CCNA Certification Salary Guide: How Much Can You Make?

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Knowing the impact the CCNA Certification can have on your career in networking, both in job opportunities and salary prospects, is critical when considering pursuing the certification. The CCNA is a well-known and respected certification, but can something vendor-specific open enough doors to make it worthwhile?

In this article, we'll address the skillset the CCNA certification can equip you with, the diverse array of opportunities and competitive salaries that the CCNA can open up, and the exciting potential for career growth and advancement you can anticipate while holding the certification.

Whether you are considering this certification as your next challenge, or are a new CCNA holder looking to evaluate your new opportunities, we’ve got you covered. Let’s examine the CCNA certification salary and more.

Overview of the Cisco Certified Network Associate

The CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) certification is a globally recognized credential offered by Cisco Systems, Inc. CCNA is designed to validate entry-level networking professionals on fundamental networking concepts, troubleshooting, and configuring Cisco-backed networks. Although it is conducted on Cisco hardware, a CCNA-certified professional is proficient in concepts like routing and switching, security, and automation.

CCNA Exam Domains

What Does CCNA Prepare You For?

The CCNA certification prepares students for a variety of jobs in the IT field, both in fully network-focused positions and positions that simply benefit from networking knowledge. Let’s break down some of the most common job titles that request or require a CCNA certification.

Network Engineer

Network Engineers design and implement network infrastructures within an organization. Engineers are responsible for ensuring the appropriate design of networks both on a physical and logical base. They most often work with routers, switches, firewalls, and wireless access points.

Network Administrator

Network Administrators oversee day-to-day operations within an organization’s network. These professionals conduct network configuration, troubleshooting, performance tuning, and hardware upgrades. Administrators also manage accounts, permissions, and network resources.


Systems Administrator

Systems Administrators are responsible for managing an organization’s overarching IT infrastructure. This includes managing servers, endpoints, operating systems, and networking devices. They are responsible for ensuring system reliability, performance, and proper configurations.

Network Security Engineer

Network Security Engineers focus on the proper security configurations within an organization’s network. They are focused on cyber threats, best practices, and preventing unauthorized access to the corporate network. Security Engineers most commonly work with firewalls, proxy servers, and even network traffic balancers.

IT Support Specialist

IT Support Specialists provide technical assistance to end-users and employees within an organization. They are responsible for troubleshooting endpoints and network-related issues that might not require the in-depth network configuration knowledge of, say, a network engineer. Support Specialists are critical in maintaining smooth and efficient experiences for all corporate users.

Job Opportunities and Salary

Now that we know what positions this certification can earn you, let’s examine the number of positions and potential salary.

The CCNA certification can greatly improve employment prospects for those looking into moving towards a network-focused career. CCNA appears on some of the most popular job posting boards, including LinkedIn and Glassdoor.

Looking at LinkedIn’s job search for positions mentioning CCNA in the United States, we gathered over 9,500 positions.

LinkedIn CCNA job search United States.

It should be mentioned that CCNA is an entry-level certification, and many of these postings listed CCNA within a senior-level job description as a prerequisite certification.

We can also search for the CCNA certification on Glassdoor, which finds over 4,600 job postings, Indeed which shows over 8,000, and CyberSecurityJobs.com listing 55.

A common range for a CCNA can range from $23,000 USD annually (this is most likely for someone with no prior work experience in a potentially low-demand area) all the way to $125,500 USD annually, most likely for someone with plentiful work experience and in a high-demand area. The national average sits at roughly $74,000 annually.

CCNA Salary

Network Engineer

The most popular job title for CCNA holders on job boards in “Network Engineer.” With almost 1,700 positions available in the United States on Indeed, 1,700 on LinkedIn, and 855 on GlassDoor, this job title is open to both junior and senior applicants.

Indeed CCNA Network Engineer listings

This is a very profitable position, with ZipRecruiter listing an average salary of nearly $109,000, with a range of $39,000 to $154,500.

Network Engineer Salary

Network Administrator

Reviewing LinkedIn’s job postings, we found over 455 “Network Administrator” listings that contained the CCNA as a preferred certification. Glassdoor presented another 366. Most of these positions were fairly entry-level, requiring less than five years of total experience.

Glassdoor Network Administrator job posting

According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for a Network Administrator in the United States today hovers at around $80,000 USD annually.

Network Administrator Salary

System Administrator

System administrators benefit from the networking knowledge the CCNA certification provides, as seen by over 266 ‘Systems Administrator’ job listings on LinkedIn containing the CCNA certification, 254 on Glassdoor, and 430 on Indeed. Most of these jobs require less than four years of experience for applicants.

Indeed - CCNA System Administrator postings

The current average salary for a Systems Administrator in the United States was reported to be almost $85,000 USD annually by ZipRecruiter.

System Administrator Salary

Network Security Engineer

Network Security Engineers most often require mid-senior level experience, with job postings requiring 5+ years of experience on average. While most positions with this title require certifications with a stronger security focus, there are positions available for CCNA holders.

LinkedIn Network Security Engineer CCNA postings

Due to the required experience for Network Security Engineers, it is of no surprise that the average salary is noticeably larger than the previous positions, averaging at just under $130,000 USD annually, according to ZipRecruiter.

Network Security Engineer salary

IT Support Specialist

An IT Support Specialist position can be a great entry-level start to a career in the networking space. Indeed lists over 500 IT Support Specialist positions requiring CCNA, and CyberSecurityJobs listings another 600. Many of these postings require less than three total years of experience, many requiring none!

The average salary for an IT Support Specialist in the United States today falls roughly to $67,000 USD annually, according to ZipRecruiter.

IT Support Specialist salary

Comparing the Demands for CCNA Against the Industry

The CCNA certification is not the only networking-focused certification in the industry today. Two of the top contenders to CCNA are the CompTIA Network+ and the JNCIA (Juniper Networks Certified Internet Associate) certifications. CompTIA is an industry leader in vendor-neutral certifications ranging from general information technology to cyber security. Juniper Networks is a vendor-specific (to Juniper) certification similar to Cisco.

Let’s see the differences in the demand for these certifications via four different online job advertisement boards: GlassDoor, LinkedIn, and CyberSecurityJobs.com.

Cisco CCNACompTIA Network+JNCIA
GlassDoor5,449 Postings869 Postings206 Postings
LinkedIn9,604 Postings292 Postings384 Postings
CyberSecurityJobs.com61 Postings5 Postings1 Posting
Indeed8,021 Postings1,231 Postings313 Postings

Career Progression

A Cisco CCNA-certified professional has many different career progression opportunities within the networking field. Each offers higher responsibilities, salary ranges, and job titles.

Some of the most common job positions a CCNA holder might pursue after establishing themselves include Senior Network Engineer, Senior Network Architect, Network Manager, and Senior Consultant. Additionally, a CCNA holder might pivot into more focused positions such as Cloud Network Engineering and Wireless Networking Specialist.

The demand for skilled network professionals continues to grow with the expansion of technology and digital transformation strategy across industries. Holding a CCNA certification is an excellent foundation for a successful networking career.

Additionally, Cisco offers even more advanced certifications, including the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certification and the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification. Both of these can also offer specialization paths like Security, Data Center, and Enterprise.

Conclusion

The Cisco CCNA certification is a gateway to a promising career in networking. By exploring the extensive skill set it provides and the array of roles it opens doors to, we've seen how it can significantly impact both professional advancement and financial prospects.

CCNA prepares individuals for a range of roles, from Network Engineers responsible for infrastructure design to Network Administrators overseeing day-to-day operations. From there, a CCNA holder can work towards even more senior-level roles.

A CCNA certification not only signifies a strong network foundation but also offers a promising career trajectory. Networking professionals are encouraged to stay updated with emerging technologies, pursue advanced certifications focused in areas like cloud or security, and continually enhance their skills to maximize career opportunities and earning potential in this ever-evolving field.

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  • Alan says:

    This is great information to know! I was planning on this certification next on my journey!

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