It seriously depends. In my specialty, having the cert is actually the primary method for getting contracts. Most consumers of the technology I work with go directly to the source and use their "find a consultant" feature, which you can only be listed on if you are certified. With that being said, I stopped paying for certs in other things like CC**, MCSE's, etc, many years ago. Never once, have I ever been asked if I was certified in anything by anyone other than some schmuck recruiter fishing for a new resume to shop around. I would say though, there are certain gigs, like the one I am on now, that "require" a cert for this technology, but they've never asked me for it.