3 Certification Programs for Jobs That Pay Well

Money has a significant impact on people’s lives, as people without enough money face multiple challenges. They may be…
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Money has a significant impact on people’s lives, as people without enough money face multiple challenges. They may be homeless or work extra hours to pay their bills, and some miss opportunities others enjoy because they can’t afford extra expenses.

Financial matters are the leading source of stress for most Americans, underscoring why people think about income potential when planning their careers. You don’t have to spend four years in college to qualify for jobs that pay decent wages. Let’s look at three certificate programs you can consider that will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to land a job that pays well.

1. You can become a dental assistant.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that dental assistants earned median annual incomes of $41,180 in 2020, just slightly below the $41,950 median annual income for all occupations the BLS reported the same year. The BLS also reported that dental assistants could expect to see an 11-percent job growth rate between 2020 and 2030, higher than the 8-percent average job growth rate for all occupations during the same period.

The strong job prospects and solid salary are two reasons you may want to consider a career as a dental assistant. You can also prepare for your career by completing a dental assisting program and earning a certificate in dental assisting. The coursework covers oral anatomy, dental radiology, dental materials, dental radiography, and dental records and office applications. Students also complete an internship, gaining practical experience before graduation.

Dental assistants ensure patients are ready for treatment, sanitize medical equipment, and teach patients about oral hygiene. They also produce X-rays, schedule appointments, bill patients, and process payments.

2. You can enter the automotive field.


Opportunities in the automotive field include becoming an automotive service technician, truck-and-diesel service technician, or collision repair technician. You can qualify for these careers by completing the appropriate certificate program at a vocational/technical program school in Jamaica, NY.

The automotive service technology and truck-and-diesel service technology certificates take 11 months to complete, while you’ll spend 12 months earning a collision-repair technology certificate. Automotive and truck-and-diesel service technicians learn about braking systems, engine repair, steering, and suspension. The critical distinction between these programs is the type of vehicles the technician repairs. Automotive service technicians work on passenger vehicles while truck-and-diesel service techs repair semis and construction vehicles.

The BLS reported that automotive service techs took home $44,050 per year in 2020 while diesel service technicians and mechanics earned annual incomes of $50,200. Per the BLS, automotive body and glass repairers earned median salaries of $44,190 the same year.

3. Court reporters and simultaneous captioners make substantial salaries.


Court reporters and simultaneous captioners can acquire the marketable skills to enter this career field by completing a postsecondary certificate. Once you’ve earned a certificate, you must complete your state’s licensing requirements to work in this field. Court reporters and simultaneous captioners produce word-for-word transcripts of hearings, depositions, trials, and other proceedings. When required, they may read back portions of the transcript. They also make a note if the speaker makes physical gestures. Simultaneous captioners may also create captions for movies and TV shows.

The BLS reports that court reporters and simultaneous captioners took home average median incomes of $61,660 in 2020, well above the median annual income for all occupations. The BLS expects these professionals to see jobs grow by 3 percent between 2020 and 2030. Many court reporters work for local or state governments. Others work for businesses or provide services on a freelance basis.

You don’t have to earn a bachelor’s degree to prepare for a satisfying career that pays well. You can become a dental assistant, automotive technician, or court reporter with a postsecondary certificate.