With a spate of successful hacking attempts on various banking and retail websites, ethical hacking has emerged as one of the most critical roles in protecting a company’s information. With hackers becoming smarter and more aggressive, ethical hackers are in high demand in almost every industry. Ethical Hackers were previously associated with government agencies and high-profile research and development laboratories to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information, but 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’s meant to be: confidential!
Given the nature of the job and the expertise required, ethical hackers are highly paid employees with access to the most sensitive data of a company. Therefore, potential employees must be highly skilled to be able to secure such a position, and face a challenging set of selection criteria.
The average payout to a Certified Ethical Hacker is $71,331 per annum. The salary ranges from $24,760 to $111,502, with a bonus payout between $0.00 and $17,500. Thus the total salary is approximately between $24,760 – $132,322.1
The United States Department of Labor reports that New York City pays out the highest average salary of $117,900, followed by salaries in California. Next come Massachusetts and Washington DC.2
According to an IT Salary Report by Global Knowledge & TechRepublic, over 9,500 IT professionals were surveyed to make a comparison of various designations within the IT industry and their corresponding pay. CEH was slotted at the higher end of the spectrum. Other professions within the IT industry with payouts close to that of CEH professionals include Database administration with a salary of $92,338, Application Programming at $90,643, Data Center administration at $90,261, System Analysis with an approximate payout of $85,234, Servers and Storage at $83,284, Web Development with $81,405 and Networking, rounding off the list at $75,666. 3
Based on the IT Skills and Salary Survey conducted by Global Knowledge and Penton in 2014, CEH is among the top 15 highest paying certifications this year ranking in the 9th position.
While the other average remuneration of an ethical hacker is $71,331, this number does vary depending on the persons experience and location. There are several official positions that use the skill set of an ethical hacker. A few common job titles include Security Engineer, Application Security Manager, Penetration Tester, IT Security Admin, Information Security Consultant, Security Compliance Engineer and Network Security Analyst.5 This is by no means an exhaustive list, but is a solid starting point.
Reports, trends and surveys predict an exponential increase in CEH salaries as hackers become more aggressive, requiring the services of a penetration tester to counter their tactics and ensure the safety of company networks.
CEH — The Way Forward
Certified Ethical Hacking positions are challenging, interesting and pay extremely well, prompting professionals to consider CEH as a good career move. If you’re an outside the box thinker, have a keen eye for solving problems and love security, the CEH is an excellent way for you to move forward in your career.
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