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  1. Senior Member Cat5's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Salary as a CCNP

    I'm working at an ISP with my CCNA and have been here several years. I'm looking for something that pays better, so I know what salary range to expect with what I have. I was wondering if instead of a CCNA I had a CCNP, what kind of salary offerings employers usually extend? I would certainly expect it to be better than what a CCNA + experience would command. I know it all depends on the location; I'm in the southeast (not New York or L.A.)
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    #2
    In california, i've seen CCNPs make anywhere from 40k - 150k depending on experience and education
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  4. Senior Member Cat5's Avatar
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by boobobobobob View Post
    In california, i've seen CCNPs make anywhere from 40k - 150k depending on experience and education
    I guess that was supposed to be a jest. At least it was better than 1k - 500k.
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  5. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    #4
    It really can depend. Technically, I'm only about halfway to my CCNP and I'm getting 6-figures. I doubt the CCNP will get me any sort of pay raise immediately. I've seen CCNPs make as little as 50K if they're entry-level starting out at a NOC somewhere or as much as $150K plus travel expenses and corporate apartment with 8 years of experience and an AS degree. It really just depends.
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  6. DoWork
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    #5
    What have you been doing at this ISP for several years? Your experiences are going to carry you in salary negotiations. The CCNP is probably only going to carry you past an HR screen. Not discouraging you from taking the next certification step, but if you haven't done more advanced networking or projects, etc, you're not going to have much of a leg to stand on commanding high salaries. Generally larger cities, or California command high salaries but that's really only because the cost of living is so damn high. Use cost of living calculators of where you'd like to go and the jobs in that area. Then scout postings of salaries to figure out your worth. Go from there.
    Last edited by QHalo; 10-02-2013 at 06:22 PM.
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  7. Senior Member Cat5's Avatar
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    #6
    I'll put it this way - I've had my CCNA since '07 (just renewed) and five years networking experience (four with an ISP provisioning/turning up circuits, tshooting, and one as a jr. network engineer). I'm currently contract-only through a temp agency, 43k/yr. Hence my desire/need for a CCNP. It's hard to support a wife and children on that.

    I also have a bachelor's degree, but not in the IT field.
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  8. Senior Member RouteMyPacket's Avatar
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    #7
    CCNP A doesn't equal CCNP B

    It depends on the Engineer, this is why technical interviews should ALWAYS be performed and why you can't take "I'm a CCNP" as meaning that person is a solid Engineer.

    Too many paper warriors running around that disrespect the profession and themselves. So again, "I'm a CCNP" equals $70k to one guy based on the reality of his true skills whereas it could mean $110k to another who is a solid engineer.

    Welcome to IT where almost everything "varies"


    "I'll put it this way - I've had my CCNA since '07 (just renewed) and five years networking experience (four with an ISP provisioning/turning up circuits, tshooting, and one as a jr. network engineer). I'm currently contract-only through a temp agency, 43k/yr. Hence my desire/need for a CCNP. It's hard to support a wife and children on that."

    After 5yrs you haven't obtained solid skills which would allow you to move on to another position? I'm lost for words.
    Last edited by RouteMyPacket; 10-02-2013 at 07:02 PM.
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  9. I.T. Guy cmitchell_00's Avatar
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    #8
    I really feel like it's a location aspect with experience that get's you the more money. I find when you work for a consulting company you can demand for higher salary but, you'll have a higher stress level. When, you work for a corporate American or smaller type company they pay can be at entry-mid level market value until you are with them for some years. It really depends on the circumstances.
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  10. Senior Member Cat5's Avatar
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by RouteMyPacket View Post
    After 5yrs you haven't obtained solid skills which would allow you to move on to another position? I'm lost for words.
    No - I have the skills, but no one is hiring perm positions in this cr*p economy. At least in my area.
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  11. Senior Member bighornsheep's Avatar
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    #10
    I've learned at young age that you would only get a fair wage for a fair day's work. CCNP doing the work of a CCNA would get the pay of a CCNA. Unless you have the opportunity to apply the higher skills, you won't get the higher salary.

    I've personally worked with hundreds of CCNA/CCNP and I can safely say that their salary range overlaps about 90% with the upper end being folks who are probably ready for CCIE or at least CCNP:S/CCDP and the lower folks being paper certified.
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  12. Senior Member wintermute000's Avatar
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by bighornsheep View Post
    I've learned at young age that you would only get a fair wage for a fair day's work. CCNP doing the work of a CCNA would get the pay of a CCNA. Unless you have the opportunity to apply the higher skills, you won't get the higher salary.

    I've personally worked with hundreds of CCNA/CCNP and I can safely say that their salary range overlaps about 90% with the upper end being folks who are probably ready for CCIE or at least CCNP:S/CCDP and the lower folks being paper certified.
    this.
    also, 4 years in an ISP helpdesk = 1 year of 'real' networking which sounds like you are doing now. I've met a lot of ISP 'show' jockeys that were clueless past fiddling round the edges of a network already built, with precanned scripts/templates/'do it this way and it will work' instructions. (conversely the senior R&S guys are usually minor geniuses, its not simple to build a MPLS core with TE.....)
    Last edited by wintermute000; 10-04-2013 at 12:16 AM.
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  13. I wouldn't listen to me AwesomeGarrett's Avatar
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    #12
    The real question should be, what are the skills required to attract a CCNP level job? All I have left is TSHOOT, which I will be taking tomorrow afternoon, and sure I will feel amazing after earning my CCNP but there is still a lot left to be learned.

    For example, yesterday we had some problems with TACACS on a few devices, other techs escalated their tickets and I kept mine. Took me about 20 minutes to figure out that the source interface used for TACACS was not being advertised by OSPF(talk about egg on my face, but it was taking forever to authorize show commands). It took Teir II like 5 minutes to figure that out, they call that experience or so I'm told.

    My point is I may have the "chops" to do a CCNP level job but how productive am I going to be? How long is it going to take to complete my projects?

    If an employer is able to see your potential they might give you an opportunity or they might pass.
    Last edited by AwesomeGarrett; 10-04-2013 at 12:51 AM.
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  14. Member flt0nujr's Avatar
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    #13
    I've been in a Noc for about 4 1/2 years and I can honestly say that there's a big difference from having your cert and knowing it. The one's that have it are mostly Tier 1's, however their given more responsibility than the other Tier 1's due to their certs (CCNA) and their salaries range from $56k to about $60k. The CCNP holders are mainly the Sr. Engineers, and they earn a higher salary. The point I'm trying to make is you must be proactive and push for greater responsibility when working in a Noc environment or you'll be a Tier 1 for like 7 years, and mgmt will be just fine with it because they can always use someone to just answer calls and shuffle tickets all day.
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  15. Netlurker cisco_trooper's Avatar
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    #14
    Jesus I'm tired of these posts. No offense OP. Seriously.

    Here's the deal. Your cert is not what drives your value. The only thing that makes you valuable is what you can do for someone else. Period. You can be a CCIE if you want, but if you suck in the real world your salary is going to suck. Stop worrying about getting this cert and that cert because those certs are going to make you worth Y dollar because of some stupid marketing publication publishing the salaries you can get with this cert and that cert. All stats are skewed to fit the agenda of the person publishing them. They take a salary survey. They see who is making the most money, THEN they see what certs that person has. Then they flip it backwards and say, "Because these guys have these certs they make $110K a year" when really it is their knowledge that made them the money, and the certs were a byproduct.

    My two cents. Don't care who does or doesn't like it. It's the truth. The sooner everyone accepts it the sooner they'll stop screwing around and actually learn how to make money. I'm out.
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  16. Senior Member
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    #15
    I'm in a pretty low cost of living area with low demand for true networking professionals, but with my CCNP I'm making about 60k with the overtime. I figure eventually I will have to leave this area if I truly want to expand my career or get a significant pay increase. Where you live really does make a big difference in the Networking field. Small areas just don't have the demand for people with our skills.
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  17. Senior Member W Stewart's Avatar
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    #16
    ^ Had to give rep for that one.
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  18. Senior Member
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Cat5 View Post
    No - I have the skills, but no one is hiring perm positions in this cr*p economy. At least in my area.
    If you are able [and willing,] you might consider relocating to find a better job. That's what I'm doing. All they have around here is call centers that pay so poorly their employees qualify for food stamps (I'm serious).
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  19. Senior Member
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    #18
    Just out of curiosity - what do you do cisco_trooper
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  20. Senior Member
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by cisco_trooper View Post
    Jesus I'm tired of these posts. No offense OP. Seriously.
    ....
    You may not like the question but it is a legitimate concern for many people starting off in networking or any field.

    If we wanted to go read the published survey we would not have the opportunity to interact with actual people working and studying in the same field as us. I am currently beginning my studies so I may switch careers in the next 12 - 24 months and information like this is valuable for me. My concern is not about the specific dollars but gaining a solid understanding of the market and demand so I can someday negotiate with a future employer. Unfortunately this information varies with time so it can't really be searched for in older posts.

    Jon
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  21. I.T. Guy cmitchell_00's Avatar
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    #20
    I think Cisco_trooper has some good points but, so do everyone else. The point for me is experience will always bring more money in but, certs add some extra dollars too. You can be a CCIE and a example can't do the basic line vty 0 4 password changes why because you don't see it everyday it's not in the immediate knowledge tank. The grunts who work their way up and get a solid foundation stay in the biz becoming real pros; that's why I have personally in my career went back in the trenches many times. By which mean's why be a manager and be behind a desk loosing the edge because leading is more then giving out orders. We all want to make a decent wage but, if you suck as a tech then that's no acceptable in my book. I'm done ranting for now.
    Last edited by cmitchell_00; 10-04-2013 at 03:12 PM.
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  22. Went to the dark side.... Moderator networker050184's Avatar
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    #21
    The confusion seems to be what people are paid for. You get paid for a job. Having a certain certification can help you get said job, but you don't start pulling down pay checks as soon as you walk out of the test center. If you have a CCIE and work on the helpdesk you get paid helpdesk money. There are so many other factors that come into someones pay that no one can really give a solid answer to this questions.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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  23. Senior Member
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by cisco_trooper View Post
    The only thing that makes you valuable is what you can do for someone else. Period.
    While there's truth in this statement, it's an extremely simplified way of looking at things. Compensation in the real world is not based on what you actually contribute because in a complicated job, it's very hard to actually quantify the contribution of each individual team member. Rather, it'll be a combination of factors where the most important one is probably how much someone else would pay for the same (again, perceived) skillset. It's why people want to go to schools that are hard to get into; to create the illusion that they are better than someone coming from a less prestigious school - it's not to learn how to create more value for the employer.
    Last edited by fredrikjj; 10-05-2013 at 10:44 AM.
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  24. Senior Member RouteMyPacket's Avatar
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by cisco_trooper View Post
    Jesus I'm tired of these posts. No offense OP. Seriously.

    Here's the deal. Your cert is not what drives your value. The only thing that makes you valuable is what you can do for someone else. Period. You can be a CCIE if you want, but if you suck in the real world your salary is going to suck. Stop worrying about getting this cert and that cert because those certs are going to make you worth Y dollar because of some stupid marketing publication publishing the salaries you can get with this cert and that cert. All stats are skewed to fit the agenda of the person publishing them. They take a salary survey. They see who is making the most money, THEN they see what certs that person has. Then they flip it backwards and say, "Because these guys have these certs they make $110K a year" when really it is their knowledge that made them the money, and the certs were a byproduct.

    My two cents. Don't care who does or doesn't like it. It's the truth. The sooner everyone accepts it the sooner they'll stop screwing around and actually learn how to make money. I'm out.

    This guy gets it! I agree 100%

    This forum is over run with cert warriors expecting paper to bring them major salaries. I worked recently with a dual NP engineer, within a 10 minute conversation I knew he used a cheat site to get them. I find it truly sad and pathetic that these people exist. On the bright side, they can'y ever make it past a good technical interview, it's great to listen to them bomb.

    I've said it many times,

    1. ALWAYS strive for work that challenges and pushes you
    2. Never be the "smartest" guy in the department
    3. Study and "supplement" your experience with certifications..theoretical + practical = success

    If you follow those three guidelines, there is no need to chase money..the money comes to you.
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  25. Senior Member RouteMyPacket's Avatar
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by cmitchell_00 View Post
    You can be a CCIE and a example can't do the basic line vty 0 4 password changes why because you don't see it everyday it's not in the immediate knowledge tank.
    lol not a good analogy.

    There are two types of IE's out there. Ones who got their IE 10+ years ago and stopped there and think they know everything. These types get no respect from their so called "peers" and are generally terrible Engineers.

    Then there are IE's who never stop striving to be a better Engineers, be it Borderless Networks, TrustSec, Design etc. always staying up on the latest approaches to technology.
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    #25
    Quote Originally Posted by RouteMyPacket View Post
    lol not a good analogy.

    There are two types of IE's out there. Ones who got their IE 10+ years ago and stopped there and think they know everything. These types get no respect from their so called "peers" and are generally terrible Engineers.

    Then there are IE's who never stop striving to be a better Engineers, be it Borderless Networks, TrustSec, Design etc. always staying up on the latest approaches to technology.
    just two types? nah I don't think it's that cut and dry. There's a lot of grey area in between. I've known plenty CCIEs who forget simple things like that simply because it's so long since they've been in a situation where they needed the knowledge.

    I remember there was a time when my manager at one of my previous employers wanted to configure HSRP between two gateways. A simple task yet he had no clue what the commands were off the top of his head just because he hadn't done it in at least 3 or 4 years. I was a great help in that situation since I was in the middle of CCNP studies at the time so it was so fresh on my mind. The guy had got his CCIE R&S about 4 or 5 years prior... sharp as a whip especially when it came to troubleshooting. Even though he couldn't bang out the config, he knew exactly why/what he wanted to do.

    You say there are IEs who never stop striving to be better engineers? How about IEs who are working on their 4th or 5th CCIE? If you're working on your 4th or 5th, there is no way in the world you can still be as proficient in the area you completed your first one in. The information is just too much. I know a guy who just recently passed the CCIE Data Center for his 6th CCIE. He did Voice back in '07. His ability with Voice is wayyyyyy down from what it used to be. It's impossible to keep everything fresh in your mind especially once you start studying other specializations or technologies. That's just the nature of IT
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