The CCNP salary varies greatly based on the job title, experience level, and track you chose when you became certified. Of course, someone that is brand new to the industry will not earn as much as someone that has 10 years of experience. This is the case regardless of certification. The more experience you have, the more responsibility you will have in a position, the higher your CCNP salary will be. For this reason, your certification level should rise with your experience level. There is no need to rush into the higher certifications as it won’t necessarily bring a higher salary.
A Cisco Certified Network Professional can pull in a very impressive salary. One of the things you have to take into account when you’re looking at salary figures for individuals that hold this certification is that they are qualified for a variety of jobs. To a great extent, the amount of money that an individual with a CCNP certification will hold will depend upon the actual job title they have at their workplace. Because of the broad range of qualifications these individuals have, it’s not uncommon to see people with these certifications working at the highest levels of administration within an organization and, when they are starting out, at the lowest levels.
CCNP Salary – Starting Out
For a Cisco Certified Network Professional at an entry level of employment, the CCNP salary levels are generally quite a bit higher than what one would expect without the certification. It’s reasonable to expect an average salary of about $50,000 per year in US dollars for entry-level positions in management and network engineering.
As the level of experience goes up for the individual, so does the CCNP salary. The certification is also specific and respected enough that the people who hold it can oftentimes easily work their way up within the structure of the company to a better position. At the highest levels, someone working as a Cisco Certified Network Professional and holding a title that puts them in charge of a department, such as a senior network administrator, can pull in a six-figure salary over the course of the year. The average range tops out at just under $120,000 per year. Of course, depending upon the individual’s situation and their length of time serving a particular company, the salary level may go higher than this.
This is especially accurate if you have some IT experience in a different but similar job role. For example, if you are a server administrator and want to move into the networking side, you are very valuable to an organization. The simple reason is you are in the unique position to see the full picture of an IT infrastructure. This makes troubleshooting, planning, and day-to-day administration much easier.
The CCNP salary can take a pretty drastic jump after you gain a few years of experience and hold the certification for that long. An individual with the certification and this much experience in a large network setting, can demand a much higher salary. At this level, you should expect to earn around $80,000 per year and receive the typical salary increments into you reach the senior level. Much like a junior networking person, the more relevant IT experience you have the faster you are considered mid-level. This is regardless of what type of IT experience. Even something as mundane as a help desk position adds to your overall experience.
CCNP Salary – High Level
Once you reach 8+ years of experience your CCNP salary will be to the maximum. Individuals with this much experience and the CCNP certification should expect a CCNP salary of well over $100k per year. Simply, you are qualified to hold any technical position within 90+% of the world’s largest companies. Within this role you should expect to be in charge of a large global networking from top to bottom. You are the absolute expert in computer networking in general and especially with Cisco products. Once this level is obtained, it may make sense to study for the CCIE certification. This is the highest networking certification in the world.
The CCNP degree, to its advantage, makes an individual qualified for just about any type of networking work. Because the job market is currently less than optimal, many of the individuals who hold this degree end up working for contractors or starting out their own businesses. An individual that holds a Cisco Certified Network Professional certification can easily demand $50 an hour on a contract in a very competitive market. In a less competitive market, it’s not uncommon for them to charge much more than that. The certification gives the people for whom they are contracting a great deal of confidence in their abilities, and justly so.
There is also a very lucrative market for very high level CCNP’s to help architect new networks and resolve very complicated problems. If you don’t mind traveling and bouncing around to different companies, the high level contractors can earn in excess of $150 per hour.
In some cases, employers may be willing to foot the cost of getting a person with a network associate certification through the requisite education to get their network professional certification. The benefit to the employer, obviously, is that they get a loyal employee with a very high level of certification that eliminates almost all of the need to call in outside contractors for all but the most complex of jobs. While the network professional certification is not the highest level of certification offered by Cisco, there is no hard and fast ceiling on the amount of money that a person who holds it can pull it over the course of a year.
In addition, the employer may not raise your CCNP salary immediately which would save them money. If the above CCNP salaries are much more than you are earning now, the employer will save money until you catch up. Often at a rate of 5% per year, this could take a considerable amount of time. For this reason, give it a lot of thought before you accept training from your employer, especially if you are required to sign a contract. The CCNP salary you could obtain from a different employer may more than make up for the perk of receiving free training.