This article is perfect for professionals who are interested in getting an overview of the Autism Certificate, a qualification that was created especially to distinguish individuals who have a mastery over autism from those who do not. Let’s dive into what this certificate is and what it can do for an individual’s career.
What is an Autism Certificate?
The Autism Certificate, or AC, is a credential offered by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, known as IBCCES. It is offered to educators and licensed professionals who have made a career working with individuals who have special needs. This certificate is a qualification built for professionals who want to be recognized as having a specialization in the area of autism. Created as a designation that requires recertification every two years, it demonstrates a professional’s commitment to working with individuals that have autism, as well as their families. It is also a way to boost a professional’s resume; it is particularly useful if a professional wishes to work solely with individuals with autism.
The AC has a variety of benefits, both for the individual and their employer. For the individual, it showcases a mastery of autism and their ability to work with and educate individuals with autism. It also stands as a testament to a professional’s dedication to reaching professional standards set forth by the IBCCES. The certification can also improve grant qualifications if an individual is pursuing academic research. For schools and clinics, Certified Autism Specialists can reduce the chance of litigation in a district or region. It can also distinguish a facility from competitors because they have an individual with this certification. Lastly, the certification shows an employer’s dedication to complying with local, state, and federal guidelines for professional development in this field.
Can an Autism Certificate Enhance my Career?
Depending on an individual’s career trajectory, the certificate can be an invaluable resource, both in terms of finding work at the entry level and when choosing to apply for higher-reaching positions. By earning the Autism Certificate, individuals are showcasing a devotion to learning, understanding, and helping to improve the lives of individuals with autism. This specialization becomes more important as society learns more about the condition and as more individuals with autism learn to move forward and become functioning adults in a society.
Because autism is a condition and not a disorder, it’s important to have professionals who understand how autism works within individuals. Therefore, it’s important for employers, both in the medical and education sectors, to hire people who have a background in autism.
What is the Salary?
The average salary for a Special Education teacher is $57,190 per year; this is for a teacher with just a bachelor’s degree in the field, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As with most careers, salaries can vary based on region, cost of living, education level, and more. For an Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialist, the median salary can be $56,800, according to the Learn website. Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialist is a career that is not regulated just to a school district; these professionals can work in clinical and healthcare workspaces as well.
For each career, however, the job requires teaching certification or a qualification in autism, such as the Autism Certificate. Because this career is growing at an average rate, there is a lot of competition. This means that professionals who strive to find a career pathway in this specialty should strongly consider obtaining the Autism Certificate from the IBCCES.
What Kinds of Jobs Can I Get?
The Autism Certificate was built for practitioners in mind; it was meant as a professional development complement to an evidence-based degree. Therefore, academics would not find this particular certification useful in their professional goals. This certificate, however, is perfect for special educators. These teachers are the first line of support and encouragement for autism students and their families; any employer who hires a teacher with this certification will consider themselves lucky.
Teachers who hold the Autism Certification will be able to find work as special educators at K-12 public and charter schools, private schools dedicated to special education, colleges, universities, and some facilities that help prepare Autism adults for finding their way through adulthood. In the education sector, Autism Certificate professionals can work in a variety of positions. These include teachers, paraprofessionals, bus drivers, behavior specialists, and school personnel. For some schools, it may even be possible to find work as part of an Autism Program Support Staff.
The Autism Certificate can be just as valuable for professionals who are not working as educators. Licensed professionals from a variety of fields will find that the Autism Certificate can help them get work as well, leading them to have a high-value position that enables them to work with individuals with autism while working to help others.
Sample careers available to licensed professionals who earn this certificate include first responders, including paramedics and police officers; medical assistants; ABA therapists that work in healthcare facilities; and autism organization volunteers.
What are the Steps to Getting an Autism Certificate?
Any individual interested in receiving the Autism Certification must complete 14 hours of continuing education related to autism, must pass the online Autism Certificate Competency Exam and must submit a registration fee of $295.
It’s important to note that individuals who take on this qualification will be required to renew their certification every two years. This includes 14 hours of continuing education hours and a $149 renewal fee.
Autism is better understood than it used to be, but by no means is the medical community done learning all there is to know about this condition. However, with employers more interested in learning how autism works in individuals, it has become integral to both education and healthcare facilities to have professionals who have qualified for the Autism Certificate.