Auditor Certificate Programs and Certifications

Learn about the many types of auditor certificate programs available. Find out about popular careers, certification options and the employment outlook for certificate graduates.

Essential Information

Auditors evaluate and assess the reliability of an organization or system. There are a variety of auditor certificate programs available, including certificates in internal auditing, residential energy auditing and information technology auditing. While requirements vary by type of certificate, most auditing certificate programs prepare students for professional certification in their specific fields.

Certificate in Internal Auditing

There are two types of internal auditing certificates. One type of certificate prepares students to take the CIA (certified internal auditor) exam. The other certificate is a certificate of completion offered generally through a college's continuing education department and allows a student to gain professional knowledge and skills in internal auditing.

Educational Prerequisites

Requirements are different for each type of certificate. Individuals taking the CIA preparatory certificate must have auditing experience.

Applicants enrolling in a professional certificate program must have some experience in auditing or enough academic credits to have the background necessary to complete the coursework. They may be required to submit transcripts along with filling out an application.

Program Coursework

Preparatory CIA certificates generally consist of four courses related to the four sections of the exam. Courses cover the development of skills in business management, information technology, business analysis, conducting an internal audit and control, risk and governance.

Students in professional certificate programs build systematic organizational skills for auditing operations. The courses are designed to allow students to make independent consulting decisions to improve an organization's effectiveness. The following are typical classes that can be found in internal auditing professional certificate programs:

  • Risk assessment and control
  • Auditing for internal fraud
  • Financial analysis
  • Information systems auditing
  • Accounting and management

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Certified auditors may obtain entry-level positions within large corporations in the internal auditing department and may eventually become Chief Audit Executives. According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, the demand for accountants and auditors will increase by about 16% from 2010-2020 due to the increase demand for business and organizations to provide accountability in spending to meet financial regulations. Accountants and auditors earned a median yearly salary of $63,550 in 2012, as per data released by the BLS.

Professional Certification and Continuing Education

Students seeking to become CIAs (certified internal auditors) must pass the 4-part exam administered by the Institute of Internal Auditors. They must hold a bachelor's or master's degree and have completed a minimum of two years of internal auditing experience. Each segment of the exam must be completed within two years of each other. Those that have become certified in internal auditing must maintain their certification by completing Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours every two years.

Certificate of Completion - Residential Energy Auditor

A residential energy auditor certificate program prepares students for certification as a residential energy auditor. Students in the certification program receive training to analyze performance issues in homes, diagnose energy problems and improve a home's energy performance to conserve and use energy efficiently. By utilizing class instruction and labs, students learn the basics of energy science, cost control, energy policies, climate impacts and renewable energy. Certificate programs also make use of computer software to analyze and understand utility bills.

Educational Prerequisites

Admission into community colleges usually requires high school or GED completion; however, admission requirements may vary from college to college and program to program. Students may also be required to complete standardized testing prior to entrance into any community college program.

Program Coursework

A residential energy auditor certificate program requires the completion of core energy classes, as well as specialty courses in energy auditing. The following courses are some examples of classes students may find in the residential energy auditor certificate.

  • Energy management
  • Sustainability
  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy analysis and assessment
  • Technical mathematics

Popular Careers

With a residential energy auditor certificate, graduates may find entry-level positions in construction, technology, manufacturing and engineering fields. The following positions are career choices graduates of the certificate program may take.

  • Energy auditor
  • Energy conservation representative
  • Field energy consultant

Professional Certification and Continuing Education

To receive a certification as a residential energy auditor, students must take and pass national certification exams required by the Residential Energy Services Network and the Building Performance Institute Inc. Students may also further their education by enrolling in an associate degree program in energy performance and resource management.

Certificate of Completion - Information Technology (IT) Audit

IT audit certificate programs are designed to enhance the internal or external IT professional's knowledge of auditing and IT issues. Within the certificate program, IT auditors build technical skills in financial systems audits, statistical applications and computer auditing applications. Students also gain a working knowledge base in how to secure and manage a company's financial and operational data, such as utilizing security architecture and controlling data supply.

Educational Prerequisites

For admissions into an IT audit certificate, applicants must usually possess at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or IT. Additionally, most programs require that students are working in the IT field.

Program Coursework

Classes in IT auditing certificate programs cover the business process and data management, as well as techniques for information security and information management. Typical courses in IT auditing certificate programs include the following:

  • Principles of IT auditing
  • Assurance services
  • Evaluating controls
  • Information security auditing
  • Technology implements

Popular Careers

Certified IT auditors may find a wide range of entry- to mid-level positions within various companies or organizations. Positions available to certified IT auditors may include the following:

  • Process assurance analyst
  • Information systems audit manager
  • Senior auditor

Professional Certification and Continuing Education

Certification for IT auditing is offered by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) for a certified information systems auditor (CISA) certification. To qualify for the certification, graduates must hold five years of experience in IT auditing and complete the CISA exam. CISA's must also complete a minimum of 20 hours of CPE annually to maintain certification.

Other Auditing Certifications

Certifications for auditors exist in several other fields and include certified biomedical, HACCP and quality auditors. The certifications are offers through the American Society for Quality (ASQ). To apply for these certification exams, applicants must possess five years of job experience in the area of the certification. However, having an associate, bachelor's or master's degree waives some of the experience requirements. Certified biomedical, HACCP and quality auditors must also complete 18 recertification units in a 3-year period to maintain certification.

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