What Are Certification Classes and Certification Courses

Read ahead to gain an understanding of the purpose of certification classes and certificate courses in relation to career training. Training is typically offered by 2-year and 4-year colleges and technical schools.

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Overview of Certification Classes and Certificate Courses

The terms classes and courses are used interchangeably. Therefore, students may take certification classes or courses to obtain the training and education necessary to take a certification exam administered by a professional organization or state.

Types of Certification Classes

Schools offer certification classes in many fields, including massage therapy, child care, personal training, barbering and computer-aided drafting (CAD). For example, students who want to become an emergency medical technician (EMT) - basic must take several certification classes at a college or EMT training facility for up to three months and complete field work under the supervision of an EMT who has completed certification classes. After taking EMT certification classes, students are prepared to take certification tests administered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).

Program Length

The number of certification class hours that a student takes depends on the area of study. For example, students taking certification classes to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA) are required to complete at least 75 hours of classes and training that prepare students to take a state certification exam, according to the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987. Education programs for massage therapists vary, but may require up to 500 hours of certification classes and training.

Types of Certificate Courses

Many professions don't require an undergraduate degree, but instead may mandate that individuals pass a certification exam to obtain entry-level employment. Certificate courses are designed to prepare students to take professional certification exams. Many community colleges offer certificate courses in diagnostic medical sonography that train students to pass a certification exam administered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).

Individuals in some fields may complete a series of certificate courses in related areas. Students may complete a certificate program in massage therapy that offer preparation for the certification exam administered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB). Subsequently, students may take additional certification courses to become certified by the American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB).

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