How to Become an Apple Certified Technician

With the Apple Mac’s breaking 8% of the market share at the end of 2007, it has become something us PC technicians can no longer ignore. With Windows Vista being such a poor product, more and more users are switching to Apple Macs. Many of us with pre-established computer repair businesses should expect to see many more Macs on our work bench.

As for techies just entering the IT field, having a Apple certification is a great way to make you stand out from the rest. If you look at any business that does some sort of design work, you can bet they have at least one Apple computer, or even all of them as Macs. So what certifications are out there and how do we get them? Read on.

ACMT – Apple Certified Macintosh Technician Certification

The Apple Certified Macintosh Technician (ACMT) certification verifies the ability to perform basic troubleshooting and repair of both desktop and portable Macintosh systems, such as iMac MacBook Pro. ACMT certification exams emphasize identifying and resolving common OS X problems, and using Apple Service and Support products and practices to effectively repair Apple hardware.

Required Exams for this Certification:

  • Apple Macintosh Service Exam (9L0-006)
  • Mac OS X v10.5 Troubleshooting Exam (9L0-061)

Available Training:

 

ACSP – Apple Certified Support Professional

Formerly named Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist (ACHDS), ACSP certification is new for Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard. ACSP verifies an understanding of Mac OS X core functionality and an ability to configure key services, perform basic troubleshooting, and assist end users with essential Mac OS X capabilities. This certification addresses the technical skills needed by a Mac OS X specialist who works as a support professional or otherwise assists Mac OS X users with technical issues.

Required Exams for this Certification:

  • Mac OS X Support Essentials v10.5 Exam (9L0-402)

Available Training:

 

ACTC – Apple Certified Technical Coordinator
Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) certification verifies a foundation in Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server core functionality and an ability to configure key services and perform basic troubleshooting of the essential Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server capabilities. The currently required exams are based on Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server v10.5.

Required Exams for this Certification:

  • Mac OS X Support Essentials v10.5 Exam (9L0-402)
  • Mac OS X Server Essentials v10.5 Exam (9L0-509)

Available Training:

 

ACSA – Apple Certified System Administrator

Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) 10.5 certification verifies an in-depth knowledge of Apple technical architecture and an ability to install and configure machines; architect and maintain networks; enable, customize, tune, and troubleshoot a wide range of services; and integrate Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, and other Apple technologies within a multi-platform networked environment. ACSA certification is intended for full-time professional system administrators and engineers who manage medium-to-large networks of systems in complex multiplatform deployments.

Required Exams for this Certification:

  • Mac OS X Server Essentials v10.5 Exam (9L0-509)
  • Directory Services v10.5 Exam (available mid-2008)
  • Advanced Administration v10.5 Exam (available mid-2008)
  • Deployment v10.5 Exam (available mid-2008)

Available Training:

 

Pro Applications Certification
Apple certification programs create a benchmark for assessing users’ proficiency in Apple’s professional applications.

By passing certification exams, you become an Apple Certified Pro for a chosen application (eg. Final Cut Pro). You can then follow the path to Master Pro Certification by passing additional required exams. Or become certified to deliver Appleā€™s curriculum as an Apple Certified Trainer or Master Trainer.

Required Exams for this Certification:

Available Training:

 

How To Take The Exams:
1. Sign up for a Apple Tech ID if you dont already have one.
2. Find an Apple Authorized Training Center or a Prometric Testing Center
3. Register for your exams based on the certification you would like to attain.

Does anyone here already have one or more of these certifications? Drop us a comment.



Bryce Whitty

About the Author

Bryce Whitty
More articles by me...
Bryce is an Australian computer technician and the founder of Technibble. He started his computer repair business when he was 17 years old and is still running it 9 years later. He is an avid traveller and spends at least a month of the year in another country.

Comments (28)

  • Jm Boyd says:

    Their market share status will return to its normal 3% to 5% as soon as Gates and his cronies get Vista on track.

    In the early days of XP, Microsoft struggled to get it right and Mac sales increased….only to drop again as XP became more reliable.

    Besides, its a much more complicated issue than just operating systems….

  • Phil Benwell says:

    How much can actually be done to a MAC upgrade wise? Are they similar to PC’s once the tops off?

  • Hank says:

    An Apple/Mac are a PC, Person Computer, however today we call a Windows based system a PC. So yes its got the same basic upgrade path HDD, RAM, Optical Drive, and now with Intel CPU’s you can probly do that as well.

  • Joe the PC Doc says:

    Well, I’ve already received my Red Delicious certification, and I’m currently working on my Granny Smith…. oh.. wrong apples. :(

    That joke seemed a lot funnier as I was typing it.

    I really don’t know if Apple certification is needed in my area… Anyone notice an increase in MAC users in smaller towns? I honestly haven’t had a customer yet who uses one. I could see them being more prevalent in larger populations.

  • Dracken says:

    At the University I work for we service apple machines. I just finished my recertification requirements for the ACMT exams last week. As far as upgrading them goes, they have standard hard drives and ram. Being able to run Windows on the machine very easily with bootcamp has helped their market share alot.I am not sure if there is a demand for Apple Certifications in the business world very much though, they are still used alot in higher education and k-12 though.

  • Bill Schubert says:

    Same vendor fair at a local community.

    Two years ago — maybe one person asked if we did Apple/Mac

    Last year — maybe 3 people asked

    Yesterday — more than a dozen

    I just ordered the online course. There are NO apple cert techs in this county…

  • Certainly you need to determine if the cost of the cert is worth it to your business, but I believe it can be advantageous. Especially if you are one of the few options in town for Mac repair…the “Genius Bar” at Apple charges an awful lot and doesn’t always live up to the name, if you catch my drift.

  • Phil Benwell says:

    I didn’t realise so much could be done to a Mac, does the same go for the mac Latops agaisnt the traditional Windows based ones?

  • Jason says:

    Macs can not be upgraded like a windows machine can.

    Basic components can be changed out – Hard Drive, RAM and an occasional Video Card (it has to be a video card made specifically for a macintosh though)

    If you are wanting a computer that you can customize, then get a windows machine, they are fully customizable, macs are not.

    A few things to consider.

    SLI or Cross Fire
    Windows – Yes
    Mac – No

    Processor Upgrading
    Windows – Yes
    Mac – Very Limited if at all

    Motherboard upgrading
    Windows – Yes
    Macintosh – Buy a new computer

    RAM Upgrades
    Windows – Yes
    Macintosh – Yes but different systems have limitations

    Hard Drives
    Windows – Yes
    Macintosh – Yes to an extent (some older systems will only recognize less than 120G and some newer wont recognize over 200G)

    Basically – macs are extremely limited in the upgrading department and have a price tag nearly (or in some cases more than) double a windows PC

    There is nothing a mac can do nowdays that a PC can’t do with the exception of running final cut studio (it’s not made for Windows) but there are options just as good as final cut out there for video producers if needed.

    I am an ACMT (Apple Certified Macintosh Technician) and have worked on thousands of Apple computers over the years.

    Another drawback to macintosh is the repair cost.

    Compare this
    A Windows PC has a DVD/CD Burner go out.

    You want to replace it? Newegg.com – $30 for a new one (with lightscribe) and ANYONE can install it, just unplug the old, plug in the new and turn the computer on, no drivers needed, no software to install.

    Same Quality DVD/CD rom in an apple goes out – $250 minimum for the part (after the retail markup at an apple store, you can’t order this unless you are an apple certified repair facility) and then you have labor on top of that (usually an hour) to have them put it in.

    The drive in a mac is no better than one in the windows machine, yet it costs literally 8 times as much for the part.

    We had a customer come in (video producer) and bought a Mac Pro from us, wanted 16G of RAM in it.

    If we had gotten the RAM from apple, he would have paid about $4,000 MORE than what we got it for him by using 3rd party RAM.

    The operating system is great, but the price increase and extremely limited technology/upgradability does not justify the cost of buying a mac in my opinion.

  • Ali says:

    Waaaaaooooooo
    this last one stunt me, I had to read it twice to make sure the man who is talking here is ACMT him self.
    Thanks for input I started with PC and I think I will end it by PC but these days is wise to have any thing that can give you advantage over others.
    I see if I can start learning more by using the links in this page.
    Thanks a lot

  • Kris says:

    What people are not explaining here is that overall Macs are much better machines than PC’s. There parts are more expensive to replace because they don’t break down as much. Apple’s market share might go down a little, but come on people, Apple’s overall share is high because they have better products. Vista is a piece of crap, we all know that, but that’s not the only reason Apple has gone up. PC people you need to open up your minds Apple is here and gonna take even more of the market in years to come.

  • Mattamatical says:

    agreed apple has some very nice stuff I love the OS, also apples are huge in the graphic design area.

  • Seth says:

    hey guys, your heads are under the bush if you think for a second that Apple is going away. With every college campus being covered with the new intel mac, and even me, I run a tech shop in florida I converted. Why? I can do everything on my mac, because I can run both systems, and all I need is one of the stellar laptops to do it.
    The mac is the best thing that ever happened to my business, and as the machines start making their way to small town USA you better bet the reason some one will come to us is because you can do the job. Why would they pic your business if you cannot do it all?

  • Erik says:

    There is this belief, at least here in Los Angeles, that Apple’s are better at video editing. Maybe it’s because of the popularity of final cut pro. Everyone in LA wants to be an actor or director or somehow related to the entertainment industry, so I’d say yes knowing how to fix apples would be very advantageous.

  • Daniel says:

    On our island there is only one company supporting Apple, the others don’t do any servicing. It’s an opportunity for me, but we don’t have any training center and strangely enough I can’t seem to find out how to contact Apple directly about this.

    Any suggestions?

  • Carla says:

    Get your heads out of the sand. For those of you who won’t convert to Mac because of the price, you need to consider how often you need to upgrade, fix, add security updates, defrag and debug your Windows-based system (and all the added software), and all the costs associated. Mac does not put out a new OS every year or two because they do not HAVE to. Their products are above and beyond what Windows puts out. Macs are supior in every way related to stability. Windows machines are notorious for crashing, system freezes (the kind you have to restart the computer) and application freezes. Windows are also EXCEPTIONALLY more vulnerable to viruses and hacks…simply because they’re what everyone else uses. The everyday hacker who preys off of your average Joe with no or little virus protections or firewall will not take the time to learn Mac systems because they are not of a “significant status” of the population of computers.

    If you have never used a Mac, I suggest you go out and try one. About the only difference in behavior is you need to remember to use the command/apple key to replace the CTRL commands from a Windows computer. After I got used to using a Mac at college, I will NEVER look back at Windows again. Sometimes I wish I still had Windows capability because some programs are not made for or compatible with Macs, but the introduction of the Intel-based Macs have alleviated that problem…I just haven’t upgraded yet. Using bootcamp, any Mac user can run a Windows OS of their choice within their Mac OS, giving added virus protection etc. Using bootcamp, you now can have Windows capability for those odd programs that don’t have a Mac version, but you won’t have to sacrifice stability of your entire computer.

    Long story short, Windows stuff is cheap because it’s just that. It breaks much more often, drivers are randomly lost, and Windows crashes…A LOT!! Out of my 6 years of Mac usage, I have only ever frozen a Mac to the point of needing to push the power button once, but I’ve done it dozens and dozens of times with Windows based computers in the same time period. I will NOT run anything that requires a lot of computing power on a Windows machine if I have a choice.

    Try a Macintosh! Give it a real chance. It’s just as easy to use as Windows, despite any horror stories you may have heard. Base price for a Mac may be 2-3X the cost of a Windows computer, but I can guarantee that you’ll use it at least that much longer than Windows, and you’ll upgrade less, too! That saves you money in the long run!

  • WalkerTXRanger says:

    I disagree Carla. I maintain a lab of 200 Mac Pros and they are far more difficult to maintain and keep stable than their Windows-based counterparts. Sure, the OS is good for some things but people need to get rid of this notion that Apple computers are superior in every way to so-called “PCs”, because they aren’t/

  • killamonkey says:

    The more common computers and Macs use very similar, if not the same exact hardware most times.

    Mac cases are the only thing that is built better, the hardware is the same as the more common machines. They also come with a better warranty, (or you have to pay for an extended one). However, you must shell out more cash for this.

    Remember, if you get a laptop and the case is more rugged, the chances are the insides will last longer, thus the longer life of a macbook over a normal laptop, just make sure you get a somewhat sturdy laptop if you do not want to dish out the money for a macbook, simple as that.

    Macs are pc’s and conventional computers are Pc’s.

    You may think you are getting a better system (well truth is it may last you longer, but you are paying around twice the amount for the same hardware. At least where I live that is the case.

    It is a matter of opinion and costs. To get to the point, Macs are simpler, not for as much expension and complexity at all.
    Conventional Machines can range between simple and complex, but are generally more complex than Apple Products, and although Macs can run other OS’s, Conventional systems are known more often to run varying operating systems, with a majority of users using Windows, and to a lesser extent, users running Linux.

    Lets stop the mac vs pc wars. It is silly.

    Source :
    Heavy Conventional Computer (what you call a PC user)
    IT professional with working knowledge of Linux and Windows in a Desktop and Back end Environment.

  • Mike says:

    When Apple breaks 10% I might look into it but seeing as I am 53 I won’t be holding out too much hope that this will happen before I retire in 12 years time.
    The high school I work in has 509 Desktop computers out of which we have a grand total of 10 Macs and with a Mac store less than 2 kilometers from my office and another at James Cook University 6 kilometers away I don’t see any need to gain certification.

  • Todd says:

    I’ve looked into this and unless you have been in business for a while you can’t become an apple authorized service provider(AASP). If you aren’t an AASP you can’t get parts or repair manuals for the systems. I’m not 100% sure but it may even void the waranty because you aren’t an AASP and that is what people buy apple for.

    I would love too, but I’m just a start up and don’t have a walk-in location and audited financial records. Just read the AASP page on apple’s site.

  • JP says:

    WalkerTXRanger I disagree. It is a statistical fact that Mac’s are more reliable than their PC counterpart. This can’t be debated. You can say that you are overpaying, but I disagree. Where’s why: I am not an IT professional. I do not want to upgrade my computer. I just want it to turn on when I press the button, surf the web when I need it to and launch the applications when I ask it too. For those reasons, reasons that the majority of the population has Mac are better. I was never able to keep my PC running for more than 3 months before I had something crazy happening. Windows 7 is much better than Vista, but I am still getting weird things happen all of the time. For example: everyone in a while my receipt printer stops working. Restarting the system works, but that is a pain in the butt and I never have that happen on the Mac side. I will probably never buy a Windows based machine again. Especially now that I can run Windows on a Mac and the Mac Book Pro out bench marked a high end Alien Ware machine when running Windows.

  • Metalhead says:

    JP: the only “statistical fact” is that 90% of computer users are incompetent at using technology. This doesn’t mean Apple’s are better, it means they are better for people who have trouble clicking, much less configuring a wireless router. Do some research and you’ll find that Apple parts failures are right up there with their PC counterparts. There isn’t some magical thing that makes a Mac more reliable. That magic is called control. Apple controls every single thing about their product. This is viewed by some as an advantage, but to others a big, big disadvantage. In Job’s own words, “the customer doesn’t know what they want.”

    By the way, I’m an AppleCare Certified Technician, and I do this for a living.

  • Heath says:

    Anyone know where good place for free practice exam or study guides? I normally use cramsession, but they dont have MAC ones.

  • sys-eng says:

    JP, you know a person’s argument is weak when they say “this can’t be debated” or “it is beyond reproach”. The fact is that Apple has such a high failure rate of motherboard failures on their iMac and Mac Pro lines that they had to create a new $400 flat rate for their replacement.

    Some Apple heads will passionately deny that Apple had had high motherboard failures, and that is true only if you understand Apple speak. Apple refers to the main system board as the “logic” board which is just another name for the motherboard.

    The term motherboard is used because daughter cards plug into it rather than an independent bus.

  • Aaron says:

    I agree that having a Mac cert may help a new tech stick out among the seasoned techs cause allot of the seasoned techs haven’t needed to know allot about Macs, and I have seen a slight increase in there popularity

  • Chad says:

    looking into scheduling osx server certification.

    as far as pc vs apple.. it all depends on the user. macs arent for people who cant figure out how to operate computers and pcs arent for people who cant afford macs.

    do what you want.

    12year “PC”/windows mobile/server user, recent osx/iphone/server convert.

  • Aaron Willis says:

    I had a Apple IIe and Plus. I used Big Floppies and MAC was ahead then..
    I have a 6 year old Pro Book 13 in and I have never had to reformat it. I have dropped it on the sides and dented the case. It was a refurb for $1100 and has run about 96% of its life. It is starting to get hot now that I changed the HDD.
    I want to be a Final Cut Admin at like Speed Channel or Nascar… I live in Charlotte Home of Nascar…they got the MONEY!

  • bahamut19 says:

    @ Carla
    Mac fanboy.
    Just like another commentor said, the hardware is the same in many cases (no pun intended).
    I opened a mac tower the other day and looked at the Mobo cpu and dvd drive.
    Guess what it was the same as a windows based pc in shop.
    I hope people start making virus more for mac. hell i bet as soon as they are 30% or more of the market they will be a bigger jump.
    Like your mac while you can fanboy.
    Oh i have a mac unit, and an ipad, i prefer my windows 7 machine because i like it more.
    It aint our fault that you clicked the dialog box that said you were infected with 1000+ infections, and entered your cc info. Infact with the way the governement runs things you were dumb to get a CC in the first place. I bet you bought a mac on the CC. Until the price comes down then there is no way i will buy a new mac, i rather spend 850 and build my own machine. much more gratifying.
    hell i even dual boot ubuntu win 7 and soon a hackintosh.
    screw government.
    MAC FANBOY