Certification and License

For many science jobs, licenses and certifications are either required, or, if optional, provide an important advantage in obtaining employment. Each state may have different licensing requirements, so it is important to check those that apply in the state you want to work or if the certification you already have is valid in other states. Some example can be found below.

After obtaining a bachelor's degree in agriculture, students who want to work in agricultural sciences can take advantage of certification programs offered by the American Society of Agronomy to specialize in crop science, agronomy, crop advising, soil science, plant pathology, or weed science. For jobs in agriculture sciences, certification is voluntary and can be obtained from the Federation of Certifying Boards in Agriculture, Biology, Earth, and Environmental Sciences.

For those interested in a career in computer science, IT security and data management may be a promising career path. A plethora of certifications are offered in these fields, such as those offered by Cisco in areas ranging from firewall security specialist to data center networking infrastructure design specialist.

A number of online certification programs are offered in chemistry, for example by the Illinois Institute of Technology, ranging from chemical plant operations to analytical spectroscopy. Such certification programs might be a more time-efficient way to acquire skills necessary for a very narrow and specific career path.

A certification is required to work as an EMT in all states. Several levels of certification are available. EMT-1 is the most basic of these. Technicians with this certification are able to provide basic medical care such as CPR. Further certifications can be obtained up to the level of paramedic.

A certification is also required to work as a registered nurse. The credentialing arm of the American Nurses Association (ANA), the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), is the largest nurse credentialing organization in the United States, having certified more than a quarter million nurses since 1991. The ANCC offers certification in 25 specialties for nurses, as well as nurse practitioners and advanced practice nurses.

Certification and License

For jobs in medical physics, only New York, Texas, Florida, and Hawaii require licensure to qualify for a medical physicist job at a hospital. Other states have no requirements or require only a registration.

Engineers can obtain a license from a state or national government by demonstrating technical knowledge, some work or internship experience, and knowledge of the local engineering practice guidelines. Upon certification, the title of Professional Engineer is granted.

To work as a pharmacist, a license is required in all U.S. States and territories. A prospective pharmacist must first get a PharmD degree and then pass a series of examinations. Importantly, in many states, prospective pharmacists must also meet an age requirement and pass a criminal background check.