10 Jobs You Can Train For In Under a Year

By Chris Kolmar - Mar. 10, 2021

Find a Job You Really Want In

Largely due to the coronavirus pandemic, millions of professionals are out of work and forced to look for jobs in industries in which they have little experience.

Fortunately, many jobs are high-paying, flexible, and have relatively low barriers to entry.

In this article, we’ll discuss 10 jobs that you can train for in under a year. We’ll first cover especially high-paying jobs, followed by ones that typically allow you to work from home.

5 Best-Paying Jobs You Can Train For in Under a Year

The following jobs involve certification processes that typically last well under a year, yet pay more than the national average:

  1. Licensed real estate agent.

    Median hourly wage: $42.24 per hour

    Real estate agents connect property sellers and buyers and collect a percentage of the sale as commission.

    There are several specialties you can choose from, the two most common being:

    • Residential sales. You’ll typically work with individuals and families and help them secure single-family homes.

      This is the most popular specialization for real estate agents and has the lowest requirements to practice.

      Although you won’t need a college degree, you will have to pass your real estate pre-license courses and exams.

      There may also be additional licensing steps depending on the state you’re operating in.

      The length of the licensing process also differs between states. Texas requires 180 hours of coursework, for example, while California only requires 135.

      Most residential sales real estate agents start their careers by working for real estate firms. Once you have a few years of experience, you can choose to open your own independent practice.

    • Commercial sales. Commercial real estate agents work with real estate investors and businesses to buy and sell retail centers, office buildings, and other commercial properties.

      Although many working in this field obtain four-year degrees in finance or business, a college diploma is not required.

      The process to acquire your license is the same as for residential sales.

      However, most commercial real estate brokerages will require you to finish additional training if you want to stay with them long-term.

      These are typically salaried work-study programs and won’t delay the time it takes for you to begin earning income.

  2. HVAC Technician.

    Median hourly wage: $23.39 per hour

    Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians are professionals who install, repair, and maintain interior climate control systems.

    Although HVAC technicians learn the fundamentals of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning, they typically only specialize in one of the three areas.

    In many cases, they also only specialize in just installation, repair, or maintenance tasks.

    Some HVAC technicians also focus on solar technology systems, as many expect that field to experience rapid job growth over the next decade.

    Although there are various ways to become an HVAC technician, the most commonly-followed process is:

    • Obtain your high school diploma or GED

    • Pass an accredited HVAC program (typically six months)

    • Join an apprenticeship (optional)

    If you choose to work with regulated refrigerants, you may have to obtain an additional EPA 608 certification.

  3. Truck driver.

    Median hourly wage: $27.70 per hour

    Truck drivers transport loads both locally and long-haul across the country.

    You’ll first need to complete a truck-driving curriculum at your local community college or a private trucking driving school.

    These can take up to a year, but typically only last between three and six months.

    The next step will be to obtain your commercial driver’s license (CDL). Each state’s CDL exam focuses on slightly different material and has different requirements, so make sure to study using the right resources.

    For example, the state of Washington’s CDL exam focuses more on on-air brakes and passengers than CDL combination knowledge.

    After that, you’ll just need to pass the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) exam and you’ll be fully licensed to find a job.

    As a long-haul trucker, you’ll often have to meet a certain number of daily driving hours for weeks on end.

    Commercial truck driving can be an especially lucrative job due to the choice of working overtime, pushing your annual earnings well into the six figures range.

  4. Emergency medical technician.

    Median hourly wage: $13-30 per hour

    Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) specialize in providing emergency medical care to injured and sick patients.

    They work as first responders in a variety of settings, ranging from fires and car accidents to natural disasters and other medical emergencies.

    Although EMT-basic pays relatively little, typically up to $25,000 annually in most states, this job is included on this list because you can quickly transition into many higher-paying careers.

    You can finish your basic EMT coursework in only 3-6 weeks. From there, you can complete an additional six months of training to become a paramedic.

    This now opens up a vast range of high-paying emergency medical services (EMS) jobs, such as corporate campus EMT or event EMT.

    In Florida and Georgia, the average corporate campus EMT makes more than $55,000 each year.

  5. Margin department supervisor.

    Median national salary: $74,845

    Margin department supervisors work in a company’s credit department to decide whether to approve or deny credit to customers, as well as manage existing customer credit.

    Although a finance or accounting degree would certainly help, they aren’t at all required for this role.

    The main qualification process involves various training and shadowing programs that typically take up to a year to complete.

    The most important skills you’ll need to have are:

5 Work-From-Home Jobs You Can Train For in Under a Year

Here are a few high-demand jobs that require short certification processes and typically allow you to work remotely:

  1. Web designer.

    Median hourly wage: $22.36 per hour

    Web designers create the visual design and layout of webpages, as well as write the basic code to make sure they function.

    Web designers differ from web developers in that they focus mostly on languages such as Javascript and CSS, which handle all the front-end design elements on a web page.

    In contrast, web developers focus on a website’s back-end functionality, such as databases and features that require more complex algorithms.

    The barrier to entry for becoming a web designer is practically non-existent. You won’t need to obtain any certifications, other than those that you wish to make your resume look more impressive.

    You can begin working as quickly as you can to study and obtain the skills necessary to create a competitive product.

    Many successful web designers launch their careers within two months of first learning to code.

    Great online learning resources to help you get started include:

    • Youtube tutorials

    • CodeAcademy

    • Use Google to access thousands of web design tutorials

  2. IT support.

    Median hourly wage: $20.05 per hour

    IT support professionals diagnose and fix technical issues for businesses for individuals, as well as train other staff so they can do the same.

    The job is extremely flexible as you can choose to work individually or as a team.

    You’ll often also be able to choose your hours if you’re working for a call center, as they typically service international clients living in all different time zones.

    The most important technical skills to possess include:

    • Troubleshooting technical problems

    • Resolving network issues

    • Installing and configuring software

    • Testing new technologies

    You’ll also need various soft skills, such as:

    • Communicating with customers

    • Patience and listening skills

    • Ability to multitask

    • Providing accurate and timely feedback

  3. Medical billing and coding specialist.

    Median hourly wage: $21.74 per hour

    Medical billing and coding specialists also called health claims specialists, manage health insurance payments, invoices, and claims.

    Your main day-to-day task will be creating medical procedure reports and then billing a patient’s insurance company for the amount they owe to your employer.

    These professionals most frequently work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and healthcare clinics. Many positions offer the option to work from home, as you’ll mostly work with electronic records.

    You don’t need a related college degree to work as a medical billing and coding specialist.

    The main qualification process typically just includes obtaining your high school diploma and earning a medical coding certification from the AAPC. Depending on the medical facility’s practices, you may also need to finish training programs to use specific billing software.

    The most important hard skills to have include:

    • Tracking payments

    • Accurately coding procedures, diagnoses, and treatments

    • Correcting rejected claims

    • Following up on outstanding bills with insurance companies and patients

    • Creating claims for payment and other types of invoices

    • Database management

    Some important soft skills you’ll need are:

  4. Software developer.

    Median national salary: $111,620

    Software developers are the professionals that create all the phone and web applications we use every day, as well as software solutions that help companies operate more efficiently.

    Software development is an extremely broad field that allows for specialization in numerous types of software.

    However, the two most general types of software developers are:

    • Application software developers. Application software developers create software for broad consumers, such as games and word processors.

      These products may also be business solutions targeted at companies, such as SAP.

    • System software developers. Systems software engineers focus more on back-end systems that process information according to an organization’s needs.

      These typically work behind-the-scenes and lack any user interface.

      Think of a bank’s internal processing software or a system that manages records for a public agency.

    As web designers, software developers can work in the industry as quickly as they can obtain the necessary skills.

    Millions of developers find entry-level jobs at companies even without a college degree. Use online learning resources to improve your skills, create an impressive portfolio of programming projects, and you’ll be ready to interview and look for a job.

  5. Online sales representative.

    Median national salary: $111,620

    Online sales representatives sell products and services to customers via the internet.

    They work in a variety of industries, ranging from retail and automotive to insurance and software. You can work directly for a company to sell their products or with a contracting agency that provides sales services to businesses.

    Your income will likely come in the form of commission from your sales, although most companies will offer you several different pay structures to choose from.

    In addition to the commission, sales experience allows you to transition into many other lucrative careers. For example, the sales manager is one of the highest-paying occupations in large cities such as Charlotte, NC.

    Depending on the company, you may need to reach out and obtain customers by yourself. Others will connect you with customers to work with.

    There are typically no certifications or qualifications you need to obtain to become a sales representative, other than your ability to convince a company to hire you.

    The most important skills hard skills successful online sales representatives to master include:

    • Knowledge of the product

    • Sales presentations and demos

    • Ability to use communication software

    As with all sales jobs, you’ll also need effective communication skills such as:

    • Active listening

    • Effectively engaging with clients

    • Professional business communication

    • Conflict management and resolution

    • Social selling

Never miss an opportunity that’s right for you.
Chris Kolmar

Author

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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