17 Short Certificate Programs That Pay Well

Certification programs are an excellent way to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to land a well-paying job without investing too much time or money.

Investing in short certification programs can pay off big time–both financially and professionally.

They give you an edge over other applicants with similar backgrounds and bring greater job security by ensuring that employers see you as qualified for the job at hand.

And many quick certification programs only require a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll, so you can start any of them without degrees or experience.

Our blog post will tell you about some of the best certificate programs that can lead to high-paying positions.

Quick Picks: Best Short Certificate Programs That Pay Well

Consider one of these short certificate programs if you’re looking for the best certificate programs to help you quickly earn a higher salary without an associate degree or even a bachelor’s degree.

Best Overall Program (& Career! )- Proofread Anywhere
Highest ROI (Best Hourly Rate Job) – Bookkeeper Launch
Most Inexpensive Course – Transcribe Anywhere

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Short Certificate Programs That Pay Well

These fields are growing rapidly, and having the right professional certifications makes it easier to find more competitive job opportunities in these industries.

Let’s take a look at the best-paying certificate programs:

1. Proofread Anywhere


Course Cost – Ignite: $397 Ignite+ $497

Free Workshop/Training – Yes! (Free Workshop By Proofread Anywhere)

Certificate For – Proofreading: General Proofreading: Theory and Practice™

Proofreading is becoming increasingly popular as businesses and individuals look for ways to save time and money editing their documents.

Proofreaders are the last line before books and articles are published, where work is reviewed for grammar and spelling mistakes.

There is always a need for qualified proofreaders. With Proofread Anywhere, you can get the training you need to become an in-demand proofreader yourself.

Caitlin Pyle, a professional proofreader since 2007, created the certification course. She’s helped thousands launch successful proofreading careers and earn up to $60,000 annually! 

Earning a certificate with Proofread Anywhere is one of the best ways to start your career off right – especially if you want to make good money without investing years into learning new skills!

The course teaches all the essential skills required to become a professional proofreader while providing the resources to find work quickly and easily. 

Caitlyn also offers a FREE workshop for those who want to learn more about proofreading before signing up.

Want to learn more about the Proofread Anywhere course? Check out our Proofread Anywhere Review.

2. Bookkeeper Launch

Course Cost – $2,499

Free Workshop/Training – Yes! (3 Free Lessons From Bookkeeper Launch)

Certificate For – Bookkeeping: Bookkeeper Launch Certificate of Completion

Bookkeeping is one of the best freelance careers you can start, where you can get paid $40 an hour or more. Some certified bookkeepers earn $80 an hour!

As a bookkeeper, you’d review and create financial reports like income reports, payroll, or invoices. It’s not as in-depth as being an accountant, but you’d still need to be good with numbers.

One of the best short certificate programs for bookkeeping is the Bookkeeper Launch course. This program offers comprehensive training in bookkeeping fundamentals and can help you land a high-paying job as a bookkeeper. 

You’ll learn everything from setting up accounts and tracking sales and expenses to understanding taxes and filing paperwork.

During the self-paced program, you’ll learn how to use QuickBooks, the industry-standard accounting software used by millions of businesses worldwide.

In addition to teaching students the ins and outs of bookkeeping, the course also provides career counseling services that help them find potential job opportunities. 

Most bookkeeping jobs even give on-the-job training and only require a high school diploma or equivalent.

Not ready to take the entire course? No problem! They offer 3 FREE lessons to help you get started!

Check out our review of the Bookkeeper Launch Course to learn more about this fantastic certification program!

3. Transcribe Anywhere

Course Cost – $497

Free Workshop/Training – Yes! (Seven-Lesson Mini-Course By Transcribe Anywhere)

Certificate For – Transcription: General Transcription: Theory & Practice™

Transcription is simply making written documents out of audio files. This means typing spoken words into written documents such as ebooks, blog posts, articles, etc.

Transcriptionists often work from home or remotely and have flexible hours, so it’s perfect for those seeking more freedom in their careers. 

If you’re looking for an online program to help you quickly get a high-paying job, then look no further than Transcribe Anywhere.

This program offers comprehensive training on transcription and is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful transcribers.

It’s the perfect choice for anyone who wants to get their foot in the door of the transcription industry while earning good money. 

Want to learn more about transcription? Transcribe Anywhere offers a Seven-Lesson Mini-Course to help you get started!

You can also check out our full review of Transcribe Anywhere to learn more!

Other High-Paying Careers With Certifications

Many career opportunities offer high salaries for those who don’t want to attend college and get a bachelor’s degree or even a master’s degree.

You can be competitively employed in various industries with a certificate from one of these certification programs.

The key is finding the right certification program and committing to it to enter one of these lucrative fields successfully.

6. Real Estate Broker

The real estate industry is growing, which can be advantageous for those pursuing these high-paying jobs.

To get your license, you must have an in-depth knowledge of property laws, codes, and regulations- that means you need real estate certificates.

A real estate certification program will teach you more about the different aspects of real estate law and help prepare you to pass the state licensing exam.

Once you have your license, you can start working and earn around $90K per year on average. 

Certification requirements usually vary by state, and colleges and universities usually offer online and in-class programs.

7. Web Designer

Web design is one of the most in-demand professions in today’s world. 

As more companies move online, there is an increased need for talented web designers who can create visually appealing, user-friendly, and highly functional websites.

So learning how to code could be perfect if you want a recession-proof job that pays well.

A web design certificate program can teach you how to create attractive websites using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other technologies for this job with an average yearly salary of $59,000.

Many online certification programs are available if you want to quickly gain the skills needed to become a web designer without enrolling in a formal program.

8. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

Emergency medical technicians are highly respected in healthcare because they provide lifesaving care during emergencies.

An EMT certificate program typically requires a high school diploma. It also helps to have cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification so that you can enter your postsecondary educational programs in emergency medical technology.

It takes about six months to one year to complete. It covers medical terminology, anatomy & physiology, basic life support (BLS), emergency medicine & trauma care procedures, patient assessment & triage protocols/techniques.

This training prepares students for entry-level positions paying over $36,000 a year with hospitals or other healthcare agencies as first responders or paramedics.  

9. Dental Assistant

Dental assistants are invaluable team members who assist dentists in providing patient care. They prepare patients for treatment, sterilize instruments, schedule appointments, and perform other tasks as required.

Becoming a dental assistant usually requires the completion of a one-year certificate program that combines classroom instruction with hands-on training to prepare students for success in the field.

You can also become nationally certified with the Dental Assisting National Board.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for dental assistants is over $42,000 per year

10. Medical Assistant

Medical assistants provide support services in hospitals and medical offices. They need to know medical terminology to perform duties such as taking vital signs, scheduling appointments, and managing patient information and health records.

Most medical assistant training programs can be completed in up to two years or less at a vocational or technical school; however, one-year diploma and certificate programs are also available if you’re looking for something more accelerated.

After completing a certificate program, students must pass either the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) certification exam or the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) certification exam to begin working as a medical assistant.  

The BLS reports that medical assistants earned a median annual wage of $33,610 in 2021.

11. Medical Coder

Medical coders use codes to document patient diagnosis and treatment information for medical claims for insurance companies and other healthcare organizations.

A certified professional coder (CPC) certification is one of the most popular certificate programs that pay well.

The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) offers this certification, which requires passing an exam after completing a course or self-study program.

The medical coding certification can lead to better job opportunities and higher salaries, helping entry-level coders earn nearly $70,000 per year, depending on their experience level. 

12. Surgical Technologist

One of the most well-paid career paths requiring only a short certificate program is a surgical technologist.

Surgical technologists work side by side with surgeons during procedures to ensure patient safety and comfort while assisting with instrumentation setup before surgery and proper disposal of instruments afterward.

Most surgical technology certification programs require between twelve months and 2 years of study, depending on the type of program chosen; however, it’s possible to complete some programs much sooner than this timeframe allows.

In 2021, BLS reported that surgical technologists had an average annual wage of $48,500 nationally.  

13. Flight Attendant

If you have always dreamed of flying worldwide, becoming a flight attendant might be for you. It’s high paying, and there is a short-term certificate program you take before you start applying.

A career as a flight attendant requires completing an airline-specific training program which usually lasts ten weeks.

Flight attendants must also have up-to-date CPR and first aid certifications and complete Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety courses.

The median salary for flight attendants is $50,000 per year, according to Glassdoor, making it a great option if you want to make good money without spending four years at college. 

14. Teacher

Another popular certificate program is the Teaching Certificate Program. This program prepares students for careers as teachers in K-12 school systems or at universities.

The program typically requires at least four years of coursework and student teaching experience before granting certification; however, some states may require additional coursework or exams depending on where you plan on teaching.

According to PayScale, the average salary for K through 12 teachers ranges around $51,000 per year, depending on location and experience level.

15. Personal Trainer

Do you enjoy helping others reach their fitness goals? Then becoming a personal trainer could be the perfect job for you!

While it doesn’t require certification or a formal degree to become a personal trainer, having some professional training certification can help significantly when it comes time to find clients or get hired at gyms or health clubs.

Most certifications require passing an exam after attending personal training programs for up to six months, depending upon the credentialing organization that provides them.

According to ZipRecruiter, the median annual salary for personal trainers is $51,000—not too shabby!  

16. HVAC Technician

Becoming an HVAC technician involves a complete educational program that includes classroom time, field experience, internships, and apprenticeships.

The minimum education requirement is a high school diploma or equivalent and usually two years of apprenticeship, although some programs may last up to three.

The two-year program typically consists of courses in the fundamentals of heating and air conditioning systems, energy efficiency, and control systems.

Additionally, instructions in wiring diagrams, refrigeration equipment, electrical components, combustion principles, and safety regulations are also included.

Once you’ve gotten an HVAC certificate has been completed and passed with satisfactory grades, individuals will have to complete hands-on training through either an internship or apprenticeship program.

The average salary for an HVAC technician is $46k per year. Most employers prefer candidates with formal training in the field, so they know how to handle the job safely and efficiently.

17. Massage Therapist

Massage therapy is booming now—the demand for massage therapists is higher than ever!

Massage therapists utilize their knowledge of anatomy and physiology to manipulate muscles using various massage techniques such as Swedish massage therapy or deep tissue massages. 

To get that type of knowledge, you need a professional certification program. Most massage therapist certificate programs take just six months or less to complete and will equip students with the skills they need to provide quality massage services.

Plus, the average annual salary of a massage therapist falls around $55k annually!  

Key Takeaways

Earning a certificate can open up new opportunities, leading to higher-paying jobs than those available without specialized training, on-the-job training, or education.

Certificates provide you with specific skill sets without a college degree that employers seek out when hiring for specific positions within their organizations.

When it comes to finding short certificate programs that pay well, the choices are endless! There are plenty of options available that are not on this list.

Some include air traffic controllers certificates, a masonry certification, a certified ophthalmic technician, a certified ophthalmic medical technologist, or a funeral director certification.

But there are great careers that don’t require additional training or education, like proofreading or bookkeeping, where you can get certified and start working in the same week.

Investing time into earning one of these certifications could be one of the best decisions you make in your career development journey!

FREE Workshop

Proofread Anywhere

Learn How to Become a Proofreader and Start a Freelance Proofreading Business.

15,000+ Students. 7+ Years of Results.

Watch FREE Workshop Now

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