6-Month Certificate Programs That Pay Well
Not everyone has the means to go back to school for a four-year degree full-time while not earning an income.
Breaking into a new career might be something you want to do, but depending on the field, the time and investment to do so can seem daunting. Not everyone has the means to go back to school for a four-year degree full-time while not earning an income. The good news is that you don't have to get your bachelor's degree. There are some 6-month certificate programs that pay well in the long run.
With six months of training or less, short-term career training programs or certificate programs can help you launch into a new field. Note: Certifications on a resume look extra-nice to recruiters. Some lead to well-paying jobs right away, while others provide a foot in the door to get you working and earning while you continue learning on the job and advancing in your new career.
Here are a few options for in-person or online certificate programs that could be completed in half a year or less, with data from the Monster Salary Guide.
Real Estate Agent
Selling real estate has limitless potential, and you can get started quickly. Although requirements vary by state, getting a real estate license usually takes about four to six months of training (or 60-90 hours of classroom or online instruction). Once you pass the real estate licensing exam, you can begin working under the supervision of a broker and start earning. After you get experience under your belt, you can become a full-fledged real estate broker. View a sample resume for a real estate agent to learn more.
Salary potential: The median annual salary for real estate agents is $73,955.
Find real estate agent jobs on Monster.
Commercial Truck Driver
Becoming a truck driver isn’t as long a road as you might think. Those interested in a career behind the wheel can obtain training at a truck-driving school or community college programs. Studies typically take between three and six months. From there, you can begin driving for a wide variety of trucking and delivery companies, or become an independent truck driver. Check out a sample resume for a truck driver to learn more.
Salary potential: The median annual salary for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is $46,717.
Find truck driver jobs on Monster.
If you’re wondering what a phlebotomy tech does, they are the people who draw your blood and collect specimens when you go to a lab, medical facility, or hospital. It’s a good way to break into a health care career and programs usually take less than one year to complete through a vocational school or community college. State licensing requirements may vary. Of all the 6-month certificate programs that pay well on this list, phlebotomists will be most in demand for the next 10 years, with a 17% growth in job opportunities.
Salary potential: The median hourly salary for phlebotomists is $16.53.
Find phlebotomy tech jobs on Monster.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC) need techs to perform maintenance and repair, making it a lucrative field for skilled laborers who enjoy working with their hands. To become an HVAC tech, you’ll need to go to school first and continue training on the job or as an apprentice. While some programs can take as long as two years, others are as short as six months. View a sample HVAC resume for more info.
Salary potential: The median salary for HVAC mechanics and installers is $23.57 per hour. While you might not earn that right away, you will earn while you learn.
Find HVAC tech jobs on Monster.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
Another health care position that has a short-term program for entry is becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA). Nursing assistant programs and requirements may vary by state, so make sure you choose from among state-approved certificate programs. Once you’ve completed your studies, you can begin working for healthcare organizations or in medical offices. Nursing assistant (and orderly) jobs are expected to grow 8% in the next 10 years, which is faster than average. View this nursing assistant resume for more info.
Salary potential: The median salary for nursing assistants is $15.79 per hour. Many use this position as a stepping stone to get into more advanced nursing or healthcare jobs.
Find CNA jobs on Monster.
If you’re into working out, becoming a personal trainer to work in a gym or fitness center might be a good fit for you. Most gyms require their personal trainers to earn a license in order to do group fitness classes. Such programs can often be completed as online certificates in less than six months. With an expected growth of 15% in the next 10 years, personal trainers have a great chance of finding work. View this sample resume for a personal trainer for more info.
Salary potential: The median hourly salary for fitness trainers and instructors is $20,38.
Find personal trainer jobs on Monster.
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
Becoming an EMT requires schooling that can usually be completed in a few months. A solid program will prepare you to sit for your state’s licensing exam, which will include a written and a practical component. Once you’re licensed, you can begin working on an ambulance providing emergency care. EMTs can expect a growth of 6% over the next 10 years, which is faster than the average job.
Salary potential: The median hourly salary for EMTs and paramedics is $20.25.
Find EMT jobs on Monster.
Your Career Starts Here
If you’re in search of 6-month certificate programs that pay well, these opportunities are a good start. Need help taking the first step? Upload your resume for free to Monster, and get connected with recruiters hiring for these and many other positions. Monster can put you on the road to a smart, financially secure career path.