CEH certification cost depends on several factors. You can secure a test voucher for $950 through the EC-Council, but that’s not the end of the story.
There are administration, application, renewal, and other associated fees. This voucher enables test takers to take the test, however, many test takers are also required to take an official course prep course prior to registering for the exam. These test prep courses are an added cost with a very wide range of pricing options depending on the type of preparation course you enroll in.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of the many pathways you can take to write the exam and their related costs.
About Certified Ethical Hacker
CEH is a 125 multiple-choice exam covering 20 domains to be completed in less than four hours. The issuing company, EC-Council, is a world-renowned cyber security certification and education company offering certifications on various cyber security-related specialties.
To be clear, in this article, we’ll detail CEH (ANSI) as opposed to CEH (Practical). Passing either exam will grant you CEH; however, ANSI is multiple choice, while Practical is a capture-the-flag style exam. For the rest of the article, we’ll simply refer to CEH (ANSI) as CEH.
Unless you have adequate work experience, you must take a course provided by EC-Council or an official partner course administered by an authorized training center (ATC).
EC-Council’s three intensive courses are:
You may also take EC-Council’s eCourseware course, an $850 self-paced program that does not include the exam voucher.
Even if you feel you’re already equipped with the skills necessary to pass CEH, EC-Council still requires all test takers to enroll in an official training course prior to taking the exam or prove they have a bonafide professional paid background in cyber security.
Training is offered through EC-Counci’s training platform iClass, or via an authorized training center (ATC).
ATCs can be found in over 140 countries as well as at many colleges and universities.
If you opt to train with EC-Council, you have various learning options ranging from online self-paced training to live in-person training.
EC-Council’s most intensive course is a five-day, 40-hour bootcamp that will teach you the skills you need to know to pass CEH. To enroll in a CEH course, you do not need prior cyber security experience.
Each EC-council course (except for eCourseware) offers the following:
- Exam voucher
- Unlimited exam retakes
- 6 months of official labs
- CEH practice
- Global CEH Challenge
- Exam prep
- CEH Practical exam voucher
- Ethical hacking library
Should you already have two years of experience in cyber security, you may be allowed to forgo taking the test-prep. To prove their professional background, applicants must provide evidence of their experience in one of the following fields:
- Information security and pentesting
- Reconnaissance techniques
- System hacking phases and attack techniques
- Network and perimeter hacking
- Web app hacking
- Wireless network hacking
- Mobile platform, IoT, and OT hacking
- Cloud computing
Applicants who forgo the course are required to pay a $100 eligibility application fee. The $100 application fee will not be refunded if you do not qualify.
The CEH certification cost depends on many variables.
If you signed up for a CEH test prep course, you will be provided a test voucher. You still, however, have to pay $100 per exam for the administration fee. If you qualified for the exam via your professional background, you’re required to pay $1,199 for the exam plus a $100 application fee.
To retake the exam, the cost of the retake voucher depends on whether you enrolled in an official exam prep course. Those that did only have to pay the $100 administration fee. If you didn’t enroll in the course, you must apply for a retake and pay $499 for a retake voucher.
Once obtained, your CEH certification is valid for three years.
To renew your certification, you will have to earn 120 continuing education credits (ECE) within three years.
Credits may be earned via:
- Attending conferences
- Writing research papers
- Training students in a related topic
- Taking a newer version of the exam
- Attending webinars
- Reading IT-related resources
EC-Council also requires a $80 yearly membership fee.
The time you need to prepare depends on your current knowledge of the pentesting topics you’ll be tested on.
If you’re new to pentesting and decide to take EC-Council’s Live and in-person prep course, you may spend as little as five full days studying for the exam.
If you diligently study, have limited pentesting knowledge, and take a self-paced course, it may take two to four months of studying five days a week to feel prepared for the exam.
Should you already have some knowledge of pentesting, consider taking an assessment test to identify areas of improvement and zeroing in on those areas. If you’re already familiar with the test domains, you may only need a few weeks to prepare.
Return on Investment
Having the CEH certification on your resume communicates to employers that you have baseline pentesting knowledge. Many employers request the CEH certification. HR teams often will use this certification to quickly filter through candidates.
After an Indeed search, we found 1,979 US jobs requiring candidates to have the CEH certification.
There are a multitude of jobs that CEH qualifies you for. Here is a brief list of the most popular positions along with the average salaries.
- Cyber Security Analyst - $88,290
- Cyber Security Engineer - $110,546
- Information Security Analyst - $79,483
- Information Security Engineer - $104,406
- Information Security Manager - $119,121
- Penetration Tester - $99,218
- Security Analyst - $72,877
- Security Consultant - $103,401
- Security Engineer - $101,228
- Senior Security Consultant - $121,626
Keep in mind that these are the average salaries for this job role. Each role will have a wide range depending on experience and other certifications you may hold. Few of these jobs will have salaries this high at an entry-level.
Once you’ve obtained CEH, you may consider taking a more advanced pentesting or cyber security certification. Consider:
- Pentest+ (CompTIA’s more advanced alternative to the CEH)
- CEH Practical (EC-Council’s hands-on pentesting certification)
- OSCP (Offensive Security industry-standard ethical hacking certification)
- CISSP - ((ISC)2’s advanced generalist cyber security certification)
The price of CEH depends on the voucher you purchase.
The Pearson VUE Center voucher is $1,199. Purchasing the voucher via EC-Council costs $950.
As a reminder, all applicants must pay a $100 administration fee per attempt. If you have not taken an official prep course, you must also pay a $100 application fee.
Should you take an official course, you may have the voucher and application fee waived.
Once you have certification, you’re required to pay a yearly membership fee of $80.
You may also have to pay to renew the exam. This number will vary greatly depending on how you choose to renew.
|CEH Voucher Price||Free - $1,199 (depending on training option)|
|Administration Fee||$100 per attempt|
|Application Fee||Free - $100 (depending on training option)|
|Yearly Membership Fee||$80|
|Official Prep Course||$850 - $3,499 (depending on training option)|
As you can see, the costs associated with CEH vary wildly depending on whether you take a test-prep course and which test-prep course you take.
If you have two years of experience, the certification could total $1230, including the first-year fee.
Going with the most expensive training option, including the first-year membership and administration fee, you can look to pay $3679.
You may consider taking the following unofficial courses to help prepare for the exam.