CompTIA A+ certification validates foundation-level knowledge and skills necessary for a career in IT support. It is the starting point for a career. The international, vendor-neutral certification proves competence in areas such as installation, preventative maintenance, networking, security and troubleshooting.
CompTIA A+ certified technicians also have excellent customer service and communication skills to work with clients.
Two exams are necessary to be certified: CompTIA A+ Essentials, exam code 220-701; and CompTIA A+ Practical Application, exam code 220-702.
CompTIA A+ Essentials measures the necessary competencies of an entry-level IT professional with a recommended 500 hours of hands-on experience in the lab or field. It tests for technical understanding of computer technology, networking and security, as well as the communication skills and professionalism now required of all entry-level IT professionals.
CompTIA A+ Practical Application is an extension of the knowledge and skills identified in CompTIA A+ Essentials, with more of a "hands-on" orientation focused on scenarios in which troubleshooting and tools must be applied to resolve problems.
Candidate job roles include technical support specialist, field service technician, IT support technician, IT support administrator and IT support specialist. CompTIA A+ is part of the certification track for corporations such as Microsoft, HP and Cisco. Other technology companies, including Dell, Intel, Lenovo and Ricoh, have made CompTIA A+ certification mandatory for their service technicians. The U.S. Department of Defense recognizes CompTIA A+ and the Department of Homeland Security requires it as part of their computer forensics program.
The CompTIA A+ certification is accredited by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The CompTIA A+ certification may be kept current through the CompTIA Continuing Education program.