How Much Can You Make with CompTIA A+?

IT offers countless paths to fulfilling jobs and rewarding pay – you determine the direction and, ultimately, how much money you can earn with CompTIA A+.

Ready to learn more about A+?

Not everyone has the same reason for getting CompTIA A+ certified. In general, you can apply your CompTIA A+ certification in three ways:

  • Get your first job in IT with no significant prior work experience and IT knowledge.
  • Get a higher-paying job in IT with prior experience and/or IT knowledge.
  • Gain IT knowledge to supplement your existing knowledge for a non-IT role.

In all three scenarios, CompTIA A+ can make it much easier to get your foot in the door and be considered for positions that otherwise may not be within your reach. Keep in mind that you still have to find that door and walk through it yourself, but you’ll do it with a compelling and powerful credential in your hand.

Jobs That Require or Benefit from a CompTIA A+ Certification

Planning the starting point for your career, as well as your aspirations and how much work you’re willing to put into growing your career, have great impact on how much you can make in any job – and IT is no exception. Here are a few common job titles, median salaries and the number job openings in the United States. (Source: CompTIA AITP Tech Talent/Burning Glass, Q1 2018)

Job Title Type of Job Median Salary Number of Job Openings
IT/Desktop Support Specialist  Entry $47,000 – $57,000  1,633 

IT/IT Support Technician

 Entry $44,000  2,372 

Technical Support Specialist

 Entry $44,000 1,683 

Desktop/Technical Support Analyst

 Entry $40,000 – $44,000  1,648 

Desktop/Desktop Support Technician

 Entry $42,000  4,086 
Field Technician/Field Service Technician   Entry $41,000 – $42,000  2,433 
Help Desk Specialist / Analyst / Technician   Entry $38,000 – $42,000  5,002 
PC/Computer/Service Technician   Entry $36,000 – $40,000  3,371 
Information Technology Specialist*   Mid-Level $77,000  4,425 
Systems Administrator*   Mid-Level $75,000  11,947 
Systems Engineer*   Advanced $100,000  21,833 

*These jobs may require experience and/or additional qualifications and certifications.

The Reality of Mean Salary Percentiles

When researching salaries and aiming your career at specific job titles, remember that you may see a range of salaries for one particular job because some companies will pay more than others and some geographies may also pay more than others. Companies that pay more may also demand more – in terms of experience or responsibilities. The result is a range of possible salaries for any particular job title and the reality of mean salary percentiles.

Let’s look at the IT support Specialist as an example. While the above median salary gives you a sense of where the majority of salaries fall, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also gives percentiles that show the highest and lowest salaries for that job title (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics):

  1. IT ​Support Specialist 90th Percentile: $91,220
  2. IT ​Support Specialist 75th Percentile: $69,350
  3. IT ​Support Specialist 50th Percentile: $52,810
  4. IT ​Support Specialist 25th Percentile: $40,350

5 Ways to Boost Your Pay

The pay you can expect from a particular IT job can vary significantly from the median pay depending on a number of factors that may benefit your role for a certain position. Here are five ways that can help increase your pay:

  • Prior Experience: Reducing training time and having expertise that goes beyond your job description may increase your value to an employer. Similarly, prior related job experience provides trust and builds expectations on the side of an employer that can benefit the numbers on your paycheck.
  • Additional Training and Certifications: If CompTIA A+ isn’t your first certification and if you can showcase additional completed training, you may expand the reach of your certifications and qualify for jobs that you otherwise would not – and become candidate for a higher-paying position. Review CompTIA’s stackable certifications to find out how you can build your IT career path with CompTIA certifications. CompTIA AITP also offers access to training for IT professionals.
  • Commitment: Becoming certified is your first step to your career. Staying certified is even more important and can show employers that you’re committed to your job and that you’re in sync with a rapidly evolving industry.
  • Regional Differences: The pay for a job in one area may be vastly different than what is offered in another area. For example, a computer support specialist working in Chicago, Illinois, on average, will make about 26 percent, or $11,000, more than the exact same position in Wichita, Kansas.
  • Industry Variations: Keep in mind that some industries may have, in their details, different expectations for certain job titles than others and offer different pay as a result.

The Personal Factor

Don’t underestimate your personal impact on the pay that you can expect from your job. In addition to the pay boosters discussed above, there are a few more key things that can give you the best shot at landing that first job and making a case for the pay you’re looking for:

  1. Networking: Connecting with IT professionals and building your professional network is incredibly important to starting and advancing your career. Be active on social networks such as LinkedIn, engage in newsgroups and forums, and get involved in local IT groups, such as CompTIA AITP, which not only offers training and job tools, but also local chapters that enable you to be in touch with what’s going on in your community.
  2. Be Up to Date: Make sure that you’re proficient in new technologies. Spend time on IT websites, subscribe to newsletters or even contribute to blogs.
  3. Soft Skills: Your communication skills can greatly influence your ability to land a job. And having an overall positive attitude, managing your time effectively, solving problems, showing self-confidence, coping with pressure and having a strong work ethic all prove that you’re an employee worth investing in.

Ready for a Career in IT?

We’ve made it easy to get started planning your path in IT. Begin by reading up on the four important steps toward your certification. Learn everything you need to know about the CompTIA A+ certification, and download the exam objectives and practice test questions to start learning right away.

There’s a wealth of information to take you from deciding if CompTIA A+ is right for you all the way to taking your exam. We’re with you every step of the way!