First of all, I'd like to thank you for reading this guide that I have created. I created this guide to make people aware of the knowledge that they can gain if they simply have the will to learn and the will to work hard. There is a whole world of knowledge out there, and so many chances to grab it. Get out there and increase your knowledge for the good of the community as well as your future.
And so, the beginning question is, "What exactly is the A+ Certification?":
The A+ certification is vendor-neutral and consists of two exams. To pass, you must demonstrate knowledge of installing, configuring, upgrading, troubleshooting and repairing desktop systems. You must also possess basic knowledge of the command prompt, Windows 9x, Windows 2000, and Windows XP. Although its overlooked quite often, do some brief research on networking as well. There is a seperate certification for Networking (Net+, which is what I'm working on), but the test does cover certain things like the star diagram (how computers are laid out during networking), and cable types (CAT1-5, and CAT5E.)
Why Should I get A+ Certified?
Possibly the most popular entry-level certification, the A+ is for people with some experience (6 months or less) in computer service. Once completed, this is a widely accepted certification that demonstrates expert knowledge of hardware technologies. This is an excellent certification for anyone looking to enter into the world of information technology. (Credit given to About.com for this explanation)
What is the average salary of A+ certified professionals?
There are different figures depending who you work for, and the job that you do. In some cases, to be A+ Certified may get you up to $20,000 more on your salary. Out of 137 people surveyed about this (survey done by About.com in 2002), they responded with an average salary of $37,000 as a computer technician.
How do I begin on my way to be certified?
There are two tests to become A+ Certified (Core and Operating Systems). I'd reccomend studying for the Core test first because in my experience, it was easier and its more so about memorization than technical experience.
For my studies, I used the book, A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Fifth Edition by Mike Meyers. Since my test though, Mike Meyers has come out with the Sixth Edition with the included teachings of Windows XP to meet with the new regulations of the test which supposedly do or will be including XP (for the O/S test, of course). The book can be found on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/007...lance&n=283155
I also used the practice tests found at http://www.passitnow.com
- I found some of the questions from that website to be word-to-word on the actual test. If your doing well on most of the practice tests there, then you'll do well on the actual test, I'm sure.
How much does the actual test cost?
Well, you need to pay for both of the tests individually. Fortunately for me, my high school class that I take (Computer Network Technology, CNT) paid the costs of my test involved. If you have a similiar class, speak to the professor and see if he has any information as far as the school paying for such a test.
For purchasing your own test voucher, I'd reccomend http://www.preplogic.com/products/vo...e-vouchers.asp
which is a website officially linked to from Comptia. They have the cheapest vouchers I've seen around.. so I'd go to them for purchasing your own.
How and where do I schedule my test?
Every location is different, but here in New York, as well as many other states , there is an organization called Prometric. They are a testing center that are authorized to distribute the Comptia certification tests. If they are availible where you live, you can simply give them a call and they'll schedule the test for you and everything, saving you time.
So, after I get certified, then what?
Becoming A+ Certified is a stepping stone, not a final destination. I'd reccomend studying for other Comptia certifications after you become A+ Certified. If you become certified in multiple things, such as Net+, Linux+, Server+, ect., you will not have any problem finding a great job, with an even better salary to match it.
Okay, so I hoped this guide helped you.
Good luck on becoming certified.
Brian C. Schroeter