Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on CompTIA A+

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Salary Survey Extra is a series of periodic dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our most recent Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

CompTIA's A+ certification is a 25-year staple of the IT certification scene.If IT certifications were like rock stars, then CompTIA’s A+ general purpose hardware and software credential would already be a Hall of Fame act selling out sports arenas on cross-country nostalgia tours. The cornerstone of many a thriving IT career, A+ (No. 68 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) has been around for 25 years already and just keeps on flourishing.

Here’s what the salary picture looks like for A+ holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $85,220
Median Annual Salary: $78,440
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 7.7 percent
Very Satisfied: 21.9 percent
Satisfied: 40.5 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 22.9 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 7 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $65,710
Median Annual Salary: $59,380
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 2.1 percent
Very Satisfied: 21.3 percent
Satisfied: 40.4 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 23.4 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 12.8 percent

The largest single body of A+ holders to participate in the survey is made up of U.S. residents (89.4 percent), but we also heard from credential holders in 19 other countries: Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom.

Most of the A+ holders we heard from are men (90 percent of those surveyed), though there are some women in the mix. The survey group spans a wide range of ages, with 64 percent of respondents clustered around middle age, either between the ages of 35 and 44 (33.3 percent) or between the ages of 45 and 54 (30.7 percent). The rest are either between the ages of 19 and 24 (1.8 percent), between the ages of 25 and 34 (17 percent), between the ages of 55 and 64 (1.8 percent), or 75 or older (0.2 percent).

More than 75 percent of A+ holders who responded to the survey have an educational background that includes time spent at a college or university. The highest level of education completed by most A+ holders is either a bachelor’s degree (37.7 percent of respondents), master’s degree (20.7 percent), associate’s degree (17.7 percent), doctorate (0.7 percent), or professional degree (0.7 percent). The outliers are the 12.6 percent of those surveyed who completed some level of post-high school technical training, the 5.3 percent who exited the realm of formal education after high school graduation, and the 4.6 percent who are actively furthering their education at present.

A notable 93.1 percent of A+ holders who participated in the survey are employed full-time, with the remaining roughly 7 percent either working part-time (3.9 percent), in school (0.7 percent), or out of work (2.3 percent). Among those who have full-time jobs, most are punching the clock either for the standard 40 hours per week (40 percent of respondents) or are putting in between 41 and 50 hours per week at the office (44.6 percent). The rest are either behind a desk for more than 50 hours per week (8.5 percent of respondents), for between 31 and 39 hours per week (6.2 percent), or for between 20 and 30 hours per week (1.8 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of A+ holders we heard from are employed at the senior specialist level (31 percent of those surveyed). The rest, in descending order, are either specialists (23.8 percent of respondents), rank-and-file employees (18.4 percent), managers (12.8 percent), directors (7.4 percent), senior managers (4.8 percent), or executives (1.8 percent).

Roughly half (49.6 percent) of the A+ holders who responded to the survey are IT veterans, having worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for more than a decade. The rest have been plying their certified skills for either between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years (15.4 percent), between 3 and 5 years (15.8 percent), between 6 and 8 years (11 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (8.2 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of A+ holders on key questions from the survey about how certification impacts job performance:

At my current job I use skills learned or enhanced through certification: 
Several times a day: 52.1 percent
Several times a week: 25.9 percent
Several times a month: 7.2 percent
Occasionally: 10.2 percent
Rarely: 4.6 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 32.2 percent
Agree: 35.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 25.8 percent
Disagree: 3.6 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 29.2 percent
Agree: 43.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 19.2 percent
Disagree: 5.2 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 28.4 percent
Agree: 37.8 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 24.2 percent
Disagree: 5.4 percent
Strongly Disagree: 4.2 percent

PAST COMPTIA A+ DEEP FOCUS FEATURES

2018

2017

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CertMag Staff

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Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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