tricky to get started without any experience.

I have put together a six-step guide on how to become a freelance pentester. With this guide, you will learn everything from pen testing to finding clients and starting your new career. Let’s get started! 

Six-Step Guide On How To Become A Freelance Pentester

Step 1: Understand What Pen Testing Is And How It Works

Before entering this world, get an idea of how different this industry is from others. 

Typically, people confuse penetration testing and hacking.A service or page has been “hacked” if someone can stop it from working correctly. Penetration testing aims to create purposeful security flaws in a system to identify its root causes and potential fixes.

  • Penetration testing is a task that ethical hackers, often known as white hat hackers, usually handle.
  • The tools and methods employed by harmful and ethical hackers are the same, but there is a significant distinction.
  • The vulnerabilities that pen testers identify are not used for anything. Instead, they inform the company about their discoveries so that it may address vulnerabilities before a malevolent hacker discovers and makes use of them.
  • Both human testing and automated tools can be used for penetration testing.
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Step 2: Take A Course Or Training Program.

There are many other ethical hacking ten certifications available. Please research each one to ensure it is legitimate and relevant to your needs or not.

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  1. You must pass a 24-hour exam and submit a thorough report to earn the hands-on Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) certification
  2. GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC) you must pass a written exam on penetration testing, security threats, and tools. 
  3. Cisco Certified Network Professional Security (CCNP), to take this test, you must have your CCNA qualification. Theory and application are combined in this certification.

Step 3: Learn The Skills Needed To Be A Pentester.

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Getting the basic skills to become a high-level penetration tester is relatively easy and not any more difficult than becoming any other security expert. 

  • Knowledge of hacking techniques and tools.
  • Knowledge of network and system security.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent communication and report-writing skills.

Step 4: Gain Some Experience

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The amount of experience you will need will entirely depend on the type of pentesting you want to do and the difficulty level of the assignments you are hoping to undertake.

However, it is recommended that you have at least a few years of experience working in the information security field before attempting to become a freelance pentester.

It will give you good exposure to the various tools and techniques which helps you build up networks and contacts who may provide you with referrals or help you find work.

Step 4: Find Clients

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There are a few things that you can do to find clients:

  1. One option is to send your resume to companies directly and offer your services. 
  2. Another possibility is to register with an online freelancing platform such as Upwork or PeoplePerHour, allowing you to bid for pentesting projects that potential clients post. 
  3. You can also find work through your network of contacts in information security.
  4. Finally, you’ll come across many websites designed to offer penetration testers the practice and polish through fun, gamified experiences legally. Like Hack the Box, Hack. me, Hack This Site, WebGoat.
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Step 5: Build Your Portfolio

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Now that you have a background working with various tools and technologies, it is time to create your portfolio as a freelance pentester. You will need to showcase your skills and highlight your projects to attract customers. A compelling portfolio will show potential clients you can find and exploit vulnerabilities in their systems.

  • Create a website that describes your experience and skills.
  • Create videos or screencasts portraying your work.
  • Publish papers or articles about your experience.
  • Release open-source tools or resources related to your work.


With the proper knowledge, training, and commitment, you can begin a career as a freelance pentester. I hope you find this helpful information. Please post a comment below if you have any questions.

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