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Top 11 High School Science Teacher Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications available to high school science teachers, outlining their requirements and benefits.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 19 min read

Certifications are important for high school science teachers in the job market because they demonstrate a commitment to professional growth and development. Certifications provide evidence of expertise in a particular area, such as biology or chemistry, and can be used to differentiate one candidate from another. They also show that the candidate has taken the initiative to further their education on their own time and is up-to-date on best practices in teaching science. Furthermore, certifications can serve as gateways to additional opportunities, such as teaching at universities or research institutions.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for High School Science Teachers and explains how they can contribute to a high school science teacher's career.

What are High School Science Teacher Certifications?

High school science teacher certification is a professional certification program that provides teachers with the qualifications necessary to teach science at the high school level. This certification program consists of coursework, field experience, and an assessment exam. It is designed to ensure that teachers have the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to effectively teach and assess students in science classes.

The benefits of obtaining high school science teacher certification are numerous. First and foremost, it allows teachers to demonstrate their expertise in the subject matter they will be teaching. Additionally, it can provide them with access to more job opportunities as many schools require certification for teaching positions. Furthermore, having this certification can give teachers more credibility when applying for jobs or promotions within their current district or state. Finally, it can help to increase the quality of instruction by providing teachers with access to up-to-date curriculum materials and best practices in science education. In short, obtaining high school science teacher certification can be a great way for educators to further their careers while also improving the quality of instruction they provide their students.

Pro Tip: Make sure to research the requirements for high school science teacher certification in your state before beginning the process. Different states have different requirements, and some may require additional coursework or exams beyond what is required for general teaching certification.

Related: What does a High School Science Teacher do?

Top 11 High School Science Teacher Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to High School Science Teachers today.

1. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Certification

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Certification is a voluntary certification program that recognizes and rewards teachers who have demonstrated advanced knowledge, skills, and practices in their profession. It is the highest professional credential available to teachers in the United States.

In order to become certified, teachers must complete a rigorous assessment process that includes submitting evidence of their teaching practice, including student work samples and videotaped lessons. The assessment process takes approximately one year to complete.

To get started on the path to NBPTS certification, teachers must first register with the NBPTS and pay an application fee of $75. After registration, they will be able to access the online assessment system where they can begin preparing for the assessments by completing a series of self-assessments and review materials.

Once all assessments are completed and submitted, teachers will receive their official score report from NBPTS within 8-12 weeks. If they meet or exceed the required standards for certification, they will be awarded the prestigious National Board Certification.

The cost of becoming certified varies depending on which area(s) you are seeking certification in; however, it typically ranges from $2,000 - $4,000. This cost includes registration fees as well as fees associated with taking the assessments and submitting evidence of teaching practice.

2. Advanced Placement (AP) Teacher Certification

Advanced Placement (AP) Teacher Certification is a professional certification that allows teachers to teach AP courses in their subject area. This certification is offered by the College Board and is designed to ensure that teachers have the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively teach AP courses.

In order to obtain AP Teacher Certification, teachers must first complete an approved teacher preparation program, such as a bachelor's degree or master's degree in education, and then pass the appropriate Praxis II exams for their subject area. Once these requirements are met, teachers can apply for the AP Teacher Certification through the College Board website.

The process of obtaining AP Teacher Certification typically takes several months. After submitting an application, applicants will be required to submit official transcripts from their college or university, as well as proof of successful completion of the Praxis II exams. The College Board will then review all materials and provide feedback on any areas that need improvement before issuing a certificate.

The cost of obtaining AP Teacher Certification varies depending on the type of program you choose to pursue and other factors such as exam fees. Generally speaking, most programs cost between $500-$1000 USD for tuition and fees associated with taking the Praxis II exams.

3. International Baccalaureate (IB) Teacher Certification

International Baccalaureate (IB) Teacher Certification is an internationally recognized qualification that allows teachers to teach IB programs in schools around the world. It is a rigorous and comprehensive program that requires dedication, knowledge, and experience.

To become an IB certified teacher, you must have a university degree or equivalent qualifications in the subject you wish to teach. You must also have at least two years of full-time teaching experience in an accredited school or educational institution. Additionally, you must complete an approved training course for the specific IB program you wish to teach.

The training course typically takes between one and two years to complete and involves both online and face-to-face learning activities. During this time, you will learn about the philosophy behind the International Baccalaureate program as well as how to plan lessons, assess student progress, manage classroom dynamics, and more.

The cost of obtaining IB certification varies depending on where you take your training course. Generally speaking, it can range from $2,000-$4,000 USD for the full program. Additionally, there may be other costs associated with taking exams or attending conferences related to your chosen subject area.

Once you have completed all of the necessary requirements for certification, you will receive your official IB Teacher Certificate which will allow you to teach any of the International Baccalaureate programs in schools around the world.

4. National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Certification

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Certification is a program that recognizes science educators who demonstrate a high level of knowledge and skills in teaching science. The certification is designed to support teachers in their professional development, as well as provide them with recognition for their accomplishments.

To become certified, applicants must meet the NSTA's eligibility requirements and complete an application process. The process includes submitting an application form, providing evidence of successful completion of at least three years of full-time teaching experience, and passing a written examination. The exam covers topics such as curriculum design, instructional strategies, assessment strategies, and classroom management.

Once the application is approved, candidates must complete all required courses within two years to earn the certification. The courses cover topics such as inquiry-based learning, assessment techniques, and content-area literacy. Candidates must also participate in field experiences or research projects related to the coursework.

The cost of the NSTA Certification program varies depending on the number of courses taken and whether or not candidates opt for additional study materials or mentoring services. Generally speaking, it costs between $500-$1000 to become certified through this program.

5. State Teaching Certificate in Science

A State Teaching Certificate in Science is a credential that allows an individual to teach science at the elementary, middle, or high school level. It is issued by the state in which one intends to teach and requires completion of specific coursework and exams.

How long does it take to get it?

The amount of time it takes to obtain a State Teaching Certificate in Science varies depending on the state. Generally, candidates must complete a minimum of three years of college-level coursework in science, including courses such as biology, chemistry, physics, and earth sciences. Candidates must also pass a series of tests that are specific to their state’s requirements for certification. Once these requirements have been met, the candidate can apply for a teaching certificate from their state’s Department of Education.

How to get it?

In order to obtain a State Teaching Certificate in Science, individuals must first complete the necessary coursework and exams required by their state. This includes completing at least three years of college-level coursework in science and passing any tests that are required for certification. After meeting these requirements, individuals should contact their state’s Department of Education to apply for their teaching certificate.

How much does it cost?

The cost associated with obtaining a State Teaching Certificate in Science varies from state to state. In most cases, there will be fees associated with taking the necessary exams as well as application fees for the teaching certificate itself. Additionally, some states may require additional fees for background checks or fingerprinting services prior to issuing the certificate.

6. National Academy of Science Education (NASE) Certification

The National Academy of Science Education (NASE) Certification is a professional certification program that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence in teaching science. It is designed to recognize and reward K-12 teachers who demonstrate mastery of the content, pedagogy, and assessment of science education. The certification process involves an extensive review process that evaluates the candidate's knowledge, skills, and abilities related to science education.

The certification process typically takes between two and three years to complete. The first step is to submit an application which includes a resume, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other supporting documents. Once the application has been reviewed and accepted by NASE, the candidate will then be required to take a series of written exams designed to assess their knowledge in various areas of science education. After passing these exams, candidates must also complete a portfolio project demonstrating their ability to apply their knowledge in real-world settings.

Once all requirements have been met and approved by NASE, the candidate will receive their certification. The cost for this program varies depending on the number of courses taken and any additional fees associated with them; however, it typically ranges from $500-$1000 USD.

7. National Council of State Boards of Education (NCSBE) Certification

The National Council of State Boards of Education (NCSBE) Certification is a voluntary certification program that recognizes professionals in the field of education who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge, skill, and commitment to their profession. The NCSBE Certification is an indication of professional excellence and provides recognition to those who have achieved it.

It typically takes between six months and one year to complete the process for obtaining NCSBE Certification. The process involves completing an application form, submitting official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended, providing three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant’s work in the field of education, passing a written examination administered by NCSBE, and participating in an oral interview with members of the NCSBE Board.

The cost for obtaining NCSBE Certification varies depending on which state you are applying from. Generally speaking, however, it can range anywhere from $200-$500. This fee covers the cost of processing your application as well as any associated administrative costs such as exam fees or other materials required for certification.

Once you have completed all requirements and received your certification, you will receive a certificate that is valid for five years. You must maintain your certification by meeting certain continuing education requirements during this time frame in order to keep your credential active.

8. American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Certification

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Certification is a voluntary certification program designed to recognize teachers who have achieved a high level of proficiency in teaching physics. It is intended to validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of physics teachers in the United States.

To become certified by AAPT, teachers must demonstrate their knowledge and experience in teaching physics through a comprehensive examination process. The exam consists of two parts: the written portion and the laboratory portion. The written portion covers topics such as mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, and modern physics. The laboratory portion requires candidates to show their ability to perform experiments related to these topics.

In order to receive AAPT certification, teachers must successfully complete both portions of the exam within three years from the time they begin studying for it. The cost for taking the exam varies depending on whether or not you are an AAPT member; non-members pay $200 while members pay $150. After passing both portions of the exam, there is an additional fee of $50 for processing your application for certification.

Once certified by AAPT, teachers will receive a certificate that serves as proof of their achievement in teaching physics. This certificate can be used as evidence when applying for jobs or promotions in education or other related fields.

9. National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA) Certification

The National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA) Certification is a professional certification that recognizes the knowledge and skills of earth science teachers. The certification is designed to help ensure that teachers have the necessary expertise to teach earth science in an effective and engaging manner.

In order to obtain NESTA Certification, applicants must complete a series of courses and assessments designed by NESTA. These courses cover topics such as geology, meteorology, oceanography, and astronomy. Applicants must also demonstrate their knowledge of teaching methods and classroom management techniques.

The entire process typically takes six months to one year to complete, depending on the applicant’s individual goals and pace. To begin the process, applicants must submit an application form along with any required documents such as transcripts or proof of employment. Once approved, applicants will be sent a list of courses and assessments they must complete in order to become certified.

The cost for NESTA Certification varies depending on the number of courses taken and the type of assessment chosen. Generally speaking, it costs around $500-$1000 USD for the entire process. However, some schools may offer discounts or financial assistance for those interested in obtaining NESTA Certification.

10. American Chemical Society (ACS) Teacher Certification

The American Chemical Society (ACS) Teacher Certification is a program that recognizes teachers who have demonstrated mastery of the content and pedagogy of chemistry. It is designed to provide teachers with professional recognition for their knowledge and expertise in teaching chemistry.

To earn ACS certification, teachers must complete a rigorous application process that includes an assessment of their teaching experience and a demonstration of their understanding of the subject matter. The application process also requires the submission of two letters of recommendation from current or former colleagues, as well as evidence of successful completion of at least one college-level course in chemistry or biochemistry.

The entire process typically takes between three and six months to complete, depending on how quickly the applicant can submit all required documentation. Once approved, the teacher will receive an official certificate from ACS recognizing their achievement.

The cost for ACS certification varies depending on the type of membership chosen by the applicant. There are three levels available: Standard ($50), Premium ($100), and Elite ($200). Each level provides different benefits including access to exclusive resources, discounts on publications, and invitations to special events.

11. National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) Certification

The National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) Certification is a voluntary program that recognizes biology teachers who demonstrate a high level of knowledge and experience in teaching biology. It is designed to recognize excellence in the teaching of biology and to encourage professional development among biology teachers.

To become certified, applicants must have a minimum of three years of full-time teaching experience in the field of biology, or five years if part-time. They must also submit evidence of their accomplishments, such as course outlines, syllabi, student evaluations, and other relevant materials. Additionally, applicants must pass an online assessment that tests their knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.

The certification process typically takes about six months from start to finish. Applicants must first submit an application form along with all required documents. Once approved, they will be invited to take the online assessment which consists of multiple choice questions related to the content areas covered by NABT standards for teaching biology. Upon successful completion of the assessment, applicants will receive their certification within two weeks.

The cost for NABT Certification varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of NABT. For members, it costs $75; for non-members it costs $150.

Do You Really Need a High School Science Teacher Certificate?

The answer to this question depends largely on the individual. A high school science teacher certificate is not a requirement in all states, so it is important to research the requirements of your own state. In some places, a bachelor's degree in a scientific field may be sufficient to teach high school science courses.

However, having a high school science teaching certificate can provide many benefits. Most notably, it can demonstrate that an individual has received formal training and education specifically for teaching high school science courses. This can give students confidence that their teacher has the necessary background knowledge and skills to effectively teach them the subject matter. It also demonstrates that the teacher has met certain standards and criteria set by the state or district in order to become certified as a high school science teacher.

In addition, having a high school science teaching certificate may open up better job opportunities for teachers seeking employment in the field. Employers tend to look favorably upon those who have taken steps to further their education and certification beyond simply obtaining a college degree. It also allows teachers to stay up-to-date on current trends in teaching methods and educational philosophies, which can help them stay ahead of the curve when it comes to providing quality instruction for their students.

Ultimately, whether or not one needs a high school science teacher certificate depends on individual circumstances and goals. For those who are serious about pursuing a career in teaching high school science courses, obtaining such certification may provide valuable advantages that could benefit both their career prospects and their students’ learning experiences.

Related: High School Science Teacher Resume Examples

FAQs About High School Science Teacher Certifications

1. What qualifications are required to become a high school science teacher?

A: To become a high school science teacher, you must have at least a bachelor's degree in a scientific field and receive a teaching certification from your state.

2. How do I get certified as a high school science teacher?

A: You will need to take and pass the appropriate exams for your state, complete any required courses or workshops, and have your credentials evaluated by the state board of education.

3. What types of tests are required for certification as a high school science teacher?

A: The tests vary by state, but typically include subject-matter knowledge tests in biology, chemistry, physics and earth sciences; general knowledge tests such as reading comprehension; and pedagogy tests such as classroom management and instructional techniques.

4. Can I teach multiple subjects with one certification?

A: Yes, many states allow you to obtain an endorsement to teach multiple subjects with one certification.

5. How long does it take to get certified as a high school science teacher?

A: The time frame varies by state, but typically ranges from six months to two years depending on the requirements in your area.