Ethical Hacker Salary (2024): What You'll Make and Why

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

The typical ethical hacker salary is based on your knowledge and understanding of cybersecurity, computer programming, computer networks, and more. Certifications and experience can boost your salary as an ethical hacker in just a short time.

[Featured image] Ethical hacker searches for holes in a computer system using three monitors.

According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for an ethical hacker in the UK is £53,260, [1]. Yet IT Tech Jobs puts the average salary a little higher at £60,000, also in October 2022 [2]. How much you earn will depend on several factors, including your level of experience, education, industry, company, location, and whether you have relevant certifications.

Common factors that impact earning potential

The wide pay range for an ethical hacker suggests there may be many opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on certifications, skill level, education, location, experience, and expertise.


One of the most impactful factors in determining your salary potential is experience. Ethical hackers may receive a bump in pay every year or two they’re employed. According to Payscale, an entry-level ethical hacker may earn an average of £25,000 in their first year, while their pay raises £39,000 with one to four years of experience [3]. 


Generally speaking, more education tends to correlate with higher salaries. Of the ethical hacker job openings posted on ITJobsWatch, 46 per cent cited a need for a degree [2]. Common fields of study for ethical hackers pursuing a bachelor’s degree include:

  • Computer science

  • Network engineering

  • Information security

Earning your master’s degree can typically help you command a higher salary as well.


Ethical hacking employers look for a variety of skills. Being able to bring a range of expertise to your role can help your salary negotiations. Common qualifications listed in ethical hacker postings include:

  • Cybersecurity

  • Information security

  • Management information systems

  • Network security

  • Linux

  • Cyber threats

  • Windows

  • SEIM

  • Penetration testing

Employers also look for, and may reward, strong analytical, communication, and problem-solving skills.


IT Tech Jobs, which also breaks down salary information by region, found the following distinctions for the six months up to August 2023 [2]:

EnglandLondonWork from HomeScotlandNorthern Ireland

Relevant certifications

A common certification in this field is the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) credential issued by the EC-Council. In its 12th iteration in 2022, the CEH demonstrates you have learned:

  • Ethical hacking in a structured setting across 20 domains

  • Participated in challenge-based, hands-on labs 

  • Gained experience with over 500 unique attack techniques

  • Been exposed to commercial-grade hacking tools and techniques

The EC-Council also offers a Master CEH credential and training in Mobile Ethical Hacking.

Other popular certifications in ethical hacking include:

  • CompTIA Security+ covers a broad range of knowledge about troubleshooting and problem-solving a variety of issues, including networking, mobile devices, and security.

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is offered by (ISC)² and demonstrates your proficiency in designing, implementing, and managing cybersecurity programmes.

  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) is offered by ISACA and is designed to prove your expertise in IS/IT auditing, control and security.

Next steps

If you’re interested in starting a career in cybersecurity, consider the Google Cybersecurity Professional Certificate on Coursera. This program is designed ​​to help individuals with no previous experience find their first job in the field of cybersecurity, all at their own pace. The courses cover topics such as security models, tools that are used to access and address threats, networks, and more. 

Article sources


Glassdoor. “Ethical hacker salaries in the United Kingdom,,14.htm/.” Accessed August 4, 2023.

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.