Career and Technical Education (CTE)

  1. What is a career and technical education (CTE) certificate and what is its purpose?
    A career and technical education (CTE) certificate is a classroom teaching certificate that authorizes the holder to teach a specific subject in a New York State public high school or BOCES in a career and technical education program.  Examples of the occupations that CTE programs prepare high school students for include office manager, plumber, electrician, cosmetologist, professional photographer, and auto mechanic. The CTE certificate is typically held by a tradesman or craftsman, who has previously completed study and/or an apprenticeship and has work experience in the certificate area.

  2. How do the requirements for a career and technical education (CTE) certificate and a regular classroom teaching certificate differ?
    The difference is that CTE certificates place an emphasis on occupational experience and are designed for teachers in programs preparing high school students for specific occupations. To qualify for a CTE certificate, an individual must possess substantial, "hands-on," occupational (non-school) work experience, as well as one course in vocational education. 

    Regular classroom teaching certificates are based on an academic preparation and are designed for teachers instructing the general student population. To qualify, the applicant must complete a baccalaureate degree and a teacher preparation curriculum; occupational work experience is not required. Regular teaching certificates are available in agriculture, family & consumer sciences, business & marketing, and technology education.

  3. If a teacher holds a regular classroom teaching certificate in one of the non-vocational titles (see question 2 above), can he/she also teach specific CTE subjects?
    Yes. A holder of a certificate in Family & Consumer Science may also teach:
    Food & Nutrition 7-12
    Human Services & Family Studies Cluster 7-12
    Textile & Design Cluster 7-12
    Culinary Careers 7-12
    A holder of a certificate in Agriculture may also teach:
    Agricultural Engineering & Mechanics 7-12
    Animal Production, Science & Business 7-12
    Animal Science 7-12
    Natural Resources & Ecology 7-12
    Plant Science 7-12
    A holder of a certificate in Business and Marketing may also teach:
    Business & Distributive Ed
    Electronic Data Processing (Systems Operations)

  4. What are the current career and technical education certificate titles?
    There are over a dozen general categories in career and technical education. Within each, a number of specific certificate titles are offered. The general categories are:
    Agriculture
    Aviation / Aerospace, Manufacturing & Repair Occupations
    Construction Industry & Building Maintenance Occupations
    Cosmetology Occupations
    Drafting Occupations
    Electronic/Electro-Mechanical Occupations
    Family & Consumer Science Occupations
    Food Service Occupations
    Graphic Printing & Visual Communications Occupations
    Health
    Motorcycle, Marine & Outdoor Power Equipment Occupations
    Performing Arts
    Precision Metal Work Occupations
    Technical Occupations
    Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Occupations
    Other/ Unique & Emerging Occupations
    Go to Search Certification Requirements for a list of the specific titles available in each of the above categories.

  5. Is there a list of previous Career and Technical Education titles that can be referenced?
    Go to Search Certification Requirements and search under "Pre 2004 Career and Technical Teacher".

  6. Where can I find the requirements for a CTE certificate in a specific title?  
    Under the CERTIFICATION section of our web site, select Search Certification Requirements. (Link to Search Certification Requirements ) For example, to find the requirements for a certificate in welding, use the drop-down menu to make the following selections:
    • Career and Technical Teacher
    • Precision Metal Work Occupations
    • Adolescent Grade 7-12
    • Welding 7-12
    • Initial

  7. What are the differences among the various types of certificates: Initial, Professional and Transitional?
    The Initial certificate is the entry-level teaching certificate. It is valid for 5 years, and leads to the Professional certificate. The Professional certificate is the second-level teaching certificate and remains continuously valid with the completion of a certain amount of continuing professional development every five years.
    However, there is also a Transitional "A" certificate available to CTE applicants who have not yet met all of the requirements for a regular Initial certificate. It is valid for 3 years and limited to a specific New York state public school or BOCES that has made a commitment to employ and mentor the new teacher while he/she completes the requirements for the regular Initial certificate.  

  8. What types of occupational experience are required for a CTE certificate?
    The applicant must have acceptable paid, non-school employment experience in the field of the certificate sought. Classroom teaching experience cannot be applied toward this requirement. Go to Experience Requirements by Title for examples of acceptable occupational experiences for specific titles.

  9. I see that the requirements for some career and technical certificates are listed in two ways: under "Option A’ and "Option B’. What do these options mean?
    This refers to two different ways in which an applicant can meet the requirements for certain CTE certificates. Option A is appropriate for those applicants who have more academic preparation and less occupational experience. Option B is appropriate for those applicants who have more occupational experience, but less academic preparation. Option B is most commonly used for trade subjects and draws heavily on the applicant’s experience in the field.

  10. How does an applicant submit his or her occupational experience for evaluation?
    The applicant must provide the Office of Teaching Initiatives with original letters from his or her employers, specifying the title(s) and duties of the job(s) held. The letter must include the beginning and end employment dates, as well indication of whether it was a full or part-time position.  If part-time, the letter must include the percentage of time or specific number of daily hours worked.

    For self-employed experience, the applicant must provide letters from an accountant, an attorney, and an officer of a supply company with whom business was conducted.  Letters from these three individuals must attest to the nature of the applicant’s business, the length of time of their association, and that the work done was conducted in a satisfactory, competent manner. Attestations from the applicant’s employees or family members are not acceptable.

  11. If a college administers the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) tests and awards credits for them, are the credits applicable toward credit requirements for a career and technical education certificate?
    No. The NOCTI tests are actually occupational proficiency examinations. As such, any credit awarded by a college for this is not applicable to the credit requirements for a CTE certificate.

  12. Can CLEP or DANTES (credit by exam) test scores be used to meet academic coursework requirements for career and technical education certification?
    Yes, as long as the exams are in areas comparable to the requirements.  Click on CLEP www.collegeboard.com/clep/index.html or DANTES  http://www.dantes.doded.mil/Dantes_web/DANTESHOME.asp for more information on these programs.

  13. Is a professional license required to obtain a career and technical education certificate?
    A professional license is required in some certificate titles, such as practical nursing and power plant maintenance and repair, but is not required in most titles. Go to Search Certification Requirements to determine if a license is required for a specific title.

  14. Some courses required for career and technical education certification are teacher education courses.  Where can these be taken?
    These pedagogical courses must be completed at a college with an approved teacher preparation program that leads to certification in the state in which the college is located. The institution must be approved by the Commissioner of Education or a regional accrediting agency. For information about teacher preparation institutions in New York State, go to the Inventory of Registered Programs (IRP). For information about distance learning opportunities, go to Distance Learning .

    The following CLEP exams are acceptable: Foundations of Education and Human Development & Learning. Also, the following course from Excelsior College is acceptable: Literacy Instruction for the Elementary School.

  15. Also required for career and technical education certification is one course in Career and Technical Education. What is this?
    This required course is in occupational (vocational) education. Unlike regular academic pedagogy that prepares a teacher to work in a general education classroom setting, this course prepares a candidate to teach specific occupational titles (agriculture, business and marketing, family and consumer sciences, health occupations, and technical and trade subjects) in a vocational classroom setting.  The course must be completed at a college or university with an approved career and technical education teacher preparation program.  There are three such colleges in New York State:  SUC at Buffalo, SUC at Oswego, and New York City College of Technology. For information about these programs, go to the Inventory of Registered Programs (IRP) .

  16. If I have questions about where I might be able to teach with a career and technical education certificate, who can I ask?
    Speak with the human resources representative at the individual school district or BOCES you are interested in.

  17. We wish to hire a teacher for our CTE program but we are unsure what certificate title is appropriate to the position. What do we do?
    Your local BOCES Regional Certification Officer will submit a request on your school’s behalf to our office for assistance in identifying the correct title for the position. (In New York City, your human resource liaison will submit this request.)

  18. We wish to hire a teacher for our CTE program but have questions regarding the acceptability of the applicant’s experience.  What do we do?  
    Again, your local BOCES Regional Certification Officer will submit a request on your school’s behalf to our office for assistance in determining the applicability of the applicant’s experience. (In New York City, your human resource liaison will submit this request.)

  19. What if there is not currently a CTE certificate offered in an area in which we wish to offer instruction?
    If there is a proven demand for a new course offering for which no certificate title exists, your local BOCES Regional Certification Officer will submit a request on your school’s behalf to our office for a determination on whether a new CTE title can be created. (In New York City, your human resource liaison will submit this request.)
Last Updated: October 2, 2014