The Cisco Certified Network Professional Voice (CCNP Voice), formerly known as Cisco Certified Voice Professional (CCVP), validates the skills and knowledge necessary to integrate Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology into existing network architecture and infrastructure. This certification also covers a wide variety of skills related to converged Internet Protocol networks. The skills validated include operation, implementation, troubleshooting and configuration. Network professionals armed with the CCNP Voice are able to create solutions that reflect collaborative input and are scalable, manageable and transparent. The CCNP Voice focuses on Cisco routers and Catalyst switches. Cisco Unified Communications Manager devices and protocols are covered extensively, including quality of service (QoS), gatekeepers, gateways, Internet Protocol phones, voice applications and utilities.
Salary and Job Outlook for CCNP Voice Certification Holders
Network professionals with a CCNP Voice are well-placed to enjoy one of the largest job creation surges over the next several years. The United States Department of Labor predicts that between 2008 and 2018, more than 280,000 jobs will be created in the field of computer systems and computer networking. This represents a phenomenal growth rate of approximately 30 percent.
Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) holders enjoy favorable salary options, as well. The salary that a CCNP holder receives, of course, varies according to his work experience, training level and demonstrated expertise. Data available from PayScale, a market research firm that specializes in compensation information, clearly shows high salary ranges for CCNP holders, including CCNP Voice holders. The salary range was higher for senior or managerial positions. For instance, a Senior Network Engineer could earn between $65,000 and $113,000, while a Network Engineer could earn a lesser range, from $47,000 to $90,000.
The CCNP Voice is a professional level certification that specializes in integrating VoIP technology into Cisco network infrastructure. Cisco organizes its certifications into a pyramid, with entry-level certifications being on the lowest level. Associate level certifications comprise the next step followed by the professional level certifications including the CCNP Voice. The expert level is second to the top of the pyramid with the Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) being the highest certification level available. The CCNP Voice requires only one prerequisite certification, the Cisco Certified Network Associate Voice (CCNA Voice).
The CCNP Voice used to be known as the Cisco Certified Voice Professional (CCVP). The CCVP was changed to reflect Cisco’s desire to enhance and round out its Voice certification track. Additionally, Cisco wished to provide a clear career track to individuals who wanted to focus on voice technologies within the context of Cisco products.
CCNP Voice Re-certification Requirements
CCNP Voice holders who wish to re-certify must do so within three years. All professional level certifications offered by Cisco are valid for three years after the date the certification was achieved. The easiest way to re-certify is simply to pass any professional level exam currently offered by Cisco. Alternatives involve passing exams for higher level certifications, such as the written and practical exams for the Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) certification.
CCNP Voice Exams
To achieve the CCNP Voice, the applicant must pass five exams. These exams are geared specifically to testing the applicant’s skills and knowledge about VoIP, Cisco Unified Communications Manager and various applications. The five exams are 642-437 CVOICE v8.0, 642-447 CIPT1 v8.0, 642-457 CIPT2 v8.0, 642-427 TVOICE v8.0 and 642-467 CAPPS v8.0. The first four are 90 minutes long, but the fifth exam lasts only 75 minutes. Each one features 60 to 70 questions. Recommended training courses for the exams are Implementing Cisco Voice Communications and QoS v8.0, Implementing Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Part 1 v8.0, Implementing Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Part 2 v8.0, Troubleshooting Cisco Unified Communications v8.0 and Integrating Cisco Unified Communications Applications v8.0 respectively.