Cisco continues next-generation enhancement of all its Expert-level certification programs with the adoption of an agile and modular approach to written and lab exam revisions. Our CCIE Service Provider track will serve as the pilot project for this new approach to the exam refresh process.
Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Routing and Switching (CCIE Routing and Switching) certifies the skills required of expert-level network engineers to plan, operate and troubleshoot complex, converged network infrastructure.
There are no formal prerequisites for CCIE certification. Other professional certifications or training courses are not required. Instead, candidates must first pass a written qualification exam and then the corresponding hands-on lab exam. You are expected to have an in-depth understanding of the topics in the exam blueprints and strongly encouraged to have three to five years of job experience before attempting certification.
Step One: CCIE Routing and Switching Written Exam
You must pass the two-hour, written qualification exam, which covers networking concepts and some equipment commands before you are eligible to schedule the lab exam.
Step Two: CCIE Routing and Switching Lab Exam
The eight-hour lab exam tests your ability to configure actual equipment and troubleshoot the network in a timed test situation. You must make an initial attempt at the CCIE lab exam within 18-months of passing the CCIE written exam. Candidates who do not pass must reattempt the lab exam within 12 months of their last scored attempt in order for their written exam to remain valid. If you do not pass the lab exam within three years of passing the written exam, you must retake the written exam before being allowed to attempt the lab exam again.
The following resources are suggested study materials:
- CCIE Routing and Switching Expert-level Training (Formerly Cisco 360)
- Cisco CCIE Lab Builder
- Mobile CCIE Routing and Switching Labs Overview
- CCIE Routing and Switching Tech Seminars with Cisco Experts
A comprehensive list of study materials is also available.
Cisco Learning Network Resources
- CCIE Routing and Switching Written Exam Study Materials
- CCIE Routing and Switching Lab Exam Study Materials
- Evolving Technologies Study Resources
- CCIE Routing and Switching Certification Overview
- CCIE Routing and Switching Certification Study Group
- IT Training Videos and Seminars
- Unleashing CCIE Routing and Switching Certification Blog by Cisco Exam Program Manager, Bruno van de Werve
Get all your CCIE Routing and Switching questions answered.
Learning Partner Content
- Partners: Log In for Sales Connect curricula.
The best way to prepare for this certification is to take the Cisco-approved training:
Cisco Expert-Level Training for Routing and Switching
Cisco Expert-Level Training for CCIE Routing and Switching is a complete, blended learning program to accelerate competency and build the skills that are necessary for expert certification.
» Learn More
To earn this Cisco certification, you must pass the following exam(s):
CCIE Written Exam
The CCIE written exam is a two-hour qualification exam, taken at a Cisco authorized Pearson VUE testing center. The exam uses a combination of multiple choice questions and simulations to assess the skills listed under Exam Topics. Exams are closed book and no reference materials are allowed.
- Learn more about the 400-101 CCIE exam
- Register for the exam
- Read current exam policies and requirements
CCIE Lab Exam
The eight-hour lab exam tests your ability to configure actual equipment and troubleshoot the network in a timed test situation.
CCIEs Are Required to Recertify Every Two Years.
Active CCIE status shows your commitment to maintaining expert-level knowledge in an industry critical to the success of virtually every organization. CCIEs are encouraged to continually expand their technical knowledge and are required to pass a recertification exam every two years. If you do not complete your recertification before the deadlines, your CCIE certification will be suspended and you and your employer will lose the benefits associated with your expert status. You have one year to reinstate your CCIE status before you become inactive and must begin the certification process all over again.
- Your recertification deadline can be viewed online anytime (with login) at Certification Status.
- Subsequent recertification deadlines are always based on your original certification date, not on when you took your last recertification exam.
- Candidates must make an initial attempt of the CCIE lab exam within 18 months of passing the CCIE written exam. Candidates who do not pass must reattempt the lab exam within 12 months of their last scored attempt in order for their written exam to remain valid. If a candidate does not pass the lab exam within three years of passing the written exam, he or she must retake the written exam before being allowed to attempt the lab exam again.
- To maintain active status, every 24-months CCIEs are required to pass one of the following before the certification expiration date:
- Pass any current CCIE Written Exam OR CCIE Lab 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.
- CCIE certification automatically extends other Cisco Certifications, such as CCNP or CCNA.
- Candidates can only apply one passed written exam towards recertification for every 24 month recertification period.
- Candidates must wait 15 calendar days between attempts at the written exam.
- Certification candidates are responsible for keeping track of their certification expiration dates. Please plan your recertification accordingly. If your CCIE recertification requirements are not completed on or before the certification's expiration date, your CCIE certification will be suspended for one year. Candidates have one year to recertify their CCIE certification by passing the required written exam. If a candidate does not recertify prior to the one year deadline and your employer will be notified. Suspended candidates have one year to recertify their CCIE certification by passing the required written exam or practical lab before their expert level certification becomes permanently inactive. Inactive CCIE professionals lose all benefits and must pass both the CCIE written and lab exams again.
- Achieving or recertifying CCIE automatically extends your active Entry, Associate, Professional or other Expert level certification(s), or Specialist certifications up to the expiration date of the latest CCIE, CCDE or CCAr certification achieved.
- Be sure to use the same ID number you were assigned for your original qualification exam to ensure your profile is updated accurately. If you have any questions about which ID number to use, contact CCIE support.