Cyber Security

How to Earn CompTIA Security+ Continuing Education (CE) Units

March 25, 2019

Bita Beigishah

[This post was originally published on 7/18/2014 and updated on 3/25/2019.]

Here is the breakdown of what it takes to maintain your CompTIA Security+ certification.

CompTIA requires Security+ certificate holders to submit 50 qualifying Continuing Education Units (CEUs) every three years to renew the certification.

There are a number of ways you can go about attaining these credits, but remember that at least 50% of the content must relate back to the CompTIA Security+ exam objectives in order to be considered a qualifying activity.

For a quick rundown of the accepted activities, view the video below or skip ahead to see the specifics of what it takes to maintain your Security+ certification.

Total Number of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for Activities

As mentioned in the video, most of the approved activities will have a max number of CEUs associated with it.

CE Activity Max CEUs per 3 Year Cycle
Earn a non CompTIA CertificationNo Max – full credits earned may be used
Complete a CompTIA Certification Training Course50 CEUs Max
Complete a non CompTIA Training Course50 CEUs Max
Complete a College Course40 CEUs Max
Teach a Course20 CEUs Max
Complete an American Council on Education (ACE) Accredited Course40 CEUs Max
Create Instructional Materials20 CEUs Max
Attend a Live Webinar10 CEUs Max
Attend a Conference10 CEUs Max
Complete a CompTIA Exam Development Workshop30 CEUs Max
Active IT Board/Chapter Participant9 CEUs Max
Active Member of an IT Association6 CEUs Max
Work Experience9 CEUs Max
Publish a Relevant Industry Article, White Paper or Blog Post16 CEUs Max
Publish a Relevant Industry Book40 CEUs Max

Earn a non-CompTIA certification

The quickest and most practical way to renew your Security+ certification would be to earn another security-related certification that meets the full CEU requirements within a three year period. Think about renewal in this way. This process, although seemingly cumbersome, you can use it as a catalyst to continue education, earn higher-level certification, and progress in your career. It is easy to become stagnant and complacent. However, a successful career in cyber security requires constant learning. Given the adaptability and growth required for your career, renewing a CompTIA Security+ certification shouldn’t be a big obstacle if you’re staying on top of your game. There are several certifications that earn 50 CEUs, thus meeting all renewal requirements for CompTIA Security+. These certifications include:

Other certifications that earn CEUs

Numerous non-CompTIA certifications can earn CEUs for Security+, but not the full 50 required for full renewal. The full list is available here. You may immediately recognize a few certifications that may make sense as you progress in your cyber security career, such as:

Cost-effective ways to renew Security+

Preparing for a certification exam can be a time-consuming and expensive process, especially if your company isn’t picking up the tab. If you need to renew your Security+ certification but can’t afford to take off for a week of training or commit the time to prepare for another exam, here is my suggestion for an inexpensive list of renewal activities.

Put your keyboard to work by Blogging

You can easily earn 1 CEU for every blog post you write and keep writing til you hit the 16 CEU max! For the sake of keeping things simple, I suggest going the blog post route over an article or white paper because blog posts are much shorter in length and you don’t need to take the time finding a place to post it, we’ll do it for you. We’ve worked with excellent cyber security professional, who published very intriguing articles, such as:

If you achieve the max CEUs for this category, you are at 16/50 for CEUs needed and at a $0 investment.

Do you like happy hour? Attend a free happy hour social and tech discussion!

May organizations offer a free Social that is open to the public. Many are held in a happy hour style offering a wide assortment of beer, wine, and various appetizers while learning in an hour long tech session.

In the past, Phoenix TS has host free Socials with topics have including “Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity: How to Keep Your Business Running” and “Nmap for Network Mapping.”

As long as the sessions match the Security+ exam objectives, you earn 1 CEU per hour spent in a conference session. Over a three year period you can attend 12 Socials and use 10 of those CEUs in this category.

If you attend all 12 sessions and record the max of 10 CEUs for this category, you now at 26/50; half way there and still at a $0 investment!

Sit back, relax and watch a live webinar

Make your hour lunch even more productive by watching a live webinar. ISACA offers a number of live webinars every month and they are already approved as CE bearing. If you can’t find the content you need with them, check out EC-Council, Cisco, (ISC)² and AFCEA’s websites as they are all identified as valid live webinar sites by CompTIA. You can earn up to 10 CEUs for this category.

You are still at $0 invested but closer to your goal with 36/50 CEUs!

You already do it, so start recording it – your work experience counts

All you have to do is submit, on company letterhead, your current job title, the year work experience is being submitted for, the specific tasks performed during the year which qualifies this experience as CEUs with your supervisor’s signature. You can do this each year and earn 3 CEUs per year.

3 years at 3 CEUs each, you’re now at 45/50 and $0 down. 

Take advantage of free training opportunities

I know it doesn’t happen often, but when you can take advantage of a free training session. You can earn up to 50 CEUs in this category. I recommend starting at meetup.com to find the tech communities near you and if an upcoming topic is geared towards IT Security training, ask the moderator if it’s CE bearing. We will run the occasional training meetup near our Columbia, MD headquarters and it will be topics such as “Active and Passive Wireless Hacking using the Aircrack – ng Suite”. These are convenient and inexpensive ways to not only learn something new content and make new connections, but also gain the CEs you need.

The best part is you only need 5 hours of training in order to meet your 50/50 CEU requirement for Security+ and if you planned it right, you didn’t spend anything to earn these 50 CEs!

For the official list of activities and methods for renewing your CompTIA certifications refer to this CompTIA web page.

subscribe by email

Stay Ahead

Phoenix TS needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at anytime. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy.