Getting Started

5 high paying jobs with quick certifications


If you don’t have the time or resources to go to college, you may think your employment options are going to be limited due to a lack of education. But don’t fret, there are actually some really great job options that do not require a full four-year degree and can be obtained with a relatively quick certification course.

So if you’ve ever wondered what jobs were out there that didn’t require a college degree, how to get started, and where to find these jobs, you’re in luck. Continue reading to learn more about some of the best, high-paying jobs that you can get certified for in under two years.

1. Personal Trainer – 8 Week Certification Process

One of the quickest certifications that can lead to a high paying job is a personal trainer certification. Now, keep in mind there are a lot of options for personal trainer certifications, but what you want to focus on if you want a high paying job is one that is NCCA-certified. NCCA, or the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, is the gold standard for fitness certifications. If you want to work at a high-paying gym or another professional fitness environment, it is very likely they’ll want you to have a certification that is NCCA-certified.

To get a reputable personal trainer certification, you should expect to pay around $500 to $1,000 for the study materials, coursework, and exam. If you studied hard for two months and dedicated a couple of hours a day to reading, it’s possible to be ready for one of the final exams in around eight weeks.
According to research on personal trainer wages, entry-level trainers can expect to make around $41,500 with a top certification, while seasoned trainers at premium gyms can make as much six figures.

2. Web Developer – 9 Week Certification Process

These days web development is all the rage. While you used to have to go to college to get a technical degree in computer science, web development students can now attend reputable web development boot camps where they will learn valuable skills they can use for a junior development job, as an entrepreneur to launch a proprietary website or app, or to complement their existing skill sets.

While there are numerous ways to learn to code, these boot camps will give you the most well-rounded education, fast. It is not uncommon to find a coding school that you can complete in under three months.

According to, developers can expect to make between $50k to $117k per year. Coding schools are a lot cheaper than going to college but still fetch a premium. Expect to pay upwards of $10,000 for a coding boot camp at a reputable trade school.

3. Ultrasound Technician – 1 to 2 Year Certification Process

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the healthcare field, an ultrasound technician may be the job for you. Much like a web developer, there are many different specializations within the ultrasound profession that may interest you including:

  • Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Breast Sonography
  • Adult Echocardiography
  • Pediatric Sonography

Certification programs for ultrasound techs can be completed in 12 to 18 months but can also be obtained with a 2-year associate’s degree. You’ll want to find a program that is accepted by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) to ensure you can get accepted at reputable places of work.

The cost of the ultrasound certification varies on the specialty you focus on but many of the final exams are around $250. These healthcare professionals can expect to average around $67,000, amongst the highest wages in healthcare without a degree.

4. Commercial Truck Driver – 7 Week Certification Process

If the appeal of the open road sounds good to you, a career as a commercial truck driver behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler may be your calling. There are Commercial Driver License (CDL) courses that last just seven weeks, with full-time, 40-hour per week enrollment.

The Class A CDL is the pinnacle of certifications and allows you to drive a wide variety of trucks and pull heavier (and often more lucrative) loads. One of the major attractions of the trucking industry is how quickly you can get a job once you have your license. According to a study from, there is a shortage of nearly 40,000 drivers, meaning drivers are currently in high demand.

There are local commercial truck driving schools in every major city which will help prepare you for a career in logistics. These courses can cost between $3,000 and $7,000, depending on the training received and the endorsements you get.

Commercial truck drivers can earn $43,680 per year, although it’s not uncommon for some drivers who are endorsed to pull flatbeds, hazardous materials, or tanker trucks to pull in double that amount.

5. Paralegal – 4 Week Certification Process

For those that enjoy clerical work and also have a penchant for the law, a paralegal career is an excellent choice. Many courses are available entirely online but, if a classic classroom setting suits you best, you still have the option of attending live lectures. Coursework is available through colleges and universities and can be completed in as little as one month.

Paralegals can expect to start above $40,000 per year but senior, or freelance, paralegals can make $60,000 to $70,000 per year. Coursework costs are modest; students can expect to pay $1,300 to $2,000 for a paralegal certification.

About the Author:
Eddie Lester is a personal trainer from Los Angeles and the Founder and CEO of Fitness Mentors. With over 10 years of experience and eight different certifications and specializations, as well as multiple years of teaching training at a vocational college, Lester loves sharing his knowledge of practical training experience as well as how to study for PT exams. Lester is the author of Business and Sales: The Guide to Success as a Personal Trainer.

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