Career / Career Progression

Roadmap to Success: CompTIA A+

by Karin Klinger
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Published on July 21, 2015

Roadmap to Success is a series of posts designed to help learners better understand certification pathways, career opportunities associated with those certifications, and next steps beyond certification.

UPDATED: We updated this article on September 18, 2017, to reflect relevant changes to the CompTIA A+ certification curriculum.

The CompTIA A+ certification is an excellent entry point for learners starting their IT careers. It is among the most popular courses offered by CBT Nuggets and is highly sought after by employers seeking entry-level IT professionals. Generally, this certification qualifies learners for roles including help desk, network support, field support, and service center technicians.

CompTIA A+ The CompTIA A+ certification is intended to equip learners with the skills and knowledge needed to work with mobile devices, tablets, laptops, desktops, and more. The certification affirms that learners can troubleshoot networking and security issues within a variety of operating systems. The CompTIA A+ is made up of two exams, both of which are covered by CBT Nuggets training:

  • CompTIA A+ 220-901

  • CompTIA A+ 220-902

Typically, learners pursuing this certification should have 6-12 months of experience working in the field or in a help desk environment. The CompTIA A+ certification is an entry-level certification.

Downloadable Study Plans CBT Nuggets offers two study plans that map to Anthony Sequeira's CompTIA A+ 220-901 and CompTIA A+ 220-902 courses. These downloadable CompTIA A+ study plans break down the courses and supplemental learning resources to equip learners with a strategic and manageable approach to conquer training goals. Download the CompTIA A+ 220-901 and CompTIA A+ 220-902 study plans.

Exam Details The following exam details are applicable for each exam that makes up the CompTIA A+ certification. Time allotted for exam: 1.5 hours (90 minutes) per exam Number of questions: maximum of 90 questions per exam Passing score: 220-901: 675 (on a scale of 900) 220-902: 700 (on a scale of 900) Question types: Multiple choice; multiple choice/multiple answer; drag and drop; and performance-based Exam registration: Pearson Vue Exam cost: $205 (USD) per exam Exam objectives: CompTIA A+ 220-901 and CompTIA A+ 220-902 (free resources)

Recertification CompTIA certifications are valid for three years from the date of certification. The CompTIA A+ certification is eligible for renewal through CompTIA's Continuing Education (CE) program. CompTIA A+ certification requires at least 20 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) over the course of three years.

CBT Nuggets is a CompTIA partner, meaning that our courses are pre-approved for continuing education credit. For more information on our partnership with CompTIA, review our blog post, Continuing Education Credits for CompTIA.

The Next Step CompTIA certifications serve as excellent building blocks that enable learners to pursue more advanced, vendor-specific certifications, or further CompTIA certifications. Following CompTIA A+ certification, learners typically pursue:

Often, the next step in training for these learners is determined by the products they use in their workplaces.

Career Considerations CompTIA provides excellent information about IT career paths related to their certifications, including a career roadmap that identifies certifications from CompTIA and other providers that equip learners for specific career opportunities. provides a helpful salary guide to help learners determine appropriate pay scales for job opportunities associated with the CompTIA A+ certification. Depending on professional experience, an employee who holds a CompTIA A+ certification can earn, on average, between $34,126 and $122,282. Roles for employees holding the CompTIA A+ certification include IT manager, systems administrator, network engineer, service technician, IT specialist, and more.

The CompTIA A+ certification meets the requirements for DOD 8750 and/or DOD 8140 baseline certifications for IAT Level I, qualifying learners for Department of Defense jobs and contract work for the U.S. federal government.

CompTIA Certification Pathways CompTIA certifications are considered to be "vendor neutral," meaning that the content addressed by CompTIA certifications is universally applicable to any product or brand. Generally, CompTIA certifications are broad in scope, providing a conceptual framework that can be broadly applied. CompTIA certifications are broken down into four categories: Basic, Professional, Specialty, and Master certifications.

However, no CompTIA certifications carry prerequisite exams, so learners can begin at any level. Though learners can start with any CompTIA certification, the hierarchy should be considered in developing training plans.

Basic certifications:

  • CompTIA IT Fundamentals

Professional certifications:

  • CompTIA A+

  • CompTIA Cloud+

  • CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst+

  • CompTIA Linux+

  • CompTIA Mobility+

  • CompTIA Network+

  • CompTIA Project+

  • CompTIA Security+

  • CompTIA Server+

Specialty certifications:

  • CompTIA CDIA+

  • CompTIA CTT+

  • CompTIA Cloud Essentials

  • CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician

  • CompTIA Social Media Security Professional (SMSP)

Master certifications:

  • CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP)

Concluding Thoughts Earning a CompTIA A+ certification is one of the first steps to launching a long-term, growth-oriented career in IT. It is a building block upon which learners can create a certification vitae that equips them for a variety of career opportunities. Launch your career today with the CompTIA A+ certification!

Watch. Learn. Conquer the CompTIA A+!

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