Certificate programs are short-term training programs that can be completed in less time compared to a degree. The good news is that you can find a high-paying job without going to college. Read this article to find out the four certifications that pay well.
1. Massage Therapist
Usual length to earn the certificate: 500 hours to 1,000+ hours
Median salary: $42,820
First on our list of certifications that pay well is the massage therapist. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, massage therapists made a median salary of $42,820 in 2019. The best-paid 10 percent made $80,630 that year, while the lowest-paid 10 percent made $21,810. The demand for massage therapists continues to grow 21% from 2019 to 2029 and will likely increase as healthcare providers see the importance of massage in treatment plans.
What Does a Massage Therapist Do?
Massage therapists treat clients by manipulating the client’s soft tissues of the body with their touch. They use their fingers, hands, forearms, elbows, and sometimes feet to relieve pain, improve blood circulation, heal injuries, and aid in their clients’ overall wellness. Massage therapists are in the healthcare and hospitality industries, working in different environments such as hospitals, private offices, spas, fitness centers, and even in their clients’ homes.
The certification program of a massage therapist usually requires only a high school diploma. You must also render at least 500 to 1,000 or more hours of study to qualify for a certification exam. But before you enroll in a certification program, you must research your locality’s regulations as the practice laws, and education requirements vary by state and jurisdiction.
2. Medical Assistant
Usual length to earn the certificate: 1 year
Median salary: $34,800
Second on our list of certifications that pay well is the medical assistant. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants made a median salary of $34,800 in 2019. The best-paid 10 percent earned $48,720 that year, while the lowest-paid 10 percent earned $25,820. It is projected to grow 19% from 2019 to 2029. As a matter of fact, the U.S. News ranked it 7th in best jobs without a college degree, 61st of the best 100 jobs, and 10th in the best healthcare support jobs.
What Does a Medical Assistant Do?
Medical assistants, also known as “healthcare assistants” or “clinical assistants” perform a mix of clinical, administrative, and traditional office work. They support doctors, nurses, and other health professionals to provide high-quality patient care. Their daily tasks usually involve but are not limited to answering phone calls, updating patient’s medical records, scheduling appointments, taking medical histories, and laboratory testing.
Aspiring medical assistants can pursue a career with no more than a high school diploma or GED. However, they need to acquire official medical assistant training or a certification from an accredited program or school. They also need to complete the certification program to take a professional certification exam.
3. Web Developer
Usual length to earn the certificate: 6 to 12 months (web development certification program and courses); 2 to 4 years (associate and bachelor’s degree in web development)
Median salary: $73,760
Third on our list of certifications that pay well is web developers. Web developers made a median salary of $73,760 in 2019. The best-paid 10 percent made $142,080 that year, while the lowest paid 10 percent made $39,550.
What Does a Web Developer Do?
Web developers design and develop websites. They are responsible for the website’s overall appearance, speed, and performance. There are 3 different types of web developers. Each job type focuses on a different aspects of website creation.
- Front-End Developers are responsible for client-side programming.
- Back-End Developers are responsible for server-side programming.
- Full-Stack Developers understand both the processes of the front-end developer and back-end developer. They can work on both the client-side and server-side programming.
Although completing a formal education can give you an edge in gaining the fundamental knowledge and skills of web development, you can still pursue a career by just a certification program and online courses. In fact, there are entry-level positions that are available for self-taught candidates with a high school diploma.
Most of the certificate programs involve several courses that take 60 to 12 months to complete. While the total duration of most of the online programs and courses are usually 2 to 12 hours (and even more).
4. Software Developer
Usual length to earn the certificate: 6 to 36 weeks (web development certification program and courses); 2 to 4 years (associate and bachelor’s degree in web development)
Median salary: $107,510
Fourth on our list of certifications that pay well is software developers. Software development is one of the highest-paying jobs that do not really require a degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage of a software developer in 2019 is $107,510. The lowest-paid 10 percent is less than $64,240, and the best-paid 10 percent is more than $164,590.
What Does a Software Developer Do?
Software developers are the brains behind the technology we use daily. They work with different platforms such as desktop computers, mobile phones, and the Internet. They create and design new system software and be responsible for maintaining the new system software to ensure that it is functioning correctly and efficiently.
There are two specializations in software development that you can choose from; these are applications software developers and systems software developers. However, there are other practices and specializations that you may choose from:
- Web Development
- Front-End Developer
- Back-End Developer
- Full-Stack Developer
- Middle-Tier Developer
- Desktop Developer
- Mobile Developer
- Game Developer
- Graphics Developer
- Security Developer
- WordPress Developer
- Data Scientist
- DevOps Developer
- CRM Developer
- Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET)
You can learn the basics of software development and the essential programming languages to pursue this career by taking online courses. You can check out the Become A Junior Java Software Developer online course to learn how to develop software using Java.
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