12 3-Month And 6-Month Certificate Programs That Pay Well

By Sky Ariella
Dec. 12, 2022

Find a Job You Really Want In

Summary. A certificate program can help you grow within your current career or start a whole new one. These programs usually last between three and six months and often lead to high-paying jobs.

Deciding on a new career can be a big step, especially if you don’t have much time to set aside to learn skills required for the job. There are a lot of 3-month or 6-month programs that allow a person who is unable to take time off work, a family or other life responsibilities that some 4-year programs might require.

Key Takeaways

  • A certificate program can help you start a career, earn more money, and become a more valuable employee.

  • Many certificate programs take between three and six months to complete, but some take up to two years.

  • Three of the top certificate programs allow you to become a paramedic, an electrician, or an information technology technician.

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

Why Enroll in a Certificate Program?

Enrolling in a certificate program can open the door to a variety of high-paying, long-term careers. This is great for anyone who is looking to get a degree in a short amount of time. The shorter time frame means you’ll be able to start working and getting paid sooner rather than later.

  • Invest in your professional future. 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.

  • Earn more money. 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.

  • Be a better employee. 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?

On average, a certificate can take as short as three months to six months to earn, while some could take up to two years earning 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.

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 three 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.

Here are some of the top jobs that a three month certificate program can offer:

  1. Paramedic. Being a paramedic is a job that can appeal to people who want to make a career out of helping people, but might not want to be in a hospital setting. A certification program towards a career as a paramedic will cover a lot of medical knowledge such as stabilizing patients, inserting IV lines, and even delivering babies in its real-world application. On average, completing one of these programs can take about 3-6 months before you can begin working,

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

    Average Annual Salary: $30,000-$55,000

  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 Annual Salary: $40,000-$100,000

  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 Annual Salary: $40,000-$70,000

  4. HVAC technician. An HVAC technician installs and repairs air conditioner and refrigeration systems in residential and commercial buildings. While the job also involves an apprenticeship period, getting started in your first role can take as little as three months with an expedited course.

    You can also be sure that your time investment will be well worth it because HVAC technicians are in high demand, earn a high starting salary, and have a great job outlook over the next decade.

    Average Annual Salary: $48,165

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 Annual Salary: $40,000-$70,000

  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 Annual Salary: $35,000-$80,000

  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.

    If you’ve got the travel bug, a valid passport, and a clean criminal/credit history, a job as a flight attendant might be the perfect fit. And the best part is that you can get started in as little as eight weeks.

    Flight attendant programs vary quite a bit in length between schools, but some are as short as three or even two months long. On the longer end of the spectrum, some courses extend to 30 weeks long.

    Average Annual Salary: $20,000-$70,000

  4. Massage therapist. Working as a massage therapist can be a great job for someone who prefers a peaceful work environment, enjoys deeply personal connections with clients, and has the healing touch. From athletes to grandparents and everything in between, the need for bodywork is of growing value.

    Massage therapy programs range from 300 to 1,000 hours, but with an expedited program and a lot of hard work, you can become a massage therapist in as little as five months. Depending on your state, you might also need to pass a licensing exam.

    Average Annual Salary: $45,740

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 Annual Salary: $30,000-$100,000

  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 Annual Salary: $40,000-$60,000

    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 Annual Salary: $40,000-$90,000

    Examples of Certification Courses for Web Design Include:

  4. Dental assistant. Dental assistants are responsible for a range of duties, from patient care to recordkeeping. But if you’re looking for one of the more relaxed careers in medicine that’s easy to get into, dental assistant jobs are a good place to start.

    While most dental assistant programs take between 9 and 11 months, you can find accelerated programs that get that time down to 6 months. Note that if you’re enrolling in such a program, you’ll likely have to treat it as a full-time job.

    Programs can be found through vocational schools, community colleges, technical schools, and dental schools. You’ll have to take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam no matter what path you choose. Some states also require other licensure procedures.

    Average Annual Salary: $38,830

Short Certificate Programs That Pay Well FAQ

  1. What is the quickest certification to get?

    The quickest certification to get is one that only requires three months of training, such as a paramedic, real estate agent, or medical coder certification program.

    Every certification program is different, including how long it takes to complete it, but many only take three months to complete. Others typically take six months, and some can take up to two years.

    As you’re looking for a quick certification program, make sure you pay attention to any prerequisites you’ll need going in. Even though the program itself may only take three months, if you don’t meet the prerequisites, you’ll have to spend more time getting those as well.

    Similarly, some occupations may require a certification that only takes three months to complete, but before you can begin working independently in that field, you may have to have a certain amount of hands-on training in addition to your certification program.

    An HVAC technician, for example, can earn an industry certification in as little as three months but will also have to complete an apprenticeship before being able to work independently.

    Typically workers get paid during this on-the-job training. They just don’t make as much as they will when they finish and won’t have the autonomy of a professional in their field.

    But, they’re working in the field they’re interested in and are making money instead of spending it on education, which is often one of the main reasons people pursue professional certifications.

  2. What certificate programs are most in-demand?

    Medical, automotive technician, and skilled trade certificate programs are most in demand. The demand on these will ebb and flow from year to year and location to location, but for the most part, these are consistently highly sought after.

    As far as medical certificate programs go, nursing aides, orderlies, and licensed practical nurses are often needed, as there is no shortage of work for them to do. Dental assistants, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics are often in high demand and only need a certification to qualify for an entry-level position.

    Similarly, automotive technicians and mechanics of all kinds are always needed, especially those with more recent certifications that also cover electronics and other technology that have been more and more common to find in cars over the past few years.

    Welders, HVAC technicians, and other skilled trade positions are often difficult to fill, making people who’ve completed certificate programs in these areas all the more desirable.

    When you’re looking into a career path and want to know how in-demand you’ll be if you receive a certification in that field, check the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for projections on the industry. It will list current and estimated future growth rates that can help you decide which path to pursue.

  3. What is a good career to start at 30?

    Web development is a good career to start at 30. Some companies will want their applicants to have a bachelor’s degree, but many only require a high school diploma and the required technical skills. You can obtain most of these in a certificate program.

    Web developers build websites from the source code up, and some even do the graphic and user experience design as well. Because the world is so reliant on the internet, there is plenty of work for web developers to create and maintain websites for companies.

    While you can successfully start many careers at 30, often the best ones for this are the ones that require minimal time off of work for classwork and maximal time earning a regular salary. Some examples of careers like this include:

    While you shouldn’t limit yourself to these options, they do have a minimal amount of time where you won’t be getting paid a regular salary because they don’t require on-the-job training.

    This is often a major perk for people starting new careers in their 30s, as they typically have more financial responsibilities than those fresh out of high school do.

    On the other hand, a career as a licensed practical nurse or as an electrician, plumber, or other skilled tradesperson can be fulfilling and lucrative, but they do require a larger investment of time upfront and clinical or apprenticeship hours that likely won’t pay as well.

  4. What trades can I learn in six months?

    You can often learn these trades in six months:

    1. Electrician

    2. Information technology/support technician

    3. Flight attendent

    4. Massage therapist

    5. Court reporter

    6. Auto mechanic

    7. Web design and development

    8. Dental assistant


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  2. MoneyWise – 10 Certificate Programs That Can Boost Your Salary

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Sky Ariella

Sky Ariella is a professional freelance writer, originally from New York. She has been featured on websites and online magazines covering topics in career, travel, and lifestyle. She received her BA in psychology from Hunter College.

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