What is a Certified Ethical Hacker, and how much does he/she earn?
As the term implies, a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is an individual who companies hire to inspect the security of their online systems by attempting to hack into them.
These ethical hackers, who are occasionally called “penetration testers,” identify flaws in the system that an unethical hacker would exploit. By discovering the hacks before a thief does, a company can better protect itself against fraud. Nowadays, almost every company across the world, whether it be online commerce and retail, real estate, logistics and transport, healthcare, hospitality, or any sector in between; employs some variant of ethical hacking to keep their information the way it is supposed to be: confidential! The average salary ranges for a CEH vary depending on the geographics. Within each country, certain cities, states, or provinces tend to pay more than others.
Average CEH Salary Ranges by Country:
The average payout to a CEH is $71,331 per annum. The salary can range from $24,760 to $111,502, with a bonus payout between $0.00 and $17,500. Therefore, the total salary is approximately between $24,760 – $132,322, all depending on what specific functions he or she performs, and the number of years of experience.
In general, a first year CEH can expect to earn around $60,000. After five to nine years, that figure rises to roughly $71,000. After 10 years, a CEH can expect to earn about $91,500, expanding to $105,000 after 20 years.
The top five states or providences with the highest salary are:
- California- $103,459
- Washington, D.C.- $97,081
- Maryland- $93,768
- New York- $92,606
- Virginia- $92,056
CEH Certification Salary Ranges by Job:
- Cyber Security Analyst: $49,648 - $127,426
- Security Analyst: $50,180 - $126,205
- Penetration Tester: $50,684 - $126,205
- Information Security Analyst: $53,743 - $106,875
- Security Engineer: $64,385 - $124,877
In Canada, a certified ethical hacker can expect to earn between C$62,288 and C$74,000 (approximately $64,387 to $76,400). Those with one to four years of experience earn about C$48,000. Those with 5 to 9 years earn approximately C$63,300, while those with 10 to 19 years earn $C66,100 annually.
The top five providences with the highest paying salary are:
- New Brunswick- C$108,000
- British Columbia- C$98,000
- Quebec- C$75,000
- Manitoba- C$72,166
- Ontario- C$71,842
CEH Certification Salary Ranges by Job:
- Penetration Tester: C$35,000 - C$96,000
- Security Analyst: C$41,814 - C$91,895
- Cyber Security Analyst: C$44,335 - C$99,844
- Security Engineer: C$48,102 - C$135,353
- Security Consultant: C$52,853 - C$113,044
To be officially designated a CEH the individual must be certified by the EC Council, also known as the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants. The EC-Council is organized of individuals who are dedicated to remaining up-to-date of any cutting-edge technology developments, and distributing that knowledge to those who enroll in its training programs. The Council prides itself on continuously interfacing with professionals in the field and incorporating examples from actual successful hacks.
The certification process involves several different components, including ethical hacking and countermeasures and penetration testing. The areas of study include foot-printing and reconnaissance, learning how to scan networks, system hacking, viruses and worms, denial of service attacks, enumeration, Trojans and backdoors, hacking web applications and webservers, SQL injection and cryptography, among others.
The program also requires all those who wish to attain the CEH title to listen to testimonials by practicing information security professionals. The idea is that by creating a community of information sharing, individual hacks are far easier to both spot and defeat. Many of the information professionals who give talks at the CEH training center have had extensive experience dealing with fairly high profile systems which require rigorous testing on a regular basis. Many of these information systems are constantly expanding or changing their structures. Each change necessitates a scan for potential vulnerabilities. Some CEH’s are freelance consultants who are called in to work on specific projects; other CEH’s remain with a particular company for years as part of an in-house team.
The earnings potential of any individual is therefore very much influenced not only by his or her training, but the environment in which he chooses to work in, and his prior experience in the field. A freelance penetration tester, for example, may be able to charge higher “consultant” rates than an in-house CEH, depending on that particular individual’s experience with the company. A software professional who decides to become certified may or may not experience a commensurate rise in salary depending on the policies of his employer, and how much that certification and its corresponding skills are valued within the company. Also it depends on the country you live in, for instance the United States has a higher salary range with the five jobs listed above, compared to Canada. CEH positions are challenging, interesting and pay extremely well, prompting professionals to consider CEH as a good career move. If you are an outside the box thinker, have a strong eye for solving problems and a passion for security, the CEH route is an excellent way for you to move forward in your career.
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