Certification of Toxicologists
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Some states do license clinical toxicology scientists. In most cases, you won’t need a license to be a toxicologist. Board certification, though, is a validation of your competency and of your knowledge of up-to-date practices within your field; it can increases your employment options. Forensic toxicologists are certified through the Forensic Toxicologist Certification Board. Certification for other toxicologists is available through the American Board of Toxicology.
The first step is meeting ABT eligibility requirements. You meet the prerequisites through some combination of education and professional experience. If you hold a doctorate, you will need three years of post-doctoral professional experience to be eligible. If, on the other hand, you hold only a bachelor’s, you will need to document ten years of professional experience. With a master’s, you need seven. If you are employed in a professional capacity while working toward a higher degree, the experience will count as post-degree professional experience for the lower degree. You demonstrate eligibility by having transcripts and letters from supervisors forwarded by the application deadline.
The next step is the examination. You will find a sample examination on the site of the ABT. You will also find information about connecting with others to form study groups. Successfully completing certification requirements earns you diplomate status — quite an honor. You maintain your status be recertifying every five years. The first two recertifications include an exam.
Certification is for senior toxicologists — people who have been in the field a while. What can you do at the beginning of your career to increase your employability? Seek out research opportunities. In a field where doctorate education is the gold standard, your education and productive work years will overlap for quite some time. [Learn more about the Toxicology field and educational preparation]