10 Medical Certifications That Pay Well in 2021

Medical Certifications That Pay Well in 2021While most people prefer to go for undergraduate programs with higher earning potential, there are still dozens of quick medical certifications that pay well in 2021 and beyond.

Most of these programs take between 3 and 15 months to complete. When it comes to income potential, you can earn anywhere between $25,000 and $75,000 a year depending on the medical certificate program you choose and your experience.

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical careers are in high demand and their employment rates keep growing at a faster rate than most other fields.

Although most applications are seen in programs such as medical assistant, medical billing, dental assistant, and medical coding, there are other medical certificate programs that pay well you shouldn’t ignore.

Quick Medical Certifications That Pay Well 2021

Let’s now have a look at some of the quick medical certifications that pay well in 2021 you should consider if you intend to carve a career for yourself in the healthcare field.

1. Medical Assistant

Becoming a certified medical assistant (CMA) takes between 9 and 12 months. However, there are online accelerated CMA programs you can complete in less than 8 weeks.

Medical assistants perform both clinical and administrative tasks. Administrative duties include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, and processing patient billing.

The clinical tasks medical assistants execute include preparing patients for examination, drawing blood samples for tests, taking and recording patient vital signs and medical histories, and administering medications with directions of a physician.

Medical assistants are trained on diagnostic procedures, lab techniques, patient confidentiality, and record-keeping among other skills.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants’ median pay is $34,800 per year, with the best paid earning more than $48,720 per year.

2. Dental Assistant

This is one of the medical certificate programs that pay well and you only need 9-12 months to complete your medical training.

Dental assistant training programs are offered by medical trade schools and community colleges, and the median pay is $40,080 per year with the best paid dental assistants earning more than $56,930 per year.

The clinical duties of dental assistants include equipment preparation and sterilization, preparing patients for treatments, assisting dentists during treatments, and providing patients with oral healthcare procedure instructions.

Their administrative tasks include scheduling appointments, billing and maintaining medical records, as well as coding information for insurance purposes.

3. Pharmacy Aide

Pharmacy aides execute an array of duties including keeping records of drugs delivered to the pharmacy, dispensing medications to patients and medical professionals, as well as measuring, packaging, and labeling prescriptions.

According to the BLS, pharmacy aides’ annual median pay is $27,850 while the top 10% earn more than $46,500 per year.

It takes approximately one year to complete a pharmacy aide medical training program often offered in community colleges and trade schools.

4. Phlebotomy Technician

This is one of the quick medical certifications that pay well with some earning more than $50,000 per year. Some of the tasks phlebotomists do include drawing blood for tests, transfusions, donations, or research and explaining to patients the procedure and recovery details.

The mean annual pay for phlebotomists is $35,510 while the best-paid professionals earn more than $49,750, making it one of the many well-paying medical certificate programs.

It takes about 6 months to complete medical training and become a certified phlebotomy technician.

5. Medical Transcriptionist

Looking for one of the less restrictive medical certificate programs that still pay well? If that’s the case, then we would recommend you consider becoming a medical transcriptionist.

It takes between 6-12 months to get a medical transcriptionist certification, while anyone who is after an associate’s degree will need two years to complete the program.

As a medical transcriptionist, you will transcribe medical reports recorded by different healthcare practitioners in hospitals.

You will transcribe dictated reports and translate any abbreviations into understandable forms before submitting the report in printed or electronic form for review and signature (or correction if necessary).

The median annual pay for medical transcriptionists is $33,380, with the top 10% earning more than $51,260 a year.

6. Medical Secretary

You’ll need a high school diploma or GED in order to be accepted into a medical secretary program. You will undergo a 1-year certificate training at an accredited medical trade school unless you’ve already attended a 2-year community college program.

Medical secretaries perform an array of duties including scheduling appointments, billing patients, and compiling and recording medical charts, reports, and correspondence.

The median annual pay for medical secretaries is $36,580, with the top 10% earning more than $53,230 per year.

7. Home Health and Personal Care Aide

You need to complete a 75-hour home health aide training program to get certified. This can take a few weeks depending on how much time you commit to your training.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for home health and personal care aide is $25,280 per year. Entry-level salary is $19,430 while the top 10% earn an average of $34,180.

8. Emergency Medical Technician

This is one of the many medical certifications that pay well in 2021, with top earners getting almost $60,000 per year. EMTs are entry-level patient care medical workers who can advance to become advanced emergency medical technicians (AEMTs) and later become paramedics.

It takes approximately 3 months to complete an EMT training program in an accredited institution, often a community college or trade school. Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians need an additional 400 hours to qualify for certification.

The median pay for EMTs is $35,400 per year, with the most experienced 10% earning $59,860 a year.

9. Surgical Technologist

As a surgical technologist, you will assist in operations, under the supervision of a surgeon, registered nurse, or other surgical personnel. Duties include setting up the operating room, preparing patients for surgery, adjusting lights and equipment, passing instruments to surgeons and their assistants, cutting sutures, holding retractors, and much more.

The surgical technology program takes between 1 and 2 years to complete. You need a certificate, diploma, or associate degree to enroll in the program.

The mean annual pay for surgical technologists is $48,300, with the top 10% earning an average of $71,400 per year.

10. Skincare Specialist

Skincare specialists provide skincare treatments to the face and body to enhance appearance. They clean, exfoliate, wax, laser, moisturize, and apply makeup.

To become a skincare specialist, you need to complete a 600-hour state-approved cosmetology or esthetician program (some states require 750 hours) and pass a state exam for licensure before being certified.

The mean annual pay for skincare specialists is $34,090. However, the most experienced practitioners with years of experience can earn as high as $62,000 per year.


These are not the only medical certificate programs that pay well. There are dozens more, but the ones we have highlighted might just be what you need. Feel free to do more research if you need additional details on any of these well-paying medical certifications.

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