If you don’t have the time or resources to go to college, you may think your employment options are going to be limited due to a lack of education. But don’t fret, there are actually some really great career choices that do not require a full four-year bachelor’s degree and can be obtained with a relatively quick certification course.
So if you’ve ever wondered what jobs require no college degree, how to get started, and where to find these jobs, you’re in luck. Continue reading to learn more about some of the best, high-paying jobs that you can get certified for in under two years.
1. Personal Trainer – 8 Week Certification Process
One of the quickest certifications that can lead to a high paying job is a personal trainer certification. Now, keep in mind there are a lot of options for personal trainer certifications, but what you want to focus on if you want a high paying job is one that is NCCA-certified.
NCCA, or the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, is the gold standard for fitness certifications. If you want to work at a high-paying gym or another professional fitness environment, it is very likely they’ll want you to have a certification that is NCCA-certified.
To get a reputable personal trainer certification, you should expect to pay around $500 to $1,000 for the study materials, coursework, and exam. If you studied hard for two months and dedicated a couple of hours a day to reading, it’s possible to be ready for one of the final exams in around eight weeks.
According to research on personal trainer wages, entry-level trainers can expect to make around $41,500 with a top certification, while seasoned trainers at premium gyms can make as much as six figures.
2. Web Developer – 9 Week Certification Process
These days web development is all the rage. While you used to have to go to college to get a technical degree in computer science, web development students can now attend reputable web development boot camps where they will learn valuable skills they can use for a junior development job, as an entrepreneur to launch a proprietary website or app, or to complement their existing skill sets.
While there are numerous ways to learn to code, there are multiple web development training programs and boot camps that will give you a well-rounded education, fast. It is not uncommon to find a short term coding school that you can complete in under three months.
Developers can expect to make between $50k to $117k per year. Web development training courses are a lot cheaper than going to college but still fetch a premium. Expect to pay upwards of $10,000 for a coding boot camp at a reputable trade school.
3. Ultrasound Technician – 1 to 2 Year Certification Process
If you’re interested in pursuing a high salary career in the healthcare field, an ultrasound technician may be the job for you. Much like a web developer, there are many different specializations within the ultrasound profession that may interest you including:
- Obstetrics & Gynecology
- Breast Sonography
- Adult Echocardiography
- Pediatric Sonography
Certification programs for ultrasound techs can be completed in 12 to 18 months but can also be obtained with a 2-year associate’s degree. You’ll want to find a program that is accepted by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) to ensure you can get accepted at reputable places of work.
The cost of the ultrasound certification varies on the specialty you focus on but many of the final exams are around $250. These healthcare professionals can expect to average around $67,000, amongst the highest wages in healthcare without a degree.
4. Commercial Truck Driver – 7 Week Certification Process
If the appeal of the open road sounds good to you, a career as a commercial truck driver behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler may be your calling. There are Commercial Driver License (CDL) courses that last just seven weeks, with full-time, 40-hour per week enrollment.
The Class A CDL is the pinnacle of certifications and allows you to drive a wide variety of trucks and pull heavier (and often more lucrative) loads. One of the major attractions of the trucking industry is how quickly you can get a job once you have your license. According to a study from Trucking.org, there is a shortage of nearly 40,000 drivers, meaning drivers are currently in high demand.
There are local commercial truck driving schools in every major city which will help prepare you for a career in logistics. These courses can cost between $3,000 and $7,000, depending on the training received and the endorsements you get. However, many trucking companies will offer free CDL programs and job training to help you get started.
Commercial truck drivers can earn $43,680 per year, although it’s not uncommon for some drivers who are endorsed to pull flatbeds, hazardous materials, or tanker trucks to pull in double that amount.
5. Paralegal – 4 Week Certification Process
For those that enjoy clerical work and also have a penchant for the law, a paralegal career is an excellent choice. Many courses are available entirely online but, if a classic classroom setting suits you best, you still have the option of attending live lectures. Coursework is available through colleges and universities and can be completed in as little as one month.
Paralegals can expect to start above $40,000 per year but senior, or freelance, paralegals can make $60,000 to $70,000 per year. Coursework costs are modest; students can expect to pay $1,300 to $2,000 for a paralegal certification.
6. Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) – 120 Hours Supervised Training
If you are calm-minded and have an interest in healthcare, an EMT certification is a great way to start a career in the medical field. EMTs respond in medical emergencies and provide medical care to people who have been injured or have sudden illnesses. With this certification, you’ll have the opportunity to work as an ambulance driver or paramedic. In addition, you can also become a full-time EMT for a hospital or fire department.
To work as an EMT, you must be certified by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. The certification process requires applicants to take an online course, pass a written exam, and pass a skills evaluation. An EMT certification requires roughly 120 hours of coursework and hands-on training. Upon successful completion of the program, EMTs earn an average annual salary of $35,000 to $45,000.
7. Flight Attendant – 8 Weeks Certification Process
Cabin Crew training varies from airline to airline. However, to get certified as a flight attendant, all flight attendants must understand safety and emergency procedures and medical training. Undergoing the job training and becoming certified will open up opportunities in the airline industry where you can travel all over the world while assisting passengers during their travels. Plus, wages for a flight attendant offers a high paying range of $69,900 to $97,689, with the average base salary of $82,175.
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In today’s competitive job market, it can be difficult to stand out amongst the crowd. With the right quick certifications, you can find a high paying job and set yourself up for a successful career.
About the Author:
Eddie Lester is a personal trainer from Los Angeles and the Founder and CEO of Fitness Mentors. With over 10 years of experience and eight different certifications and specializations, as well as multiple years of teaching training at a vocational college, Lester loves sharing his knowledge of practical training experience as well as how to study for PT exams. Lester is the author of Business and Sales: The Guide to Success as a Personal Trainer.