You can also examine employment statistics by the Bureau of Labor to find careers that require an associate's degree, but also have the most growth and the highest salaries.
You know that earning a certificate can help improve your job prospects, but you don’t want to choose just any program. You want to choose the right program for you.
This article assumes that the highest education you have received is your high school diploma or GED, and you want to earn a certificate to improve your job opportunities. In this case, earning a certificate should be an exciting time. It’s a time for you to take charge of your career path to set up a more stable future.
How do you know what program is best for you? In order to determine what program you would benefit from the most, you need to evaluate just exactly what you are looking for in a certificate program and ultimately in your career.
How to Find a Certificate Program for You
There are hundreds of certificate programs available at career colleges, trade schools and community colleges throughout the country. To find out which program you should pursue, evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.
You may know you want to care for people, but do you want to use your skills towards working in health care, or education? If you want to work with your hands, does that mean you want to work in construction, or become a mechanic?
Research Pay and Job Demand
You can also examine employment statistics by the Bureau of Labor to find careers that require a certificate or an associate's degree to compare them. Examine which positions have the most growth and the highest salaries. For example, the median salary for a diagnostic medical sonographer is $64,380, while physical therapist aides make $23,680 on average. While both of those jobs are in the medical field, there's a significant difference in pay. If you don't have a preference between roles, you may want to consider how much it will cost to get a certificate versus an associate's degree and optimize your chances of a higher salary or shorter education program, depending on what you want.
During the admissions process at many career colleges, you are matched with an admissions representative who can answer any questions you may have about your prospective certificate program. They can give you advice on whether your skills match the goal of the program. In addition, talk to alumni, instructors and current students at the school to find out what types of jobs the certificate will lead to.
To help you on your search, we’ve compiled a list of occupations with the highest employment rate that only require a certificate for an entry-level position.
Certificate Programs Near You
- Nursing aides, orderlies and attendants
- Automotive service technicians and mechanics
- Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses
- Hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologist
- Preschool teachers, except special education
- Insurance sales agents
- Welders, cutters, solderers and brazers
- Real estate sales agents
- Heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers
- Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists
- Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors
- Emergency medical technicians and paramedics
- Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers
- Computer, automated teller and office machine repairers
- Massage therapists
- Aircraft mechanics and service technicians
- Library technicians
- Architectural and civil drafters
- Travel agents
- Medical transcriptionists