As cyber security threats continue to rise across the world, so does the importance of ethical hacking as a way to detect vulnerabilities in computer systems that could potentially be exploited by malicious attackers. If you’re interested in this branch of information security, an ethical hacking apprenticeship is an excellent way to gain practical experience as you collaborate with and learn from other cyber security professionals.
If you are interested in an ethical hacking career, this is the guide for you. In it, we discuss the best apprenticeship options for you to consider, the average ethical hacking apprenticeship salary, and the types of jobs you’ll gain access to if you pursue this career path. Let’s dive in.
Find Your Bootcamp Match
- Career Karma matches you with top tech bootcamps
- Access exclusive scholarships and prep courses
Why Do an Apprenticeship in Ethical Hacking?
There are many reasons why an apprenticeship in ethical hacking might benefit your career, especially if you’re passionate about cyber security. An ethical hacking apprenticeship allows novice hackers to learn practical skills on-the-job and experience the day-to-day of working in a company alongside other cyber security professionals and tackling real life projects.
As an apprentice, you will have a qualified tutor who will provide you with ethical hacking training and teach you the core knowledge and key skills required for the position. Another advantage to doing apprenticeships is that you will be compensated financially while you learn.
Top Reasons to Pursue an Ethical Hacking Apprenticeship
Learning ethical hacking is an excellent way to launch a successful career in cyber security, earn a healthy salary, and find long-term job security. Keep reading to learn some of the main reasons why getting into hacking through an apprenticeship might benefit you.
- You will learn to think like a hacker. As an apprentice, you will work detecting weak spots and develop protection systems against breaches to an organization’s systems before a malicious hacker causes any damage. Working in a real-life setting will help you understand a hacker’s mindset and strategies, giving you an advantage in the field.
- You will get paid to learn. As an apprentice, you will earn a salary while you go through ethical hacking training. This means that you will effectively be paid to develop a new skillset.
- You will learn from experienced professionals. During your apprenticeship, a tutor will explain and supervise your tasks. They will also be available to provide support and career guidance as you learn.
Best Ethical Hacking Apprenticeships
Joining an ethical hacking apprenticeship program is one of the best ways to become a skilled professional. Typically, ethical hacking is part of the broader curriculum of cyber security apprenticeships. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best apprenticeship programs to help you launch your ethical hacking career.
City College of San Francisco Cyber Security Apprenticeship Program
This cyber security apprenticeship is an 18-month program where apprentices complete 40 hours of on-the-job learning and up to 8 hours of instruction per week. The salary for this apprenticeship, which is endorsed by the California Department of Apprenticeship Standards, is $39 an hour.
Before taking this program, you must take a series of pre-apprenticeship courses. Classes include Intro to Networking, Intro to Cisco Networks, Intro to Network Security, Domain Name Systems Security, Command Line, and Intro to Linux/Unix.
Microsoft Cyber Security Engineer Apprenticeship
The Microsoft Cyber Security Engineer Apprenticeship helps you certify your knowledge and will open the door to any company in the United States. The learning method is based on classroom study with hands-on engineering projects.
As part of a team of experienced cyber experts, you’ll work on some of Microsoft’s most recognizable products, such as Azure, Xbox, Bing, and Office365. You will learn to conduct security assessments, penetration testing, and how to secure networks.
This three-year program allows you to design your own apprenticeship experience based on your interests, involvement, and objectives. The program applies an innovative method: induction bootcamp with three-month exposure rotations and degree modules to build a solid technical foundation. The average salary for this job at Cisco is $124,755.
Language Acquisition Research Foundation Cyber Security Support Technician Apprenticeship
This program is designed to last for two years, during which you will complete a minimum of 780 hours of instruction and over 4000 hours of on-the-job learning. Apprentices progress through various salaries until reaching a final wage of $35 per hour.
During this apprenticeship, you will learn how to assess system vulnerabilities, detect security risks, and implement risk mitigation strategies. There’s also a possibility that you will work directly responding to security breaches and dealing with viruses.
How to Get an Ethical Hacking Apprenticeship: Step by Step
Getting an ethical hacking apprenticeship is pretty straightforward. You need to learn the basics of the field, research for opportunities, and apply to the ones that match your career goals. Keep reading to see a step-by-step breakdown to help you land your dream apprenticeship.
Learn the Basics of Ethical Hacking
In order to get your foot in the door, you will need to have a firm grasp of the basics of penetration testing and ethical hacking, or at least some foundational knowledge of coding. The good news is you can learn ethical hacking by using free online courses and other online resources at your own pace and without making any financial investment.
Gain Some Experience
Even though apprenticeship programs are designed to educate you and provide you with practical experience, having practical experience can help you stand out, or might even be a requirement depending on the program. You can use sites such as Google Gruyere and HackThisSite, which were designed as training grounds where novice hackers can learn the basics and complete simple projects.
Research Apprenticeship Opportunities
Apprenticeships take many forms. In the case of ethical hacking, you’re more likely to find programs that teach cyber security and have a hacking component. Make sure to spend time doing your research, reach out and ask questions about a program if it looks like it might be a good fit, and expand your search beyond ethical hacking so you can find more varied opportunities.
Send Your Application
Once you find a program that fits your goals and make sure you fulfill all the basic requirements, it’s time to put together an application. Make sure that you will have the necessary time to complete your work hours as well as your training hours. It’s best if you apply to various openings, as this will increase your chances of successfully landing a role.
Ethical Hacking Apprenticeship Salary
According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for a cyber security apprentice is $84,896 per year. This is the closest match, as they do not have information on the average ethical hacking apprenticeship salary. Fully qualified ethical hackers earn an average annual salary of $135,269. The wages of ethical hackers depend on many factors, including the company, location, skill level, and job duties.
Ethical Hacking Apprenticeship Requirements
The typical ethical hacking apprenticeship requirements vary depending on the program and organization. Entry requirements generally include a certification or relevant experience in a related field, as well as professional recommendations. Applicants must generally be over 18 years old and have completed highschool or obtained a GED.
If you want a headstart as an applicant, you can opt for an ethical hacking bootcamp to hone your skills in technology, written communication, problem-solving, and research. This broad range of skills will demonstrate to potential employers that you have what it takes to be an ethical hacker apprentice.
Types of Ethical Hacking Apprenticeships
If you are eying a career as an ethical hacker, there is a wide variety of apprenticeships that can give you the training you need. You can attend apprenticeships for cyber security analysts, security engineers, incident response analysts, and vulnerability assessors. We take an in-depth look at each of these professions below.
Cyber Security Analyst
The cyber security analyst monitors and investigates potential security threats in a company’s IT networks. This professional must detect the danger and suppress it. They also eliminate the risks of cyber attacks, whether in the form of ransomware or phishing. The average salary for a cyber security analyst is $99,732 per year, according to ZipRecruiter.
The main tasks of the cyber security analyst are installing basic network security systems, firewalls, and encryption tools to protect the databases. The role also involves reporting security breaches or weak spots to avoid viruses entering the system. This analyst investigates IT trends to update security policies.
The cyber security engineer must strengthen the protection structure of the company against security breaches. These cyber security professionals are tasked with building the systems that will protect a company’s data and network. They must also monitor and implement security controls. The average annual salary for a security engineer is $99,907, according to Glassdoor.
Incident Response Analyst
An incident response analyst attends to any emergency security incidents in the company. In other words, the job of this professional consists of offering a quick and effective response to counteract a cyber threat. The average salary for an incident response analyst is $104,775, according to ZipRecruiter.
A vulnerability assessor is in charge of guiding the IT staff of the company in implementing new software updates and improving the firewall system of the internal network. This professional must also analyze existing security systems and provide the company with solutions to improve and optimize them. The average annual salary for a vulnerability assessor is $98,997, according to ZipRecruiter.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
Alternatives to an Apprenticeship: Other Ways to Learn Ethical Hacking
If you want to learn ethical hacking, there are various paths you can follow. Keep reading to find out the best alternatives to apprenticeships to help you master ethical hacking and get you ready to start hunting for job opportunities.
Ethical Hacking Bootcamps
An excellent way to master this subject is to enroll in an ethical hacking bootcamp. In a bootcamp, you will master fundamental technical skills to face any cyber attack situation and set up ransomware prevention systems. These institutes will teach you about ethical hacking, but you can also take software engineering, data science, machine learning, or UI/UX design programs.
Bootcamps offer short, intensive learning programs designed to equip you with relevant skills and get you job-ready in a few months. Attending a penetration testing bootcamp is also an excellent way to kickstart your career in this industry.
Ethical Hacking Internships
In an ethical hacking internship, you will learn and perform key tasks for a tech company, such as cyber threat monitoring, cloud security, and identity and access management. Completing an internship is normally a component of a college degree. Internships usually consist of on-the-job learning for approximately six months and can be paid or unpaid depending on the company.
Trade schools, also known as tech or technical schools, prepare students for technical careers with a focus on the practical skills needed for that particular occupation. Attending an ethical hacking trade school is an efficient way of getting the training you need for a cyber security career.
Where to Find Ethical Hacker Apprenticeships
Finding ethical hacker apprenticeships can be tricky, especially if you don’t know where to look. It’s usually best to look for cyber security apprenticeships that have a strong ethical hacking component. See below to see some of our recommended sites to help you during your search.
- CyberSecurityJobs.com. This site is a dedicated recruitment platform for cyber security employers and job seekers. It offers a wide range of specialized positions and a search option to help you narrow down your choices.
- Apprenti. Apprenti is a site dedicated to connecting talent with organizations, and focuses exclusively on apprenticeships for the tech industry.
- ApprenticeshipUSA. This is a site run by the US Department of Labor and designed to connect career seekers, employers, and education partners. It has a section dedicated exclusively to cyber security.
- ApprenticePath. This site helps apprenticeship applicants make informed decisions and connect with the right program in the right company. It has a wide range of cyber security apprenticeship options.
What to Do After Your Ethical Hacking Apprenticeship
Once you complete your ethical hacking apprenticeship, you will have gained the skills and experience needed to start your career. If you performed well, make sure to ask your tutor or manager for a recommendation letter, which will be very helpful in your job search. Make sure to also update your resume with all the skills you picked up and projects that you worked on, which can help you secure your next ethical hacking job.
When searching for ethical hacking entry level jobs, make sure to place emphasis on the aspects of the apprenticeship that you excelled in and enjoyed the most. If you wish, you can also opt for freelance ethical hacking jobs, which can give you a greater degree of freedom in your career.
What Kind of Job Can I Get With an Ethical Hacking Apprenticeship?
After you complete your apprenticeship, you will gain access to a variety of ethical hacking jobs. Below is a table with some of the options that will become available to you.
|Cyber Security Analyst||$78,403|
|Information Security Analyst||$75,123|
Is an Ethical Hacking Apprenticeship Worth It?
Yes, an ethical hacking apprenticeship is a career opportunity that can guarantee your professional and financial success thanks to the on-the-job training you will receive and the cyber security skills that you will learn. In addition, these programs will help you expand your network in the industry and may lead to full-time positions.
As the tech industry grows, companies are investing more in digital security systems, privacy, and data management platforms. Jobs in the cyber security industry are expected to grow by 35% by 2031, which is much faster than most occupations. With the experience and knowledge gained from an ethical hacking apprenticeship, you will have access to jobs in large tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.
Ethical Hacking Apprenticeship FAQ
The best way to get into hacking is by using free resources online to learn the basics and start practicing your skills. Start with understanding the fundamentals of coding, and then you can use sites designed to train novice hackers through simple projects, such as Google Gruyere and HackThisSite.
How much does an ethical hacking bootcamp cost?
According to the latest State of the Bootcamp Market Report from Career Karma, the average coding bootcamp cost $11,727 in 2020. However, some ethical hacking bootcamps can cost up to $24,000.
What’s the difference between ethical hacking and penetration testing?
The main difference between ethical hacking and penetration testing is that the scope of the former is much broader. While pen testers typically focus on a specific aspect of an information system or test for specific vulnerabilities, ethical hackers are in charge of identifying vulnerabilities on a system as a whole.
What are common ethical hacking tools?
The most common ethical hacking tools include Nmap, a tool used for network auditing, Burp Suite, which is a platform used for testing web applications, and Metasploit Framework, a pen testing tool used to identify vulnerabilities in an information system.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.