Top Certifications That Will Get You High Paying Jobs Fast

If you want to advance your profession but do not have a college degree, consider a certificate programme. 

In the short time it takes to finish a certificate program, you can considerably increase your earning potential. 

Workers with a postsecondary certificate (the most common level of education for people with some college experience but no degree) earn a median weekly pay of $935. 

Those with only a high school diploma earn $853. Over a year, that translates to a difference of more than $4,000.

Remember, however, that not all certificate programs offer equal salaries. 

To help you maximize the value of your certificate, we’ve ranked the highest paying occupations that often require a college certificate for entry-level positions below

This guide gives a list of top certifications that will get you high paying jobs quickly. 

Our Ranking Criteria

We researched the Bureau of Labor Statistics and CareerOneStop to create this list of the highest-paying certificate programs. 

We ranked certificate programs according to the median annual wage of typical employment that needs that degree. 

We handled the research so you could save time and optimise your approach.

Top Certifications That Will Get You High Paying Jobs Fast 

Flight attendant

Those with wanderlust (and who don’t mind changing schedules) may wish to seek a career as a flight attendant. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification process is normally short, taking only a few weeks to complete.

New flight attendants must also be trained by the airlines they work for to learn the company’s safety protocols, regulations, and other characteristics. Flight attendants make an average of $61,640 per year.

Web Developer 

If you want to study code or work on websites, there are numerous training camps and certification programs for aspiring web developers. Web developers make an average of $78,300 per year.

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These “boot camps” primarily teach students the fundamentals of writing and testing code in HTML, CSS, and other languages. Certification programs can span from ten weeks to several months, and many community schools and universities provide boot camp-style courses.


Candidates who complete fast training programs can secure a variety of positions in the medical field, including phlebotomists. 

These individuals draw blood and work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, donation centers, and/or laboratories. Training programs usually last less than a year.

According to the BLS, many businesses prefer to hire people who have completed this professional qualification. The average annual pay is approximately $37,380.

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs)

EMT training is another short certification option for those looking to work in the healthcare profession. EMTs can learn basic lifesaving techniques and other medical skills in training programs that last less than six months.

EMTs earn an average of $35,470 per year. The requirements to become an EMT differ by state, but all require these workers to be licensed.

Pharmacy technician

Pharmacy technicians work in drug, grocery, or convenience stores, as well as hospitals, assisting pharmacists with prescription filling and customer service.

Pharmacy technicians typically require a high school diploma and on-the-job training, though requirements may vary by state.

A pharmacy technology education program can potentially lead to certification. On average, these employees earn $36,740 per year.

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Insurance sales agent

If you’re interested in sales, becoming certified to sell insurance — whether it’s life, health, disability, home, auto, or other types of insurance — is usually a simple procedure.

States regulate insurance sales in various ways, but agents must be licensed in the states where they work.

In most circumstances, agents will only require a high school diploma and training. Some states require that you pass an exam to get licensed. Insurance sales agents earn an average of $49,840 a year, according to BLS data.

Physical therapist aide

Physical therapist aides (PTAs) assist physical therapists and can often obtain employment with a high school diploma and some on-the-job training. 

It may also be advantageous to finish a PTA certification program, which can run up to two years.

Certain states may demand a specific license. Those interested in becoming physical therapy assistants (who often earn more) must pass the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy exam.

Physical therapist aides and assistants (combined) earn an average annual pay of $49,180, according to the BLS.

Construction/building inspector

Construction and construction inspectors can become certified rapidly, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides free training.

These employees monitor construction sites and structures to ensure that rules, such as building codes and zoning, are followed.

The EPA’s course is divided into five training modules, and students must pass an exam to become certified. Construction/building inspectors earn an average of $61,640 per year. 

HVACR Technician

HVACR professionals repair and maintain buildings’ heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems. They may work from home, office buildings, or other locations.

The HVACR licensing process varies by state, but in most cases, interested parties can enroll in a community college or trade school to receive a certificate or associate degree.

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Programs typically last from six months to two years. HVACR technicians earn an average of $48,630 per year, according to BLS data.

Top Certifications That Will Get You High Paying Jobs Fast (FAQs)

What is a certificate program?

Certificate programs are low-cost, short-term (a few months to a year) programs that train students in a certain topic. After completing the certificate, students are typically prepared to immediately begin working in that sector. Another degree option is trade school, which provides specialized training for entry-level positions in a profession.

Who should consider a certificate program?

Certificate programs are ideal for students who wish to study skills that will convert directly into a certain job in a short period and at a low cost. These certificates might be a simple way to set yourself apart from other applicants.

Which credential program pays the highest?

With an average wage in the six figures, a commercial pilot is the highest-paying vocation that typically requires only a college certificate for entry-level positions. There are several careers in the maritime and fire safety industries that pay particularly well for this level of schooling.

How much does a certificate program cost?

Generally, completing a certificate program costs between $1,000 and $5,000. This cost might vary depending on many factors, including the subject you study and whether you pay resident or non-resident tuition. This guide’s certificate programs range in cost from $770 to $53,280 on the high end.

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