A Certified Professional Hacker (CEH) credential is an independent professional certification provided by the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC-Council), which is a member-supported organization that educates and certifies IT security professionals all over the world.

The CEH certification is a security certification for professionals in the IT industry who are either contracted by or employees of an organization that has hired them to find and attempt to exploit security vulnerabilities in their systems. The objective is to find (and fix) vulnerabilities in the company’s data or systems before a malicious hacker or criminal is able to.

CEH Certification Exam Overview

  • Certification Provider: the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC-Council)
  • Number of Questions: 125
  • Question Style: Multiple Choice
  • Length of Test: Four Hours
  • Average Passing Rate: Not Published

Salary Range for CEH Professionals

The average salary for a CEH credential holder in the United States is $71,331. However, data is difficult to come by because many CEH professionals work on a contract or per-project basis, as opposed to being permanent full-time employees.

Common IT careers associated with the CEH certification and their estimated 2015 salary ranges include:

  • Information Systems Security Manager: $122,250 – $171,250
  • Data Security Analyst: $106,250 – $149,000
  • Network Security Engineer: $105,750 – $141,250
  • Systems Security Administrator: $100,750 – $140,250
  • Network Security Administrator: $99,250 – $138,750

Who Needs a CEH Certification?

CEH certifications are sought after freelance IT security contractors, security analysts, and systems or network security administrators.

Certified Ethical Hackers are professionals within the information technology industry who have a strong interest or skillset within the security field. Some object to the term “hacker,” and would rather simply be known as a security analyst or manager.

Common Job Titles for PMP Certified Professionals

  • Data Security Analyst
  • Network Security Analyst
  • Systems Security Analyst
  • Data Security Manager
  • Network Security Manager
  • Systems Security Manager
  • Information Systems Security Manager
  • IT Security Consultant
  • Information Security Consultant

Prerequisites and Additional Qualifications for the CEH Exam

The PMP exam covers seven general subject areas with a multitude of individual skills within them. In addition to having knowledge of the skill areas listed below, applicants must have attended a training course approved by the EC-Council or have met requirements for self-study eligibility.

The five domains covered in the CEH are:

  • Background (4% of the CEH exam)
  • Analysis/Assessment (13% of the CEH exam)
  • Security (25% of the CEH exam)
  • Tools/Systems/Programs (32% of the CEH exam)
  • Procedures and Methodology (20% of the CEH exam)
  • Regulation and Policy (4% of the CEH exam)
  • Ethics (2% of the CEH exam)

CEH candidates are expected to have a working knowledge all seven areas.

CEH Exam Prerequisites

The PMI requires that candidates applying for a PMP credential attend an official training course approved by the EC-Council. If an official training course is attended, no other prerequisites must be met in order to take the exam.

If an individual seeking a CEH certification chooses to “self-study” or take the exam without attending an official training, they must meet this prerequisites before applying to take the CEH exam:

  • Have two years of information security-related work experience
  • Demonstrate an educational background that reflects a specialization in information security
  • Pay an application review fee of $100 USD
  • Submit an official EC-Council Exam Eligibility Application Form
  • Purchase an official CEH exam voucher directly from the EC-Council

Maintaining a CEH Certification

A CEH certification must be renewed every three years by means of obtaining at least 120 EC-Council Continuing Education (ECE) points over the course of the previous three years.

Additional Details About the CEH

The United States Department of Defenst accepts the CEH certification as a qualifying job credential for a number of information security positions, as outlined by DoD 8570.01-M guidelines.

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