6-month Certificate Programs that Pay Well in 2024

    January 26, 2024 | Admin

    6 Month Certificate Programs That Pay Well

    Completing 6-month certificate programs that pay well is a great way for individuals to jump into a fast career and start earning right away. There isn’t always time or the appropriate finances to invest in a four-year university degree. Some people that want to increase their opportunities to find a good job cannot commit to an associate degree program at their local community college because of personal responsibilities such as work or caring for their family.

    Earning a certificate offers an alternative to lengthy college and university degree commitments.

    Reasons to Complete a Six Month Certificate Program

    Earning a certificate demonstrates the willingness of the individual to commit to improving their education and job skills to find a good job, to improve their chances for a promotion, or to start a new career. Some certificate programs take six months to complete, while others take even less time to complete, further enhancing the fact that there is less of a time commitment and expense than that required when completing an associate degree or bachelor’s degree program.

    Completing a program at a school offering 6-month certificate programs that pay well increases the potential earnings of a worker, compared to workers with a high school diploma or less than a high school diploma. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that there are multiple programs available after high school that can help a person get a good-paying, in-demand job without having to complete a college degree. Many occupations in the healthcare industry do not require a four-year college degree. There are several other occupations that a person can choose as a career without having to earn a degree before being able to work in the industry.

    The job site Indeed explains that while some certificate programs take as long as two years to complete, earning a certificate from a six-month program allows workers to start working and earning a paycheck more quickly than if pursuing a lengthier programs. These programs include the career-oriented and skills-focused classes that students often look for in a program that does not require the time commitment of a college degree. Completion of a certificate program often provides the in-demand, marketable skills required in today’s workforce.

    Massage Therapist

    6-month certificate programs that pay well
    • 2019 Median Pay: $42,820 per year
    • Program Length: Estimated six months
    • Career Outlook: Much faster than average – More than 34,000 new jobs

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the anticipated job growth of massage therapists through 2029 as ‘much faster than average,’ with an expected 21 percent job growth during that time.

    Massage therapists typically deliver professional massage treatments to clients that support their health and well-being. The recent acknowledgment of the benefits of receiving a therapeutic massage is one reason that likely accounts for the expansion of career opportunities in this growing field. In fact, the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health explains that several different types of massage therapy have been practiced throughout history, and that massage therapy was one of the earliest types of tools that people used to try to manage pain.

    The Minnesota State Community and Technical College is an example of a school that offers a massage therapy program that students complete with just 31 credit hours of training. The program trains students in the application of anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology to massage practice, entry-level Swedish massage, professional standards, and ethical standards in the industry as part of the training. There are massage therapy programs offered across the country that do not require a college degree.


    Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Paramedic

    • 2019 Median Pay: $35,400 per year
    • Program Length: Less than six months
    • Career Outlook: Faster than average job growth – 17,000 new jobs

    Emergency medical technicians and paramedics need only a high school diploma and completion of a certificate program to begin working in the field. The BLS projects six-percent job growth, which is faster than average through at least 2029.

    Professionals in this field stock the ambulance with supplies and materials, respond to emergency calls, perform certain medical services, and transport patients to medical facilities. Most people work full-time in this job, which is potentially stressful and requires the ability to work in crisis situations. The career also requires the ability to work with a variety of different types of patients. It is a fast-paced, likely rewarding career for many people.

    Tarrant County College in Texas is one school that offers an Emergency Medical Technician. Many communities have community colleges or technical schools that offer similar training. Some people may find a program through their local government or American Red Cross branch location.

    Computer Support Specialist

    • 2019 Median Pay: $54,760 per year
    • Program Length: Six Months or more
    • Career Outlook: Much faster than average job growth – 67,300 new jobs

    Computer support specialists often need only a career certificate to work in the field, although some employers may require a college degree. Computer support specialists perform duties that provide assistance to computer users or organizations, and either supports computer networks or provide direct technical assistance.

    People that work in this field may have different job titles at different companies or organizations. The job duties may vary somewhat between these job titles. Some may be known as a computer support specialist, while others have the job title of a computer network support specialist or technical support specialist.

    One example of a computer support specialist certificate program is offered by San Bernardino Valley College, which offers a Computer Specialist Certificate that requires just 19 units, or credits, of instruction. Two of the courses include Computer Network Fundamentals and Introduction to Information Systems Security.

    Industrial Machinery Mechanic, Machinery Maintenance and Repair Worker

    • 2019 Median Pay: $52,860 per year
    • Program Length: 6 months or more
    • Career Outlook: Much faster than average – more than 70,000 new jobs

    The BLS anticipates that there will be at least a 13 percent job growth in the field of industrial machinery mechanic, sometimes referred to as machinery maintenance and repair worker. These workers install, maintain, and repair factory equipment and industrial machinery. They keep machines in working order through the process of detecting and correcting errors before the machine or the products that the machine makes become damaged. Computerized diagnostic systems are being increasingly used in this career field. Certificate programs train students to perform duties necessary to work with conveyor belts, hydraulic lifts, computerized robotic arms, and to study other topics such as welding and automation.

    Muskegon Community College offers the Manufacturing Machine Repair Certificate (Industrial Maintenance) program. The program requires less than 30 credit hours of study.


    • 2019 Median Pay: $56,180 per year
    • Program Length: Six months
    • Career Outlook: Much faster than average – more than 62,000 new jobs

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates an anticipated eight percent job growth in the field of electricians through 2029, which is good news for those that want to start their career as an electrician or to train for a new career.

    Electricians train for careers in a number of different settings that require different skills, certifications, and education. Some employers or trade positions require the completion of an apprenticeship or associate degree. The residential electrician is one career that a person can often complete as a certificate education program.

    The Technical College of the Lowcountry is one school with a residential electrician certificate program. The program features training in ‘green’ building techniques, which ensures that students completing the program are up-to-date on the latest trends and the requirements designated by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) principles.

    Gaming Service Workers

    • 2019 Median Pay: $23,520 per year
    • Program Length: less than six months
    • Career Outlook: Much faster than average – 19,000 new jobs

    Earning a certificate in the gaming industry is likely one of the situations that the BLS refers to when it indicates that ‘education pays.’ The more education that a person has, the higher the earnings opportunities in many situations. Although many employers only require a high school education, there is a chance that you have a better chance of being hired and earning better wages, compared to someone that does not earn a gaming certificate.

    Gaming service workers have a variety of job responsibilities, including regularly interacting with customers, explaining how to play various games to customers, monitoring customers for gaming or casino violations, reporting violations to superiors, and other job duties.

    The University of Nevada, Reno offers a Gaming Management Certificate through the Extended Studies Department.

    Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver

    • 2019 Median Pay: $45,260 per year
    • Program Length: Six months
    • Career Outlook: Slower than average – 30,600 new jobs

    The heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver training provides program graduates with the opportunity to travel, and to enjoy the flexibility of the position as the driver transports goods from one place to another, sometimes across the country.

    Driving long distances is only one part of the job. Following all applicable traffic laws, securing cargo for transport, inspecting the trailer before and after each trip, reporting incidents, maintaining logs, and taking extra precautions if transporting hazardous materials are other aspects of the job.

    The Lamar Institute of Technology Professional Truck Driving Academy offers a variety of training programs.

    Delivery Truck Driver

    • 2019 Median Pay: $32,020 per year
    • Program Length: less than six months
    • Career Outlook: Faster than average – 75,000 new jobs

    The BLS indicates that while the rate of job growth for heavy, tractor-trailer drivers may be slower right now, the job outlook for delivery truck drivers is expected to grow by five percent, or faster than average when compared to other careers.

    Delivery truck drivers are drivers that pick up, transport, and deliver or drop off small shipments within a designated region, urban area, or delivery route. Delivery truck drivers typically do not have to complete any college credits unless a specific employer requires it for their company. Most delivery truck drivers receive on-the-job training and a certificate indicating that the program was completed successfully.

    Apply to individual companies that offer on-the-job training, which is sometimes part of the job training and requires no expenses related to college or technical school course fees.

    Childhood Development Associate/ Childcare Worker

    • 2019 Median Pay: $24,230 per year
    • Program Length: Six months
    • Career Outlook: Slower than average – 19,000 new jobs

    Child development associates, which the BLS refers to as childcare workers, may experience a slight downturn in available jobs, but there is still an expected addition of thousands of new jobs in the next several years.

    Childhood development workers, or childcare workers, care for the basic needs of children, supervise play and activities. They develop schedules and routines, organize activities, or implement a curriculum that helps small children discover their interests and learn about their world at their level. These workers also perform other duties which may vary by their work location.

    Some schools offer short-term certificate programs, including Columbus State Community College, which requires completion of just three courses. Students that successfully complete the program gain nine credits towards the schools’ associate degree in Early Childhood Development and Education.

    Medical Records Specialist

    • 2019 Median Pay: $42,630 per year
    • Program Length: Six months
    • Career Outlook: Much faster than average – 29,000 new jobs

    The BLS reports an expected eight percent increase in the number of new jobs available to medical records and health information technicians.

    These specialists organize and manage health information data. Workers in this profession use a variety of classification systems to maintain the medical history and treatment for each patient, to categorize and code patient information for insurance reimbursement. They perform a number of other related duties.

    Medical records specialist programs are offered at many colleges or training schools, including Asher College, which offers a 26-week medical records specialist training program.

    Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers

    • 2019 Median Pay: $48,730 per year
    • Program Length: Six months
    • Career Outlook: As fast as average – More than 15,000 new jobs

    Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVAC or HVACR)) Mechanics and Installers work on heating, cooling, ventilation, and refrigeration systems that control the temperature and air quality in homes and buildings. These workers install, clean, and maintain HVACR systems, perform inspections and testing of HVAC systems and the components of these systems, and replace and repair malfunctioning or worn out parts.

    Ivy Tech Community College offers impressive education programs for people interested in a career as a heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanic and installer. The school offers a certificate program that can be completed in as little as two semesters. Some students continue their training and complete the technical certificate, which requires two or three semesters of study, or the associate of applied science degree, which requires just four semesters of study.


    • 2019 Median Pay: $35,510 per year
    • Program Length: Less than six months
    • Career Outlook: Much faster than average – 22,800 new jobs

    The job outlook for phlebotomists is very good with a 17 percent expected increase in available jobs through 2029. Completing a certificate program allows a person to work in a medical field without having to spend several years in college and in lengthy residency programs.

    A phlebotomist draws blood for blood tests, blood donations, research, or transfusions. They work in a variety of medical settings, including hospitals, clinics, private physician offices, medical or diagnostic centers, or in transfusion centers.

    The certificate program in phlebotomy at the Community College of Philadelphia is an example of a program that requires only a short-term commitment. The Phlebotomy Certificate Course at the school is just one semester and provides the skills and knowledge required to work in the profession.

    Dental Assistant

    • 2019 Median Pay: $40,080 per year
    • Program Length: Less than six months in an accelerated program
    • Career Outlook: Faster than average – 23,400 new jobs

    There is an expected seven percent increase in the number of dental assisting jobs over the next few years. There is no need to spend a great deal of money or time in a program when you can start on your dental career in a very short time.

    Dental assistants schedule appointments, keep records, care for patients, take dental x-rays, prepare patients for procedures, sterilize equipment and instruments, and perform other tasks under the direction of the dentist.

    Many dental certificate programs take several months to complete. Some schools feature an accelerated program. The Georgia Dental Assistant School is one of the programs that offer an accelerated program. Earn your certificate in as little as nine weeks, with both online and in-person learning opportunities.

    Pharmacy Technician

    • 2019 Median Pay: $33,950 per year
    • Program Length: Less than six months
    • Career Outlook: As fast as average – more than 15,000 new jobs

    Pharmacy technicians collect information that is necessary to fill a prescription and help pharmacists dispense medications to customers, or to health professionals. They package and label prescriptions, organize inventory, communicate any shortages or other information to pharmacists, and arrange for customers to speak with the pharmacist if the customer has any questions.

    Some pharmacy technician programs take longer than others to complete. Other programs, such as the Pharmacy Technician Program at Nebraska Methodist College can be completed in a much shorter time. Students have the option of following the traditional 16-week course or the accelerated nine-week course.


    We understand that finding a certificate program is often a lengthy, time-consuming process. We researched certificate programs that take no more than six months to complete, and in several program examples, takes less than six months to complete. We did not include programs showing a significant decline in the anticipated job outlook.

    It is important to note that some states require licensure in specific programs. Check with your state or individual schools regarding licensure requirements. Feel free to contact us with any questions!

    Find the program that’s right for you

    Whether you’re trying to start your career or make a big change, we can help you find the perfect school to help you reach your goals.

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