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Certificate/Diploma Careers


Career diplomas are awarded for completing post-secondary vocational or technical training programs specifically designed to lead to employment in a specific area, and are usually completed in one year. Most diploma programs are eligible for federal and state aid.

Diploma Career Programs

  • Administrative Office
  • Advanced Emergency Medical Technician
  • Agricultural Technology
  • Animal Control Assistant
  • Architectural Technology
  • Behavioral Health Paraprofessional
  • Building Trades
  • Clinical Laboratory Assistant
  • Construction Estimator
  • Construction Management
  • Criminal Justice
  • Database Technologies
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Early Childhood Paraeducator
  • Electromechanical Technology
  • Emergencey Medical Responder
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
  • Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management
  • Entry-Level Firefighter
  • Fire Science
  • General Machinist
  • Graphic Design
  • Healthcare IT Technician
  • Heating and Air Conditioning Technology
  • Human Resources
  • Human Services
  • Industrial Mechanics & Maintenance
  • Industrial Robotics
  • Java Programming
  • Landscape Design
  • Legal Office Associate
  • Management
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Administrative Assistant
  • Mobile App Development
  • Network and System Administration
  • Network Security
  • Nurse Aide (CNA)
  • Nursing - Practical Nursing (LPN)
  • PC Technician
  • Physical Fitness and Wellness
  • Software Applications Specialist
  • Sport Management
  • Water Environmental Technology
  • Web Design
  • Web Development


A certificate is earned by a student after taking a series of courses in a particular subject, using lasting a few months. Certificate programs are short-term training programs that help you develop skills and experience necessary for a particular job.There are certificates for jobs in industries such as healthcare, administration, and information technology.

These programs are helpful for people who are just starting out in a career, as well as for experienced professionals wishing to increase their skill set or enhance their resume for a promotion. Check out the top 10 high-paying certificate programs.

High-Paying Jobs that Require (or Recommend) a Certificate

Web Developer

Web developers create and design websites. They create the look of the site, and handle the website’s performance, speed, and capacity. Web developers might work for computer systems design companies, work for marketing firms or departments, or be self-employed. While some web developers have an associate’s degree in web design, others have a certificate in web development instead. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, web developers earn a median of $66,130 per year, and will see much faster-than-average job growth over the next ten years.

Construction and Building Inspector

Construction and building inspectors inspect construction sites and buildings to make sure that the structures meet all required codes and regulations. Many construction and building inspectors have a certificate from a local or community college, although others have a two-year associate’s degree instead. They earn an average salary of $58,480, and are expected to see faster-than-average job growth in the next ten years.

Architectural and Civil Drafter

An architectural and civil drafter creates drawings of the structural features of buildings, or creates maps of civil engineering projects (including public works, bridges, and roads). Most drafters have training in computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), engineering, mechanical drawing, and other design and engineering skills. This training can be from a certificate program, a two-year program, or even some four-year programs. Drafters earn an average of $53,480 per year.

Industrial Engineering Technician

Industrial engineering technicians assist industrial engineers with revising methods of operation at manufacturing plants and other industrial sites. They help revise methods of operation, equipment layout, and more to make a factory run more smoothly. Most industrial engineering technicians have either an associate’s degree or a certificate from a vocational-technical school. Industrial engineering techs earn an average of $53,330 per year.

Pipefitter and Plumber

Plumbers and pipefitters install and repair pipes at offices, homes, factories, and other buildings. Many plumbers learn their work through a certificate program and/or a four-to-five-year apprenticeship. Some states also require that plumbers and pipefitters be licensed. Plumbers and pipefitters can earn an average salary of $51,450, and they are expected to see much faster-than-average job growth over the next ten years.

Court Reporter

A court recorder transcribes, word-for-word, various legal proceedings such as depositions and trials. Most court reporters work in courts or legislatures. Many court reporters have at least a postsecondary certificate in court reporting from a community college or technical institute. Court reporters earn an average of $51,320 per year.

Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Mechanics

Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment mechanics (also known as service technicians) inspect and repair vehicles and machinery used for transportation (including rail transportation), farming, construction, and more. More and more, employers want to hire mechanics that have completed a one-to-two-year certificate program in diesel technology or heavy equipment mechanics, since some of the latest machinery is very complex. These kinds of mechanics earn an average of $50,810 per year.

Sheet Metal Worker

A sheet metal worker constructs and/or installs products made of thin sheet metal. This work might involve measuring and marking dimensions on sheets, drilling holes in sheets, carrying large sheets, or welding, bolting, riveting, and soldering sheets. Many sheet metal workers learn their work through an apprenticeship or a certificate program from a technical school. They earn an average annual salary of $46,940.

Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanic and Installer

These mechanics and installers, also known as HVACR technicians, work on heating, cooling, ventilation, and refrigeration systems in homes, offices, and other buildings. HVACR technicians usually complete a degree or certificate program from a trade or technical school or a community college. These programs can last from six months to one year. HVACR technicians earn an average of $45,910, and are seeing a much faster-than-average rate in job growth.  

Surgical Technologist

Surgical technologists assist in operating rooms in hospitals. They help prepare operating rooms, arrange equipment, sterilize patients, and help doctors during surgeries. They often complete a certificate program in surgical technology. These can last from a few months to two years. Surgical technologists earn an average of $45,160, and are seeing faster-than-average job growth.

Other Jobs that Require (or Recommend) a Certificate

 Healthcare Jobs

  • Dental Assistant
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Hospital Transcriptionist
  • Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurse
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical and Clinical Lab Technician
  • Medical Coder
  • Medical Transcriptionist
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Radiologic Technologist
  • Veterinary Assistant

Industrial Jobs

  • Automotive Mechanic
  • Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operator
  • Machinists
  • Telecommunications Equipment Installer and Repairer
  • Tool and Die Makers
  • Welder and Welder Fitter

Other Jobs

  • Computer Support Specialist
  • Cosmetologist
  • Firefighter
  • Fitness Trainer and Instructor
  • Hairdresser
  • Manicurist
  • Massage Therapist
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrator
  • Pedicurist
  • Procurement Clerk
  • Real Estate Agent


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