Which Careers Require Board Certification?

When choosing a career, it's important to know all the requirements for a particular profession. Board certification might vary depending on the type of work conducted or a specialty area of expertise, such as in medicine. Learn more about careers that might require board certification.

Board Certification Overview

Although many jobs are open to all qualified applicants, some jobs require board certification, which is usually earned through the state government or a national certifying board. Jobs that require board certification are typically jobs in which the employee has upper-level responsibility for the well-being of others.

Important Facts About Careers that Require Board Certification

Accountants Nurses High School Teachers
Mean Salary (2014) $73,670 $69,790 $59,330
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 11% 16% 6%
Key Skills Analytical thinking; attention to detail; strong mathematical foundation; organization Composure; critical thinking; empathy; clear communication Patience; ingenuity; physical stamina; clear written and spoken communication
Similar Occupations Budget analysts; cost estimators; personal financial advisors EMTs and paramedics; physicians assistants; social workers Career and technical education teachers; instructional coordinators; childcare workers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Accountants

Accountants who work with companies or individuals who need to file an audit or report to the Securities and Exchange Commission are required to be licensed and certified by a State Board of Accountancy. Prospective certified public accountants (CPAs) take the Uniform CPA Examination and must pass all four sections of the exam in order to become certified. Some states have time constraints on when all four sections of the exam must be passed.

Nurses

All nurses must be licensed, but nurses interested in upper-level nursing positions, such as nurse-midwife or nurse practitioner, must also have board certification. In some states, board certification is required for additional specialty areas. Upon completion of educational and licensing requirements of the state where prospective nurses hope to work, individuals can apply for national certification from a number of professional organizations, including the American Nurses Association.

Teachers

While it's not necessary to obtain board certification in order to teach, many teachers choose to become board certified so they are eligible to teach in public schools. In addition to becoming certified by state school boards, teachers can seek national certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which offers teachers the opportunity to demonstrate their teaching skills through evaluation and assessment. Local school boards recognize this board certification, and the benefits might include higher salaries or the ability to carry a license from state to state.

Physicians

In general, physicians are not required to become board certified, but this option is becoming increasingly popular with the growth of specialty medicine. An individual who chooses to become a specialist in a particular field is expected to go through additional residency training in her or his chosen area of expertise. They can then choose to take the specialty board exam to gain board certification. According to the American Medical Association, 24 medical specialty boards exist; these boards cover 37 general medical specialties and 128 subspecialties.

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