The A+ Certification from CompTIA is a measure of proficiency in the field of computer repair. Completing A+ certification requirements means that you possess the technical skills and knowledge that are important to work as a qualified computer repair technician.
As a general rule of thumb, if a computer repair technician does not explicitly state that he is certified on his website, advertisements, or other media, it’s very unlikely that he is. Or why wouldn’t he mention it?
In Tucson as elsewhere a person in need of computer repair has many choices as far as the computer repair technician goes: ranging from the individual “moonlighter” to the national Big Box chain store. Big Box chain stores like Best Buy’s Geek Squad or OfficeMax’s CTRL Center require their technicians to be certified as a prerequisite for employment. This is a good thing. The bad thing tends to come in the form of significantly higher fees for the customer and significantly less customer service. On other hand, the moonlighter–a person who usually is not a full-time computer repair technician, but rarther performs computer repair as a means of supplimenting income–is rarely certified or sufficiently experienced. They may or may not provide quality service. Their rates may be very substantially less than the Big Boxes, but this often comes at the price of expertise, experience, and accountability.
In the case of the Big Box, the question comes down to whether you want to pay Big Box prices for service. Not many people do.
In the case of the moonlighter, the question is whether you want to entrust your computer investment, your confidentiality, and your precious personal data to an individual who hasn’t demonstrated his proficiency in the form of a verifiable certification, regardless of the tempting rates he may charge.
While being certified is no guarantee, in and of itself, of a good outcome or experience for the customer, at the very least it gives the customer a good starting point when selecting the right computer repair technician and a certain peace of mind, knowing that the technician has demonstrarted a level of proficiency in his field, recognized by an accredited organization like CompTIA.
The third alternative to the national Big Box chain store or the moonlighting techie is a local, full-time, and certified computer repair technician or shop. These individuals will generally have rates significantly below the Big Boxes and, like the technicians at the Big Boxes, will have the proper expertise, experience, and accountability.
If you value your computer equipment, peace of mind, or personal data–as most of us certainly do–you owe it to yourself to spend a little time and effort to choose the right computer repair technician. In the end you’ll be glad you did!