Does CompTIA A+ Expire? The Details You Need to Know

Does CompTIA A+ Expire The Details You Need to Know

CompTIA’s A+ certification lasts for three years, starting from the date you obtained the entry-level IT certification. 

Luckily there are various ways you can go about renewing the certification. From passing a more advanced exam to obtaining CEUs, there are a variety of pathways you can take to ensure A+ does not expire. 

To better answer the question, does CompTIA A+ expire and demystify the process of renewal we’ll answer your burning questions and help you prevent your CompTIA A+ certification from ever expiring. 

CompTIA A+

How Long Is CompTIA A+ Certification Valid?

CompTIA’s A+ certification is valid for three years. 

CompTIA realizes that IT is ever-changing and thus must create a test that accurately represents the skills and knowledge an entry-level IT professional needs to know. 

As such, the material is updated every three years. 

To update the material in a way that reflects the changing landscape, CompTIA collaborates with industry partners to ascertain what technology has changed and evolved since the most recent edition of the exams. The A+ exams are plural because to pass you must ace A+ Core 1 and Core 2

What Are My Renewal Options?

Those wishing to renew CompTIA A+ can renew the certification by selecting one of the following renewal options:

CertMaster is a CompTIA e-learning platform that offers self-paced courses allowing users to demonstrate skills tested via the A+ exams. 

CEUs stand for Continuing Education Units. A+ requires 20 CEUs to renew the certification. CEUs can be earned by completing CompTIA-approved activities.

Lastly, you can retake the exams if they have already expired. Once the exams have expired, retaking it is the only way to renew it. You will not be able to use CEUs or the CertMaster to at that point.

What is CertMaster?

CertMaster is CompTIA’s e-learning platform. 

It offers a range of self-paced courses that you may take to renew A+, as well as Network+ and Security+. The course is designed to test you not only on the same test domains found in A+ but also to further your entry-level IT skills. 

Simply enrolling in CertMaster’s course isn’t enough to renew your A+ certification. 

To do so you must also:

  • Score 100% on all assessments
  • Complete the training during the three-year renewal cycle
  • Complete the course within 12 months of course purchase

CompTIA estimates the course to have a duration of 8-10 hours. 

The price of the course is $129. 

What Are CEUs?

Earning a number of Continuing Educations Units, or CEUs, is another way to renew CompTIA A+. Each certification requires a certain number of CEUs to renew. 

CompTIA asks that you obtain 20 units to renew A+. 

There are a handful of ways you can go about earning CEUs including:

  • Earning an industry certification not offered by CompTIA
  • Training offered via webinars, attending conferences, and college courses
  • IT industry activities such as teaching a course, mentoring, or participation as a subject matter expert
  • Work experience
  • Publishing articles, blogs, white papers, books, and other IT-related material

Not all activities will earn you CEUs. 

CompTIA requires that at least half of the course content must relate to one or more of the A+ exam objectives. CompTIA will also examine variables like the difficulty of the activity to determine whether it qualifies for CEUs. 

To ascertain whether or not an activity qualifies, take this assessment test

Renewing With Certifications

CompTIA A+ need not ever expire if you renew it by obtaining more advanced certifications. 

To partially renew A+ you can pass CompTIA’s DataSys+ exam. Doing so will earn you 13 CEUs to go towards A+. 

To fully renew A+ you’ll need to pass one of the following exams:

These certifications range as far as the content covered and complexity. 

After passing A+ the next logical exam you would take is Network+. Network+ tests your understanding of troubleshooting, configuring and managing networks and IT infrastructure. This exam has considerable overlap with A+ and is the easiest exam that will fully renew A+. 

You may also consider taking Security+. Security+ also overlaps with A+ but dives into cyber security-specific domains such as attacks, architecture and design, and security implementation. 

StationX Roadmaps Comptia A+ Network and Security

What Does CompTIA A+ Cost to Renew?

Every three years you’re required to pay $75 should you wish to renew your certification. 

The three-year renewal fee is waved if you choose to:

  • Obtain a more advanced certification such as Network+
  • Complete CompTIA’s CertMaster course
  • Pass the most recent version of A+

The cheapest way to renew often depends on your career path. If you’re able to renew the certification by demonstrating adequate professional work, renewal may cost only $75

However, you may choose to forgo this option if you plan on taking a more advanced certification in order to further your professional career. Certifications cost in the hundreds but come with the added benefit of negating A+ renewal costs. 

Is it Worth Renewing my CompTIA A+

CompTIA A+ is an entry-level IT certificate. It doesn’t automatically qualify you for entry-level IT jobs, but it might be enough to get you a first interview

That being said, if you’re still in the early stages of your IT career, you may consider renewing it. If you’re invested in acquiring new skills and certifications, you’ll most likely renew your A+ without additional effort when obtaining more certifications, CompTIA or otherwise (just don’t forget the $75 fee). 

Conclusion

To summarize, does CompTIA A+ expire?

A+ has an expiration date of three years after the date you obtained the certification. 

You can renew the certification in various ways, from providing evidence of professional experience to obtaining a new IT certification. 

If you aspire to obtain A+ we recommend enrolling in the following courses and taking these practice tests. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Spencer Abel

    Spencer is part cyber security professional and part content writer. He specializes in helping those attempting to pivot into the vast and always-changing world of cyber security by making complex topics fun and palatable. Connect with him over at LinkedIn to stay up-to-date with his latest content.

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