Types Of ITIL Certification Exams: Paths and Pitfalls

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Sara Ali

Nov 29, 2023


5 min read

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Ever wondered about those ITIL certifications and thought to yourself, “What is the difference?

Well, today, we’re breaking it down in plain English. Whether you’re starting from scratch or aiming for the big leagues, we’ve got the lowdown.

Let’s take this easy-going journey into ITIL together.


Ever notice how smoothly things run at your workplace, like when you request software updates, and they happen seamlessly?

That’s ITIL quietly doing its thing.

Think about calling customer support and having your issue resolved quickly without any fuss.

ITIL plays a role there too. It ensures businesses can provide top-notch services, whether it’s your bank, your favorite online store, or even the local hospital.

So, choosing ITIL is like being part of a team that keeps everything ticking smoothly in the digital world.

In everyday life, ITIL is the reason your emails arrive promptly, your online transactions are secure, and your favorite apps work without crashing.

It’s the backbone of reliability in the tech-driven world we live in.

So, why choose ITIL? Because it’s like having the secret recipe for making sure everything you rely on in your daily life works seamlessly.

It’s not just a certification; it’s a ticket to understanding and contributing to the digital sync happening around us every day.

Different Types of ITIL Certification Exams

ITIL offers a range of certifications, each unlocking a different door in the vast realm of IT service excellence.

Let’s look into the options and find the perfect fit for your IT dream!

ITIL Foundation

  • Who Can Opt for this ITIL Certification Exam:
    • Ideal for entry-level professionals or those new to IT service management.
  • Difficulty:
    • It is considered to be beginner-friendly.
  • Jobs:
    • Service desk roles, IT support positions.
  • Duration:
    • Typically a few days to a week for preparation and exam.
  • Focus Area:
    • Fundamental IT service management concepts and terminology.

ITIL Practitioner

  • Who Can Opt for It:
    • Suited for those with ITIL Foundation looking for practical application.
  • Difficulty:
    • Intermediate level.
  • Jobs:
    • Process owners, service managers.
  • Duration:
    • Additional preparation time beyond Foundation.
  • Focus Area:
    • Applying ITIL concepts in real-world scenarios.

ITIL Intermediate (Service Lifecycle/Service Capability)

  • Who Can Opt for It:
    • For those aiming for in-depth knowledge in specific ITIL areas.
  • Difficulty:
    • Moderate to advanced, depending on the module.
  • Jobs:
    • IT managers, and process consultants.
  • Duration:
    • Several weeks to months per module.
  • Focus Area:
    • In-depth study of specific lifecycle or capability areas.

ITIL Managing Professional (MP)

  • Who Can Opt for It:
    • Aimed at IT practitioners responsible for managing and integrating IT service management practices.
  • Difficulty:
    • Advanced.
  • Jobs:
    • IT managers, team leads.
  • Duration:
    • Takes time; completion depends on individual pace.
  • Focus Area:
    • End-to-end IT service management.

ITIL Strategic Leader (SL)

  • Who Can Opt for It:
    • For those interested in demonstrating leadership skills and managing across the IT organization.
  • Difficulty:
    • Advanced.
  • Jobs:
    • Strategic roles, senior management.
  • Duration:
    • Time varies based on individual pace.
  • Focus Area:
    • Business strategy and leadership.

What’s the Value of these ITIL certifications?

Alright, let’s talk about ITIL certifications and money. In some places, you can make around $92,000, while others can get up to $105,842 – not bad, right?

ITIL foundation opens a handsome amount of an average salary. In the USA: $96,560 per year and in Canada:  $67,858 per year.

But here’s the kicker – if you’ve got fancier certifications like ITIL Service Lifecycle: Service Operation or ITIL Service Lifecycle: Service Transition, you could be looking at over $117,000 on average.

But it’s not just about the cash – ITIL certifications are like superheroes for you and your workplace. They make sure the stuff you’re doing at work matches what the business needs. It’s like a safety net, making sure things go smoothly even when there are changes.

And the cool part? ITIL hangs out with other work buddies like Enterprise Architecture and Project Management. They work together like a team to keep everything in IT on track and predictable. So, yeah, ITIL isn’t just about the money; it’s about making work life easier and more reliable

Benefits and Demerits

  • Benefits:
    • Prospective Job Opportunities: ITIL certifications enhance job prospects in IT service management.
    • Standardized Practices: Promotes best practices for efficient IT service delivery.
    • Career Progression: Higher-level certifications open doors to senior roles.
  • Demerits:
    • Cost: ITIL Certification Exam costs can be really expensive.
    • Time-Consuming: Higher-level certifications require substantial time commitments.
    • Continuous Updates: ITIL frameworks evolve, requiring ongoing learning and updates.
    • Renewal of the Certificates: As of January 2023, ITIL certifications require renewal after every 3 years.


From foundational principles to strategic leadership, each certification serves as a valuable compass, guiding individuals at different stages of their IT careers.

ITIL isn’t just about acquiring certifications; it’s about embracing a mindset of continual improvement and efficiency in IT service delivery. As you consider your path within the ITIL framework, remember that each certification is a stepping stone toward a deeper understanding of IT service management.

Whether you’re just starting or aiming for advanced proficiency, the ITIL certifications offer a structured and valuable approach to enhancing your skills. As you embark on your ITIL journey, may each certification bring you closer to mastering the art of effective and streamlined IT services.

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