CompTIA A+ Earning CPEs [Updated 2019]
Your CompTIA A+ certification will need to be renewed once every three years to keep your skills on pace with the rapid changes taking place in the information technology field.
Instead of having to repeat the entire certification process, CompTIA uses a system of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) you can use to renew your A+ credential. CEUs can be earned through related work experience, training, education and industry activities. Each activity is worth a different number of CEUs, so you will likely find yourself completing a few different activities to reach the number required to renew your certification.
This article take a close look at what you should know about the CEU system and what activities meet CompTIA’s requirements.
Renewing Your CompTIA A+
To renew your credential, you’ll need to fulfill the following in the three-year period between receiving your credential and the date it expires:
- 20 CEU hours
- $25/year Continuing Education fee (or $75 total over three years)
You can earn CEUs through related work experience, education or qualifying industry activities. We’ll explore each option in depth below, so you can choose which ones work best for you.
Related Work Experience
CompTIA understands you’re a busy professional working to gain valuable, hands-on experience in the field. As a result, certain work activities will count towards your overall CEU requirement. To qualify, at least half your tasks should overlap with core objectives covered in the CompTIA A+ exam. For reference, these objectives include: mobile devices, visualization and cloud computing, networking, hardware and network troubleshooting.
You can earn up to three CEUs per year for qualifying work activities, coming to a maximum total of nine CEUs for the three-year period. This will cover just under half of the required 20 CEUs you need to renew your A+ certification. For the remaining hours, you can look into the training and education options below.
To claim your credits, you’ll need to provide some basic information to CompTIA about your job, including: your title, employer, a list of your relevant tasks or projects and your supervisor’s signature.
CEUs earned: Up to three per year; nine total over a three-year cycle.
Training and Education
In addition to your work experience, you can also earn CEUs through training and education. These opportunities cover both traditional education, like university classes for a graduate degree program, and industry-related professional development opportunities.
Here’s a list of training activities that CompTIA will consider:
- CompTIA certifications
- Non-CompTIA industry training courses
- College courses
Let’s take a look at each option and its requirements in depth.
If you’re interested in earning other certifications through CompTIA, you can take a higher-level certification to satisfy the renewal requirements for your current certification. Since the CompTIA A+ is the lowest level certification CompTIA offers, you can enroll in any other program, like Security+ or Network+. This will fully renew your A+ certification after you pass the exam associated with either course.
Non-CompTIA Industry Training Courses
If you’d prefer to do a training other than what CompTIA has to offer, those can count as well. In fact, CompTIA curates a list of accepted trainings in a user-friendly format so you can double-check that your program counts before you sign up for it. The list includes options from top industry training providers like Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and many more.
If the training you have your eye on isn’t included on the list, don’t fret–CompTIA will accept other training courses as long as they’re relevant and documented. You can earn one CEU for each hour of training, for up to a total of 20 hours (in other words, you can earn your full load of CEUs through just training alone).
CEUs earned: Maximum of 20
Enrolled in a college class or a graduate program? CompTIA will accept relevant coursework as CEUs. Like other activities on this list, your classes will have to overlap with an A+ exam area like mobile devices, cloud computing or network troubleshooting. In order to qualify you’ll need to send in your transcript, including information like the name of the course, what college you attended and the date the course was completed.
CEUs earned: 10 CEUs for each three-credit-hour class; maximum one class per three-year cycle
Live Webinars and Conferences
If you don’t have time for a full class but you’re still interested in gaining some extra IT experience, then participating in a live webinar or a conference might be a good option for you. To claim your CEU credits, CompTIA asks that you provide proof of participation and a detailed description of what you learned.
CEUs earned: One CEU for each hour you attend; you can earn a maximum of four webinar and four conference CEUs per three-year renewal cycle
IT Industry Activities
Interested in teaching, mentoring or sharing your knowledge as a Subject-Matter Expert? You can earn credit for that too! CompTIA provides CEU credits for sharing your knowledge with tomorrow’s budding IT experts.
Teaching, mentoring and designing instructional materials for classroom use all count as Continuing Education. One important factor to keep in mind is that your work must relate directly to the A+ core exam objectives. In other words, you can’t teach a class covering Security+ material and expect to earn CEUs towards your A+ renewal (this will be important if you have more than one credential through CompTIA). Each hour of teaching and mentoring will earn you one CEU. Instructional materials will net two CEUs for each hour generated.
CompTIA also invites its alumni to participate in their exam development workshops as a Subject-Matter Expert (SME). Each workshop hour will count towards one CEU.
CEUs earned: One to two CEUs per hour of teaching, mentoring or instructional materials; 20 for CompTIA workshop SME
Writers, researchers and bloggers will be happy to learn you can earn credit through your publications. Articles, whitepapers and blogs will earn between one and four CEUs while writing an entire book will get you a whopping 15 credits. All of your work must have been published during your three-year renewal cycle and meet one or more of the A+ exam objectives.
CEUs earned: Up to eight for blog posts and an additional eight for articles/whitepapers; 15 for a published book
If you’re unsure if your activity counts, you can use CompTIA’s CEU assessment tool to find out. Simply select from an easy to use drop-down menu the type of activity you completed and answer a few follow up questions about the content, dates, and documentation. The tool will let you know if your activity counts towards your CEU total.
Have Other CompTIA Certifications?
CompTIA allows a stacked renewal process, so you will only need to renew your highest-level certification. For example, if you hold both the CompTIA A+ and Security+, renewing your Security + will automatically take care of your A+ as well.
Keep in mind that your certifications will have different expiration dates. Allowing your lower-level certificate to lapse before you renew your highest-level credential will result in you having to retake the exams for your expired credentials. To avoid this, CompTIA recommends tailoring your renewal plan around the credential with the earliest expiration date.
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- Earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs), CompTIA
- CompTIA Continuing Education Program and Certification Renewal Policy, CompTIA
- Security+: Earning Continuing Education Units (CEUs), InfoSec Institute
- Network+ Certification: Overview and Career Path, InfoSec Institute