Differences between the CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE Certifications

1000 CCNA Certification Exam Preparation Questions and Answers: One Thousand Practice Questions for Passing the CCNA Exams – Pass 

As of this 2007, the CCNA exam is known as 640-802 and will run you $150 in exam fees each time you attempt to take it. If you studied at the Cisco Networking Academy, that gives you the perfect opportunity to study for both the CCNA and the CCNP accreditation exams.

The CCNP is different from the CCNA in that it aims to give accreditation for the Professional level. CCNP stands for Cisco Certified Network Professional, meaning this person has skills in the design and other aspects of medium-sized networks which have at least 100 and at the most 500 end devices. The CCNP accreditation is harder to achieve because you will have to pass four exams at the most (to stay accredited at this level.)
Once you have hurdled the CCNP and want to upgrade, your next goal would be the CCIE exam. To qualify for the CCNP exams, you first have to be CCNA accredited.

CCIE is the highest of the known accreditations for Cisco networking products at the moment. CCIE stands for Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert, and is so exclusive that only 15,062 were last known to be formally ranked at this level as of August 2007. Actually, Cisco Systems says that less than 3% of Cisco accredited people have made it to CCIE status. It is also a pretty expensive accreditation to attempt to reach since it requires at least 18 months of formal training and an investment of many thousands of US dollars so that you can reach this prestigious goal.

Once you make it to CCIE, you can expect your compensation to be top of the IT salary charts as well.