A certification documents the competence of an individual on a set of predetermined qualifications or performance standards of an industry group, agency, or association.
It is important to research your field and/or your employer's expectations before undertaking a certification. There are some third-party verifications on certifying organizations.
The terms certification and licensure are frequently used interchangeably. For our purposes, certification differs from licensure in that occupational licenses are typically issued by a government entity and are required before an individual may work or practice in a particular occupation or profession (e.g. Licensed Practical Nurse).
In the case of state licensure, both mandatory and discretionary requirements are uniquely defined by each state through statute and regulation. By contrast, certification is voluntary and not required to practice an occupation. However, in some cases occupational licensing requirements may include certification attainment as a prerequisite part of the licensure process.
For a certification to be included here, it must require either education, training, work experience, or examination; and must not be a state-required license, although it may lead to a license.
Click on an industry occupation to view its certifications.