Red Hat Certification

  1. Red Hat Certification Information
  2. RHCA
  3. RHCDS
  4. RHCE
  5. RHCSA
  6. RHCSS
  7. Certificates of Expertise






Red Hat’s stable of certifications are some of the most in-demand Linux certifications on the market and, with Linux reportedly making steady inroads into market share, look certain to remain that way. Red Hat certifications provide a good vehicle for candidates to demonstrate their Linux system administration abilities and, because of the relative difficulty in passing a Red Hat exam, candidates who invest both the time and money to pursue RH credentials can sleep safe in the knowledge that Red Hat certifications have, and will continue to have, a good reputation in the marketplace.

Without a doubt the big selling point of a Red Hat certification is the fact that the exams are performance-based rather than multiple-choice or similar. This means that candidates are tested on their ability to install or configure a live system and will, during the exam, need to perform those tasks as they would in a real-world situation. Therefore all pursuers of Red Hat certifications will absolutely need to have hands-on knowledge and experience of Linux in general, and Red Hat systems in particular. As a result, braindumps and other, similar, study materials that have plagued other certification tracks are largely a non-issue with Red Hat certifications. This, in turn, is reflected by the level of respect Red Hat credentials have within the industry.

Red Hat offer a number of different Linux certification tracks that cater to various levels of Linux knowledge, although complete newcomers to Red Hat Linux, or Linux in general, should perhaps look to something like CompTIA’s Linux+ as a starting point.

Some of the more established, and popular, Red Hat certification tracks are:
  • Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) (formally the RHCT)
  • Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)
  • Red Hat Certified Datacenter Specialist (RHCDS)
  • Red Hat Certified Security Specialist (RHCSS)
  • Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA)
Indeed, Red Hat have been adding to their list of available certifications of late so for a full listing visit the Red Hat certifications page.

All of the exams for the various Red Hat certifications are performance-based meaning candidates will be tested on a live system - and because there is normally more than one way to accomplish any particular task candidates will be scored on the end result, not the means by which they arrived there.

While Red Hat exams don’t come cheap, they are, generally, longer in duration and therefore fewer in number (both the RCHSA and the RHCE are just one exam) - meaning the overall cost of the certification is quite reasonable. Failing and retaking an exam however can be a costly undertaking due to the high individual cost of each exam. In that light Red Hat do offer certain ‘specials’ that includes the cost of the exam, a retake voucher and formal training which might be worth considering. Keep an eye on Red Hat’s website for package deals when it’s time to book your exam.

Because all Red Hat exams are lab based they can only be taken at a Red Hat certified centre (check Red Hat’s website for your nearest facility). This is something you should also bear in mind when considering the total cost of your Red Hat certification as travel costs to the testing station may be quite expensive depending on where you live.

All Red Hat qualifications, with the exception of the ‘Certificates of Expertise’ are tied to the release that they were gained on or have a limited life-span which means recertification – yet another potential cost to keep in mind if you wish to remain Red Hat certified throughout your career.

For more information about each of the Red Hat certifications, use the respective links above. For free Red Hat study guides and other training resources, click here.