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Best Computer Hardware Certifications 2018

Best Computer Hardware Certifications 2018
By , Mary Kyle

These computer hardware certifications are in demand in 2018. Find the most valuable certification for your career path on Tom's IT Pro.

Becoming a computer technician is a great point of entry into the IT field, and computer hardware certifications will help demonstrate your knowledge and competency in maintaining computers, mobile devices, printers and more. These top five computer hardware certifications can help you get your IT career off the ground.

Although we cover our five favorite hardware certifications here, the idea that hardware can operate independently of software (or vice versa) isn't true. If you dig into the curriculum for any specific hardware-related certifications in any depth, you'll quickly realize that software is in control of hardware.

Software comes into play for installation, configuration, maintenance, troubleshooting and about any other activity you can undertake with hardware. The hardware label simply indicates that devices are involved, not that hardware is all that's involved.

We feature certifications offered by Apple (the ACMT), BICSI (the BICSI Technician) and Cisco (the CCT), and two from CompTIA (A+ and Server+). You can see how frequently the featured certifications appear in actual job postings. Keep in mind that these results are a snapshot in time and vary from day to day, depending on the needs of the employment market. However, they provide a good indication of the relative popularity of each certificate among employers.

Job Board Search Results (in alphabetical order, by certification)*

CertificationSimplyHiredIndeedLinkedIn Jobs
A+ (CompTIA)1,9572,1571,292
ACMT (Apple)243
BICSI Technician (BICSI)498
CCT (Cisco)523
Server+ (CompTIA)2,2812,477

*See our complete methodology for selecting top five certifications in the Best Certifications series.

Differing factors, such as specific job role, locality and experience level, may impact salary potential. In general, hardware professionals can expect to earn somewhere in the mid-60s. SimplyHired reports average earnings at $72,515 for IT technicians with highs reported in the low 90s. The average national salary for computer hardware technicians ranges from about $31,000 to more than $55,000. However, some certifications command higher salaries. Certification Magazine’s “Annual Salary Survey” (Salary Survey 2016) reported average salaries for CompTIA Server+ at $96,920.