What Is Physics Certification?

Physics certification refers to both the process mandated by states in which aspiring public school teachers become licensed to teach a particular topic and optional credentials in science and physics education. Read on to learn more about physics certification. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Preparation for Physics Certification

You will be required to have a state-issued certification or licensure to work as a public school teacher in any state. However, before becoming licensed, you'll need to complete at least a bachelor's degree program in the field of physics and a teacher training program. Academic programs in education usually contain practical experience requirements, allowing you to observe and participate in actual classroom teaching under the supervision of a licensed or certified teacher.

Important Facts About the Physics Certification

Certification Prerequisites Submit official transcripts (some states may require a minimum GPA) and pass the Professional Teaching Exam
Online Availability Full exam not online, refresher courses available
Other Requirements Testers are required to teach workshops
Possible Careers High school, middle school, elementary school, and special education
Median Salary (2018)* $60,320 (all high school teachers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)*8% (all high school teachers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics

Praxis I and II Exams

The Praxis I test, administered by the Educational Testing Service, is required for entry into many education programs and as a first step toward licensure. This test documents your basic abilities in math, reading and writing.

After completing your education, you'll also need to take the Praxis II exam for physics. The Praxis II is required by many states as part of teacher certification and licensure procedures. The Praxis II offers essay and multiple-choice tests in physics. Questions test your knowledge on matter and energy, science, technology, optics, mechanics, history and waves.

National Board Certification

Although it's not required, you can pursue additional certification after acquiring a specified number of years teaching physics. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards' Science/Adolescence and Young Adulthood certificate is designed to demonstrate your competence in teaching science (www.nbpts.org). In order to become certified, you'll need to create a portfolio, which includes written and video components that document your science teaching abilities. Your portfolio should demonstrate that you adhere to the tenets of an effective learning environment, can teach major science topics and are able to implement other instructional activities.

Additionally, you can earn certification as a physics teacher through the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE). As of 2019, 12 states accepted the ABCTE teacher training, testing and certification program in addition to or in lieu of state licensure testing (www.abcte.org). You need to earn a bachelor's degree and submit to a background check to qualify for testing. The certification requires you to pass a physics exam, which tests your expertise in classical mechanics, modern physics, thermodynamics and experimentation, and a teacher knowledge exam, which covers classroom delivery methods, management and learning assessment.

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