A Plus CertificationCompTIA A+ certification demonstrates competence as an entry-level IT technician.

CompTIA A+ certification validates entry-level skills in today's essential IT domains, including computer repair, software and operating systems, network administration, information security, cloud computing, and troubleshooting of both desktops and mobile devices. A+ certified technicians also learn customer service and communication skills to interact with technical and non-technical employees effectively.

CompTIA A+ certification is an ideal starting point in the learning plan of a new IT professional because:

  • The A+ certification exam demands no prerequisites.
  • A+ certification introduces candidates to the essential IT domains.
  • A+ certification is globally recognized as the mark of a skilled entry-level technician.
  • A+ certification is a mandatory hiring requirement for various entry-level tech jobs.
  • A+ certification is a requirement or elective in the advanced certification paths of leading technology vendors, such as Microsoft, Cisco, Novell, HP, and IBM.

There are numerous accredited degrees and professional certificates featuring A+ exam prep and related coursework. Research and compare A+ training programs and A+ bootcamps in the U.S. and online.

Find A+ Training

Skills Measured by CompTIA A+ Certification

Here are the key skills and knowledge areas measured by the A+ certification exam. A+ certified professionals:

  • Understand the basics of computer hardware, software, networking, and security.
  • Can identify PC hardware, peripherals, and network components in a business environment.
  • Configure and support mobile devices, personal computers, and "smart" devices.
  • Can categorize and explain multiple types of data storage devices and backup media.
  • Can describe in detail the types and features of motherboard components.
  • Know how to follow proper computer safety procedures and best practices.
  • Have interpersonal communication skills to better interact with peers and customers.
  • Set up and manage popular operating systems, including Windows, iOS, Android, Mac OS, and Linux.
  • Install and configure input devices, e.g., keyboards, mice, bio-metric scanners, and touch screens.
  • Implement a variety of troubleshooting techniques to fix system errors and connectivity issues.

View the CompTIA A Plus Exam Objectives below for a more thorough curriculum.

CompTIA A+ Certification Exams

You must pass two exams to become A+ certified. The current A+ exam versions are 220-1101 and 220-1102:

A+ Exam Format: Multiple choice, Drag & drops, and Performance-based questions
A+ Exam Duration: The time limit for each A+ certification exam is 90 minutes.
# of Questions: Exams 220-1101 and 220-1102 contain a maximum of 90 questions each.
A+ Exam Cost: A+ test vouchers cost $246 per examination.
Passing Grade: 675 out of 900 for A+ Core 1 | 700 out of 900 for A+ Core 2

The life cycle of CompTIA A+ exams usually lasts around three years from launch. Here are the [past and upcoming] retirement dates of recent A+ certification exams:

  • A+ Core 1 Exam (220-1001) and A+ Core 2 Exam (220-1002) | Retirement date: October 2022
  • A+ Essentials (220-901) and A+ Practical Exam (220-902) | Retirement date: July 2019
  • A+ Essentials (220-801) and A+ Practical Exam (220-802) | Retirement date: June 2016
  • A+ Essentials (220-701) and A+ Practical Exam (220-702) | Retirement date: August 2013

CompTIA A+ Certification Prerequisites

  • Required: No mandatory prerequisites for A+ certification exam
  • Recommended: No recommended prerequisites for A+ certification exam
Search IT courses and degrees by job role, technology platform, and concentration.

CompTIA A+ Certification Jobs

A+ certification qualifies you for a variety of IT job roles, including:

Search Jobs

A+ Certification Salary

Becoming A+ certified can help pave the way to various IT careers. Here are some jobs you can pursue with A+ certification and the average salary for each role:

IT Career Path Average Salary
Help Desk Technician $52,000
Computer Support Technician $54,000
Technical Support Specialist $55,000
Network Administrator $72,000
Systems Administrator $77,000

Source for salary data: Indeed.com

A+ Certification Cost

The cost of a CompTIA A+ certification exam voucher is $246. You must pass two exams to get A+ certified -- 220-1101 (Core 1) and 220-1102 (Core 2) -- so the total cost of A+ certification exams is $492.

If you need training to pass the A+ exams, that will cost more. The cost of A+ certification training can range from cheap digital courses like the Google IT Support Pro Certificate to more expensive online certificates and degrees that cover other skills and technologies besides A+ cert prep.

A+ Certification FAQs

Here, we address some frequently asked questions from prospective A+ certified professionals.

Is A+ Certification Worth It?

Yes, earning your A+ certification is definitely worth it. For a relatively low cost and time commitment, the A+ certificate covers the skills and platforms you need to begin various IT careers. A+ is recognized by employers worldwide and is an excellent stepping-off point to other marketable CompTIA certs, such as Network+ and Security+.

What Jobs Can I Get with A+ Certification?

CompTIA’s A+ certification can help you get numerous jobs, including help desk technician, IT security specialist, network administrator, and health information technician.

Related Certifications

Research IT credentials closely related to CompTIA's A+ certification.

About the Author

IT Subject Matter ExpertDaniel Greenspan is the founder and Editor-in-chief of ITCareerFinder. Working closely with IT professionals, world-class trainers, and hiring managers since 2005 has given him unique insight into the information technology job market and the skills and credentials IT pros need to succeed.