Perennially, Cisco's CCIE certification has been at or near the top of the salary list.
How Much Does a CCIE Make?
I bet that you've all heard (or asked) that question! Well, the answer is not an easy one and will depend on MANY different variables. I've tried to assemble the best information on topic of CCIE salaries all in this single post.
Robert Half Technology has posted this 2014 IT Salary Calculator to estimate what you may be worth. You can also access their 2014 IT Salary Guide free of charge for review (it also contains a list of technology salaries for Canada). Check them out!
Wayne Lawson, CEO of iPexpert and Proctor Labs, authored this extremely insightful article about CCIE salaries and the CCIE job market (Q1 2014) after he went "undercover" for 14 weeks seeking a multitude of CCIE positions. This is truly a great read!
Payscale.com continually updates their survey results of Cisco CCIE Salaries that many of you may find interesting. (Cisco CCIE Hourly Rates and Cisco CCIE Bonuses, too.) Read about their survey methodology for more information.
For many, these charts may seem a little surprising. Essentially, it shows that experience is still the most powerful factor when it comes to justifying your salary to an employer. Unless you have 10 years or more in the industry, or your geographic region dictates, you may have trouble demanding that 6-figure salary you want. If you are an upstart engineer that obtains a CCIE without the years of experience to back it up, employers may still see you as unproven and be unwilling to risk that big salary on you right away.
The salary amounts shown here take into account base salary only. Bonuses, commissions and the like are not included.
Your job function will also have a say in your salary. Network Administrators typically cannot demand the same high-end salaries that a Senior Systems Engineer or Senior Network Engineer.
This survey does not break out the various types of CCIEs against one another, but you can expect that on average, the CCIE Voice and CCIE Security variants will tend to earn a little more than the CCIE Route/Switch as they are more specialized.
The company for which you work will also have a strong influence on your salary as a CCIE. Please note that the figures below have a relatively low sample size, unless you work for Cisco.
As expected, major metropolitan cities will have higher CCIE salaries. Houston, San Jose, Chicago and San Francisco lead the way.
The schools with the highest number of CCIEs participating in this survey is really intriguing. While I'm sure that this is a matter of pride for the schools listed below, the list will change over time.
International CCIE Salary
It can be difficult to find trustworthy information about CCIE salaries in various parts of the world. Please see the following links for additional information:
- CCIE Salaries in the UK @ ITJobsWatch.co.uk: Current trend information about CCIE demand in the UK, per-city information, and historical CCIE salary trends
CCNA Voice Salary and CCNP Voice Salary Reaches Above $90,000
According to the 2011 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report, the Cisco CCNA Voice certification comes with a very respectable mean salary of $92,837. The Cisco CCNP Voice certification justifies an even heftier mean salary of $98,290. Even more sought after is the Cisco IP Telephony Design Specialist with a whopping mean salary of $105.871. These results simply underscore how desirable any Cisco voice certification is right now in the industry.
With the release of the 2013 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report, salary levels remain strong among respondents with Cisco Voice Certifications. Cisco CCNA Voice mean salary tops $80,000 and Cisco CCNP Voice over $96,000. This shows the value in continued study and certification within the Cisco Voice/Collaboration learning path!
- 2013 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report [Full Report]
- 2013 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary [Expanded Content]
- 2012 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report
- 2011 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report
- 2010 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report
- 2009 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report
Given these very respectable mean salaries for Cisco voice certifications, it absolutely shows that CCNA Voice and CCNP Voice are worthwhile stepping stones along the path to the CCIE Voice certification, but don't forget the voice-related specialist achievements as they can help to further illustrate your expertise.
Unfortunately, neither the payscale.com or the Global Knowledge survey broke out the salary for the CCIE Voice certification.
|Cisco and Networking (Global Knowledge 2011 IT Skills and Salary Report)|
|CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate||$79,536||$75,000||709|
|CCNP: Cisco Certified Network Professional||$97,296||$92,975||172|
|CCDA: Cisco Certified Design Associate||$97,995||$90,000||139|
|CCENT: Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician||$71,706||$65,275||104|
|CCDP: Cisco Certified Design Professional||$107,878||$100,000||72|
|CCIE R&S: Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Routing & Switching||$120,008||$105,000||37|
|Cisco IP Telephony Design Specialist||$105,871||$108,500||32|
|Cisco ASA Specialist||$86,812||$80,000||29|
|Cisco and Networking (Global Knowledge 2012 IT Skills and Salary Report)|
|CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate||$82,923||$79,950||944|
|CCNP: Cisco Certified Network Professional||$90,457||$86,500||254|
|CCDA: Cisco Certified Design Associate||$101,915||$93,000||195|
|CCENT: Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician||$74,764||$66,000||201|
|CCDP: Cisco Certified Design Professional||$116,863||$106,000||97|
|CCIE R&S: Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Routing & Switching||$132,696||$117,070||55|
|CCIP: Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional||$113,523||$90,000||51|
Ok, so what does this all mean?
Is the effort required to get a CCIE worth it?
Well, that's entirely an answer that only you can answer.
Job satisfaction, recognition among your peers, job security, salary... these are all factors that must be considered when calculating the value of any employment position. Companies hire CCIEs because they get high quality results, Cisco CCIEs produce - plain and simple. (Yeah, I know you all have a story about some bonehead CCIE here or there - one in every bunch, I say)
The Cisco CCIE still sets you apart from crowd when it comes time for employers to fill that open position. The certification alone will put you on the short list of applicants just about every time. You still need to sell yourself and prove your potential value to the employer, but in this economic environment, this is a pretty valuable advantage to have - I believe it is indeed worth it!
Please let me know your opinions - what do you think?
Is the Cisco CCIE still worth it?