Who are the Highest Paid Ethical Hackers in the World?

Read it in 7 Mins

Last updated on
04th Aug, 2022
04th Aug, 2022
Who are the Highest Paid Ethical Hackers in the World?

Ethical hacking essentially involves a regulated attempt to obtain unauthorized access to computer systems to explore security vulnerabilities using different hacking tools and techniques and resolve them before any malicious attacker takes advantage of it. For example, an organization's valuable data could be hacked to tarnish its reputation, leading to heavy monetary losses. That's where ethical hacking comes to the rescue. 

An ethical hacker is a security expert who conducts these assessments with the organization's prior approval to test and enhance the system's security defenses and prevent data breaches. They probe the system thoroughly to determine the existing vulnerabilities and then come up with solutions to improve the system's security so it can withstand or divert any malicious cyber-attacks.

Ethical hackers have witnessed tremendous growth over the last couple of years and are in demand. Besides, the income range of ethical hackers is quite impressive, with organizations ready to pay a huge sum to maintain their system security. This guide will discuss the highest paid ethical hacker, the skillset needed to be a successful ethical hacker, the reasons behind their rising demand, and more. So, let's dive in.

Who Is the Highest Paid Ethical Hacker?

According to surveys, ethical hackers receive the highest paycheck at companies in San Francisco (around $150,000) and the lowest pay by companies in Minneapolis (around $97,000). On the other hand, the average salary for a CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) in the US is around $90,000 per annum. It can go over $120,000 for experienced professionals who hold a top ethical hacking certification.

Skills That Make Ethical Hacking Career Lucrative

Having just a bachelor's degree in computer science, cyber security, or other related fields is not enough. Your skill and technical expertise in this sphere will greatly help you get the highest paid ethical hacker employment opportunities. Developing the in-demand skillset is the perfect way to seek a lucrative salary as an expert. 

You must concentrate on understanding the trending skills in this field and those that offer good pay. When it comes to popularity, the skills that are most popular among ethical hackers are network management, Linux, cybersecurity, IT infrastructure, and security. 

Network security management is the most monetarily beneficial skill set for an ethical hacker as it extends 59% higher pay than the average pay scale. Meanwhile, IT infrastructure and security offer 9% higher pay than the average pay. The other skills that ethical hackers should possess include understanding cryptography and encryption techniques, proficiency in cracking different passwords, and awareness of the common types of cyberattacks like trojans, phishing, and more.

If you want to apply to a prestigious organization, it is important to brush up on your skills and enrich your knowledge. Enrolling in the best certs for cyber security can help you learn the essential hacking skills and techniques and become a skilled and confident professional. Most organizations hire certified professionals who hold at least one reliable certification. Know more about free apps to learn ethical hacking

Are Ethical Hackers in Demand?

Like other network and computer security roles, the demand for ethical hackers is high and is only rising as the cost and severity of cyberattacks surge. Organizations that take cybersecurity seriously don't just protect their customer and company data but also secure a competitive edge over others in their sector that have not done so. In fact, organizations in desperate need of certified and skilled ethical hackers are even willing to shell out a premium amount. In India, the average salary of an ethical hacker is about Rs 5 lakh per annum. However, the amount can go up to Rs 10 lakh per annum depending on the skill, experience, location, and company.

Highest Paying Companies for Ethical Hackers

There are many companies worldwide that pay a lucrative wage to ethical hackers. However, the top ten highest paying companies for ethical hackers are 

1. Tesla h3

As per Glassdoor, Tesla pays an average salary of around $167,552 per annum to ethical hackers, which is 39% higher compared to the average yearly salary of the ethical hackers working in the US.

2. Lenovo

Lenovo pays an average yearly salary of about $145,745 to ethical hackers. It also offers numerous employee benefits, including paid holidays, health insurance, employee assistance, etc. 

3. Bank of America

The ethical hackers at Bank of America earn an average yearly salary of $158,947. The employees also receive other benefits like a retirement plan, a 401k plan, paid leave, etc. 

4. Google

According to Glassdoor, Google pays an average yearly salary of about $120,000 to its ethical hackers. It also extends other employee benefits such as tuition assistance, performance bonuses, health insurance, etc. 

5. IBM

IBM pays an average annual salary of about $110,457 to its ethical hackers. The employees also benefit from other packages like retirement plans, disability benefits, etc.

6. HackerRank

HackerRank pays an average yearly salary of around $116,355 to its ethical hackers, which is 13% higher compared to the average yearly salary of the ethical hackers working in the US. 

7. Little Caesars

Little Caesars pays an average annual salary of around $110,457 to its ethical hackers. Employees also receive other generous benefits like retirement plans, life insurance, etc.

8. Test

The ethical hackers at Test receive an average yearly salary of around $102,931. They also get childcare services, employee assistance, life insurance, etc. 

8. US Army

The ethical hackers at the US Army receive an average yearly salary of around $96,000, alongside other benefits like health insurance, paid leave, etc. 

9. Stellantis

As per Glassdoor, Stellantis pays its ethical hackers an average yearly salary of around $122,159. They also get other benefits like medical insurance, relocation assistance, etc. 

Which Locations Have the Highest Paying Ethical Hackers?

The popular cities in the US that have highest paying ethical hackers include Washington, ($67,000 - $126,121), San Antonio ($51,456 - $90,999), New York ($50,143 - $124,608), Atlanta ($49,550 - $110,936), and San Diego ($76,754 - $121,694). 

Meanwhile, the popular cities in India that offer the highest paid ethical hacker employment opportunities are Mumbai (Rs 218,305 - Rs 1,072,867), Bangalore (Rs 256,635 - Rs 1,133,880), Pune (Rs 254,028 - Rs 1,043,389), Chennai (Rs 241,957 - Rs 913,540), and Hyderabad (Rs 236,718 - Rs 982,635).

Why Is the Demand for Ethical Hacking So High?

As security threats and risks keep rising, there is an increasing need for solid security measures. Nearly all businesses are affected due to cyberattacks. In fact, the price of information breaches reached $4.24mn in 2021, which is 10% higher compared to the year before. For this reason, the demand for ethical hacking is so high.

Business owners these days recruit security experts to keep their sensitive data in the minds and hands of professionals whose job consists of safeguarding this very data. Moreover, organizations who invest in cybersecurity also ensure that they are one step ahead of their competitors as they go that extra mile just to make sure that they don't experience any security lapses.

Another major reason organizations are giving importance to cybersecurity is the rise in the use of cloud computing by companies from all sectors. That not just places their complete business data on the web but even exposes it to security threats that crop up with irregular security updates. Additionally, budget allocations toward cybersecurity investment have increased rapidly, which further justifies the ever-growing demand for ethical hackers.

For tech enthusiasts looking for professional challenges and development, considering ethical hacking as a career can be a great option. If you wish to improve your analytical, computer, and problem-solving skills, you should obtain the knowledgehut top ethical hacking certification. That will also help you grab a good placement in the highly competitive ethical hacker employment landscape. 


Considering the points mentioned above, it is safe to say that ethical hacking is one of the most sought-after careers and has tremendous growth opportunities- for money and work both. If the information in this guide has cleared all your doubts associated with ethical hacking, then start your journey to becoming a successful ethical hacker today by choosing the right certification course that helps you master the latest ethical hacking techniques, tools, and skills.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the highest salary of an ethical hacker?

The annual salary of an ethical hacker in India starts at Rs 1.77 lakh and can go up to Rs 40 lakh. The bonus pay for this job role ranges between Rs 5,000 and Rs 2 lakh, while the shared profits can land up to around Rs 5.11 lakh. 

2. How much do ethical hackers get paid?

Early-career and entry-level ethical hackers make 2-5% less than the average pay rate. On the other hand, the late-career ones earn 447% over the average pay rate. In India, the ethical hackers who have less than one year of experience make an average annual income of Rs 4.93 lakh.

3. Who is the No. 1 ethical hacker in the world? 

Kevin Mitnick is the world's most famous, or rather No. 1 ethical hacker. Mitnick's Global Ghost Team holds a 100% success rate for penetrating any security system. He is regarded as a highly trusted security consultant today to governments globally and Fortune 500 companies.


Mounika Narang


Mounika Narang is a project manager having a specialisation in IT project management and Instructional Design. She has an experience of 10 years 
working with Fortune 500 companies to solve their most important development challenges. She lives in Bangalore with her family.