Can You Be An Apple Certified System Administrator?

All you need to know about the Apple certification process

becoming an ACSA

Just like , Apple offers its own certification program for IT professionals to add a bit of polish to their resumes.

Up until recently (OS X 10.7 Lion), the Apple Certified System Administrator certification, or ACSA, was the cream of the crop. However as of OS X 10.7, Apple no longer offers the ACSA certification.

During this time of writing, Apple certifications are split into a few different levels for technical professionals: the Apple Certified Mac Technician (ACMT), two levels of Apple Certified Associate (ACA) Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP), and Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC).

Each of these certifications covers different levels of proficiency in deploying and using Apple technical architecture, with ACTC being the highest proficiency level offered at this time.

According to Apple, these certifications are suitable for full-time, professional system admins and engineers who are in charge of medium-size or large networks of systems within complex deployments that include several platforms.

Each exam is multiple-choice, running from 60 to 90 questions and a two-hour time limit. A score of 70% or higher is a passing grade for these exams.

Here are three recommendations for getting ready for these exams, which are notoriously difficult unless you are already a Mac master. 

Tip #1: Read the books - cover to cover.

Each exam has a book associated with it from Peachpit or it is available on iBooks. This is a must-read if you are considering taking these exams and the reference that book will provide later on can’t hurt.

Each print book is about $40, so it is not a huge investment if you are not interested in taking Apple’s courses to go along with it.

Tip #2: Take some practice tests, then take them again!

When you take any test, you should most certainly find a practice test and take it. It’ll be beneficial to show you what you should be looking for in each question and process.

Some full practice quizzes exist and this one in particular costs some money to access. However, there are some free resources on the web that will assist you in a few practice questions.

Tip #3: (Optional) Take the official courses or find an alternative

The courses that Apple offers may be a little expensive (runs from $1,500 to $3,000, but they do offer a discount on the accompanying books), so if you’re not willing to shell out that much money for a course, sites like will offer training in the topics covered on the exams and it would cost you a fraction of the price. It’s not a requirement to take a course for this exam, but it is definitely something to think about.


Obtaining one of these certifications will not only be a major achievement (as I have mentioned, they are famously difficult), but it will also be great for your career network: everyone who completes an Apple certification is added to a large list of fellow certified Apple techs.

That said, it will certainly be a point on your resume that certain employers will look closely for in the future.


Note: Changes have been made to this article since original publish by Laurence Bradford

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