3-Month and 6-Month Certificate Programs That Pay Well

By Chris Kolmar - Nov. 13, 2020

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Investing in a new career entails a lot of effort, but it doesn’t need to take up years of your life if you decide to enroll in a 3 or 6-month certification program. Receiving a certificate can grant you access to skills in a specialized field. These programs allow candidates to study a topic or trade and get certified to work in a particular industry with less time and money than a 4-year degree might take.

Why Enroll in a Certificate Program?

Enrolling in a certificate program can open the door to a variety of high paying, long-term careers. They offer an accelerated transition from a student who’s learning to a reliable professional with expertise in their field. Meaning you’ll be able to start working and getting paid sooner rather than later.

When you’re considering the career path you want to take, many factors come into play, like the costs of investing in your education – in terms of both time and cash. Attaining a bachelor’s degree requires a great deal of money, years, and effort to complete. For many people considering their careers, a certificate program may be a more lucrative route.

While this is an excellent option for recent high-school graduates looking to invest in their professional future, it can also be beneficial for people already established in their careers. Receiving a certificate in a niche related to your occupation can make you a better and more knowledgeable employee. It can even propel you into a position with more responsibility or a higher pay grade.

How Quickly Can A Certificate Be Earned?

Some programs can be as short as three months before you’re certified. Other occupations could require schooling as long as two years, which would be more akin to an associate’s degree.

There’s a fair amount of variance between certification programs across industries. How long it takes you to gain credentials in the field can change depending on many factors. Deadlines are set to establish an estimate of when the average student will become proficient in the topic.

It can also vary based on the state you live in and their wage laws. The highest paying certification-based jobs in Florida will probably differ from California.

On average, certificate programs will fall into the three months to a year range for completion.

Top Careers with 3-Month Certificate Programs

If you’re looking to invest in your future professional life but need to get to work and start making money soon, a 3-month certificate program might be right up your alley. It’s one of the shortest courses of action you could take towards becoming qualified for a specific position.
Consider the following top careers with 3-month certificate programs.

  1. Parademic. Being a paramedic is a job that can appeal to people who aren’t looking to sit behind a desk and want to make a career out of helping people. A certification program towards a career as a paramedic will cover a lot of medical knowledge and its real-world application. On average, completing one of these programs can take about 3-6 months before you can begin working,

    Job type you want
    Full Time
    Part Time

    However, after completing a certification program, you’ll be qualified to get a thrilling job that comes with a lot of practical benefits.

    Average Salary: $30,000-$55,000 Per Year

  2. Real estate agent. Real estate agents assist potential home-buyers with making one of the most crucial decisions of their adult life. Enrolling in a real estate certification course and becoming an agent can lend itself to a flexible and profitable career in selling homes. It can be an attractive career option for many job seekers because, usually, real estate agents set their own schedules and have a lot of control over their professional life.

    Getting licensed as a real estate agent is a somewhat lengthy process that requires the candidate passing a test to become certified. If you can get past the certification phase, though, you’ll be rewarded with credentials for a position with enormous growth potential.

    Average Salary: $40,000-$100,000 Per Year

  3. Certified medical coder. The job of a medical coder involves processing insurance and medical claims. It’s a vital position in medical offices and hospitals because errors in this area can lead to a lot of difficult problems. It’s a position that requires diligence and heaps of attention to detail.

    If you think you’d be a good fit for a medical coding career, it won’t require much time to become qualified for hire. Around three months is the average course duration before certification.

    Average Salary: $40,000-$70,000 Per Year

Top Careers with 6-Month Certificate Programs

While many people want to get the certification process completed as quickly as possible, others may have more time to dedicate to acquiring skills for a new career.

Consider the following top career choices if you have six months or more to prepare with a certification or training program.

  1. Electrician. Electricians are responsible for the ins and outs of electrical systems in our residential homes and larger businesses. It’s a job that offers a lot of steady opportunities for growth. It requires six months to a year of technical school, followed by a long-term apprenticeship. For candidates who have the time to put into learning this trade, it can lead to a lengthy and well-paid career.

    Average Salary: $40,000-$70,000 Per Year

  2. Information technology/support technician. While about half the people who get into information technology and support have graduated with a bachelor’s degree, many utilize certification programs instead. The job of a support technician involves solving technical problems for individuals and corporations.

    This is a great position for someone who’s technologically inclined and needs a little refinement in troubleshooting issues.

    Average Salary: $35,000-$80,000 Per Year

  3. Flight attendant. Flight attendants provide customer service from the sky. Working as a flight attendant comes with some incredible benefits, such as free flights for immediate family and the ability to travel regularly. You probably won’t be required to have a college degree for this position. Still, you’ll likely be asked to participate in a certification or training program before being accepted by an airline.

    Salary for flight attendants can differ between states. For example, in North Carolina, the average flight attendant salary is $43,000. On the other hand, in Pennsylvania, the average salary is $55,000.

    This can be an ideal job for people who enjoy being on the go and are willing to work a schedule that varies day-to-day.

    Average Salary: $20,000-$70,000 Per Year

High-Paying 6-Month Certificate Programs

Receiving certification in any field will increase your value to an employer and likely earn you a higher salary than you would’ve gotten without it. Many people want the highest paying positions they can achieve. If that sounds like your goals, consider the following 6-month certificate programs that will result in the highest paying jobs post-completion.

  1. Court reporter. A court reporter’s job can be very enticing to people interested in the legal field but who don’t want to go through a decade of school to get involved. Court reporters are responsible for transcribing the discussions and interrogations during trials. Since the position does involve confidential legal proceedings, it does require licensing or attendance at a technical institute with a focus on court reporting.

    The material covered in reporting courses will include transcription accuracy, typing speed, and the details of legal proceedings. The requirements for your license can vary greatly depending on the state you’re in.

    Experienced court reporters can make a high salary for their services, and participating in a certification course can be the beginning of a profitable career.

    The National Court Reporters Association provides certificates for several skills, including:

    Average Salary: $30,000-$100,000 Per Year

  2. Auto mechanic. There are a lot of certification options for people interested in a career as an auto mechanic. It’s an industry that allows you to grow in pay grade and constantly work on new projects. It’s also been a historically favorable industry because people always need repairs and work on their cars eventually.

    Average Salary: $40,000-$60,000 Per Year

    Examples of certification courses for the auto mechanic industry include:

  3. Web design and development. Web design is a very in-demand skill for the 2020 job market, especially since it is easily translatable to a remote position. If you decide to go into web design, about half your competition will have graduated with a bachelor’s degree. Still, completing a certification course can be just as impressive to a hiring manager.

    Being a web designer is more of an evidence and experience-based field than one that’s strict about completing education through a master’s degree. This can make it a strong possibility for individuals interested in technology and coding but don’t necessarily have the time or money for a 4-year degree. Receiving a certificate in web design can also increase your current salary if you’re already employed.

    Certification programs in web design can range in their length from 6 months to two years, depending on your preference.

    Average Salary: $40,000-$90,000 Per Year

    Examples of Certification Courses for Web Design Include:

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Chris Kolmar


Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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