There is no overarching organization that governs Spanish certification; rather, there are a number of organizations that certify the use of Spanish for certain professions, such as a federal court interpreter or a teacher. Usually to join such a program, it is required to have an undergraduate degree as well as a statement of purpose as to why you want to obtain the certificate. In addition, a Spanish language proficiency exam may be required to join such a program.
A Spanish certificate program provides training for one year that will lead to at least a high-intermediate level understanding of Spanish. In order to facilitate the learning process, many courses feature activities that include presentations in Spanish, speaking exercises and small group Spanish language activities. The elective courses provide a cultural understanding of some of the Spanish-speaking countries and communities. Specific courses may include instruction on how to communicate in Spanish in a health care, business or classroom setting.
Certificate in Spanish
Core Spanish communication courses are required before students can begin to select elective classes. The core classes focus on reading, writing and speaking Spanish. Elective courses, if offered, provide instruction on the use of Spanish in various professional settings. Some courses include:
- Conversational Spanish
- Cinema and Spanish
- Spanish world news
- Intermediate Spanish
- Advanced Spanish
- Business Spanish
Popular Career Options
A certificate in Spanish will not qualify students for a particular job. However, it does enhance employment prospects because many companies and schools desperately need employees who are bilingual in Spanish and English. Some common careers that use Spanish include teacher, health care professional, lawyer, and copywriter.
Job Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), interpreters and translators have a much faster than average projected job growth rate of 29%, from 2014-2024. As of May 2015, their average annual salary was $48,360. Postsecondary foreign language and literature teachers earned $69,520, on average.
Continuing Education Information
There are many organizations that provide certification for professionals that use Spanish at their workplace on a daily basis but no one organization controls certification in the language. One example is the National Center for State Courts, which administers an exam for federal court interpreters who are proficient in Spanish. Applicants need only to pass the exam to earn certification. Other organizations also offer Spanish language certification, but applicants should only deal with those that are known and are nationally recognized.
Obtaining a Spanish certificate for proof of proficiency within the language takes one year to obtain, and is usually pursued after graduating from an undergraduate program. Through this certificate program, students are taught various aspects of the Spanish language and culture to best prepare for interacting with Spanish-speaking people as a translator or teacher.