Math Certification and Certificate Program Information
Learn about the different types of certificates and certification in math. To determine which option is better for you, take a look at the classes and admissions requirements. Read about certification, and see some of the popular careers and job statistics, such as salary and employment outlook.
Math certificate programs are short training options that are open to individuals with an undergraduate degree who'd like to improve their current math skills. Areas of discussion may include algebra, calculus or probability.
Alternatively, certification programs are geared toward math teachers who want to enhance their skills to perhaps teach at an advanced grade level. To get certified in math, requirements include passing an examination and completing certain math coursework.
Certificate in Mathematics
Students often complete certificate programs in math to strengthen job skills or prepare for a graduate program, like economics, chemistry, physics or business. A certificate program in applied mathematics typically takes two semesters, each consisting of three classes. Students earning their certificate in mathematics should have already received a bachelor's degree from an accredited university.
Coursework for math programs consists of calculus, algebra and equation analysis. Some courses may include the following:
- Complex analysis
- Linear algebra
Popular Career Options
Certificate programs in math aren't tied to particular careers. A math certificate can enhance the skills of:
- Financial advisors
- Computer scientists
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.
A teaching certification program for math often is a non-degree program offered by colleges or universities. Applicants must hold at least a bachelor's degree to be accepted. Students may be required to have taken a certain number of credit hours in college level math prior to beginning education classes.
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
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 17% for preschool, elementary and middle school positions, and seven percent for high school positions during 2010-2020. The mean annual wage for elementary school teachers was $55,270; middle school teachers made a mean yearly wage of $55,780; and high school teachers made an average of$56,760, all as of May 2011 (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.
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