Professional hackers protect computer systems from hazardous invasions by preventing malevolent hackers from being able to access the network system and do damage. This job requires dedication, formal training, initiative, motivation and continued self-education, but if you’re up for the task you can have a great career.
The first step to become a professional hacker is to learn about all the career options, and see where the job opportunities are. Get career information from banks, financial institutions, government organizations, military establishments and private companies, and see what the basic requirements are. You must decide whether you want to specialize in hardware or software, as they require different types of knowledge and training. It would be wise to analyze your strengths and weaknesses when making this decision.
Formal training starts with basic programming language knowledge such as C or Java, so you can read and write code. You’ll also need to learn the ins and outs of the Mac OS, Windows and UNIX operating systems if you haven’t already. Then you’ll be ready to take a professional course in ethical hacking or Internet security and begin doing your own work at home, so you can gain experience controlling situations with hardware and software. And most importantly, you must get professional certifications after completing your formal training, so you are able to apply for the best jobs and get hired. Throughout your career you will also need to continue your education and remain connected to the ethical hacking community to stay on top of your game.
The salaries for professional hackers can be quite lucrative. Security engineers earn an average of $69,018 to $101,541; security consultants make $47,166 to $90,798; Certified Ethical Hackers earn $56,930 to $80,981; security administrators make $64,964 to $85,424 and computer security specialists bring home an average of $63,250 to $102,310 per year. To find more information about how to become a professional hacker, seek out companies or agencies that already employ professional hackers, and speak with their human resources department.