The best candidate for the CompTIA A+ certification will have at least 500 hours of related work experience in entry level IT technical support before gaining their certification. While this is only a recommended suggestion, and not a requirement, the certification does validate a candidate's knowledge of installing, configuring, diagnosing, maintaining, and operating basic networks. Concepts such as security, safety, and environmental issues are also standards that the CompTIA A+ certification acknowledges.
The CompTIA A+ certification also validates a professional's ability to work with the public. Candidates hoping to earn this certification must have good customer service skills and be able to communicate effectively.
This certification is a beginner level certification that gives candidates an excellent place to begin their career. However, the standards for this certification are high, because it is accredited by both the International Organization for Standardization and the American National Standards Institute.
In order to gain certification, candidates must pass both the 220-701 CompTIA A+ Essentials exam and the 220-702 CompTIA A+ Practical Application exam. Alternately, candidates may take both the JK0-701 for CompTIA A+ Essentials exam and the JK0-702 for CompTIA A+ Practical Application exam. The exams have a duration of 90 minutes and feature 100 questions to test a candidate's knowledge and skill levels. The professional's certification must be renewed after three years, either by taking the exams again or through earning credits in CompTIA's continuing education program.