CompTIA A+ renewal process [2022 update]
Congratulations on earning your CompTIA A+ certification! You’re now a recognized expert in the skills needed to be a computer service technologist. You should keep your credential updated and active to get the most out of your credential. Luckily, CompTIA has a convenient system for renewing your certificate, so you don’t need to retake the exam (unless you want to!). This article will cover the why, when and how of renewing your CompTIA A+ certification.
Why is it important to renew your CompTIA A+ certification? Information technology is a fast-moving and ever-evolving field. As a result, the skills, knowledge and expertise you need are also changing. By keeping your certification up to date with CompTIA’s Continuing Education (CE) program, you can be confident you’re using the most cutting-edge tools to stay ahead of your competition.
CompTIA A+ CE, just like the A+ certification, carries a globally recognized ISO/ANSI accreditation status that allows you to extend your certification in three-year intervals through activities and training that relate to its content.
Renewal cycle: What to know
After you pass the CompTIA A+ exam for the first time, your credential will be valid for three years from that date. In other words, if you pass the test on January 1st, 2022, it will be valid until January 1st, 2025. To keep it valid, you must renew it before that date; otherwise, you’ll have to repeat the exam process.
There are four ways to renew your A+ certification: taking and passing the latest release of the full exam [candidates must complete both CompTIA A+ 220-1101 (Core 1) and 220-1102 (Core 2) that were released April 2022]; completing CertMaster CE for A+; attaining a qualifying, higher-level CompTIA certification (e.g., Network+ or Security+); or earning Continuing Education Units (CEUs) by completing approved activities. We’ll explore each option in-depth in the next section.
In addition to your renewal date, you’ll have to pay an annual continuing education fee to keep your certification active. For the CompTIA A+, that fee is $25 per year (or $75 for the entire three-year cycle). To make the payment, log in to your CompTIA certification account.
Renewal requirements: CEUs vs. retaking exam
Your CompTIA A+ credential can be renewed by earning Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or by retaking the current version of the exam.
CEUs are credits earned by completing qualified activities. Your activities must meet three requirements: timing, relevance and documentation.
- Timing: You need to complete 20 hours of CEUs in the three-year window between the date you earned the certificate and the date it expires.
- Relevance: 50% of your activities must overlap with core competencies covered by the A+ exam.
- Documentation: Each of your activities has to be documented to ensure it meets CompTIA’s definition of continuing education.
Now that we’ve looked at the basics, let’s dive into some specific activities that count as CEUs.
CEUs: work experience, training and industry activities
- Earn another CompTIA certification: If you earn another credential through CompTIA, such as Security+ or Network+, it will fully renew your A+ certification because renewing a higher-level certification automatically renews any lower-level certifications you have. (See CompTIA’s Earn a Higher-Level CompTIA Certification to see which other CompTIA certifications you can acquire to renew your A+ credential.)
- Work experience: Working in the IT sector? Great news, because your daily work tasks may count towards renewing your certification. (See the maximum number of CEUs you can earn for this qualifying activity during your three-year renewal cycle.)
- Training: Training consists of updating your skills through classes and industry courses as opposed to experience gained in the field. CompTIA accepts CEU credits for activities such as college classes, industry training courses, webinars and conferences. (See the maximum number of CEUs you can earn for each qualifying training and education activity during your three-year renewal cycle.)
- Industry Activities: Outside of education and work experience, various other industry activities qualify toward your CEUs. These activities include teaching, mentoring and joining a CompTIA exam workshop as a subject-matter expert. (See the maximum number of CEUs you can earn for each qualifying industry activity during your three-year renewal cycle.)
- Publications: You’ll be happy to learn that you can earn CEU credits by publishing relevant articles, blogs, whitepapers and books. (See the maximum number of CEUs you can earn for each qualifying publishing activity during your three-year renewal cycle.)
What happens if you don’t renew in time?
If your certification expires before you fulfill the renewal requirements, you’ll no longer be certified and you must retake the most current release of the exam to re-achieve your certified, active status. (Note: A grace period of 90 days is allowed for certification holders to pay any outstanding CE fee balance and/or upload additional CEUs that must be completed within the three-year renewal cycle to be valid.)
To avoid running into any snags, CompTIA recommends taking a proactive approach and spacing your renewal activities out during the three-year renewal window, so you don’t suddenly find yourself unable to complete them at the last minute. Familiarize yourself with the qualifying activities and identify which ones you’d like to pursue so you can add them to your calendar with plenty of time to complete each one.
What if you already have other CompTIA certifications?
Keep in mind that 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 renew your A+ as well. Your current certification expiration date(s) will be aligned with the expiration date of the higher-level certification (three years from the date you earned it). Also, you won’t need to pay the CE fees for the lower CompTIA certification.
Keep your expiration dates in mind, though. If your A+ credential expires before you renew your highest-level certification, you will need to retake the exam. You can save yourself the hassle of repeating the CompTIA training by planning your recertification around the credential with the earliest expiration date.
For more on the CompTIA A+ certification, view our CompTIA A+ certification hub.
- A+, CompTIA
- Why Renew?, CompTIA
- Certification Renewal Policy, CompTIA
- Continuing Education Overview, CompTIA
- Continuing Education (CE) Program, CompTIA
- Continuing Education Program FAQ, CompTIA
- Earn Continuing Education Credits (CEUs), CompTIA
- How to Renew Your CompTIA Certification, CompTIA
- What Renewal Options Are Available to You?, CompTIA
- Learn How to Renew Your CompTIA Certification, CompTIA