The New York Times reported on the difference between the salaries of those who have four-year degrees and those who don’t. Their conclusion?
There’s not much difference in salary, but there is a huge difference in the amount of debt that students owe when they choose to pursue a four-year degree.
With the threat of mounting student debt, it makes financial and professional sense for certain individuals to pursue a certificate program that will allow them to work in a field that they desire.
These certifications help people succeed namely in the industries of medicine, law, technology, and business.
If you’re interested in forming a career path that results in a long and rewarding career, then you might want to take a look at a few of the job certifications and programs that can get you there.
Ensuring that You Find the Right Program
Before diving into the programs themselves, it’s good to understand the importance of finding a career program that’s a good fit for you and your career goals.
If you’re already set in a career path, then obtaining a certificate can sometimes help you get ahead or even refresh some parts of the training that you might have forgotten.
However, it’s also a sensible choice if you’re looking to participate in a job certifications program in order to fast-track your career without attending a four-year college.
Regardless of your motives, you should look for a few things when choosing the right program for you:
- Will the program offers you the training you need to succeed on the job?
- Will the program offer you the ability to take the required exams to obtain necessary certificates?
- Does the program’s schedule work with your current schedule?
- How long is it going to take you to complete the course?
- Does the cost of investing in this course make sense for the overall training and eventual salary you will receive?
Keep in mind that obtaining a certificate isn’t the same as obtaining a license.
Certain industries and jobs require that you have a license to “practice” in the field or perform your job.
A job certificate will show that you have completed the training you need to perform your job well, but you’ll also need to check the various other requirements of your desired job before committing to a program.
When speaking with an admissions counselor or program director, you can ask them about this.
While it might be tempting to only pursue programs with certificates that pay well, it’s better to analyze your career goals first and plan out a path to success that falls in line with your skills and goals.
Five Top-Paying Job Certifications
If you’re interested in a lot of different industries and are looking to plan your career around a job path that’s going to continue to grow in the coming years, then there are a few job certifications that can help get you there.
When analyzing these programs, it’s important to factor in the final requirements that you will need in order to receive certification as well as how long the program will take you.
These are going to help you make your decision as it’s important to ensure that the program fits into your current work or life schedule as well as offers you the training you need to succeed.
Business Office Administration
Amongst certificate programs that pay well, a certificate in business office administration is one of the best due to the sheer number of careers that it allows you to pursue.
With this certificate, you can pursue a job as an:
- Administrative Manager
- Director of Operations
- Administrative Coordinator
- Administrative Director
- Office Manager
According to Indeed, the average office manager salary is around $42,000. This is a great job for you if you’re highly organized.
Your main duties as an office manager will include preparing payroll, designing file systems, reviewing supply materials, and monitoring clerical functions.
This is likely where you would start out in your business career as you work your way up towards being a director of operations, which Glassdoor currently reports as having a national average salary of $111,000.
Industry experts note that one of the perks of following this career path is that there are business administration jobs in nearly every industry.
This means that you could eventually work your way up to being a director of operations for a non-profit, in the legal industry, or even in the sports industry. There are plenty of options that will suit your individual passions.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that HVAC installers and mechanics are likely to see a 15% job growth rate throughout 2026.
As an HVAC technician, you’ll enjoy the freedom of never working in an office. The job requires that you drive around to visit the homes of people who need repairs or help with their heating and cooling systems.
This makes the job pretty ideal for those who don’t like the idea of sitting behind a desk for eight hours a day.
It’s also a good fit for people who love working with their hands and have a passion for all things electrical and mechanical.
On top of this, one of the perks of becoming an HVAC technician is that you can complete the certification program in just one year and be on your way to working full-time in an industry and job that you’re passionate about.
Certification jobs are numerous if you have a certificate to become an electrician.
In the program, you’ll learn things like electrical code safety requirements, the fundamentals of electricity and power distribution, national wiring requirements, and more.
This sets you up for a career as an:
- Electrician Apprentice
- Journeyman Electrician
- Master Electrician
- Residential Electrician
- Commercial Electrician
Of the numerous benefits of this kind of training program is the combination of a short training program along with the interesting career opportunities in a growing industry.
Similar to other certification jobs, job opportunities in the electrical industry look to grow by 9% from now until 2026.
Pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies filling, packaging, and labeling the prescriptions.
This is a great career for you if you aim to work in the healthcare industry and find yourself particularly adept at organizing inventory, processing claims, and working with a computer database.
During the pharmacy technician training course, you’ll take classes such as:
- Medical Terminology
- Medical Laws & Ethics
- Anatomy & Physiology
- 80-Hour Externship
Exceptional organization and customer service skills will serve you well in this role.
According to Payscale.com the industry trends expect to see a 12% growth in this career throughout 2026. This makes it a pretty prosperous job choice.
However, there are plenty of opportunities to earn more. If you grow your career and experience over time, you can earn more working at a large hospital or acute care center.
A dental assistant certificate program provides students with the training they need to understand the industry.
It also ensures you understand the anatomy and physiology related to the practice of dentistry.
If this sounds like the perfect career for you, then prepare yourself for a job as a dental assistant with the program that will allow you to become certified as well as the opportunity to participate in an externship.
Both fall under the category of dental assistant, which means you have your choice of job functions depending on how hands-on you wish to be in dentistry.
Start Your Career Today
As the world becomes more fast-paced, it’s no longer necessary to spend four years obtaining a college degree in order to have a successful career.
Job certifications are a great alternative.
They also provide you with the ability to earn hands-on experience in a specific field that you’re passionate about.
You’ll save time and money, as these programs tend to range from a few weeks to two years. But, you’ll also reap the benefits of focusing solely on the career path you want to pursue.
This is something that traditional degrees don’t off you.
Ready to start your career today?
Call us today to speak with an admissions specialist or simply fill out our online form to request more information about the program that you’re interested in.