CCNA Starting Salary's

Unanswered Question
Jul 22nd, 2007

For those whowork in the feild or have completed CCNA and gotten started working. What is the average salary a starting CCNA can expect with little to no experience and maybe one other certification like A+? Since experience is limited to classroom lab hours (32 weeks) Is it even possible to secure a job as a network engineer with those qualificatyions and what salary can be expected? All jobs I see for CCNA required 3 to 5 years experience. This is an entry level cert, how am I suppossed to get the 3 to 5 years if Im just starting out????

I have this problem too.
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bwgray Mon, 07/23/2007 - 06:26

I think it's a misconception to view CCNA as an entry level cert. It may get you an entry level networking job, but it's not an entry level IT cert. Chances are most people have been in IT for a few years prior to tackling it, which is where the 3-5 likely come from...

tlynnm4591 Mon, 07/23/2007 - 06:50

I think that is good insight bwgray. And that is something that all these surveys don't detail unless you read all the statistics behind them. This one listed indicates the average salary for CCNA's at 76000 but that is for all CCNA's, not just entry level CCNA's. So that does not address my question at all.

I think you are right, CCNA is not entry level, becuase no job description I can find for a CCNA is without the 3 to 5 year requirent. So I guess I should ask, what IS the entry point (skills and qualifications) for a network engineer, and what can that person expect to make starting out??

Thanks, bwgray.

jlhainy Tue, 07/24/2007 - 08:08

Actually, Cisco has just announced the new CCENT certifictaion, which IS a entry level cert. It is basically half of the CCNA.

However, certs alone do not determine salary. Salary may also depend on experience, other credentials such as college degrees, tenure, and the field you are working in. If you are working for a bank or hospital, you will probably make more than working for a state agency or public education, regardless of how much experience or certs you have.

jrensink78 Tue, 07/24/2007 - 11:37

I too wondered how I was supposed to get an entry level networking position when they all wanted a few years of experience. In my case, I was working in the Helpdesk at my company. I completed my 4-year degree and also got my CCNA.

Fortunately, my track record with the company, along with my degree and certification, allowed me to move into an open networking position when one opened up. If someone else has been able to jump right into networking I would be interested in finding out how they did it. But I think it's more common where people were in other IT positions before they got into networking. Getting a track record as a good IT worker and grabbing any networking experience that you can will definitely help.

phosphene Tue, 07/31/2007 - 09:27

In response to the previous poster. I kind of jumped right into networking. I worked in a 1st/2nd line support role for an ISP who used Cisco technology. This gave me just about enough experience with IOS (I was barely familiar with the simplest commands), to get a Network job within a UK Local Authority. Of course, what helped me most was my desire to become a CCNA, and that was proven in the interview when they asked me general questions about WANs and Subnetting.

In review, I'd say that there is no straight cut way into networking. If you have the determination, and are given the right opportunities, you can make it even without a college degree to back you up.

Incidentally, I?m sitting my CCNA tomorrow!

srue Tue, 07/31/2007 - 11:12

The ccna is the entry level cert in the scheme of cisco certifications - just compare it with the CCIE to see understand this point. This is separate from saying that someone who has a ccna is entry level material.

When I did my CCNA (the first time) in feb. 2000, I had only 3 months of router installs under my belt...and to say I had no idea what i was doing would be an understatement. I went from PC tech to installing routers with NO network experience (thank you JD Byrider!). The *NA definitely helped me understand what the h3ll i was typing in all those times.

My point is this, you will have CCNA holders at different stages in their careers. Some will be entry level, some will not.

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