Another CCNA specialized exam is CCNA wireless or Cisco Certified Network Associate Wireless exam. There are many flavors of CCNA each addressing a specific field. Wireless is as important as voice and video communications. This certification endorses associate-level knowledge (you will be an associate, not a professional or an expert. So it is an entry-level exam) and skills necessary to configure, implement and support wireless LANs using Cisco wireless products. You will learn to support basic wireless network on Cisco WLAN in a SMB or enterprise environment. Depending on your luck, you can either become an apprentice or a technician in an enterprise or a big company. The curriculum of CCNA wireless covers information required to configure, monitor and troubleshoot Cisco WLAN in SMB or Enterprise networks.
The exam that awards CCNA wireless goes by the exam number 640-722 - Implementing Cisco Unified Wireless network essential (IUWNE). Cisco is really good at devising acronyms for its certifications. This exam basically tells employers that you have the required skills to install, configure, operate and troubleshoot small or medium-size WLAN networks with ease. You will be tested for the ability to configure access points and coordinate with a network engineer in installing and troubleshooting wireless WLAN networks.
This exam covers following major topics:
- Describe WLAN Fundamentals
- Install a Basic Cisco Wireless LAN
- Install Wireless Clients
- Implement Basic WLAN Security
- Operate Basic WCS
- Conduct Basic WLAN Maintenance and Troubleshooting
The duration of the exam is 90 minutes (75-85 questions - multiple choice, multiple answer, drag/drop and fill-in the blanks) and the candidates must achieve a passing score of 825 out of 1000.
CCNA Wireless certifications are valid for three years. Pass any of the following exam before the expiration date to recertify yourself as CCNA wireless:
- Pass the current IUWNE exam, or
- Pass any current Associate-level exam except for ICND1 exam, or
- Pass any current 642-XXX Professional-level exam, or
- Pass any current Cisco Specialist exam (excluding Sales Specialist exams or MeetingPlace Specialist exams, Implementing Cisco TelePresence Installations (ITI) exams, Cisco Leading Virtual Classroom Instruction exams, or any 650 online exams), 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
Some people crave professionalism, some love challenges everyday. CCNA wireless is a challenging career that requires smart people who can support wireless LAN environments that use Cisco products heavily. So if you like a challenging career in a SMB market and a comfortable salary bracket, you can go for CCNA wireless certification. Everyday will be a new day for you. When you enter the office till you are ready to go back home, you will be spending your time and energy to install, configure and manage wireless LANs. This respectable job commands a handsome salary and if you have another specialized certification like CCNA Video or CCNA Voice, you will be at the top of networking career.
Becoming CCNA Wireless certified was a clear choice for me. I already had years of experience as a network engineer and wanted to affirm my knowledge with an industry leading credential. During the certification process, I learned a great deal and that has made me a more productive, more confident employee. Upon completion of the CCNA Wireless certification, I have gained a great deal of respect from my colleagues and partners. I have also become promoted to Senior Network Engineer.
Daniel Krug, Senior Network Engineer at Acme Network Solutions.