How Much Does a CCNA Make?

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How Much Does a CCNA Make?

You usually get the CCNA because it usually opens more doors in the salary world. That’s why I chose this route. And this field didn’t quite require a degree to progress. Which at that time, I didn’t have time. The big question, I had when getting it, was how much does a CCNA make?

A CCNA can make as little as $15 per hour all the way to $150,000 or more per year. This all depends on experience and skill set gained. At year 0, the pay is on the lower end and as the experience progresses, the salary can increase.

When I found this out in my research into the technology field, I was pretty ecstatic and couldn’t wait to make the higher figures. Of course like most of us, we always try to find away to make this more the lucrative number become real, sooner.

Making a Higher Salary Sooner

Hard, smart and dedicated work is required for this higher salary. To make it happen sooner, requires a stronger push in these directions.

Usually if you’re going to climbing up the CCNA career path, you’ll take a gradual approach to a higher salary. 

For instance a Traditional Salary Path for a CCNA can look like this:

Year 1 – This is when you first start. You may not even have a CCNA at this point, but you are interested and beginning to study. By the end of this first year, you should have achieved a CCNA. This won’t be a magical high salary year, expect to start on the lower end at $15 per hour.

Year 2 – This is the year where job hopping multiple times wouldn’t be unusual. The point here is to get accustomed to more specific network technologies. You should be able to command a salary of $45,000 per year at this point.

Year 3 – You have some experience at this point with a fuller view of the CCNA you studied. Plus you should have connects to other people in the industry. Find someone who is a step ahead of you and try to figure out how to get there. If you dedicate time into putting the recommendations into action, you should be able to end the year making $65,000 per year.

Year 4… and 5 – These are points where you can specialize and pivot into something lucrative based on the experience you have. I wouldn’t be surprised if you make $90,000 or more at this point.

To accelerate this process, it’s important to hone down labbing skills after work. Usually these skills are based on what’s marketable. A few ways to find what’s marketable is to network and reverse engineer skills you find in others who are in the next step as you. One practical way is to review Linkedin profile skills they may have.

Even if you do not have work experience in that skill set, you can develop experience by labbing. By doing so can dramatically reduce your time to a six figure salary. Couple this with interviewing for jobs you want, and to review the questions you didn’t understand will make you develop a skill set that’s truly in demand and not just what’s theoretically so.

A CCNA with a $100,000+ Salary

I’m not going to lie to you, what got me started in the CCNA career path was mentions I found on forums like Tech Exams (now Infosec Institute) and Reddit where people could make 6 figures per year without a college degree.

Obviously this was more appealing the working a close to minimum wage job in the food industry (my previous job experience). I tried to find and make sure there was a path I could follow where I could be on the other side of these forums posting similar results. I eventually did thanks to countless Google searches in how to do that.

Some common threads I found included how to make 6 figures a year in less than 5 years. Or I also correlated job salaries from Glassdoors and compared the job title and company to people’s Linkedin profiles. I was able to gather enough data to get a gut feeling of what salaries people had and could make.

As I kept getting deeper in the IT field, I knew I didn’t want to be stuck making $50,000 per year after 20 years of technology experience and be jaded about it. I saw this happen once or twice. Being smart matters, not just the years of general technology experience you have. If you could condense time by figuring out market needs and adapting it to your skill set, a six figure $100,000+ salary wouldn’t be so difficult to command.

To get an idea of marketable skills you can combine with a CCNA, take a look at Linkedin and forums to see what’s up to date.

I’ve also noticed companies who have IPO’d and have a correlation to CCNA can make you high in demand. For example, Splunk. If this technology is deployed in CCNA environment, there would also be a high demand for your skill set.

A goal I had was to make $100,000 in less than 5 years of I.T. I achieved this and found countless others have too. This goal wouldn’t be far fetched to aim for someone trying to become a CCNA.

Related Questions

What is an entry level CCNA salary?

The first job in I.T. with a CCNA skill set can start as low as $15 per hour. This can quickly grow within a 5 year timeline. A faster way to go up with an entry level CCNA salary is to gain experience, job hop and move to a high salary location.

What does a CCNA do?

A person with a CCNA skill set can have varied job roles and responsibility. A Network Administrator with a CCNA can verify the continuing function of a network environment. A Network Engineer with a CCNA can implement plans for a network environment. Both will have access to network technologies such as routers and switches. At the end of the day the main goal is to have a viable interconnecting operability.

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