CompTIA A+ Earning CPEs [Updated 2022]
Your CompTIA A+ certification will need to be renewed once every three years to keep your skills on pace with the rapid changes in the information technology field.
Instead of repeating 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 complete a few different activities to reach the number required to renew your certification.
Find out what you should know about the CEU system and what activities meet CompTIA’s requirements. You can complete a single activity to meet your renewal requirements or create your plan of activities to renew your certification.
Renewing your CompTIA A+
To renew your credential, you’ll need to fulfill the following in the three years 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 of your tasks should overlap with core objectives covered in the CompTIA A+ exam. These objectives include mobile devices, visualization and cloud computing, networking, hardware, and network troubleshooting for reference.
You can earn up to three CEUs per year for qualifying work activities, coming to a maximum total of nine CEUs for the three years. This will cover just under half of the required 20 CEUs you need to renew your A+ certification. You can look into the training and education options below for the remaining hours.
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 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+. Other programs will fully renew your A+ certification after you pass the exam associated with the course.
Passing the newer version of the A+ exams will renew your CompTIA certification; earning a qualifying higher-level CompTIA certification (Network+, Security+, Linux+, Cloud+, PenTest+, CySA+ CASP+) can also renew your A+ credentials; completion of the CompTIA CertMaster CE A+ self-paced e-learning course also provides an efficient way to renew your certification automatically.
Non-CompTIA industry training courses
If you’d prefer to do a training other than what CompTIA has to offer, those can count. CompTIA curates a list of accepted training 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 etc.
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 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. To qualify, you’ll need to send in your transcript, including the name of the course, what college you attended, and the date you completed the course.
It’s possible to earn 10 CEUs for each three to four credit-hour class with the maximum number of 20 CEUs earned during a three-year renewal cycle.
CEUs earned: 10 CEUs for each three-credit-hour class; maximum of one class per three-year cycle.
Live webinars and conferences
If you don’t have time for a full class but are still interested in gaining some extra IT experience, participating in a live webinar or a conference might be a good option. 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 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 exam development workshops as subject-matter experts (SME). Each workshop hour will count towards one CEU.
CEUs earned: One CEU per hour of teaching, mentoring, or serving as a CompTIA workshop SME. Ten is the maximum number of CEUs earned for teaching, mentoring or writing instructional materials during a three-year renewal cycle.
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. 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.
Activities that don’t cost a CE fee
Several CE activities don’t require you to pay the standard CE fee. These activities are passing the latest version of the CompTIA A+ exam, earning a higher-level CompTIA exam and earning the CompTIA Master CertMaster CE.
If you choose to re-take the test, keep in mind that it must be the latest version of the exam. In other words, you can’t retake the same version of the test you initially took and passed. CompTIA updates the A+ exam roughly every three years. The latest version — 220-1101 (Core 1) and 220-1102 (Core 2) — were just released in April 2022.
You can also renew by earning a higher-level certification from CompTIA. Since the A+ is an entry-level credential, you have many options to choose from! If you choose this route for renewal, you will only need to pay for the cost of earning the new credential and not the A+ CE fees.
Finally, you can take the CompTIA Master CertMaster CE. This self-paced e-learning course will help you bridge the knowledge gap between the version of the A+ exam you took and the latest version of the exam. The course price of $129 will replace any CE fees you would normally have to pay.
If you’re unsure if your activity counts, you can use CompTIA’s CEU assessment tool to find out. Simply select the type of activity you completed from an easy-to-use drop-down menu 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 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+.
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. CompTIA recommends tailoring your renewal plan around the credential with the earliest expiration date to avoid this.
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For more on the CompTIA A+ certification, view our CompTIA A+ certification hub.