The industry benchmark for beginning an IT profession is CompTIA A+. It is an entry-level credential in the Information technology (IT) industry issued by the IT association CompTIA.
Overview of the CompTIA A+ Certification
Are you looking to start a career in the IT field and looking for foundational certification or working in the IT field and want to pursue an IT certification? Then this post will help you in your journey.
To maintain and support their IT infrastructure and devices, almost all enterprises in the world require the services of IT experts or professionals. Employers worldwide prefer professionals carrying CompTIA A+ Certification for technical support and operational IT roles.
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is responsible for issuing the certification. More than two million vendor-neutral IT certifications have been issued by it to date, making it the market leader in this field.
CompTIA follows ISO/ANSI (International Organization for Standardization and American National Standards Institute) guidelines. It is a valuable addition for those interested in a career in IT because it is an entry-level certification.
Most significant hardware and software companies accept CompTIA A+ as a vendor-neutral certification, which implies that holders are not limited to using a particular type of computer.
The CompTIA A+ certification is a foundational credential that verifies a person’s aptitude for carrying out tasks, including installing and configuring PC’s operating systems, spotting hardware and software problems, network installation, security, troubleshooting, and virtualization, among many others.
Additionally, the certification will give you the abilities you need for higher-level certifications like Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), etc.
This post will cover various topics, including how to prepare for the CompTIA A+ exam, the competencies needed to pass the exam, employment prospects and salaries, several resources to help you develop the abilities you’ll need to pass the exam, and much more.
What does the CompTIA A+ certify, and what is the certification validity?
The foundational knowledge and abilities required for a successful career in IT support are validated by the CompTIA A+ Certification, an internationally recognized industry credential.
By obtaining CompTIA A+ certification, you will have the ability to fill entry-level IT support positions in today’s quickly changing digital world.
It is the accepted method for beginning IT professions, and the program widely verifies knowledge in the following areas: hardware (mobile, laptop, desktop), virtualization and cloud computing, networking, security, operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android), and other operational procedures.
Your CompTIA A+ certification is valid for three years, but you may extend it by another three through continuing education program.
What domains and competencies does the CompTIA A+ certification cover?
The reliance on SaaS apps, remote work, Cloud virtualization, Internet of Things devices, and data management in today’s environment necessitates support activities to keep IT infrastructure operational.
The CompTIA A+ certification covers the following listed competencies:
- Hardware and networking devices setups and troubleshooting
- Setting up and installing desktop, laptop, and mobile devices
- Windows, Mac OS, Android, and Linux operating system installation, configuration, and troubleshooting
- Supporting Virtualization and cloud computing
- Protection and security against vulnerabilities
- Observing operating procedure rules and optimal execution approaches
A CompTIA A+ certified individual is responsible for all technical support tasks to ensure the IT infrastructure operates without any hiccups or downtime, following best industry practices.
Overview of the CompTIA A+ exams (220-1001) and (220-1002)
Let’s look at the exam pattern of the CompTIA A+ certification:
The CompTIA A+ certification requires candidates to pass two exams: Core 1 (220-1101) and Core 2 (220-1102).
(Previous Exam Codes 220-1001 and 220-1002, which are going to retire on October 20, 2022)
The following table lists the domains for each exam and their corresponding weights:
|Exam 220-1101||Weight||Exam 220-1102||Weight|
|Mobile Devices||15%||Operating systems||31%|
|Hardware and Network|
The new exam pattern will also emphasize remote work, which increases the need for remote diagnosis and troubleshooting, integration of SaaS applications, cloud computing, a BYOD culture, etc. These two exams will test all of these new variances.
The total number of questions is 180, including 90 on each core exam and the questions are Multiple-choice and real-world scenarios.
Take a look at the simulation demo and virtual environment questions to get an idea of the exam pattern.
CompTIA A+ Core one must score 675, and Core two must score 700 on a scale of 900 for both exams to pass and be certified.
No prerequisites are necessary to take these tests. Still, it is advised that you have nine to twelve months of practical experience to understand the exam’s topics and pass it on the first try.
It would be pretty simple for you to pass the exam if you have one year or more of work experience. You can enroll in an instructor-led or self-paced learning course or training if you lack work experience.
Exams are also available in German, Japanese, Portuguese, Thai, Spanish, and English.
Each CompTIA A+ exam costs 246 USD in the US, and since you must pass both tests to receive your Certification, you must spend 492 USD.
Below is a list of costs for other nations:
Check out the most recent coupons at CompTIA voucher for various discounts that are constantly changing based on region.
Ways to appear for the CompTIA A+ exam
There are two ways to appear for the CompTIA A+ exam:
In-person Testing and Online testing
In-person Testing: You have the option to test in person at any of the tens of thousands of Pearson VUE testing facilities spread out throughout the globe.
Online testing: You can take the online test from any location based on your comfort.
To book the exam,
- Start by creating your CompTIA account here.
- Scheduling your online exam. You can choose between online and in-person testing on the screen.
- Select your local location for in-person testing from various global locations.
CompTIA indicates no waiting period to take a second attempt if your first effort to pass an exam fails. However, there is a waiting time of at least fourteen days from the date of your previous try for your third attempt or any subsequent attempts.
Remember that each time a candidate takes a test, they must pay the cost to appear in the exam again.
Job descriptions and positions available after getting CompTIA A+ certification
Let’s see the roles and responsibilities that need to be fulfilled by CompTIA A+ certified professionals.
The complete activities are related to IT infrastructure support, such as:
- Operating Systems: Setup and maintenance of Windows OS, Mac OS, Chrome OS, Android, and Linux OS.
- Software and hardware: Setting up, configuring, and resolving all software and hardware-related issues, including security issues on desktop computers and mobile devices.
- Networking: Able to configure TCP/IP protocol, troubleshoot connectivity issues, and LAN and WAN support activities.
- Security: Basic knowledge of firewall, VPN, etc., is required. They should be able to identify security flaws in devices and their network connections and take the necessary steps to avoid them.
- Installation and configuration of Bring your device (BYOD), including laptops, mobile devices, Tab, and other mobile devices, and ensure end-user connectivity.
- Able to install and configure virtual client software, basic troubleshooting of connectivity issues, and good cloning and migration skills in cloud computing.
- One of the non-technical factors that need to be aware of by CompTIA A+ certified professionals is Operational Procedures. They must adhere to industry standards for communication, professionalism, safety, and environmental effect.
The positions or vacancies available for CompTIA A+ certified professionals are related to level 1 technical activities in most the organizations, such as
- IT Support Specialist
- Helpdesk Technician
- Tier I Support Specialist
- Field Technician
- Desktop Support Engineer
- Systems Support Technician
- Associate Network Engineer
- Junior Systems Administrator
How much the CompTIA A+ certified professional could earn?
The compensation entirely depends on the company you join, your region, and your experience.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median income for computer support specialists was $57,910 per year and $27.84 per hour.
Salary.com research analysis states that the typical CompTIA A+ salary in the United States ranges from $28,833 to $80,500.
As per the Payscale report, the income CompTIA A+ certified professional Certification varies from $41k to $61k per year, depending on the experience level.
Resources to prepare for the exam
All courses and training stated below cover all related domains of both core exams of CompTIA A+. Therefore rather than going through every topic in each course, we’ll only highlight the salient points.
#1. Whizlabs CompTIA A+
To pass an online CompTIA A+ exam, Whizlabs provides Core one and Core two study material. It is comprehensive and user-friendly. The course is created to support learners in achieving their objectives and passing the exam on their first attempt.
With a vast course catalog covering well-liked technologies and areas, Whizlabs is the global provider of online certification training solutions.
The course covers various hardware, software, networking, and security topics. The candidates will understand the networking concepts and acquire knowledge of PC system installation, the configuration of hardware devices, troubleshooting of network connections, implementation of virtual clients, etc.
Through video lectures, practice questions, session tests, and round-the-clock assistance from knowledgeable instructors, Whizlabs can provide this course and practice exams that address the new CompTIA exam objectives.
#2. Udemy CompTIA A+
An online learning site called Udemy offers more than 130,000 video courses taught by qualified professors. Udemy offers both Core one and Core two exam preparation material.
More than 1 lakh students globally have previously taken this CompTIA A+ course. You can access the self-paced course from any location at any time.
The text is thoroughly and efficiently comprehensible and covers all exam subjects. The course uses downloaded resources and videos to deliver the course material.
The important topics covered are the hardware of personal computers and mobile devices, networking, resolving hardware and network issues, and operational processes. The course has been updated to match the most recent CompTIA A+ exam objectives.
#3. Udemy CompTIA A+ practice tests
The CompTIA A+ Core one and Core two test preparation and simulations available on Udemy are excellent for raising your certification exam score.
The course is for you if you have already studied or are familiar with the CompTIA A+ exam domains and are searching for practice sessions.
This course focuses on exam preparation, exam design, and what to anticipate on the exam regarding the number of questions and exam length, among other things.
The course offers interactive, question-level feedback, authentic test questions, and top 5 test-taking strategies.
Students frequently view performance-based questions (PBQs) as being rather complicated; this course will provide information on these questions so that students can quickly solve them.
#4. Coursera Google IT Support Professional Certificate
Google offers an IT Support Professional Certificate program on the Coursera platform. IT professionals who want to learn more about support services and how to deliver them can enroll in the program.
It assists you in developing the abilities required to perform successfully as an IT support specialist, covering subjects including server administration, network administration, and software installation.
The course may be finished in less than six months even if you only attend part-time because it is highly interactive and was created exclusively by Google workers with decades of IT experience.
With the help of this program, you may practice simulating the real-world IT support scenarios essential for professional success.
This program contains over 100 hours of instruction and hundreds of practice-based assessments through videos, exams, and practical laboratories. The fundamental IT skills needed for an entry-level position are covered in the course, including networking, operating systems, security, networking, and troubleshooting.
By covering more than 85% of exam subjects, the Google IT Support Professional Certificate also helps students prepare for the CompTIA A+ exam. Additionally, the students will get a 20 percent discount on the exam.
#5. CompTIA Free Practice test
You can download the free practice exams from the CompTIA A+ website.
#6. CompTIA A+ Complete Study Guide
It is the entire CompTIA A+ certification preparation package. All of the goals and skills needed to pass the Core one and Core two tests are present in the book.
The book covers a broad range of topics, including troubleshooting, operating systems, security, and operational processes, which are crucial for becoming an independent IT support expert.
|CompTIA A+ Complete Study Guide: Core 1 Exam 220-1101 and Core 2 Exam 220-1102||$40.99||Buy on Amazon|
The book provides access to the Sybex online test bank, review questions, full-length practice exams, hundreds of electronic flashcards, and a glossary of key terms.
All this material will help you pass the exam and confidently succeed in the field as a computer support professional.
#7. CompTIA A Exam Cram
It is the perfect book to help you pass the CompTIA exam.
It comes with various study aids, including quizzes, exam alerts, a last-minute cram sheet, two complete practice examinations in the print book, and two more exams in the test engine via its content website.
|CompTIA A+ Core 1 (220-1001) and Core 2 (220-1002) Exam Cram||$39.99||Buy on Amazon|
Additionally, it offers 14 unique real-world scenario case studies, all of which have links to simulations or videos on its website.
The CompTIA A+ certification is a widely recognized credential that proves your competence in information technology. It is a valuable credential that can help you in your career and provides the skills you need to succeed in the industry.
A CompTIA A+ certification shows that the holder has undergone extensive training and has appropriate IT expertise.
Additionally, it may give you a competitive advantage while applying for jobs. From an employer’s perspective, having someone with a CompTIA A+ certification is a valuable asset.