12 min. read

July 12, 2021

How Much Do Hackers and Cybersecurity Professionals Earn in Europe?

Senior positions demanding specialised knowledge and skills may pay up to €70,000 per annum

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Sai Krishna Kothapalli, Cyber Security Researcher

Ethical hackers are the cybersecurity professionals who attempt to break into a company's computer and web applications to guarantee that these are closely locked in under as many layers of safety as needed.

That’s what differentiates ethical (aka white-hat) hackers from black-hat hackers who use the vulnerabilities in the company’s infrastructure for personal gain through malicious attacks.

Ethical hacking is a crucial part of cybersecurity, albeit a fairly new job option. It can provide fantastic career advancement for interested people in today's increasingly online realm.

There is undoubtedly a large demand for ethical hacking. One can safely say that there are some fairly coveted well-paying positions all over Europe. This high competition for a reduced workforce may boost this over the next several years. Earnings for cybersecurity experts in Europe begin at an average of €30,000 per annum. Senior positions demanding specialised knowledge and skills may pay up to €70,000 per annum. Such opportunities guarantee significant career development for people interested in penetration testing and ethical hacking.

This post lists several job roles and positions you can apply for if you are interested to make a career out of ethical hacking in Europe. Note that these posts are open all over Europe and the salary mentioned is calculated per annum. The perks might vary from company to company but the job description will more or less be similar wherever you apply.

Job description

Open Source Intelligence Analyst

The role involves utilizing state-of-the-art technologies to gather and analyze information from the open-source, report on information flows, evaluate media stories and help the concerned parties understand how that information may affect the company policy. It includes developing new tools and techniques for publicly accessible data analysis. You'll be producing reports on important problems in the cyber-security scene in Europe and the rest of the world.

Salary Up to €40,700 Hours Full Time. Requirements: You should already be a CSOC Analyst, Cyber Defence Analyst, or a Cyber Intelligence Analyst with experience in investigating Cyber Security incidents and supporting root cause analysis.

Cyber Security Manager

The role involves expertly combating phishing and preventing cyberattacks on the company or institution. As a Cyber Security Manager, you will be expected to oversee the company's security systems and teams and work on identifying potential network vulnerabilities. You will also be involved in devising strategies to counter the methods cyber-criminals might use to infiltrate the company's information systems.

Salary Competitive (€57K - €82K) Hours Full Time. Requirement: You should have a background in security testing to build a compliance state and experience in delivering security against project expectations.

Red Team Consultant

You will be expected to carry out a multi-layered attack simulation aimed at measuring how well the company’s applications, networks, and physical security controls can resist an attack from a real-life adversary. Keeping the scale of the company in mind along with threats in the particular industry, you will have to design tailor-made specific tests. This includes application penetration testing, network penetration testing, and social engineering.

Salary: €37K - €72K. Hours: Full-time. Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in a technical discipline (or equivalent work experience) and a minimum of 5 years of experience in an organization with a strong Consulting presence or inside a government agency with a comparable mandate.

Information Security Cyber Specialist

In this role, you will be responsible for reviewing and amending the technical policies of the company. In addition, you will also be expected to support the delivery of new security technology including project management and operational transition. Collaborations with engineering and development teams to evaluate and identify optimal cloud solutions will also be expected.

Salary: €32K - €62K. Hours: Full-time. Requirements: Previous experience of working in a partnership and some experience in IT system maintenance.

Network Security Engineer

Your main role would be to ensure that all connectivity and networking systems and the IT security of the company are adequately maintained and monitored.

Salary: €38K - €82K. Hours: Full-time. Requirement: 4 Years to 7 Years experience in a relevant company. Minimum qualifications: BE/ BTech/ MS IT.

Security Analyst

This role will require you to design, develop, extend and maintain tools and frameworks for automation in handling security vulnerabilities and incidents. You will also be expected to assist and support various task forces in the company regarding product security incidents. You will need to perform technical analyses and validate remediation measures for security incidents and vulnerabilities.

Salary: €32K - €68K. Hours: Full-time. Requirements: Up to 3 years of professional experience in IT or Information Security and a thorough knowledge of a scripting language such as Python or PowerShell.

Cyber Security Engineer

As a cybersecurity engineer, your job would be to install, maintain, and continuously improve the Cyber Security Infrastructure services of the company. You might be expected to carry out periodic tests to check if the company’s security is not compromised. You will also have to continuously work with the team of developers to make sure that whatever vulnerabilities you find can be patched and the company’s online infrastructure is up and running again as soon as possible.

Salary: €32K - €69K. Hours: Full-time. Requirement: A minimum of 3-5 years of professional cybersecurity experience (technical / Hands-on).

Penetration Tester

As a Penetration Tester, you will be expected to conduct penetration tests that would determine the weaknesses in the applications, networks, infrastructure, mobile or web services of the company and its cloud security. You will have to carry out a thorough vulnerability assessment through software testing and network security scanning.

Salary: €25K - €59K. Hours: Full-time. Requirement: Degree in computer security or web development, minimum qualification BSc.

Head of Information Security

This is an expert role and requires more specialized knowledge compared to entry-level jobs. If you are working in this role, you will be expected to prioritize and manage any existing threats within the company or organization. You will also be expected to lead the strategy and plan and execute various projects to continuously improve and mitigate the existing threats. At the same time, you will also have to manage new threats and help the company to explore new and competitive revenue streams through innovation and the exploration of bleeding-edge technology. You need to understand the technology stack of the company and its associated vulnerabilities. You will have to learn how to manage those in line with PCI, compliance, or governance frameworks. Some companies might also expect you to advise the board on action and strategy in line with security needs on emerging projects, plans, and technical growth.

Salary: €100K - €150K. Hours: Full-time. Requirement: 3-5 years experience in working with external stakeholders such as information sharing communities and law enforcement.


Ethical hacking is a new and emerging field and the job opportunities are immensely rewarding. If you love computers, coding, and finding unique solutions to everyday problems, this can be an interesting career option for you.

Of course, the skills required are extensive and require time and dedication to master. But if you can excel in this field, you will be able to make a great career for yourself, working in some of the top companies in the world and earning a salary that’s at par with the best-paid software jobs in the world.