Do you have years of training in or a passion for a particular art, skill or discipline? If so, we can help you turn your passion, skill and expertise into a rewarding job opportunity working with children as an enrichment teacher. According to the Department of Labor, as of 2006, there were over 266,000 enrichment teachers working nationwide with more joining the workforce each year. Schools and facilities are seeking certified enrichment teachers in record numbers.


Enrichment classes are electives-based and therefore a teaching credential is not required.

After school enrichment programs are now part of mainstream education and qualified after school enrichment teachers are a highly valued commodity. Working with children is a rewarding endeavor but is not without its responsibilities. Subsequently, enrichment teacher certification is increasingly becoming the industry standard. Schools, facilities and other employers are now demanding proof of teacher certification as a condition of employment.

A NETA certification gives you an edge in a competitive field and will maximize the teaching opportunities available to you. Employers hire based on a job candidate's ability to demonstrate competency as well as the candidate's ability to minimize the employer's exposure to risk and liability. Providing proof of teacher certification is the job candidate's method of demonstrating their understanding and mastery of the skills, tasks and knowledge that are necessary to working with children safely and effectively and obtaining gainful employment.

Who is Eligible?
There are a number of qualifications which a candidate must possess before they can apply to become a NETA-certified enrichment teacher.  These prerequisites are as follows:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must be proficient in the subject you wish to teach. 
  • Although it is not required, all candidates are strongly encouraged to have a minimum of one year of experience working with children.
  • You must be able to successfully clear a criminal background check.  All program providers will require you to submit to one before starting a teaching job.

We strongly recommend that you have a thorough, comprehensive knowledge of the subject you wish to teach before taking the NETA Certification Exam.  Although many employers provide their teaching staff with a pre-set curriculum, there are also as many employers in the school enrichment industry who will not provide you with a specific curriculum to teach and the expectation is that you are able to design a curriculum that is safe, comprehensive and age appropriate before they hire you.  NETA will not review a candidate’s documentation of proficiency nor will we ask a candidate to demonstrate their proficiency in a specific discipline.  Documentation and/or demonstration of proficiency in a subject or discipline will be reviewed by each individual employer on a case-by-case basis as a condition of employment.  Examples of proficiency can include any of the following:

  • Be currently taking and/or have taken upper division college classes or AP classes relating to your subject or discipline.
  • Advanced to professional level private studio training in your subject or discipline.
  • Certified instructor in your subject or discipline.
  • Apprenticeship or internship in your subject or discipline.
  • Past professional experience in your subject or discipline.

Becoming Certified

To become a NETA-certified enrichment teacher, a candidate must do the following:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Apply to take the NETA Exam
  • Successfully pass the NETA Certification Exam.
  • Remittance of applicable fees.

Maintaining Certification and Re-Certification
Part of NETA’s charter is to provide continuing education and training to the certified population. This is to ensure that enrichment teachers working in the field are kept current with the latest regulations, techniques, trends, innovations, and laws affecting the industry. A candidate’s NETA certification is valid for a period of two years, at which time the certification may be renewed.  In order to renew their certification, a certified enrichment teacher must complete two NETA Continuing Education Courses (2 units) every two years from the date of the issuance of their NETA certification.

Opportunities In Education

If you have training and experience in the arts, sciences, academics, sports or other skill, hobby or discipline, you can parlay your knowledge and skill-sets into a viable source of income. As a vocation enrichment is inherently veratile - instructors can obtain full time or part time teaching jobs in a number of roles and capacities on a short term or long term basis through after school programs. Additionally, the term "after school programs" is something of a misnomer. Experienced enrichment instructors have long known that teaching jobs are not just limited to after school enrichment programs and their corresponding hours; enrichment instructors can get teaching jobs working with children throughout the school day, evenings, weekends and summers. Examples of these teaching jobs include tutoring privately or through a tutoring service, mentoring students, coaching sports though youth leagues, teaching classes in your field of expertise at community centers, studios, and YMCAs, or summer camp jobs working as an instructor or camp counselor. NETA's enrichment teacher certification and job training programs will help you use your skills and knowledge and apply them safely and effectively in the classroom setting.

If you have been researching vocational schools but are undecided about what field or industry to pursue, NETA's teacher certification and job training programs may be the alternative you are looking for. Attending vocational school can be time consuming and costly -- getting your NETA certification can hlep you expedite the process at minimum expense by teaching you how to take the knowledge and experience you already possess and apply it to working with children in after school programs.

Summary of Certification Activities

NETA began its work in 1996, when the Academy of Children's Services (what has evolved into NETA today) began offering competency education, vocational education and job training programs to enrichment teachers in the Los Angeles area. The job training program was the first of its kind and was registered as a vocational school with the California Council for Private Post-secondary and Vocational Education. Enrichment teachers were required to attend lectures, seminars and pass a proficiency exam. The idea was so well received by schools and other venues which provided enrichment programming that it was eventually developed into the certification programs that NETA offers today.

NETA concluded its inaugural Practice Analysis Report in 2003, further defining and clarifying job/performance domains for enrichment teachers working in the industry today.  Since 2004, 86% of the candidates taking the NETA certification exam have passed.