CompTIA Renewal: Everything You Wanted To Know!

Letting your CompTIA renewal lapse is a big mistake!

But I know you’re wondering…how long are CompTIA certifications good for and how to renew them?

In this guide, we’ll provide you with essential information to keep your hard-earned certifications up to date.

We’ll also dive into the simplest CompTIA renewal option as well as explore the various other paths to maintain your certification.

Which CompTIA Certifications Expire?

There are some CompTIA certifications that will never expire; these are known as Good-for-Life (GFL) certifications.

These don’t need to be renewed because they remain valid forever:

  • CompTIA IT Fundamentals (ITF+)
  • CompTIA Cloud Essentials+
  • CompTIA Server+
  • CompTIA Project+

Then there are some that are Good-for-Life certifications only if you were certified before January 1, 2011. These include:

  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Network+
  • CompTIA Security+

All other CompTIA certifications are not Good-for-Life. The simple reason for this is that as knowledge changes over time, so too must certifications.

What’s the point in having a Security+ certification that’s twenty years out of date?

Here’s the list of CompTIA certifications that do need to be renewed:

When Do CompTIA Certifications Expire?

Do CompTIA certs expire? Yes, your CompTIA certifications do expire three years from the date you pass your exam.

If you need the exact date, logging into your CompTIA account will tell you exactly when.

How to Renew CompTIA Certification?

Luckily, there are some fantastic ways to renew your CompTIA certification.

To maintain your cert, you need to accumulate a specific number of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) over the three-year period after you pass.

Each one is different, so you’ll need to figure out how many CEUs are required for CompTIA renewal:

  • A+: 20 CEUs
  • Data+: 20 CEUs
  • DataSys+: 30 CEUs
  • Network+: 30 CEUs
  • Security+: 50 CEUs
  • Linux+: 50 CEUs
  • Cloud+: 50 CEUs
  • PenTest+: 60 CEUs
  • CySA+: 60 CEUs
  • CASP+: 75 CEUs

You can use this CompTIA CEU Assessment Tool to determine if your CEU activity meets the program renewal requirements.

You have two renewal options: single activity or multiple activities. The core difference between the single activity and the multiple activity renewal options lie in how many CEUs you receive credit for.

The single activity option can renew your certifications in a single shot. With multiple activities, you need to perform additional steps to achieve the minimum number of CEUs.

Let’s dive into your options and see how to renew CompTIA certifications:

Single Activity CompTIA Renewal (Simplest Option)

The reason this is the simplest option is that you can renew your certifications in one day. Let’s review a few options allowed by CompTIA:

CompTIA CertMaster CE Course

The CompTIA CertMaster CE is a self-paced e-learning course designed specifically to renew your A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications quickly.

With this option, you spend between $133 – $205 for an 8–10 hour refresher course. Any annual fees you’ve already paid for your certification, are applied.

CompTIA Renewal Pyramid

Another very popular option is to perform what’s commonly known as the “CompTIA Renewal Pyramid”.

This is where you earn a higher-level CompTIA certification. It’s a great way to expand your skillset, but the bonus is that you automatically recertify your lower-level certifications.

But you need to be careful because not all higher-level certifications will renew every lower-level cert.

If you choose this option, make sure to identify which certifications are the next step in your line of progression. Here’s an example for progressing through the Security+ line:

Security+ Certification Pyramid



CySA+ or PenTest+


Earn a Non-CompTIA Certification

If you want to broaden your horizons beyond CompTIA, consider earning a non-CompTIA IT industry certification.

The good thing is that CompTIA allows any one of the ten certifications listed above to be renewed this way. The only downside is that your annual fees don’t get waived.

By doing so, you’ll not only receive an industry certification from another certifying agency, but you also renew your current CompTIA cert!

Before you decide to take another exam, make sure CompTIA has qualified the exam first.

This option is available to all of CompTIA’s cyber-related certifications, including the CASP+.

Retake the Exam

The last single activity option for you is to pass the latest release of your CompTIA exam, if one exists.

If you choose this option, you get the benefit of staying on top of the game by mastering the latest material.

The benefit here is that since you’ve already studied for the exam, passing it should be a bit easier than studying for another exam.

However, if you fail, you lose your certification all together (not my favorite option).

As you can see, plenty of single activity options are available to choose from.

Explore Multiple CompTIA Renewal Paths

CompTIA also offers you the opportunity to gain CEUs through other renewal options, some of which are free.

Sometimes, CompTIA won’t qualify another CompTIA exam or certification from another organization as a single activity renewal; however, you might get partial CEU credit.

Ensure that CompTIA recognizes your chosen certification for renewal purposes, whether it’s full or even partial credit.

Relevant Training or Education

Another way to renew your CompTIA certifications are by engaging in relevant training courses or pursuing higher education in IT or cyber security.

This allows you to stay current with industry trends and best practices while also contributing towards your certification renewal.

CompTIA accepts training courses and college credits from accredited institutions, so make sure to verify if your chosen program qualifies.

Community Participation

Taking an active role in the IT and cyber community can also count towards your certification renewal.

By attending conferences, webinars, and workshops, you can network with other professionals and gain insights into the latest developments in your field.

Be sure that the event you attend is pre-approved by CompTIA to receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs) towards your renewal.


If you have a flair for writing, share your knowledge and expertise through published works such as articles, white papers, blog posts, or even a book.

CompTIA accepts these contributions as a valid method for renewal, provided they meet specific guidelines and relate to the certifications you hold.

Workplace Experience

Lastly, your hands-on work experience in the IT field can also contribute to your certification renewal.

By demonstrating your continued application of skills and knowledge in the workplace, you can earn CEUs to maintain your cert.

Be prepared to provide documentation of your work experience to CompTIA.

How to Renew Expired CompTIA Certification?

You’ve got three years from the date you earned or renewed your certifications to complete the Continuing Education (CE) Program requirements and remain certified.

Don’t worry, CompTIA gives you a 90-day grace period beyond your certification’s expiration date to pay any outstanding CE fees and/or submit CEUs.

Keep in mind, the 90-day grace period isn’t an extension to complete additional CE activities to earn more CEUs.

Only the CEUs you’ve earned during the three-year validity period count towards your renewal. There’s no extra time beyond the 90-day submission grace period, and no exceptions to this rule.

If you earn another CompTIA certification or complete the CertMaster CE within your grace period, it won’t renew your existing certification(s).

What’s the CompTIA Renewal Fee?

Here are the only three ways to avoid paying the renewal fee:

  • Earning a higher-level certification that automatically recertifies your lower-level certs
  • Completing the corresponding CertMaster CE course (only applicable for A+, Network+, and Security+ certification holders)
  • Pass the latest version of the exam (not fun, but it does the job!)

Fees have to be paid before renewing your certification!

And remember, the fee due dates are based on when your certification expires, not on the calendar year. You can pay for anywhere between one to three years at a time.

CompTIA Certification Renewal Fees:

CertificationAnnual FeeTotal Fee
CompTIA A+$25$75
CompTIA Data+$25$75
CompTIA DataSys+$50$150
CompTIA Network+$50$150
CompTIA Security+$50$150
CompTIA Linux+$50$150
CompTIA Cloud+$50$150
CompTIA PenTest+$50$150
CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+)$50$150
CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+)$50$150

If you hold multiple CompTIA certifications, only pay the fees for the highest-level certification you plan on renewing. You can pay the fee by logging into your CompTIA account.

What Does “CE” on My CompTIA Certification Mean?

The “CE” on your CompTIA certificate (like A+ CE, Network+ CE, or Security+ CE) shows it’s part of the Continuing Education (CE) program.

This only applies if you got your certificate after January 1, 2011.

It means your certification needs to be updated every three years by doing certain educational activities to stay current.

If your certificate was earned before 2011, it doesn’t have “CE” because those certificates last forever and don’t need to be updated.

You can still do continuing education if you want or if your job requires it.

Looking to upgrade your career?
View our listing of cybersecurity jobs!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is CompTIA a lifetime certification?

CompTIA certifications are not lifetime; they need to be renewed every three years, except for those designated as GFL obtained before 2011.

How do I renew my expired CompTIA certificate?

To renew an expired CompTIA certificate, you can earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) by participating in qualifying activities or by passing the latest version of the certification exam.

How much does it cost to renew CompTIA A+?

The renewal cost for CompTIA A+ can vary based on the chosen renewal path, but typically, completing CEUs or passing a higher-level CompTIA exam are popular methods without direct fees. However, specific CompTIA programs like CertMaster CE costs between $133 to $205.

How often do you need to renew CompTIA Security+?

CompTIA Security+, like other CompTIA certifications, also requires renewal every three years to ensure that your certification reflects the latest in cybersecurity practices and knowledge.

Which CompTIA certifications do not expire?

Certain A+, Network+, or Security+ certifications obtained before January 1, 2011, are designated as Good-for-Life (GFL) certifications, and don’t expire.

How long is CompTIA renewal good for?

Once renewed, your CompTIA certification is valid for another three-year cycle.

Is CompTIA raising prices?

CompTIA periodically adjusts the prices for its exams and renewal services, often in response to changes in the industry and the value of the certifications.

Do employers pay to renew CompTIA certifications?

Yes, many employers are willing to retain talent by paying for CompTIA annual or renewal fees.

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