An IT or cybersecurity professional who needs or wants to support Mac users can qualify for the Apple Certified Support Professional certification. The certification – ACSP for short – verifies your knowledge of the functions of the Macintosh operating system. It also certifies that you can support multiple Mac users, configure key services, and perform basic troubleshooting.

System administrators, help desk personnel, and network administrators — or anyone who wants to work in a technical support role for Mac users — can benefit from this certification.

According to software company Jamf, 23% of corporate clients (organizations with more than 1,000 people) used macOS devices in 2020. This is up from 17% the previous year. Additionally, iPhones accounted for 49% of all smartphones used by enterprise customers. And iPads are the most widely used tablets for business purposes.

Also, consider that this snapshot doesn’t account for the millions of devices used by small businesses. It also doesn’t capture people who use Macs to support secondary activities or personal use.

Why become an Apple Certified Support Professional?

Hardware and software companies offer dozens of certifications. Most are PC-focused. Indeed, Windows still has a huge market share of over 80% for operating systems. The Chrome OS powers many entry-level tablets popular with K-12 students. Chrome is second in market share with almost 11%.

But if you’re looking for a job in IT or cybersecurity, ACSP certification can help you stand out. According to one source, Mac certifications are valuable in certain industries. Businesses that tend to use Macs more often include advertising agencies, magazines, video production companies, visual designers, and the music industry.

Since fewer people have Mac-based technology certifications, an ACSP certification could be invaluable. Apple also says that anyone who considers themselves an advanced Mac user may find it useful to obtain this certification.

Earn the Apple Certified Support Professional Certification

To earn the ACSP certification, you’ll need to pass an exam on macOS Support Essentials (11 was the latest version at the time of this guide’s publication). The exam costs $250. It is taken by OnVue. Apple describes the exam platform as “a live, online proctoring solution”. Exams are scheduled in advance. You will need to use or create an Apple ID.

According to Apple, if you don’t pass a certification exam, you can retake it one week after your last attempt. You can retake an Apple certification exam three times.

While Apple website explains the company’s certification policies, it doesn’t contain a lot of details or specifics about the exams. Fortunately, other sources do:

  • The exam consists of 100 technical questions corrected, multiple choice and interactive.
  • The computer randomly selects the questions.
  • You may not use any reference material.
  • You must score at least 75% to pass.

Consider these other Apple-focused certifications and courses

Apple has many self-paced tutorials, courses, certifications, instructor-led training and training programs. In some cases, Apple relies on outside organizations to provide training and certification courses.

Here are some Apple-focused certifications and tutorials to consider:

  • Deployment and management: In this 12-hour tutorial, you’ll learn the basics of setting up, deploying, and managing Apple devices. Content includes developing a deployment strategy, information about Apple School Manager, Wi-Fi authentication, and setting up VPN connections.
  • Develop apps for iOS: This 14-hour tutorial covers the tools, language, and design principles that enable apps to work with Apple platforms. Topics include SwiftUI, design and animation.
  • Mac Integration Basics: This four-hour virtual classroom course will teach you how to integrate a Mac into a Windows network environment. You’ll learn how to maintain security, run Windows programs on a Mac, and set up file sharing, email, calendars, and contacts.

This article has been reviewed by Monali Mirel Chuático

Monali Mirel Chuatico, a woman with long black hair, smiles in a headshot.

In 2019, Monali Mirel Chuático earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science, which gave her the foundation she needed to excel in roles such as data engineer, front-end developer, UX designer, and computer science instructor.

Monali is currently a Data Engineer at Mission Lane. As a data analytics captain at a non-profit organization called CO-OP careersMonali helps new graduates and young professionals overcome underemployment by teaching them data analytics tools and mentoring them on their professional development journey.

Monali is passionate about implementing creative solutions, building community, advocating for mental health, empowering women and educating young people. Monali’s goal is to gain more experience in her field, broaden her skills and do meaningful work that will have a positive impact on the world.

Monali Mirel Chuatico is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education Independent Assessment Network.

Last revised February 11, 2022.