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Help and FAQs - Certification Finder


  1. Are there criteria for an organization to be listed in the Certification Finder?
  2. What is the Certification Finder and how do I use it?
  3. What are certifications?
  4. Are there criteria for including a certification in the Certification Finder?
  5. How can I add a certification to the Certification Finder?
  6. What are the sources of certifications?
  7. How are the occupational categories determined for the Certification Finder?
  8. How are occupations regulated by states?
  9. How do I know if a specific certification is relevant to my job or my career?
  10. What is the difference between certification and licensure?
  11. How can I find out more about occupations and related certifications?


  1. Are there criteria for an organization to be listed in the Certification Finder?
    Yes. An organization must be nationally recognized and offer other service in addition to certification exams. A document listing these specific criteria is available by calling 1-877-348-0502 or emailing info@careeronestop.org.

  2. What is the Certification Finder and how do I use it?
    The Certification Finder is an online directory of third-party organizations that provide verification of skill or knowledge attainment based on generally accepted skill standards for an occupation. This directory allows you to search for certifications by keyword, by an occupation or an industry group.

  3. What are certifications?
    A certification is usually an examination or a record of work-related skills. Certifications are documents issued to an individual by an external organization that verify a certain level of skill attainment to a potential or current employer.

  4. Are there criteria for including a certification in the Certification Finder?
    Yes. For a certification to be included in the Certification Finder, it must require some level of education, training, work experience, or an examination. It must not be a state-required license, although it may help prepare for a state occupation license. It must provide a certificate documenting level of education, training, work experience or passing an examination for a skill, or occupation. A document listing these specific criteria is available by calling 1-877-348-0502 or emailing info@careeronestop.org.

  5. How can I add a certification to the Certification Finder?
    A certification must fit the criteria for inclusion. For more information or to submit a request to add a certification, please contact the CareerOneStop Service Center at 1-877-348-0502 (TTY: 1-877-348-0501) or email info@careeronestop.org. Any detailed information that you can provide about the certification and/or certifying organization will result in the quicker review of the certification.

  6. What are the sources of certifications?
    Certifications come from a variety of sources. Changes to existing certifications and the addition of new certifications are usually made because of research done by staff, partners, and affiliates or feedback gathered from users of our web products.

  7. How are the occupational categories determined for the Certification Finder?
    The categories are based on the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) database.

  8. How are occupations regulated by states?
    There are three main types of state occupational regulation: registration, certification, and licensure. Please note that the different terms are often used interchangeably from state to state or from occupation to occupation. The Council on Licensure, Enforcement, and Regulation (CLEAR) uses the following definitions:
    • Registration The least restrictive form of occupational regulation, usually taking the form of requiring individuals to file their names, addresses, and qualifications with a government agency before practicing the occupation. This may include posting a bond or filing a fee.
    • Certification The state grants title protection to persons with certifications. Uncertified individuals may practice the same or similar job duties, but specialized titles are reserved only for individuals who have the related certification.
    • Licensure The most restrictive form of professional and occupational regulation. Under licensure laws, it is illegal for a person to practice a profession without first meeting state standards.
    For more information about licensed occupations in the U.S. or Canada, contact The Council on Licensure, Enforcement, and Regulation (CLEAR).

  9. How do I know if a specific certification is relevant to my job or my career?
    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. For instance, the Certification Finder identifies organizations that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Read more about third-party accreditation. You can also contact national and state professional and trade associations such as those provided in the Career Resource Library.

  10. What is the difference between certification and licensure?
    The terms certification and licensure are frequently used interchangeably. For CareerOneStop purposes, certification differs from licensure in that occupational licenses are usually issued by a government entity to authorize individuals the right to practice an occupation. Certification is not required to practice an occupation except in cases where the occupational licensing requirements include certification as part of those requirements.

  11. How can I find out more about occupations and related certifications?
    The Occupation Profile links to certifications that are specific to occupations or occupational groups. On the Occupation Profile you need to pick an occupation and a state to get a report that includes an occupation description, average wages, educational requirements, employment projections and other useful information. You can find more information about specific occupations or career fields in the Career Resource Library.


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