5 Hot Industries with Certifications You Earn in Under a Year


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  • People generally understand that building a high-paying career can be tough without a degree, but the astronomical costs of higher education mean getting that degree could add up to tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt.

    The two ends of the spectrum—no degree and no debt versus a college degree and decades of serious debt—leave many people looking for a better option. The good news is that you can earn a number of professional certifications in under a year that kickstart a thriving career without prohibitive debt.

    Here are five impactful industries with certifications you can finish in under a year.


    The healthcare field is starving for more professionals, and luckily there are tons of certifications to get you started in this booming industry.

    One widely available certification is for cardiographic technicians. According to PayScale, certified cardiographic technicians earn an average salary of $42K in the US.Students can complete the certification in two to three months, making this an extremely high-value certification.

    Certifications are also available in medical billing and coding, medical assisting, dental assisting, surgical technology, physical therapy, and for a range of other positions.


    The trucking industry is another field with a huge need for new recruits into their ranks. Because of this demand, a number of trucking transportation companies such as CR England offer tuition-free CDL programs (with a 12-month employee commitment), and will hire you for a truck driving job upon completion.

    Students in this type of program can complete a CDL in less than two months, and then they can add endorsements for specific load types to their licenses afterward. These load-type endorsements are for driving double and triple trailers, school buses, passenger vehicles, tank trucks, and hazardous materials.

    Median salary for truck drivers is a strong $76,117, according to Indeed.


    Another high-value certificate is for electricians. Students can earn certification in as little as four months and earn a median salary of $52,720, according to EDsmart. Electricians can expect to work on commercial or residential buildings, or government projects.

    Domestic electricians often specialize in home wiring, lighting, smart home devices such as cameras and alarm systems, and electrical control systems. Commercial electricians do many of the same things except on commercial buildings, and they may also work on transformers and circuit breakers.


    Though it may not be the first career possibility to come to mind, students can complete a carpenter certification in five months and earn a surprisingly healthy $43,600 a year on average, according to EDsmart.

    Carpenters typically work on homes and commercial buildings. Their responsibilities can include construction, inspections, repairs, modifications, and maintenance of woodwork. People in this career will have a wide range of specializations they can pursue, including framing, cabinetmaking, furniture finishing, and operating woodworking machines.

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    Another profession that isn’t going anywhere soon is as a mechanic or automotive service technician. You will likely spend six months on your certification, and then you can enjoy a salary of $38,470, on average.

    If you love cars and working with your hands, you can build a satisfying and lasting career in the automotive industry working for a dealership, auto repair shop, or even as a repair shop business owner.

    Deciding whether or not to get additional education weighs on the minds of so many, but a short certification program can get your career started without the insane cost of some college programs. If you are undecided on your future career path, research some certifications and find the perfect fit for your skills and temperament.

    Image Credit: Pixabay

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