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Cisco CCIE Salary Survey Results

Updated 5/5/2014
For as long as I've been working in this industry, there has always been a buzz whenever salary surveys have been released. Everyone would look to see which certifications are the hottest, and some would consider changing their professional focus as a result.

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! 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:

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!

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 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)

Mean Median Resp.
CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate $79,536 $75,000 709
Network+ $68,963 $65,000 280
A+ $67,608 $63,050 279
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
CCNA: Security $83,101 $79,666 90
CCNA: Voice $92,837 $87,500 79
CCDP: Cisco Certified Design Professional $107,878 $100,000 72
CCNP: Security $97,539 $92,500 44
CCNP: Voice $98,290 $93,000 43
CCNA: Wireless $82,018 $76,000 39
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)

Mean Median Resp.
CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate $82,923 $79,950 944
CompTIA Network+ $71,207 $68,940 460
CompTIA A+ $67,954 $64,750 586
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
CCNA: Security $92,430 $82,000 158
CCNA: Voice $97,617 $84,425 100
CCDP: Cisco Certified Design Professional $116,863 $106,000 97
CCNP: Security $118,521 $96,000 66
CCNP: Voice $111,073 $90,000 58
CCNA: Wireless $95,123 $76,000 75
CCIE R&S: Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Routing & Switching $132,696 $117,070 55
CCIE Security $168,769 $120,000 22
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?


  1. Is the Cisco CCIE still worth it?

    YES!!! It not about the money (even thought it is very good $$$) but it is about job security...I never heard any CCIE can't find a job...that's main reason why I am studying for my CCIE...

  2. Thanks for the comment, Lou!

    I could not agree with you more. The $$$ takes care of itself as you build credibility with your employer. Also, lots of freelance consulting opportunities for Cisco CCIEs. If a CCIE can't find work, they aren't trying.

  3. Ok, i think the numbers provided by Global Knowledge is wayyy overblown. Then again, as they themselves are a technical institute, they need to show some bloated numbers to get more signups in their college.

  4. I tend to think that the CCNA Voice is high on that survey. It would be interesting to see how many that responded as a CCNA Voice, were also CCNP Voice holders.

    The voice certifications are in very high demand, so applicants that can prove some skills are pretty marketable when it comes to getting a job. That said, there is no substitute for years of experience.

  5. for doing ccna voice certification any certification is required to do. i want enter into network world. plz guide me which certification is best in cisco

  6. If you are just getting experience with Cisco technologies, I'd suggest your first pursue the CCENT entry-level test. It will give you the platform to build upon as you move into more difficult Cisco certifications.

    My personal opinion is that the CCNA (routing and switching) is always a helpful next step, regardless of the ultimate path you choose (Voice, Security, Wireless, etc.)

    If your ultimate goal is to attain a CCIE certification, I'd suggest that you first obtain the appropriate professional-level certification next as each level will build upon the previous.

    Remember though, there is no substitute for years of experience. If it is possible for you to gain employment experience with any Cisco technology while you work on your certifications it will help to build your value to employers more rapidly.

    See all of Cisco's Certification Paths below:

    Good luck!

  7. I should have clarified in my previous comment that the CCNA certification is a prerequisite before any of the more specific CCNA's (CCNA Voice) can be earned.

  8. I,m 18 years old can i do CCIE

  9. Yes, it is possible. However, I'd suggest that you follow Cisco's learning path as a means to get there.

    CCENT > CCNA > CCNA Voice > CCNP Voice > CCIE Voice

    See this video for a CCIE Voice at age of 18. Truly a great accomplishment.

  10. Sir .. how much time it will require for CCIE.. completion ? ? Where to give exams? and how to give exams?

    1. The time required to get your CCIE is dependent on many factors. How much do you know now? How much time and money can you commit to your studies? How focused are you?

      Mark Snow's detailed plan to go from CCNA Voice to CCIE Voice is a great outline to give you an idea of how the CCIE Voice can be obtained:

  11. sir i am curious to know about is lot of syallabus covered in ccnp voice and remain only few things in ccie voice or not?

    1. If you embrace and absorb the full content of the CCNP Voice, you will have learned a large part of the technical knowledge needed for CCIE Voice. However, there are topics that go deeper to expert level and of course, you will need to learn to configure with speed and accuracy.