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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Tech industry association CompTIA's A+ credential is still the cornerstone of many an IT career.The 6th-century Chinese teacher Lao Tzu is believed to have originated the saying, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” That proverbial first step, for many who embark on an IT career journey is to get the CompTIA A+ certification (No. 66 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) for computer technicians offered by tech industry association CompTIA.

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

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $96,010
Median Annual Salary: $97,780
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 6.8 percent
Very Satisfied: 19.9 percent
Satisfied: 42.5 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 26.3 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 4.5 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $70,310
Median Annual Salary: $64,380
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 10.2 percent
Very Satisfied: 12.2 percent
Satisfied: 42.9 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 24.5 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 10.2 percent

A large majority of the A+ holders who participated in the Salary Survey are U.S. residents (84 percent), but we also heard from A+-certified professionals in 18 other countries: Australia, Canada, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Kingdom.

Across the IT industry there are considerably more male professionals than female professionals, and CompTIA A+ reflects that skew: only 9.5 percent of the the A+ holders who participated in the survey are women. Most respondents, regardless of gender, are clustered around middle age, with roughly 80 percent of those surveyed either between the ages of 25 and 34 (15.2 percent), between the ages of 35 and 44 (31.8 percent), or between the ages of 45 and 54 (32.1 percent). A bare handful are young bucks between the ages of 19 and 24 (0.6 percent of respondents), while the rest are old dogs either between the ages of 55 and 64 (16.5 percent), between the ages of 65 and 74 (3.5 percent), or 75 and older (0.3 percent).

Roughly 80 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 formal education completed by most A+ holders is either a bachelor’s degree (41.6 percent of those surveyed), master’s degree (22 percent), associate’s degree (14.6 percent), doctorate (2.2 percent), or professional degree (0.6 percent). The outliers are the 11.7 percent of respondents who topped out at some level of post-high school technical training, the 2.9 percent who exited the realm of formal education after completing high school, and the 4.4 percent who are still in school.

A strong 93.5 percent of A+ holders who responded to the survey are employed full-time, with 3.3 percent holding part-time jobs, 1.2 percent who are students, 0.2 percent on sabbatical, and 1.8 percent out of work. Among those who have full-time jobs, most are at work either for the standard 40 hours per week (40.6 percent of respondents) or put in between 41 and 50 hours per week (43.5 percent). The rest are either letting work dominate their lives, putting in more than 50 hours per week (9.9 percent of respondents), or laboring under a light load, spending between 31 and 39 hours per week doing work (6 percent).

Many IT jobs don’t require all (or even most) work to be done in a company office, and the still-unfolding COVID-19 pandemic made work-from-home employment a reality for quite a few A+ holders who responded to the survey. A striking 50 percent of those surveyed are spending their entire work schedule at home, enjoying the freedom to wear sweatpants to work for either 40 hours per week (19.1 percent) or more than 40 hours per week (31 percent). The rest are still expected to show up at the office periodically, putting in either between 31 and 39 hours per week (2.5 percent of those surveyed), between 21 and 30 hours per week (3.3 percent), between 10 and 20 hours per week from home (13.5 percent), or fewer than 10 hours per week (72 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of A+ holders we heard from, 31.9 percent of those surveyed, are employed at the senior specialist level. The rest, in descending order, are either specialists (20.3 percent), rank-and-file employees (13.4 percent), managers (16.8 percent), directors (8.2 percent), senior managers (5.8 percent), or executives (3.6 percent).

A little more than half (56.6 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 (10.2 percent of respondents), between 3 and 5 years (also 15.1 percent), between 6 and 8 years (8.8 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (9.3 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: 45.4 percent
Several times a week: 30.5 percent
Several times a month: 11 percent
Occasionally: 10.4 percent
Rarely: 2.7 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 37.7 percent
Agree: 36.8 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 19.2 percent
Disagree: 4.9 percent
Strongly Disagree: 1.4 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 30.4 percent
Agree: 43.1 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 21 percent
Disagree: 4.4 percent
Strongly Disagree: 1.1 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 28.3 percent
Agree: 38.5 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 26.6 percent
Disagree: 5 percent
Strongly Disagree: 1.6 percent






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CertMag Staff


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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