Not everyone is cut out for college but this doesn’t mean that you can’t find a way to make some good money after you graduate from high school. A high school diploma won’t get you far these days but if you’re willing to work hard and don’t want to spend four years in college, there are certificates you can get that give you a special edge when it comes to finding the right job. The certificates are specialized in certain career fields and there are dozens of them that you can choose from.
If you’ve got a high school diploma, going to college doesn’t interest you, and you’re interested in getting one of these certificates to improve your chances of success, below are some that can provide you with a very lucrative job later on.
1. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
Being an EMT is a tough job but it’s very rewarding as well. Many programs offer you a certificate that only takes you six months to get and the average national salary for an EMT is $14.65 per hour, which isn’t a bad salary. You can also further your education and get additional certificates, including one to become an EMT instructor, to advance your career and make even more money. You will have to get certified in CPR and other requirements but this isn’t at all difficult because it merely requires additional classroom time. Indeed, if you love helping people and love fast-paced jobs, being an EMT might just be your calling.
2. Web Developer
You can get an associate’s degree in web development but you can also get a certificate in it if you’d prefer to go that route. Web developers create and maintain websites for both individuals and businesses and they can work for marketing companies, work for computer companies, or even be self-employed. There’s no denying that when you’re a web developer, you will never run out of work. In fact, the median income for web developers is now more than $69,000 and your expertise and knowledge will never go unappreciated.
Learning how to repair and replace pipes in individual homes or offices can be very lucrative because this is a very specialized field that not just everyone knows how to do. Fortunately, you don’t have to go to college for four years to learn how to do this and most certificates can be earned in under a year. After receiving your certificate, you are usually required to complete an apprenticeship that can last up to five years but you’ll be working so you’ll get a regular salary during that time. Even better, the median salary for a plumber/pipefitter is currently more than $53,000, which can help you establish a very comfortable lifestyle.
4. Funeral Director
This one may surprise a lot of people but typically a funeral director’s job can be taught through a certification program, although sometimes an apprenticeship or job-shadowing will follow. Once you get experience in this field, you can make a lot of money. Even though many employers prefer that you have a college degree, this is certainly not required if this is the field that you’re interested in. If you’re looking for a career where you can help people on a daily basis and you can handle dealing with people in difficult situations, this job might be one to consider.
5. Personal Trainer
If you love fitness and have ever wondered “what are the best certifications I can get without a degree?”, being a personal trainer might suit your lifestyle perfectly. You can center your life and career around helping others get in better shape and after you get your certificate, you’ll have lots of opportunities for employment. You can work at a fitness center, at a hospital, or even for yourself and one thing is certain — you’ll never run out of clients. There are even online programs now available to help you get your personal trainer certificate. With the average salary being around $21 per hour, you’ll be well-rewarded for your efforts.
6. Air Traffic Controller
If you can handle stress and a lot of responsibility, being an air traffic controller might be for you. Many air traffic controllers make six-figure salaries and once you get some experience under your belt, these high salaries will be nothing new. Air traffic controllers generally work short shifts because of their high-stress days and they are often expected to work nights, weekends, and holidays. Still, if these things are acceptable to you and you love the thrill of a fast-paced workday, this is one career that you may want to consider pursuing further.
7. Real Estate Broker or Realtor
People in the real estate field do not need degrees because all you do is take a course and then pass an exam to get your certificate, which you can often do in less than six months. The requirements to be a realtor or broker vary from state to state but if you love helping people and the thought of selling houses fascinates you, this is a great career indeed. Although the hours can be sporadic, you can get on a more regulated schedule if you know how to budget your time. Once you are trained and ready to work, the sky is the limit when it comes to your salary.
8. Medical Coder
Many people have seen ads for this type of certificate program in newspapers and magazines, and it is a very profitable career. Medical billing is an important part of the healthcare profession but the codes can be complicated for the untrained eye. Medical coding programs train you well for the coding that is necessary when anyone goes to the doctor or has surgery so all types of clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities need coders to run their businesses. The pay is also good and averages more than $21 per hour so if you’re fascinated by the medical profession, desire a flexible work schedule, and love to make great a per-hour salary, you may want to consider this type of work.