What is a CompTIA A+ certification?” is a common question among people who want to pursue a career in information technology (IT).

The CompTIA A+ certification is an industry standard, entry-level qualification given to professionals who pass exams that validate their knowledge and skills in computing, hardware, and network technology, as well as software, operating systems, and cybersecurity basics. People with CompTIA A+ training and a certification are better prepared to solve problems and troubleshoot various IT issues, making it a requirement for many employers looking to hire IT professionals. 

What Is CompTIA A+?

Before getting into the certification, it’s important to understand what CompTIA even is. CompTIA is short for the Computing Technology Industry Association, a global leader in the IT industry. This is why the A+ certification has become a vital notch in any IT professionals belt.

CompTIA A+ is the best starting point for anyone yearning for an IT profession. It’s a vendor-neutral certification designed to acknowledge the competency of entry-level IT professionals. As mentioned, it’s an industry standard and the only recognized credential with performance testing. More than a million CompTIA A+ certificate holders are in the field, as it’s required for many technicians and those in cybersecurity jobs, so those who are not qualified are behind the curve and at a disadvantage when it comes to the job market. 

Who Is the CompTIA A+ For?

CompTIA A+ is suited for professionals with at least nine months to a year of hands-on IT experience in the lab or field (or equivalent training) and who are looking to start a career in the industry. The certification prepares candidates for the following job roles:

  • IT or technical support specialist or technician
  • Helpdesk analyst, specialist, or technician
  • Field technician
  • Tier 1 support specialist
  • Desktop support specialist or administrator
  • Associate network engineer
  • Systems support specialist or technician
  • Junior systems administrator

Depending on the role and other factors like location, education level, and previous experience, a CompTIA A+ certified professional could earn between $45,000 to $72,000 more or less as a base salary annually, which makes the CompTIA A+ Certification costs well worth the investment.

The CompTIA A+ Exam

The exam, offered by CompTIA, is a two-part assessment that broadly tests one’s knowledge of various IT basics in categories such as hardware, software, networking, operating systems, and security.

Because the exam covers a number of categories, the exam can be difficult for those who haven’t done their due diligence with studying, but ONLC’s training classes give you the tools you need to tackle the different topics.

There are several ways you can prepare for the CompTIA A+ exam. You can take online, instructor-led courses such as ONLC’s CompTIA A+ Training or take preparatory courses in education centers that offer them (you’ll typically find these in community colleges). You can of course study on your own and learn through online videos or books without an instructor.

Whichever method you choose, it’s recommended that you complement your study with at least nine months to a year of hands-on IT experience. It’s also best to have at least 120 hours to prepare for the test. Here’s a list of the domains generally touched on in the CompTIA A+ exam:

  • Installing and configuring mobile devices
  • Types of networks and connections
  • Identifying, connecting, and using hardware devices and components
  • Comparing cloud concepts and setting up client-side virtualization
  • Troubleshooting hardware and network issues
  • Installing and configuring operating systems (Windows OS, Mac OS, Linux, mobile OS)
  • Identifying and protecting against security vulnerabilities in devices and networks
  • Resolving software issues with applications on desktop and mobile devices
  • Providing security support
  • Best practices for IT-related operational procedures

You can take the CompTIA A+ exam either online or at any Pearson VUE test center located around the world.

How to Get a CompTIA A+ Certification

Now the question is how to get a CompTIA A+ certification. For detailed information on this, visit our How To Get a CompTIA A+ Certification article. In short, a series of multiple choice exams must be completed with a passing score, which is where the hands-on experience in the field and hours of studying come into play.

Launch Your IT Career with ONLC’s CompTIA A+ Training

A CompTIA A+ certification can boost your career and open you to many entry-level IT opportunities. However, to obtain this credential, it’s crucial to have a strong foundation of the basics, which you can build with CompTIA A+ certification training classes from ONLC, a CompTIA-authorized partner. ONLC’s exam-focused CompTIA A+ course will teach you everything you need to get certified via convenient learning options (either instructor-led or on-demand live). 

The training also includes exam prep, an exam voucher, and an exam pass guarantee to ensure success. So launch your IT career with ONLC’s CompTIA A+ training!

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