Best Certificate Programs That Lead to High-Paying Jobs

Not everyone has the time or money to attend a four-year university and earn a prestigious degree. But almost everyone would like to make as much money as they can with whatever training they receive. This is where certificate programs come in. These programs tend to cost a lot less because of their shorter duration, leading to fewer student loans and less financial burden. Listed here are some of the best to choose from.

School district leader

The school district leader certification online program will prepare you for a role in almost any educational environment. You’ll learn how to do things like manage finances, develop goals, and “lead reform efforts” within elementary or secondary school districts. The certification is usually used as a stepping stool for higher salaries and promotions for people already working in the field. And you’ll usually have to already have a degree in order to enter the program. 


Nursing is one of the most in-demand professions in the US, and this shortage means higher pay and better jobs. There are several paths to becoming a nurse, but the shortest is LVN (licensed vocational nurse) certification. This program is offered at many trade schools and junior colleges and usually lasts 12 months. LVNs don’t typically make quite as much as RNs (registered nurses), but at an average of $21.90 an hour, it’s still extremely competitive.

Court reporting

Court reporting is an often overlooked profession that requires only a certificate that can be earned online. These professionals work in courtrooms or lawyer offices transcribing the communication between all participants. The training takes place either in the classroom or online and takes about two-and-a-half years to complete. The average salary for someone with this title is just under $60,000 a year, but it can be much higher depending on where you’re employed.


A CCNA, or Cisco Certified Network Associate works in the IT field in a variety of specializations. To work in this field, you just need to pass the exam, but it’s advisable that you attend a trade school and get your certification first. Most people also find it helpful to take a CCNA practice test several times before sitting for the actual exam. Once you have passed the test, you’ll be able to command a beginning salary of around $55,000. But many people find that six figure salaries are quickly attainable. 

HVAC repair

HVAC technicians are trained to repair and maintain heating and air conditioning units for both homes and businesses. You’ll find certificate programs at many community colleges or trade schools and they usually only last six months. At that point, you’re usually required to complete an apprenticeship that can last up to two years. After that, you’ll be certified to work for anyone or start your own company. Average starting salaries are around $45,000 a year, but the earning potential is practically limitless, depending on your location and the hours you’re willing to work. 


Electricians can work in a variety of different environments maintaining and repairing electrical systems. To enter the field, you would attend a trade school to earn a certificate and then become an apprentice under a master electrician. The earning potential for electricians is practically limitless because you can keep moving up the ladder or eventually open your own business. But most start out at around $14 an hour during their apprenticeships.

Many short-term certificate programs can actually lead to some great paying jobs you can be proud to have. Whatever your interests are, you’re bound to find a program you enjoy that leads you to a lucrative career!