Starting Your Career As Certified Ethical Hacker


The goal of ethical hacking is to examine the infrastructure security of a system or network. An ethical hacker would attempt to circumvent system security by discovering and exposing any flaws that a cybercriminal potentially exploits. Vulnerabilities are often found in insecure system configurations, as well as faults in hardware or software. Hacking must obtain authorization from the owner to investigate their network and find security problems in order to be ethical.

The idea and image seem so fanciful, however, it involves steps of complex skills. This idealized image, however, takes a lot of effort and is not as simple as they portray. To perform what they do, requires hours of coding and analysis.

Certified Ethical hackers infiltrate systems in this context in order to give answers to cybersecurity issues. While Hollywood portrays them as criminals, ethical hacking is on the right side of the law. They break into systems to learn about their flaws and then attempt to remedy those flaws.

How To Start A Career In Ethical Hacking?

This guide is for you if you are unfamiliar with ethical hacking or if you are new to the field. Here's a basic rundown of how to get started as certified ethical hacker.

Learn what Ethical hacking is

Before diving into any topic, it's important to understand the subject's or domain's fundamental principles. The same may be said about ethical hacking. Ethical hacking is a method of protecting system and network safety by utilizing known flaws in the system or network. Ethical hackers improve the security of systems and networks by detecting flaws and implementing effective responses.

To uncover and patch system vulnerabilities, ethical hackers use the same methods as the renowned ones. They also only provide their services when they are legally engaged by an organization. To have comprehensive knowledge and training in Ethical hacking, one should make it a priority to undertake a Cyber Security training course.

Learning the Various Kinds of Hacking

Hacking is a divisive term that typically conjures up negative connotations. Hackers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with a variety of reasons ranging from malevolent to beneficial. There are three sorts of hackers:

Ethical hacking in a white box

In this form of hacking, time and money are key considerations. Because the hacker knows everything there is to know about the company, the attack is laser-focused. White box ethical hacking is strictly supervised by upper management, HR, and legal.

Ethical hacking in a black box

In this sort of hacking, the hacker is unaware of the organization he or she is assaulting, and the attacker will take any methods necessary to gain access. A black box ethical attack is one in which the hacker is uninterested in the attack since he or she has no knowledge of the organization.

Ethical hacking in the grey box

This is a hybrid of the two types of ethical hacking described above. The hackers only have a rudimentary understanding of the organization they are targeting. The problem with this sort of hacking is that because they are aware of the weakness they are looking for, they may overlook other vulnerabilities.

Knowing the diverse types of hackers will enable professionals to clearer grasp of ethical hacking limitations and the legal complexities of becoming an ethical hacker. A fresher may begin at the Penetration tester position. The role entails spotting weaknesses and vulnerabilities of an application, network, or system so as to defend and protect against multiple cyber-attacks. They are to alert the organization about the flaws and limitations in their system.

Skills Required for an Certified Ethical Hacking Career

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to becoming an ethical hacker. Every organization follows its own independent protocol and lays out job descriptions as per its requirements. Selection for any position is based on the requirement. A degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or Mathematics, on the other hand, will establish the groundwork for an ethical hacking profession.

A professional is also required to possess problem-solving abilities, the ability to operate under pressure, and the ability to think creatively. Having an open mind and an attitude of constant learning is another essential criterion for pursuing a profession in ethical hacking.

You'll require a working knowledge of programming languages including HTML, ASP, C/C++, Python, Java, and others on the technical side. Passion for the subject, great communication skills, versatility, and innovative thinking are other desirable qualities in an ethical hacker.

Learn How to Program and All About Operating Systems

Since ethical hacking entails working on a variety of systems daily, it necessitates a strong understanding of programming languages. IOS, LINUX Windows, and UNIX are just a few of the operating systems that one should need to familiarize. Ethical hackers can detect programming flaws or vulnerabilities by having a deep understanding of programming languages. It will also aid in the implementation of security solutions that need coding, as well as the automation of tasks and other coding requirements. A thorough understanding of the functions of operating systems, as well as the commands that go with them, will greatly assist you in your role as an ethical hacker.

Network and Security Knowledge

Working knowledge of computer or system networks and cybersecurity principles is essential for ethical hacking. A potential ethical hacker should be well-versed in both the fundamentals and the more complex aspects of system networking and security. Firewalls, Cryptography, Virtual Private Networks,  and other sorts of cyber-attacks, such as DoS attacks, are some of these concepts.

You can learn about network and security for ethical hacking from a variety of books, magazines, and through excellent cyber security training online courses available on the internet. These tools are the best to assist you in harnessing and mastering the fundamentals involved in computer security.

Become Certified by Enrolling in Cyber Security Training Programs

As the demand for certified professional ethical hackers grows, several training programs and Cyber Security training certification courses for hopefuls are being offered in the market. To improve your abilities and practice ethical hacking in a real-world setting, enroll in a training program or boot camp.

Certification is vital since it gives your career path as an ethical hacker more legitimacy and worth. A significant accreditation from a reputable institute can help you find a position with one of the world's largest tech companies.

Can You Get A Job as an Ethical Hacker?

Given the exponential rise of the digital economy, we may expect the field of ethical hacking to increase as well, with every firm requiring highly skilled Ethical Hackers to secure the security of key data and systems.

According to current data, just 32% of workers working in the IT field are professionally trained in defending against cyber threats.

Any organization with an online operation or anything to do with the web can hire an ethical hacker. These include academic organizations such as MIT as well as corporate businesses spanning from logistics to data warehousing. Apart from that, you can work for the military and top-secret intelligence-gathering agencies such as the CIA, Mossad, and the National Security Agency (NSA).

You sure can get a job position as a certified ethical hacker.

Below are the job positions that one can get into:

Penetration Tester

Vulnerability Assessor

Information Security Analyst

Security Analyst

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Ethical Hacker

Security Consultant

Security Engineer/Architect

Information Security Manager

How Much Does an Ethical Hacker Make?

In India, the average ethical hacker is INR 5.02 lakh per year. Depending on your expertise, skills, and other circumstances, you might earn up to INR 40 lakh per year in this industry.

Keep note that certified professionals naturally get higher salaries. Particular cyber security certification is available for Ethical hackers known as Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification. The salary range for a certified ethical hacker varies depending on location, organization, job, and experience.

Let's have a look at the data, which comes mostly from Indeed and Payscale, two great resources for CEH jobs:

Based on experience level

Entry-level  –  USD 50,000  to USD 100,000 -  (0 to 5 years)

Junior  –USD 100,000 to USD 120,000 - (5 to 10 years)

Senior – USD 120,000 and above - (10 years+)

Based on Location

Let's have a look at the data, which comes mostly from Indeed and Payscale, two great resources for CEH jobs:

Based on experience level

Entry-level  –  USD 50,000  to USD 100,000 -  (0 to 5 years)

Junior  –USD 100,000 to USD 120,000 - (5 to 10 years)

Senior – USD 120,000 and above - (10 years+)

To help you have a brief overview of how much an Ethical Hacker earns, let us list out the average income of Ethical Hackers in the USA and India.

USA: The average salary of a Certified Ethical Hacker in the US is USD 90,000.

Based on their skills and specialty below is a list of how much Certified Ethical Hacker in diverse job roles earn annually.

IT Security and Infrastructure - USD 92,912

Cyber Security- USD 92,921

Security Testing and Auditing- USD 91,987

Security Policies and Procedures- USD 93,988

Security Risk Management- USD 99,001

Security Intrusion Detection - USD 83,500

Network Security Management - USD 90,343

Computer Security- USD 86,310

CISCO Networking- USD 81,211

Security Information and Event Management - USD 83,117

Top Hiring Companies in the US and their Pay Structure-

Booz, Allen, and Hamilton  $67,470 - $101,389

U.S. Army $32,133 - $86,327

U.S. Air Force (USAF)  $49,029 - $81,490

General Dynamics Information Technology Inc  $59,045 - $104,805

Lockheed Martin Corp $69,043 - $113,000

Top Hiring Cities

Washington, District of Columbia $67,000 - $126,121

New York, New York $50,143 - $124,608

San Antonio, Texas $51,456 - $90,999

Atlanta, Georgia $49,550 - $110,936

San Diego, California $76,754 - $121,694

India: The average salary of a CEH in India is INR 599,000.

Based on their skills and specialty below is a list of how much CEH in India in diverse job roles earn annually.

IT security and Infrastructure- INR 683,676

Security Testing and Auditing- INR 619,354

Cyber Security- INR 718,407

Security Risk Management- INR 843,869

Security Information and Risk management- INR 520,505

Security Policies and Procedures- INR 1,002,069

Computer Security- INR 592,730

Network Security Management- INR 595719

Penetration Testing- INR 546,811

Security Intrusion Detection- INR 583,947

Top Hiring Companies in India

Paladion Networks Rs 214,551 - Rs 509,714

Wipro Technologies Ltd. Rs 101,980 - Rs 800,000

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Limited Rs 290,874 - Rs 630,000

Ernst & Young (EY) Rs 316,266 - Rs 752,553

InfoSys Limited Rs 121,641 - Rs 910,630

Top Hiring Cities in India

Bangalore- Rs 256,635 - Rs 1,133,880

Mumbai - Rs 218,305 - Rs 1,072,867

Chennai- Rs 241,957 - Rs 913,540

Pune - Rs 254,028 - Rs 1,043,389

Hyderabad- Rs 236,718 - Rs 982,635

We may deduce from the above ethical hacker salary trends that ethical hackers are well compensated and in high demand all across the globe. If this high salary and job security prospect entice you and you have the zeal to apply your skills and knowledge in the Ethical hacking field, you may as well begin your journey by signing up with a proper cyber security training certification.

How to qualify for Certified Ethical Hacker certification?

The International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC-Council), a member-supported certification body for IT and cybersecurity professionals, administers the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) credential. Information security experts must pass the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker test, which consists of 125 questions. Individuals with at least two years of experience working in information security or a related industry, as well as those who have completed a CEH training course offered by the EC-Council, are eligible to sit for the exam.

While CEH certification has no formal educational requirements, successful candidates typically have a solid background in computer science or computer programming, software engineering, mathematics, or information security, which may include a bachelor's or master's degree in computer science, IT management security, cybersecurity, or a related field.

CEH is a professional accreditation for ethical hackers. As mentioned earlier, It is maintained by the EC-Council, a non-profit organization that offers 20 cybersecurity certificates. CEH candidates must pass a four-hour, multiple-choice exam that assesses knowledge in five major areas: network reconnaissance, network access, network enumeration, sustaining network access, and concealing evidence of a network breach. Candidates seeking certification must either finish an EC-Council training course in ethical hacking or have a minimum of two years of work experience in information security or a related industry, and there is a non-refundable $100 application fee.

Brief Guide on How to Become a Certified Ethical Hacker:

Learn how to develop, manage database systems, and use information security technologies by earning a bachelor's or master's degree in cybersecurity, digital forensics, computer science, or another relevant IT discipline.

Gain experience in network administration, security protocol management, and system architecture analysis by joining the IT workforce.

Enroll in a Certified Ethical Hacker training program offered by the EC-Council.

Get a passing score on the CEH exam from the EC-Council.

Additional Certificates to work as an Ethical Hacker

The EC-Council website has information on CEH certification, studying for the CEH test, and ethical hacking in general. The CEH (Practical) certification was recently launched by the organization as a second certification for ethical hackers. CEHs who pass a six-hour test that includes 20 hacking challenges can earn the CEH (Practical) credential. In addition, the EC-Council offers a number of advanced certification programs that have applications in the field of ethical hacking. These are some of them:

Certified Network Defender (CND)

Certified Security Analyst (ECSA)

Advanced Penetration Testing (APT)

Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT-Master)

Certified Network Defense Architect (CNDA)

If you are a CEH and wondering what is your level, you've joined an exclusive club of experts from all over the world. The CEH Practical or becoming an EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (E|CSA) is the next step.

CEH Practical Certification

CEH Practical is a 6-hour exam in which you must demonstrate your knowledge and capabilities in ethical hacking techniques such as:

Scanners for ports (e.g., Nmap, Hping)

Detection of vulnerabilities

Attacks against a computer system (e.g., DoS, DDoS, session hijacking, webserver and web application attacks, SQL injection, wireless threats)

Methodology and avoidance tactics for SQL injection

Security tools for web applications (e.g., Acunetix WVS)

Detecting SQL Injection Tools (e.g., IBM Security AppScan)

Protocols for communication

How much does a beginner ethical hacker earn?

A Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) at entry-level with less than 1 year of experience can expect to make an average total salary of $493,813 (including tips, bonus, and overtime pay). While, an early career Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) with 1-4 years of experience gets an average total salary of $487,220.

What is the first step to being an ethical hacker?

Many ethical hackers begin their careers by earning a bachelor's degree in computer science. You can also get an A+ certification (CompTIA), which requires passing two additional tests. These exams assess a person's understanding of computer components as well as their ability to disassemble and reassemble a computer.

How long does it take to be an ethical hacker?

The duration to becoming a Certified Ethical hacker depends entirely on the knowledge and experience level of the individual. Learning might take anything between 18 months and six years. It will most likely take six years if you have no prior hacking or coding experience. If you already know how to code, a certified ethical hacker (CEH) course and exam can be completed in as little as five days.


Cyberwarfare is exceedingly widespread, and many high-profile companies have experienced big hacking incidents. In today's world, global spending on IT security has surpassed the trillion-dollar threshold. No better way to counteract the menace of black-hat hacking than to enlist the help of a host of white-hat hackers.


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