Maintaining your Network+ certification: renewal requirements [2022 update]
CompTIA’s Network+ certification can verify your skills to companies, qualify you for more advanced positions and possibly increase your earning potential. If you are looking to get your first job or advance up the career ladder, then Network+ will be worth the time and effort.
The certification, however, is only valid for three years. As CompTIA states: “Renewing your certification gives you a great opportunity to document your knowledge in technology areas that matter to employers and are important to your IT career.”
Keeping your certification status active and extending the validity of your Network+ credential for an additional three-year cycle is easy through the CompTIA’s continuing education (CE) program. There are several ways to earn the 30 CEUs required for renewal. Visit CompTIA CE pages to learn about the renewal process and get started.
Failure to maintain the certification within the three-year cycle will require retesting to recertify.
The renewal requirements for the Network+ cert
Unlike other certification programs, CompTIA offers five different routes to renew your Network+ cert:
1. Complete a “CompTIA Cert Master CE”
This is essentially a self-paced e-learning course that builds on the knowledge and skills you acquired when you first took the Network+ exam. The purpose of this route is to renew your CompTIA certification in six hours or less with the CertMaster CE Network+ training course.
Successful completion of this course, in fact, automatically fulfills the CEU (Continuing Education Unit) requirement.
2. Earn a higher-level CompTIA certification
This can be achieved by successfully passing one of these other CompTIA certs:
- CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+)
- CompTIA CySA+, CompTIA PenTest+
- CompTIA Cloud+
- CompTIA Linux+
- CompTIA Security+
- CompTIA Server+
In essence, earning a qualifying higher-level CompTIA certification can also renew your Network+ credential.
3. Earn a non-CompTIA certification that is relevant to the Network+
There are several key stipulations for this:
- Timing: This new cert must be earned within the three years of you earning your Network+ cert.
- Relevance: It is important to keep in mind that you can’t simply take any cert; it must be on the pre-approved list provided by CompTIA. Be sure to check the list.
- Documentation: You must provide the appropriate documentation, which includes the following:
- A formal copy of the certificate
- A transcript or badge issued by the certifying body includes the following:
- Your name
- Name of the certification
- The date that the certification was earned
It is important to note that CompTIA audits these transcripts for authenticity and legitimacy. Successfully passing one of these exams earns you 30 CEUs. CE fees will apply when renewing your CompTIA certification with a non-CompTIA IT industry certification.
4. Pass the latest version of the Network+ cert exam
Renew by taking the latest version of the Network+ exam, which is N10-008. It was refreshed in September 2021, so it is important to retrieve the new exam objectives document from the CompTIA official page.
Note: the CE fees are waived for the current renewal cycle.
5. Complete multiple educational tasks
This will be reviewed in more detail in another section.
Below are the answers to some of the most common questions about renewing your Network+ certification:
|How often do I have to renew my cert?||Your certification is valid for three years.|
|How many CEUs are required to renew my cert?||You must have at least 30 CEUS earned by one of the methods described in this article.|
|How much is the renewal fee?||It is $50 every year, or $150 for the three years.|
|Do I have to retake the exam?||No, but it is one option to keep your cert valid. This is discussed in further detail in the previous section.|
|Can I regain membership if my certification has been terminated?||Yes, you can, but you will have to register for the exam again after six months from the date of termination.|
Multiple activity CEUs
It is important to note that any of the methods, as detailed previously, will allow you to keep your Network+ cert active. The advantage of using the previous approaches is that you will renew your cert in just one shot.
However, suppose you prefer to renew using other methods. In that case, the alternative is to use “Multiple Activity CEUs,” meaning you earn a certain amount of credits for each activity that you complete. You will have to complete multiple activities to earn the 30 CEUs to renew your cert.
The possible training and educational activities are as follows:
1. Teaching and mentoring other students in networking
If you teach a class
At least 50% of what you teach must relate to at least one of the Network+ exam objectives. You can earn up to one CEU for every hour that you teach a class, for a maximum of 15 CEUs. When submitting information to CompTIA about the class(es) you have taught, you need to send the following information:
- The course syllabus or lesson plan with your name specifically spelled out on it as the instructor
- A detailed description of the content that you are teaching
- The dates that the course(es) were taught
If you mentor a student
At least 50% of what you are teaching as a student mentor must relate to at least one of the Network+ exam objectives. You can earn up to one CEU for every hour you engage in, for a maximum of 15 CEUs. When submitting information to CompTIA about the mentoring you have done for a student, you need to send the following information:
- The objectives of the material that you are mentoring in as they relate to the Network+ cert
- A detailed description of the material that you have been helping the student with
- The specific dates and the times that you have spent mentoring
- A signed document from the student, validating the dates and the times of mentoring
2. Create instructional material
You can engage in and create instructional material, but each submission must be unique and cannot be the same. At least 50% of the instructional material you are creating must relate to at least one of the Network+ exam objectives. You can earn up to two CEUs for every hour of material creation, for a maximum of 15 CEUs. When submitting information to CompTIA about the instructional material you have created, you need to send the following information:
- The syllabus, with your name as the author
- Copies of all of the instructional materials that you have created
- The date(s) that the instructional material was created
3. Participate as a Subject-Matter Expert (“SME”) in a CompTIA exam development workshop
You can earn up to one CEU for every hour that you participate in a CompTIA Exam Development Workshop as a CompTIA SME for a maximum of 30 CEUs. It is important to note that you cannot just participate in any CompTIA workshop; it relates to the Network+. When submitting proof to CompTIA that you participated as an SME, you need to send the following:
- A signed letter from the workshop coordinator that you have completed the workshop
- Upload the required documents into your CompTIA certification account
Note: You can still apply here for future opportunities (e.g., Feb. 21-25, 2022: Virtual Network+ Item Writing Workshop)
4. Publish a relevant article or whitepaper
You can write articles or whitepapers. At least 50% of the content you are writing must relate to at least one of the Network+ exam objectives. You can earn up to four CEUs for every article/whitepaper you submit (must be at least four pages in length) for a maximum of 12 CEUs. When submitting proof to CompTIA that you have written an article or whitepaper, you need to send the following information:
- A URL link or a direct copy of the article or whitepaper that you have published
- A detailed description of the content you have written
5. Publish a book
You can also write and publish a book. At least 50% of the content you are writing must relate to at least one of the Network+ exam objectives. You can earn up to a maximum of 20 CEUs for the book you have published. When submitting proof to CompTIA that you have written a book, you need to submit the following:
- A URL link to the publisher’s website where your book is featured
- A URL link where your book can be purchased
6. Publish a blog
You can also write and publish a blog. At least 50% of the content you are writing must relate to at least one of the Network+ exam objectives. You can earn up to one CEU for every blog post you publish (must be at least 500 words in length), for a maximum of 12 CEUs. When submitting proof to CompTIA that you have published a blog, you need to send the following information:
- A URL link to the blog post with your name on it
- A detailed description of the content you have written
7. Attend a live webinar
If writing books and papers aren’t your styles, you can sit and listen to a live webinar. At least 50% of the webinar content must relate to at least one of the Network+ exam objectives. You can earn up to one CEU for every hour you attend, for a maximum of six CEUs. When submitting proof to CompTIA that you have attended a live webinar, you need to send the following information:
- A detailed description of the webinar
- A certificate of completion showing the following information:
- Your legal name
- The name of the webinar
- The date of the webinar
- The total length of the webinar (in hours)
It is also important to note that on-demand webinars and YouTube videos will also count towards CEUs, but you will still be required to provide a certificate of completion.
8. Complete a training course
You can also attend a training course. At least 50% of the content you are working with must relate to at least one of the Network+ exam objectives.
You can earn up to one CEU for every hour of training that you have attended, for a maximum of 30 CEUs. When submitting proof to CompTIA that you have attended a course, you need to send the following information:
- A detailed description of the training content
- A certificate of completion with the following information:
- Your legal name
- The name of the course
- The name of the training provider and the name of the instructor
- The date the course was completed
- The total length of the course (in hours)
It is important to note that CompTIA provides a pre-approved list of training courses that you can take. You can see it here.
9. Work experience
This is another great way to earn CEUs. If at least 50% of your work relates to your CompTIA certification’s exam objectives, you can validate three CEUs per year. You can submit your request at the end of each year of the renewal cycle. When submitting proof of work experience to CompTIA, you need to send the following information:
- A letter from your employer on company letterhead containing the following information:
- Your name
- Current job title
- The Continuing Education (CE) year for which your work experience is being submitted
- Tasks you performed
- Signature of your supervisor
Other documents, such as resumes, performance reports and work orders, will not be considered.
Why maintain the Network+ certification?
Earning your certification can be a great boost for your career, therefore, staying certified is paramount. The CompTIA CE program exists to help keep your certification current and ensure longevity to your IT career.
Maintaining your Network+ certification requires 30 CEUs over three years. Working towards earning the required credits allows you to stay up-to-date in your career and proves that your knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) are up-to-date to current or potential employers.
- CompTIA Network+ Certification Exam Objectives EXAM NUMBER: N10-008, CompTIA
- How Long Does the CompTIA Network+ Certification Last?, CompTIA
- What Renewal Options Are Available to You?, CompTIA
- How to Renew Your CompTIA Certification, CompTIA
- Compare Single-Activity Renewal Options, CompTIA
- Earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs), CompTIA
- Continuing Education Program FAQ, CompTIA
- Renewing with Multiple Activities, CompTIA
- Network+, CompTIA