Recently a couple of people have asked me what you must do to become a certified genealogist. It isn't a matter of attending a few classes or writing a single paper, it is more of a process that demonstrates your abilities in collecting information, analyzing that information and then writing a report based on what was found and not found.
I recommend two things:
1. Attend as many seminars and conferences as possible. This includes national conferences (sponsored by the National Genealogical Society and the Federation of Genealogical Societies) as well as regional and local seminars. The national conferences usually have a number of lectures on certification. It is possible to learn something at each conference or seminar you attend.
2. Read everything on the website of the Board for Certification of Genealogists at http://www.bcgcertification.org/index.html Especially helpful are the sections on Skillbuilding and Test Your Skills.
When you decide you are ready to apply, contact the BCG. They will send you everything you need to prepare and submit your portfolio. You have a year to complete it. The work in your portfolio allows you to show the quality of work you do in your particular area of expertise.
Attaining certification for me was a personal goal - to prove I could do it and to lend validity to the work I do. It costs nothing to check out the website above and test your skills.