ITIL Certifications

itil certification trainingITIL certifications validate expertise in IT service management, with a focus on the ITIL framework of best practices in this space.

The IT Infrastructure Library (or simply ITIL) framework is part of the AXELOS body of certifications. The AXELOS certification portfolio includes numerous best practices credentials focused on areas such as project and program management, cyber resilience, and the sought-after field of IT service management.

What is ITIL?

When it comes to IT service management (ITSM), ITIL certifications are “must-have” credentials. According to AXELOS, “IT service management is the business of being a service provider: in other words, knowing your customers, what they need and what you do for them.” The ITIL best practices schema helps IT professionals and the organizations they support align IT services with business needs. A quality-oriented framework, ITIL enables organizations implementing ITIL practices to easily facilitate changes, manage business transformation, and promote growth. ITIL practices focus on the entire ITSM lifecycle including identification and design of business requirements, along with implementing, maintaining, reviewing, and improving IT solutions.

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Benefits of ITIL Certification

ITIL certifications benefit both IT pros and businesses. For IT professionals, ITIL certifications provide employers with assurance that you possess the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully implement ITIL framework solutions across the ITSM lifecycle, improve quality and drive value for their organizations. Certifications also establish a minimum level of professional competency which employers can rely on when screening prospective employees.

In addition to providing assurances regarding the quality of skills and expertise of ITSM team members, ITIL certifications also provide numerous other benefits to organizations who choose to adopt ITIL. The ITIL ITSM framework creates integration between IT departments and other teams within organizations. Utilizing the ITIL framework allows organizations to build established best practices into their organizational structure which saves both time and money leaving more time for creating IT solutions. ITIL is compatible with other quality frameworks such as agile, Prince2, ISO® standards, COBIT®, and PMBOK®. In addition, businesses find that ITIL enables them to plan better for and manage service disruptions and other risks, improves system costs, and supports an environment of continuous change allowing organizations to respond with agility.

ITIL Certifications List

AXELOS employs a modular approach to the ITIL framework certifications. Certification modules focus on best practices for various practice areas and disciplines within the ITIL framework. The modular framework allows IT professionals the flexibility to concentrate on practice areas specific to their interests or business needs.

ITIL 4 is the current version of the ITIL framework. For IT professionals holding ITIL 3 credentials, AXELOS provides a clear migration path for ITIL 3 credential holders to transition to ITIL 4. Candidates interested in learning more about how to transition their ITIL 3 certifications or qualifications to ITIL 4 should review the ITIL Credit System web page for additional migration information and the then current requirements.

AXELOS currently offers four ITIL 4 credentials at the entry, professional, and master level. The certifications include: Foundation (entry), ITIL 4 Managing Professional (professional), ITIL 4 Strategic Leader (professional), and the Master credential.

Let's take a deeper look at ITIL’s current array of certificates:

ITIL 4 Foundation Certification

Launched in February 2019, the ITIL certification ladder begins with the ITIL 4 Foundation certification. An entry level credential, the Foundation certification targets IT pros who are working in organizations that have adopted ITIL or who need to understand the ITIL framework and how ITIL is applied to ITSM. The ITIL Foundation validates a candidates understating of ITIL 4 principles, Service Management dimensions, the business value of DevOps, Lean and Agile, and how to create synergy between stakeholders and customers throughout the ITSM lifecycle.

ITIL Foundation serves as a prerequisite to the more advanced ITIL certifications. While there are no formal prerequisites, it’s recommended that candidates attend a 2.5-day training session to prepare for the exam which is usually offered at the end of the course. Training cost varies depending on the training provided but candidates can expect to pay about $750 for a 2.5-day online bootcamp, plus exam. The exam fee is $363. All ITIL certification exams are administered through PeopleCert.

ITIL 4 Managing Professional Certification (ITIL MP)

One of two intermediate level credentials, the ITIL 4 Managing Professional Certification (ITIL MP) is geared to candidates who work with digital teams and other technologies in their organizations. The ITIL MP credential validates that a candidate possesses the technical skill and knowledge necessary to run IT enabled workflows, services, and teams.

To become an ITIL 4 Managing Professional, candidates must first obtain the ITIL Foundation credential then complete all four ITIL MP modules:

  • ITIL 4 Specialist Create, Deliver and Support - Geared to ITSM professionals who manage end-to-end delivery and operation of digital or IT-enabled products and services, this module covers core service management tasks and creation of new services, value stream integration, along with service quality and improvement.
  • ITIL 4 Specialist Drive Stakeholder Value - This module covers engagement between service providers and their stakeholders with an emphasis on converting demand into solutions and value.
  • ITIL 4 Specialist High-velocity IT - This module targets how digital operating models and organizations function in high velocity environments. The module also covers technical practices and technologies (Automation, Automation Testing, and Cloud) and working practices (Agile and Lean).
  • ITIL 4 Strategist Direct, Plan and Improve - The Direct, Plan and Improve module is geared to managers who develop organizational strategies with a view toward continuous improvement. The module dives into leveraging Agile and Lean methodologies, along with practical methods for planning for continuous improvement and delivering solutions. This module is also one of the required modules for the ITIL 4 Strategic Leader certification.

The cost for each module exam is $488. To fully understand the ITIL MP modules, formal training is required. Candidates may download a syllabus for the respective module web page. A fee-based course guide is also available.

ITIL 4 Strategic Leader (ITIL SL) Certification

A relative newcomer to the ITIL 4 certification ladder, the ITIL 4 Strategic Leader (ITIL SL) was launched in September 2020. ITIL SL is the second professional-level certification in the ITIL certification ladder. While the ITIL MP targets digital teams, workflows and services, ITIL SL is focused on how IT directs and influences organizational strategies for both digitally-enabled services and digital IT operations.

To earn the ITIL SL credential candidates must first obtain the ITIL Foundation certification or complete the ITIL 4 Managing Professional Transition module. At least three years of IT managerial experience is also required. In addition, candidates must also complete two modules: ITIL 4 Strategist Direct, Plan and Improve and ITIL 4 Leader Digital and IT Strategy.

  • ITIL 4 Strategist Direct, Plan and Improve - The Direct, Plan and Improve module is also part of the ITIL MP certification stream. Candidates who have already completed this module as part of the ITIL MP certification only need to complete the ITIL 4 Leader Digital and IT Strategy module.
  • ITIL 4 Leader Digital and IT Strategy - This module focuses on ways IT leaders can align IT and business strategy, manage and respond to disruptions caused by the new and emerging technologies, and build and implement IT and digital plans and solutions. The exam fee for this module is $622.

ITIL Master Certification

The ITIL Master credential is the pinnacle certification on the ITIL career ladder. It is geared to experienced practitioners who are able to apply ITIL principles and methods within their organization. Earning the Master credential is not easy and there are numerous requirements. To qualify for the ITIL Master certification, candidates must:

  • Possess at least five years of direct experience in a managerial, leadership, or management advisory role.
  • Earn the ITIL Expert Certificate. The ITIL Expert certificate is geared to IT professionals working in service management who need to demonstrate a deep understanding of the ITIL schema. Candidates who earned the Expert certification under ITIL 3 may transition to the ITIL MP credential by completing the ITIL Managing Professional Transition Module. Earning the Expert certificate requires completion of the Foundation v3 or v4 certification, earning at least 17 credits from the Foundation and intermediate modules and completion of the Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) module.
  • Demonstrate practical implementation of ITIL practices through presentation of an approved project.

Applications for the Master credential may be obtained from PeopleCert. The assessment process consists of the following:

  • Proposal submission
  • An interview with an assessment panel to defend your project.
  • Demonstrate practical implementation of ITIL practices through presentation of an approved project.

The ITIL Master credential is awarded upon successful completion of the prerequisites, project approval and successful interview.

ITIL Certification Salaries

Salaries for ITIL professionals may be impacted by a variety of factors such as experience, the type of ITIL certification held, the role performed, or geography. By way of example, ZipRecruiter reports average earnings for ITIL Foundation credential holders at $88,108 annually with the top 10 percent earning up to $148,500. On the other hand, ITIL Master credential holders can expect average annual earnings around $94,482 with top earnings up to $162,000. Pay scales in certain geographies can vary significantly. Foundation credential holders in Sunnyvale, CA can expect to earn at least 23 percent more than the national average. ITIL Master credential holders in San Mateo, CA typically earn 25 percent above the national average. Roles also play a factor in compensation. Glassdoor reports average earnings for an ITIL Service Management Analyst at $62,200 while an ITIL manager averages $103,847 annually.

ITIL Certification Training

Browse certification prep programs, college degrees, and self-paced online courses that align with ITIL certifications and related skill sets.

Admissions consultants can provide more information about programs and curriculum, IT certification prep, start dates, tuition costs and personalized financial aid options.
Got targeted learning goals? Many schools offer individual courses and certifications from degree programs.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science: Project Management for STEM

  • Gain the Skills and Credentials to Pursue Sought-After Careers in Technology Management and IT Project Management
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Master's in Technology Management

  • Prepare to Lead IT Personnel and Wield Emerging Technologies to Achieve Business Goals
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Master of Science in Enterprise Networks & Cloud Computing

  • Devise Cloud-Based Solutions to Meet Complex Business Goals
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  • Cloud Distribution Systems inc. SaaS, PaaS & IaaS
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  • Information Technology Project Management
  • No GRE or GMAT Exams Required for Admission
Search IT courses and degree programs by job role, technology platform & major.

ITIL Career Paths

ITIL professionals serve organizations in a variety of roles ranging from service engineers and help desk to quality analyst and database administrators. You’ll also find ITIL certifications common among IT professionals working as service or operations managers, directors, or other service-related executive roles. Many project managers possess ITIL credentials along with quality analysts, process coordinators and service delivery managers.

ITIL Job Openings

Your ITIL skills and certifications may qualify you for a range of job roles. Browse and apply to:

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About Axelos

Based in the UK, AXELOS was created by the Cabinet Office of Her Majesty’s Government in 2013. Since its inception, AXELOS has grown to a globally-recognized organization known for its commitment to and promotion of best practices. Certifications include such well-known best practices frameworks such as ITIL, AgileSHIFT, Prince2, Prince2 Agile, Resilia, MSP, and more.

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