Math Certification and Certificate Program Information

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. Alternatively, certification programs are geared toward math teachers who want to enhance their skills to perhaps teach at an advanced grade level.

Essential Information

Students often complete certificate programs in math to strengthen job skills or prepare for a graduate program, like economics, chemistry, physics or business. Areas of discussion may include algebra, calculus or probability. To get certified in math, requirements include passing an examination and completing certain math coursework. A teaching certification program for math often is a non-degree program offered by colleges or universities.

  • Program Levels for Math Certification: Certificate programs and math certification programs
  • Prerequisites: A bachelor's degree before enrolling is required for both programs
  • Length of Study: Two semesters for a certificate program;

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:

  • Algebra
  • Calculus
  • Complex analysis
  • Linear algebra
  • Probability
  • Topology

Math Certification

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 advisors
  • Economists
  • Scientists
  • 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 12% for elementary and middle school positions, and six percent for high school positions during 2012-2022. The median annual wage for elementary school teachers was $54,120; middle school teachers made a median yearly wage of $54,940; and secondary school teachers made a median salary of $56,310, all as of May 2014 (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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