CompTIA Training, Certifications and IT Careers: Your Questions Answered

Got questions? We have answers. Read on to learn more about CompTIA’s most frequently asked questions and their answers.

CompTIA FAQHow much money can I make in IT? Why should I get a CompTIA certification? If you are unfamiliar with CompTIA or if you’re deciding whether to get certified in IT, we know that you have questions and we want to help you gain a better understanding of our certification offerings and why you might want to consider getting certified in IT. Below, we have gathered some of our most frequently asked questions.

Your IT Career Questions

I want to work in IT, but I don’t know where to start. Which certification is best for me?

The CompTIA IT Fundamentals (ITF+) certification is recommended for career-changers and students preparing to enter the IT workforce. That’s because CompTIA ITF+ helps professionals decide if a career in IT is right for them or to develop a broader understanding of IT. The CompTIA Career Pathway showcases different paths you can take and the certifications within that pathway.

If you already have some technical knowledge but need credentials to get your foot in the door, check out CompTIA A+. This certification is the industry standard for entry-level IT jobs, including technical support specialist and help desk technician. In fact, in 2021, more than 40,000 U.S. job postings cited CompTIA A+. CompTIA A+ certified professionals are proven problem solvers.

Take our quiz to see which certification is right for you, and then download the exam objectives to get started.

How much money can I make in IT?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT pros in the United States earn an estimated median wage of $94,000 – more than double (125% higher) the median national wage. The salary you make depends on a lot of factors, including your employer, industry, experience, education, occupation and where you live. Check out the CompTIA IT Salary Calculator to see salary ranges for IT pros with similar jobs and experience in your area.

What skills do I need to be successful in IT?

IT pros must actively acquire new skills to keep up with evolving technology. These in-demand skills will keep you competitive and functioning well in your IT career, regardless of what the future holds. The most sought out IT skills include not only technical skills – such as cloud computing, programming and tech support – but also professional skills like project management, communication and problem solving.

Why should I get certified?

You should get certified to be more competitive in the job market. If you don’t have any IT experience, entry level certifications can separate you from the rest.

Additionally, there are a variety of reasons why you should earn IT certifications, including:

  • To validate your knowledge and skills
  • To transfer what you learned during your certification training to your job
  • To show that you are proactive and committed
  • To build foundational knowledge in technology
  • To explore a specialty like computer networking or cybersecurity
  • To further your IT career

Gaining industry-recognized IT certifications is a professional development opportunity that will differentiate you in a challenging job market, heighten career advancement opportunities and set you on a lucrative career path. Learn more.

Sign up to receive a discount on CertMaster or an exam voucher

Do certifications replace on-the-job experience?

IT certifications are a great place to start, but they do not replace hands-on experience. Luckily, if you choose CompTIA certifications, you get hands-on learning as part of your training – it’s the best of both worlds.

For example, many CompTIA certifications include performance-based questions (PBQs). This type of question is designed to test a candidate’s ability to solve problems in real-world settings and are delivered as either simulations or within virtual environments. To prepare for PBQs, CompTIA offers training solutions in a variety of formats including CompTIA Labs. CompTIA Labs helps learners gain hands-on experience with real equipment and software to put their learning into practice. I’m already an IT professional.

How will certifications help me?

Certifications can help you continue to upskill! As an IT pro, you understand how quickly the technology industry can change – and you have to keep pace. Upskilling may help you earn a promotion or start to specialize in an area of tech that you are passionate about. Think of IT certifications as an investment in yourself and your career. If you know where you want to put your energy, you could add a new certification to your resume in as little as six weeks.

Your IT Certification Questions

Why should I choose CompTIA?

There are a lot of other certifications out there. It depends on what area you’re looking to get certified in and which companies offer those certifications. CompTIA is vendor-neutral, so the skills you learn can be applied to any product. Other certifications, such as Cisco and Microsoft, are vendor-specific, meaning that the skills you learn only focus on a specific product. Starting with a vendor-neutral certification like CompTIA’s can help you build a foundation of skills that allows you to dive deeper with a vendor-specific certification.

Are there any requirements or prerequisites?

There aren’t any age requirements or educational prerequisites to take a CompTIA exam. However, we recommend that candidates for any certification be at least 13 years old. In order to set you up for success, we also outline recommended experience for each exam. You can find this information on our website in the exam details chart for any CompTIA certification.

I’m interested in getting a CompTIA certification. What are the fees/how much does it cost?

To earn a CompTIA certification, you must pass an exam (two for A+) and exam voucher prices range from $130 to $480 (USD). You can view the list of all current CompTIA exam prices here.

We know how pricey it can be to get certified, especially when you’re a student. To help you save money on CompTIA certifications, we have exam voucher discounts available.

How do I prepare for my CompTIA exam?

You can purchase learning products to help you prepare for your exam. We offer instructor-led options, as well as self-study options like the CompTIA CertMaster products, which is a suite of online IT training solutions that includes eLearning, labs for hands-on practice and exam prep.

  • CompTIA CertMaster Learn is great if you’re just starting to learn about a topic. This comprehensive, interactive and self-paced eLearning environment is packed with activities and features designed to help you learn and retain content in an engaging way. The customizable learning plan allows you to learn in a way that is most efficient for you.
  • CompTIA Labs is great if you already have some knowledge on a topic. It helps you practice solving real-world problems in a browser-based environment of live servers hosted in a data center. With extensive side-by-side lab guides and pre-configured exercises, we made learning easy, yet thorough.
  • Integrated CertMaster Learn + Labs is available for many CompTIA certifications in bundlesThis allows you to work in one platform to learn the information and then practice the hands-on skills with activities on real virtual machines and software. All bundles include an exam voucher and a free exam retake, just in case.
  • CompTIA CertMaster Practice is great if you want to build upon the hands-on skills you already have. It reinforces your knowledge – moving quickly through what you know and focusing on what you don’t with personalized feedback – to efficiently prepare for CompTIA certification exams.

We also offer FREE helpful resources like our exam objectives, practice questions and book samples to help you decide which training solution is right for you.

When does my certification expire?

Some CompTIA certifications are good for life and do not have to be renewed. However, most of our certifications are part of the CompTIA Continuing Education program and need to be renewed. These certifications expire three years from the date you earned it and must be renewed before that expiration date.

How do I renew my CompTIA certification?

You can either renew with a single activity or complete a combination of activities to earn the continuing education units (CEUs) you need to renew your CompTIA certification. View complete details here.

I’m interested in the CompTIA CertMaster, but I’m not ready to commit just yet. What are my options?

We offer 30-day trials for CertMaster Learn + Labs and CertMaster Practice for many of our certifications. CertMaster Learn + Labs is an integrated, streamlined training solution where you learn the information through articles, videos and more and then practice your hands-on skills on virtual equipment in the same platform. CertMaster Practice allows you to test your knowledge and find out if you’re ready for your certification exam. You can try out these all-in-one learning experiences for free to see if they’re right for you. Sign up here.

I am finished studying for my CompTIA certification exam and I’m ready to test. What’s my next step?

If you don’t already have one, your next step is to purchase an exam voucher through the CompTIA Store or at a testing center. We also recommend scheduling your exam rather than walking in. With online testing, exams are available 24/7, so you can find a time and location that’s convenient for you. Check out these tips on how to set yourself up for exam success.

What are my testing options?

You can take a CompTIA certification exam either online or in-person at a Person VUE test center.

Online testing offers you the ease and convenience to test for your certification from any quiet, distraction-free and secure location at any time.

Choose online testing if you want:

  • A secure and easy way to test from home, a closed-door office or any place that has a private area available to you
  • The flexibility to schedule your exam at any hour convenient to you
  • Technical support if something goes wrong during your exam session

CompTIA in-person testing provides you with testing options at any of the thousands of Pearson VUE test centers located around the world.

Choose in-person testing if you:

  • Don’t have access to a private, distraction-free location
  • Don’t have reliable internet access
  • Have limited understanding of written and spoken English or other language barriers

I’ve passed my CompTIA certification exam and am ready to apply what I’ve learned. What now?

CompTIA has partnered with ZipRecruiter to help IT pros like you find open positions. When you sign up for email alerts, you can be matched with the most relevant job opportunities based on your job search criteria and preferences. Uploading your resume to ZipRecruiter will also help employers who are looking for your skills and experience view your profile and be able to send you an invitation to apply. Sign up to receive career insights and job alerts.

I have completed and passed my CompTIA certification. Which certification should I study for next?

Check out CompTIA’s IT career path planning tool to choose your desired or existing occupation and see which certification you should take next. You can also check out the CompTIA Career Pathway, which highlights CompTIA certifications that align with IT infrastructure and cybersecurity career paths.

CompTIA Data+ is also now available! CompTIA Data+ is the first certification on the CompTIA Data and Analytics Career Pathway and is the only entry-level, vendor-neutral and hands-on data analytics certification on the market. ’t's designed for those who contribute to an organization’s ability to make data-driven decisions and those who want to learn about:

  • Mining and manipulating data
  • Applying basic statistical methods
  • Analyzing complex datasets while adhering to governance and quality standards throughout the entire data lifecycle

CompTIA Data+ is recommended for those who have 18 to 24 months of real-world hands-on experience working in a business intelligence or data analyst job role.

Where can I get a discounted exam voucher?

The best discount is for students is through the CompTIA Academic Store. You'll validate your student status with a third party group.

If you aren’t a student, there are multiple ways to save:

  • CompTIA Bundles: CompTIA combines exam vouchers with training materials into bundles to help you fully prepare for your certification exam and save up to 29%* off the retail price.
  • CompTIA Store Club: For an annual payment of $49, you can activate a 20% off discount that applies to every product on the CompTIA Store – even bundles! (Available to legal residents of the United States and Canada, age 18 and older.)
  • IT Career News Subscription: IT Career News subscribers can sign up to get 10% off their next purchase in the CompTIA Store
  • Financing Options: The CompTIA Store offers financing from Affirm, with rates as low as 0% that can be paid over 3, 6 or 12 months with no hidden fees.

We hope you found this helpful. If you have any other questions or want more information, you can check out our help section, resource center or read more on our blog. Still can’t find the answer to your question? Send a help request here.

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