Math Certification and Certificate Program Information
Math certificate programs are short training options for individuals with an undergraduate degree who'd like to improve their math skills. Many are geared towards math teachers who want to enhance their skills to teach at an advanced grade level.
Students often complete certificate programs in math to strengthen job skills or prepare for a graduate program, like economics, chemistry, physics or business. To get certified in math, requirements include passing an examination and completing two semesters of certain math coursework. A teaching certificate program for math often is a non-degree program offered by colleges or universities. Before getting into either of these programs you will need to have already completed a related bachelor's degree.
Certificate in Mathematics
A certificate program in applied mathematics typically takes two semesters, each consisting of three classes. Coursework for math programs consists of calculus, algebra and equation analysis. Some courses may include the following:
- Complex analysis
- Linear algebra
Some mathematical certification programs are designed to prepare adults who already hold bachelor's degrees for careers as teachers. Additionally, a professional certification in math may be earned by a certified teacher hoping to teach mathematics. Other certification programs are incorporated into bachelor-level programs designed to provide both the math and pedagogical background necessary to pass certification requirements. Certification requirements differ by state, but almost every state requires at least 45 quarter-hours of approved math courses. Certification programs usually prepare aspiring teachers to work with specific grade levels, and a math certification may focus on elementary, middle or high school teaching.
Math pedagogy classes may include methods classes in specific math topics, including algebra, geometry and statistics. Other topics covered may include:
- Math teaching methods
- Math learning for special needs children
- Math assessment
- Educational psychology
Popular Career Options
Certificate programs in math aren't tied to particular careers. A math certificate can enhance the skills of:
- Financial advisers
- Computer scientists
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), teachers who specialize in math and other high-need areas will be in the most demand by school districts across the country. The BLS projected that teachers would see a growth of 6% for elementary, middle and high school positions during 2014-2024. The median annual wage for elementary school teachers was $54,550; middle school teachers made a median yearly wage of $55,860; and secondary school teachers made a median salary of $57,200, all as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education and Certification Requirements
Before receiving certification, aspiring teachers must pass state certification and licensing tests, such as the PRAXIS tests. Most states require certified teachers to take a minimum number continuing education classes every few years. Math teachers may choose to take professional development classes in math pedagogy, classroom management, technology for math classes and math assessment.
Many institutions provide post-baccalaureate math certification programs to help individuals obtain the skills they will need in advanced positions in math-heavy fields such as finance, economics, sciences, computer science and education. Individuals in these fields with a math certification are often more competitive than those without.