Step 3: Learn About Available Resources

Most certifications and licenses have fees associated with them that are charged by the credentialing board or agency such as application fees, exam fees, and annual maintenance fees. In addition, you may need to pay for additional training or education if you do not meet the requirements set by a credentialing board or certification agency. To prepare for a credential, consider the following questions:

  1. Do I need additional training and experience to qualify for licensure or certification?
  2. Do I need financial assistance to pay for additional training or for credentialing exam fees?

Navy COOL may fund for application fees, exam fees, and annual maintenance fees for DON Civilians in the Navy’s Cyberspace Information Technology/Cybersecurity Workforce (Cyber IT/CSWF). However, for any other DON civilian occupation, the DON Civilian COOL does not currently provide funding for costs associated with initial credential attainment and maintaining and renewing the credential. There may be resources available at the local organization/command/unit level, however, to help DON Civilians cover some of the other costs associated with credentialing.

If you are a member of the National Guard or Reserves or a former Service member, there may be resources available to help cover some of the costs associated with credentialing. For example, eligible Service members and Veterans can use the GI Bill® to pay for fees for approved civilian occupational licensing and certification exams. GI Bill® benefits can also be used for costs associated with an undergraduate degree at a college or university, a certificate or diploma from a business, technical or vocational school, training programs, and apprenticeships.

Refer to the COOL Costs and Funding page for more information.

Once you have learned about the credential's requirements and about the resources available to help pay for the credential, go to Step 4: Apply For and Take Exam.