Cisco CCNP Wireless Certification
Cisco Certified Network Professional Wireless (CCNP Wireless) certification addresses the need for designing, implementing, and operating Cisco Wireless networks and mobility infrastructures. CCNP Wireless certification emphasizes wireless networking principles and theory. It also recognizes the expertise and technical acumen of wireless professionals who can assess and translate network business requirements into technical specifications that in turn, are incorporated into successful installations. This higher level certification has CCNA Wireless as a prerequisite and forms the basis for progression to the highest level, CCIE, certification.
The Certification Process
In order to obtain CCNP Wireless certification candidates are required to pass four exams, these exams are arranged separately from any training courses offered, further information on these exams can be seen by clicking on the titles. Candidates must hold CCNA Wireless or any CCIE in order to earn CCNP Wireless certification.
- 642-732 CUWSS Conducting Cisco Unified Wireless Site Survey
- 642-742 IUWVN Implementing Cisco Unified Wireless Voice Networks
- 642-747 IUWMS Implementing Cisco Unified Wireless Mobility Services
- 642-737 IAUWS Implementing Advanced Cisco Unified Wireless Security
Note that this certification requires re-certification every three years; this can be done by performing any of the following:
- Pass any current 642-XXX Professional-level exam, or
- Pass any current CCIE Written Exam, or
- Pass the current CCDE Written Exam OR current CCDE Practical Exam, or
- Pass the Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) interview AND the CCAr board review to extend lower certifications
Preparing for the Exams
All of these certification exams contain 50 to 60 questions and with the exception of CUWSS, which lasts 75 minutes, last 90 minutes. The CUWSS exam is more focused on conducting a site survey and post deployment assessment, whilst the remainder of the exams are spread roughly evenly across a range of topics. Further details can be seen on the individual exam pages. We would recommend erring on the side of over preparation so as to ensure a mark high enough to provide a pass.
For more information on Cisco exam policies in general, take a look at this page.
GBdirect offer the Cisco approved courses aimed to provide the skills and knowledge required to earn this certification. The courses offered are:
While these courses will help prepare you for the exams they may not provide you with everything you need to pass them. To ensure this we would recommend hands on experience with the products concerned, along with additional reading from Cisco certification texts. It is advisable to look up the content of the exam, while performing practice labs and taking advantage of the practice exams available on the Cisco website should also prove beneficial. We welcome any reviews of your Cisco Certification experience, if you feel that you know of an improved learning method then please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Official Cisco Materials
Cisco provides a large amount of online materials, some of which is available through the certification pages themselves. An excellent starting point is to look at the exam content available on the exam page as well as a PDF that provides the exam guidelines.
The CCNP Wireless syllabus can be found in its entirety here.
Cisco also hosts forums in the form of Study Groups, allowing for the discussion of any areas within CCNP Security certification. This is naturally very useful for finding information on specific areas, but also for finding overviews of certification as a whole.
Cisco has also created a list of all available learning materials for each exam in this certification. These can be found under the study/learn tabs for each exam, whilst a few practice questions are also available under the practice tab. Unfortunately these lists are fairly empty compared to other Cisco certifications and the lack of published books means that candidates with less experience and background knowledge may find this certification in particular fairly difficult to study for.
Unfortunately the only books available for this certification specifically are the quick reference guides for each exam. Whilst these books are good last minute revision tools for those who have already done a great deal of preparation they are not suitable for those with less experience or as a single learning tool. They do however receive favourable reviews and may prove useful when combined with instructor lead training and other materials.
Note that this list is by no means comprehensive. We welcome reviews and views of any text you have personal experience with, likewise if you feel we have missed off a more valuable study aid please do get in touch.
The Techexams.net forum is one of the most active covering Cisco and other certifications, there is a great deal of detailed information related to either specific technical details or the certification as a whole. Unfortunately there is no section devoted to CCNP Wireless, although the CCNP section in general will still contain some information whilst you may also want to look at the CCNA wireless section.
What if I fail?
Don't panic. You will be able to see and your test result and the areas you felt weakest in, focus on content areas where your performance was weakest and areas with a high percentage of questions. Once you feel ready you can reschedule your exam. Cisco's exam retake policy is listed below:
The policies for retaking exams are as follows:
- Candidates who fail an exam must wait a period of five (5) calendar days, beginning the day after the failed attempt, before they may retest for the same exam.
- Once passed, a candidate must wait a minimum of 180 days before taking the same exam with an identical exam number.
- Candidates who violate these policies are in violation of the agreement. Such conduct is strictly prohibited as described in the Cisco Certification and Confidentiality Agreement.
Excellent, you've passed
Upon passing you will receive a score report complete with your photo; this can be used to share with employers or other third parties. This will also grant you access to the Cisco Certifications Tracking System, allowing you to see certification progress, access logos for valid certifications, allow third parties/employers to see your certifications and to sign any necessary agreements.
CCNP tends to be the highest level of certification achieved by those pursuing Cisco certifications; however a higher level, CCIE, does exist. This is an extremely highly regarded certification that demonstrates the highest level of technical proficiency with Cisco technologies; due to the difficulty and specialised nature of this qualification we do not offer training courses. Further information can be found on Cisco's site.
CCNP, Salary and Contract Rates
A recent survey of IT jobs offered across the UK reported the following statistics on the average earning of salaried and contract workers holding CCNP certification. The UK average salary for a CCNP is £45,000, with the average salary for London being £47,500. A breakdown of this shows 90% are offered a salary of more than £35,000 while 10% are offered more than £63,500.
Contractor daily rates were also surveyed and the UK average was found to be £360 per day and £375 per day for the city of London. The further breakdown of these figures shows that 90% are offered a daily rate in excess of £250 while 10% are offered more than £450. Further details can be found on the IT Jobs Watch site.