Administration, Product Specialization, Solutions Engineering for Cloud and Security, and Channel Sales are the four courses that make up the F5 certification program. The F5 Certified BIG-IP Administrator (F5-CA) is the first certification on the core F5 certification exam, and each subsequent F5 certification builds on the knowledge and proficiency required for this certification.
F5 Certified Technical Specialist (F5-CTS), F5 Certified Solution Expert (F5-CSE), and F5 Certified Technical Professional, Sales are the higher-level qualifications in the F5 certification route (F5-CTP, Sales).
F5 Certified Technical Specialist candidates can choose to certify in one or more specializations:
- BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM)
- BIG-IP Domain Name System (DNS)
- BIG-IP Application Security Manager (ASM)
- BIG-IP Access Policy Manager (APM)
- F5 Certified Solution Expert candidates have the choice of two F5 certification paths with separate F5 Certified Solution Expert specializations for Security and Cloud.
- The F5 Certified Technical Professional, Sales is the final F5 qualification (F5-CTP, Sales).
- This stand-alone certification is for technical experts who work for F5 channel partners, such as solution providers and consulting organizations. The F5-CTP, Sales certification starts with the same test as all other F5 certifications: Application Delivery Fundamentals (Exam 101).
Pearson Vue administers all F5 certification examinations, which can be taken at a Pearson VUE testing facility near you. The cost of each F5 certification exam is $135. Candidates who fail an exam can retake it, but they must wait a certain period-from 15 days for the first attempt to a year for the fifth or subsequent attempts.
Candidates must sign up for the F5 Certification Program at the F5 Candidate Portal before beginning their F5 certification path, after which they will get an authorization-to-test email from F5.
The F5 Candidate Portal allows certification applicants and F5 qualified professionals to book F5 certification examinations and track their overall F5 certification status. They may publish their F5 certification credentials-badges, certifications, and transcripts-to third parties they identify, such as present and potential employers, once they have obtained one or more F5 certifications.
For F5 certification candidates, F5 offers a variety of exam preparation tools, including:
Exam blueprints for F5 certifications, which detail exam subjects and what should be studied, and study materials for F5 certification exams as well as f5 interview questions, which provide examples and links to further in-depth information on key topics.
F5 has also teamed with ExamStudio, a third-party vendor, to offer F5 practice examinations. Candidates can create an ExamStudio account once they've enrolled at the F5 Candidate Portal, and then purchase practice examinations.
F5 Renewal and Recertification
F5 certifications are valid for two years from the time they were obtained. The F5 certification expiration date is determined by the individual's most recent and highest certification. Someone who possesses the F5-CTS BIG-IP LTM certification, for example, will have acquired the required F5 Certified BIG-IP Administrator (F5-CA) certification. The date they received the F5-CTS LTM determines when their certification will expire.
The F5 qualified individual just needs to retake the last exam of the highest certification they obtained to renew their F5 certification.
Individuals who are F5 certified can check their certification dates and status on the F5 candidate portal. F5 certified persons will also receive a monthly email three months previous to their certification expiration date reminding them to register for a renewal exam on the Pearson VUE website.
Individuals who do not recertify before the expiration date are no longer certified. However, they have a 30-day grace period after their certification expires to take the recertification exam and reactivate it.
After this 30-day grace period, the certification becomes null and void, and the individual must begin the F5 certification process all over again. The person is not F5 certified at this time and is not eligible for higher-level examinations or any benefits associated with F5 certification.