The Comprehensive CCNA Salary Roundup
CCNA or Cisco Certified Network Associate is considered to be one of the most popular certifications in computer networking, and it is the gateway certificate to a rewarding career in IT even if you haven’t been to college. Cisco has created this certification to gauge the competency of a professional in installing and supporting medium to large IP networks. Obtaining this certification means you have the basic skills network to build and maintain an enterprise network. Once you have obtained this cert, you will find there are other skill path doors opened to you, like CCNA-Security, CCNA-Voice and CCNA-Wireless to recognize specialty in a given area. There are also advanced certifications in the routing & switch path after CCNA like CCNP, or Cisco Certified Network Professional and CCIE, or Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert. The majority of those working in the IT networking industry opt to acquire the CCNA certification. Aside from looking good on your resume, it reinforces your requests when negotiating salary, as it is a concrete and measurable metric to point to. IT is a competitive sector and professionals are opting to get the certification to have an edge over others. A bachelor’s degree in computer or engineering is helpful, but in some markets it is not enough for those who want to later work as a senior network engineer and other related job titles. The best way to be ensure you are considered is to have a CCNA under your name.
CCNA Job Growth
The future looks bright for those who are planning to invest their time and effort on passing the CCNA. According the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment demand in the field of Network and Systems Administrators is expected to grow by 28% over the next decade (BLS, 2013). This is faster than average for the US economy. The demand for networking experts is growing due to increased demand on computer resources, the continue growth of the information-based economy, and company’s desire to safeguard their network from rising cyber-threats.The demand for this type of skilled worker is very high, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
CCNA Salary Growth
Growth in job demand equates to growth in salary. Network World’s “2013 IT salaries: 15 titles getting the biggest pay raises” shows Network Engineer as the #3 fastest growing IT salary in 2013, with an expected year-over-year salary increase of almost 8%.
Ok Ok Ok – So What Can We Actually Make?
So glad you asked. The first thing I would say is, IT DEPENDS. I know you don’t want to hear that, but it does entirely depend on your previous experience, what kind of work you are doing, what other certs you have, the company you work for, and your location. It’s obvious to most of you, but it does bear repeating: you get paid more in NYC or SF than in Wichita or Bangladesh. If you have 10 years of network experience at large organizations, you’re going to make double what someone brand new to IT is going to make, no matter what certs you have. That being said, I’m listing salaries from a lot of sources so that you can get a feel for the range. I encourage you to follow the links below and read up on the methodologies and maybe run a glassdoor or salary.com search for the job title in the city at the company you are considering.
The RobertHalf Technology Salary Guide PDF has the best insight on this – they show on page 16 the local variances. On Long Island, NYC your salary should be 40% higher than the base estimate given, and in Savannah, Georgia your salary would be 20% less than base. So look up your geography and adjust expectations accordingly.
Ok, now on to the salaries:
[Lower Estimate Chart - Use this for comparison for new/beginning network engineers, for small networks, and for very low cost-of-living areas.]
[Upper Estimate Chart - Use this for comparison for experienced network engineers, for large and complex networks, and for urban areas.]
Sources and Links
Note on methodology – all these salary guides and sources look at things a little differently. We just used our best judgement, so it is suggested that you investigate each of them. We looked for CCNA salary info where available, and if not available, we used Network Engineer as the next most preferable guide, looking at brand-new NEs for the low end if available, and experienced (10 years experience, etc.) for the high end.