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13 Quick Certifications That Pay Well (2023)

Although a sizable percentage of jobs in the market require a college degree, there are many quick certifications that pay well in 2023. It’s a fact that one’s choice of what to pursue in college depends on many factors, including financial needs, skills, values, interests, educational qualifications, and future career plans.

However, choosing a career that pays well is also important. Luckily, there are tens of short certificate programs that pay well, and it takes as short as 3 months and a maximum of 12 months to complete. You can also choose to advance your career by pursuing a diploma or degree program if you feel there’s a need to do so.

What are quick certification programs?

Quick certification programs are short training programs that focus on particular knowledge or expertise. These programs typically vary in duration and can range anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, yet they offer valuable skills that can help you earn more money and accelerate your career growth.

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In today’s fast-paced world where time is of the essence, quick certification programs have become increasingly popular among professionals looking to enhance their skills without committing to longer courses. These fast-paced courses teach practical knowledge and specific skill sets in an intensive and focused manner.

Benefits of quick certification programs

If you’re eager to increase your earning potential and expand your business opportunities, quick certification programs may be the way to go. These certification courses equip you with in-demand skills for a fraction of the time and money involved in traditional lengthy programs.

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Here are three advantages of opting for quick certification programs:

  • Upward Mobility: Earning relevant certifications highlights your competency level and demonstrates your commitment to professional growth, boosting your chances of promotions.
  • In-Demand Skills: Quick certification programs typically focus on job-specific skills that are essential in today’s dynamic job market.
  • Cost-Effective Investment: Undertaking speedy training ensures timely returns on investment, including higher salaries and more career opportunities.

Moreover, industry-recognized quick certifications are often self-paced, so you can study at your own time and convenience. This helps work around personal schedules and enables learners to balance work-life commitments.

By embarking on a fast-track education route with reputable institutions, individuals can stay competitive by quickly learning cherry-picked and specialized skill sets. Whether it’s to pivot career paths or elevate current roles’ responsibilities, quick certification programs can pave the way for lucrative career advancements.

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How much do short certifications cost?

Quick certifications that pay well have become increasingly popular for professionals seeking to advance their careers. The cost of such certificates varies greatly depending on the organization, level of difficulty, and industry demand. However, most certifications range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand.

It is important to note that the cost of quick certifications should be viewed as an investment in one’s career. The payoff can come in the form of a higher salary, increased job opportunities, and better job security. Some employers may even offer to cover all or some of the costs associated with obtaining certification.

When considering the cost of quick certifications, it is also important to take into account any additional expenses such as test preparation materials, study guides, and additional exam fees. However, these costs should be minimal compared to the potential long-term benefits of having a certification in one’s field.

Quick Certifications That Pay Well

There are many easy certifications that come with decent wages. In this list we highlight 15 options you can consider, some taking as short as four weeks to complete.

1. Air Traffic Controller Certification Programs

Becoming a proficient air traffic controller can be a lucrative career path. This program trains students in sophisticated traffic control systems and radar technologies, as well as managing inflight navigation operations.

Air traffic control is one of the 6-month certificate programs that pay well and you learn everything from flight trajectory mapping to response procedures for sudden events like weather delays or aircraft emergencies.

Air traffic controllers also get extensive training in handling communication equipment and ensuring that flights proceed smoothly from the take-off to the landing phase.

This certification program has stringent regulations, including rigorous medical checks and aptitude tests, so only skilled candidates qualify. However, once qualified, air traffic controllers earn high salaries and enjoy growth prospects and job security. Here’s a guide on how to become a certified air traffic controller.

The average salary for an air traffic controller in the United States of America is $55,630 per year.

2. Certified Nurse Assistant Certification Programs

For individuals seeking a career in the healthcare industry, certified nurse assistant (CNA) is one of the quick certification programs that can prove to be a quick and financially rewarding option.

This program offers comprehensive training that covers various aspects of patient care including basic medical procedures and interpersonal communication skills.

One significant advantage of CNA certification is its relatively short duration. In as little as four to twelve weeks, trainees can earn a license and begin working for an average salary of 40,928 per year according to GlassDoor.

Many nursing homes, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers also offer tuition reimbursement for CNA courses taken on-site.

Moreover, CNAs receive extensive on-the-job training from experienced medical professionals before taking on direct responsibilities for patients. As a result, they acquire valuable hands-on experience that prepares them for further advancement in their careers.

3. Medical Coder or Biller Certification Programs

For those seeking 3-month certificate programs that pay well in the healthcare sector, a Medical Coding and Billing Certification Program can be the ideal option.

The program equips learners with the necessary skills to accurately translate patients’ details from medical documents such as lab reports, physician’s notes, and diagnostic & treatment procedures into universal codes to keep accurate medical records.

Upon successful completion of the program, learners are prepared to take relevant certification exams such as CSC (Coding Specialist Certification), CPC (Certified Professional Coder), or CBCS (Certified Billing and Coding Specialist).

Graduates from this 3-month certificate course can expect high-paying job opportunities as a medical coder or biller for hospitals, physician’s clinics, and insurance companies among others.

The average salary for a medical coder is $49,298 and the medical biller is $40,799 per year.

4. Ethical Hacker Certification Programs

Becoming an ethical hacker is one of the quick certifications that pay well and can lead to a successful and fulfilling career. As the name suggests, it involves using ethical hacking techniques to identify and fix security vulnerabilities in an organization’s systems and networks.

Obtaining Ethical Hacker Certification can open up high-paying job opportunities in the cybersecurity domain. Examples of ethical hacker certifications programs that pay well include:

  • EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification
  • SANS Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC)
  • Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP)
  • CompTIA PenTest+ certification

Apart from the certifications mentioned above, there are also other programs available that provide equally lucrative career prospects. 

The average salary for an ethical hacker in the United States of America is $1,12,665 per year.

5. Radiologic Technologist Certification Programs

A radiologic technology certification program is a great option for those seeking easy certifications that pay well.

As a radiologic technologist, one would operate modern medical equipment to produce images of a patient’s internal body structures and assist in the diagnosis process.

After completing the program, graduates can enter the workforce as entry-level radiologic technologists.

Additionally, these professionals have room for advancement into supervisory positions or other specialties like sonography or nuclear medicine technology.

Radiologic Technology Certification programs often have flexible schedule options including part-time and online coursework.

This makes it an excellent choice for individuals pursuing higher education while working or maintaining other personal commitments.

Furthermore, the certification program can be completed in under two years saving time and money compared to traditional four-year college degrees.

The average salary for a radiologic technologist in the United States of America is $101,959 per year.

Related: 13 High-Paying Hospital Jobs Without a Degree (2023)

6. Phlebotomy Technicians Certification Programs

If you’re looking for short certifications that pay well, training as a phlebotomy technician may be worth considering.

The program provides the necessary skills for drawing blood and handling fluid samples, allowing technicians to work in various healthcare settings.

Certification can be obtained through community colleges or vocational schools and typically covers anatomy and physiology, patient care techniques, medical terminology, and blood collection procedures.

Certification exams are available through organizations such as the National Healthcareer Association or the American Medical Technologists.

Obtaining a phlebotomy technician certification can open up numerous job opportunities in hospitals, clinics, diagnostic laboratories, or even blood banks.

The average salary for a phlebotomy technician in the United States of America is $39,031 per year.

7. Medical Assistant Certification Programs

Medical Assistant Certification Program presents an excellent opportunity for anyone seeking medical certifications that pay well. The program trains individuals to assist physicians and other healthcare professionals in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices.

The program requires students to complete a certain number of hours of clinical training before graduating, which can be completed in 6-12 months, making them a quick pathway to employment.

It is important to note that while quick certifications like Medical Assistant can lead to high-paying careers, they still require hard work and dedication at all times. Students must be willing to put in the effort required for success in their coursework and clinical experiences.

The average salary for a medical assistant in the United States of America is $43,467 per year.

8. HVACR Technicians Certification Programs

Certification for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) technicians is easy to acquire. It is a 3-month certificate program that equips learners with practical knowledge and skills. Certified graduates earn more on average than non-certified counterparts as they have proved their proficiency to potential employers.

The HVACR certification program covers various aspects such as electrical theory, heat transfer principles, welding techniques, and refrigeration components. Additionally, they teach troubleshooting skills, safety measures, and customer service best practices which are essential for success in the field.

It’s important to note that while certification is not always required by law to work as an HVACR technician, it has become increasingly necessary due to competition in the job market. Therefore, obtaining certification can give you an advantage.

The average salary for an HVACR technician in the United States of America is $53,803 per year.

9. Flight Attendant Certification Programs

Many industries offer short certifications that pay well, such as those in the field of aviation. The training for becoming a flight attendant goes beyond basic customer service skills.

It requires certification and proper training to manage safety protocols and emergency procedures during flights.

Flight Attendant Certification Program teaches candidates the necessary skills required to handle situations related to security threats, medical emergencies, and other scenarios while onboard.

The primary focus of flight attendant courses is on maintaining an optimal level of passenger comfort, ensuring their safety throughout the journey, anticipating their needs, and responding accordingly.

The average salary for a flight attendant in the United States of America is $39,160 per year.

10. Pharmacy Technician Certification Programs

Individuals searching for quick certifications that pay well may consider pursuing a career as a pharmacy technician.

This certification program is designed to provide students with the skills necessary to assist pharmacists in a variety of settings. Graduates may work in retail pharmacies and hospitals, preparing prescriptions, patient profiles, or billing insurance companies.

This certification program usually includes classroom instruction as well as practical experience through internships or clinical rotations.

Coursework typically covers topics such as medication dosages, drug interactions, medical terminology, and pharmacy law.

The average salary for a pharmacy technician in the United States of America is $36,464 per year.

11. Emergency Medical Technician Certification Programs

For individuals searching for high-paying quick certifications, a program such as Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) can be a viable option.

The certification program provides in-depth knowledge about emergency medical situations and equips candidates with necessary life-saving skills.

The course focuses on preparing candidates for roles such as ambulance drivers, paramedics, or emergency medical technicians.

EMTs are an integral part of any emergency response team and are responsible for providing immediate essential medical care.

They play a critical role in stabilizing patients before they are transported to hospitals. The EMT certification program covers various medical procedures like Basic Life Support (BLS), Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).

Successful completion of the program can lead to employment opportunities in different settings, including hospitals, fire departments, or ambulance services.

Moreover, the demand for EMTs is steadily increasing due to an aging population and an upsurge in chronic diseases.

The average salary for an emergency medical technician in the United States of America is $46,259 per year.

12. Physical Therapist Aide Certification Programs

Physical therapist aides assist patients with exercises under the direction of a licensed physical therapist and can work in hospitals, clinics, or nursing homes.

Some certification programs require clinical training in addition to classroom study. This additional training gives students hands-on experience working with patients and aids in job placement after certification. 

The average salary for a physical therapy aide in the United States of America is $47,886 per year.

13. Massage Therapist Certification Programs

If you’re pondering about easy licenses and certifications to get, exploring the world of massage therapy is a great place to start.

Massage therapy has become increasingly popular over the years, leading it to become a lucrative field for those who hold a certification.

It only takes around 500 hours of coursework and hands-on experience to become certified as a massage therapist.

Massage therapists who specialize in certain types of massages, such as prenatal or sports massages, may be able to command even higher salaries than their generalist peers.

Additionally, many states offer reciprocity agreements with other states regarding licensing for massage therapists.

This means that even if you move away from your initial state of certification, you may be able to obtain licensure in your new state relatively easily.

The average salary for a massage therapist in the United States of America is $55,159 per year.

Related: 21 Low-Stress Jobs That Pay Well Without a Degree (2023)


There are many other quick certifications that pay well without the need for a 4-year degree program.

The most important thing to consider would be your passion, interest, future career opportunities, and financial projections. These programs can also act as a springboard for advanced careers.

Video Credit: Simplilearn.

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