11 Of The Best Certificates That Pay Well [2024]

As Seen In

logo of wsj
logo of wsj
logo of business-insider
logo of business-insider
logo of cnn
logo of cnn
logo of fatherly
logo of fatherly
logo of nbc
logo of nbc

Table Of Contents

The best certificates that pay well are those that can be acquired quickly for minimal investment. When you get a certification, it’s like a quickstart path to getting job training for your future career.

Certifications allow you to learn job skills and career-based knowledge at a fraction of the cost of going to a college or university.

Getting the right certification can land you a high-paying job, working for a reputable company with excellent benefits and help you develop your reputation in that industry.

This article is going to share 11 of the best certificates that pay well.

If you’re looking for a job, start your search on ZipRecruiter! ZipRecruiter is free for job seekers and you can apply for jobs with a single click!

Discover Your Dream Job

Find jobs near you and apply with 1 click! New jobs posted daily.

Get Started With ZipRecruiter
ZipRecruiter logo

What Is A Certificate? 

A professional certificate is a credential certifying that you satisfactorily completed a training or course to work in a job.

For example, there is a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) certificate which after acquired, can help you get a CNA job. Getting a CNA certificate is one of the chief requirements to work as a CNA so job applicants without this certificate will not be able to qualify for this career.

Certifications have a lot of benefits compared to attaining a four-year college degree:

  • They are quick
  • Cost-effective
  • They have flexible learning options

First, certifications are much faster to acquire than attending college. Unlike attending a four-year college or university, many certificates only take weeks or months to receive.

They are cost-effective as well, many times at a fraction of the cost of college tuition at a four-year university.

Lastly, certificate programs are flexible. You will find many programs that offer options to take classes in person, at night, online, or in a hybrid model.

Are they worth it?

We think so! They are a cost-effective, fast way to learn career-based skills, and the more education you have, the higher your salary.

It’s a valuable investment in your future and these perks make it worthwhile to look into if you’re looking for a cost-effective way to break into a career.

11 Of The Best Certificates That Pay Well 

Here are the 11 best certificates that pay well.

1. Phlebotomist 

A phlebotomist is a medical professional that draws blood samples from patients. If you’ve had blood lab work done, the person drawing your blood for testing is a phlebotomist. You’ll work in a healthcare setting at a clinic or hospital, working one-on-one with patients.

Time: Phlebotomy certificates can take less than one year to obtain.

Salary: $37,380/year

Best for: People with an interest in working in a healthcare/medical setting.

Cost: $1,000 to $3,000

2. Full Stack Web Development

A full stack web developer is a computer programmer that specializes in working in front-end and back-end web development.

They have the skills to work on the front end and back end of the website’s development like database management and servers, coding, and more.

They are responsible for developing a website or app. You will work closely with computers in an office setting either in-person or remotely.

Time: It takes up to 6 months to obtain your Full Stack Web Development certificate.

Salary: $78,300/year

Best for: Tech-savvy people with an interest in computer programming or current web development workers.

Cost: Up to $4,275+

3. Medical Assistant

Medical assistants help doctors treat and examine patients. You’ll work in a medical/healthcare setting like in a clinic or hospital.

You may have tasks like:

  • Prepare patients for exams
  • Assist doctors during in-office procedures like applying/removing sutures
  • Collecting lab specimens
  • Explaining treatment plans to patients

Time: Medical assistant certificates take up to 6 to 18 months to obtain.

Salary: $37,190/year

Best for: People who enjoy helping others, working with other people, and want to work in a healthcare/medical setting.

Cost: $2,000 to $20,000

4. Digital Marketing

A digital marketer is a marketing professional that specializes in online marketing, like:

  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing

Join The Break Community

  • Display advertising

Digital marketing can work in-person or in a remote setting, from an office.

Time: The time required to obtain a digital marketing certificate is four weeks up to six months.

Salary: $133,380/year

Best for: People interested in marketing and advertising.

Cost: $150 to $4,950+

5. Physical Therapist Aide

A physical therapist aide helps provide a supportive environment for physical therapy patients.

They assist physical therapists by:

  • Cleaning, maintaining, and preparing equipment for use
  • Managing the safety of the therapy environment
  • Assist patients with exercise, massage, balance, and therapy
  • Record patients' progress

You will work in a healthcare/medical setting in a hospital, clinic, or physical therapy studio.

Time: Obtaining a physical therapy aide certificate takes two weeks to three months.

Salary: $59,901/year

Best for: People who want a career where they are helping others and working one-on-one with patients in a healthcare/medical setting.

Cost: Around $800+

6. Website Developer

Website developers do coding for computer programming. You will know how to use Javascript, HTML and CSS, PHP, SQL, JQuery, and SQL. The purpose of web development is to build and maintain websites.

You will work in an office setting, in-person, or remotely.

Time: The time to earn a website developer certificate can last several weeks up to a year long.

Salary: $58,505/year

Best for: Tech-savvy workers or people interested in learning tech that would enjoy working with computers.

Cost: From $2,000 to $15,000+

7. Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic controllers direct air traffic for aircraft like airplanes. They work in a tower and instruct pilots when and where to land planes.

You will work in-person in an office setting alongside other air traffic professionals.

Time: The time to become an air traffic controller is at least three years, including the minimum work experience requirement.

Salary: $129,750/year

Best for: People who have a bachelor’s degree and/or a minimum of three years of work experience with an interest in working in air traffic control.

Cost: Up to $10,000 to $20,000

8. Emergency Medical Technician

Emergency medical technicians (EMT’s) work to provide care to patients who need emergency services. These professionals are at the scene of incidents that happen, assessing patients and transporting them to the hospital.

For example, if a car accident happens, EMT’s arrive at the scene to determine injuries and transport the injured to a hospital.

Time: EMT certificate can last several weeks up to longer than a year.

Salary: $36,930/year

Best for: People who have strong interpersonal skills and can remain calm in stressful and pressure-filled situations.

Cost: $2,000 to $5,000

9. Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians work with patients to fill medication orders. Working under a pharmacist, your job duties will include:

  • Offering patient consultations
  • Keeping patient records
  • Preparing prescription medication requests

Time: It takes up to a year to obtain a pharmacy technician certification.

Salary: $36,740/year

Best for: People who want to work in a healthcare/medical setting.

Cost: $500 to $8,500

10. Flight Attendant

Flight attendants ensure the safety of passengers and crew, service passengers and perform duties like offering drinks and snacks, and helping to maintain the cleanliness of the aircraft.

Time: The time to complete flight attendant training and certification is 3 to 6 weeks.

Salary: $61,640/year

Best for: People who enjoy travel.

Cost: Free paid training if hired by an airline or up to $2,500 to attend flight attendant school

11. Data Analyst

Data analysts review and analyze data sets to identify business insights and solve problems.

Time: 10 weeks to 1+ years

Salary: $94,571/year

Best for: Tech-savvy people with an interest working with computers.

Cost: Up to $6,900+

How Much Do Certificates Cost? 

The cost of a certificate will vary based on the program.

Some are free. Others cost hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars.

Once you decide on the career path you want to pursue, you can start researching certificate programs and look into the costs.

You will find that some certificate programs offer cost-flexible payment options like:

  • Tuition assistance
  • Scholarships
  • Tuition deferment until after you complete the certification program and get a job

The Bottom Line

Getting a college degree isn’t the only way to land a well-paying job. Going for a certificate can be a smart way to take a cost-effective approach to learning a career-based skill in a short period of time.

These 11 certificates are some of the top-paying careers with a certificate and they’re perfect to pursue if you’re looking to learn a skill to join the workforce for the first time or looking for a career change.

Once you’ve acquired your certificate, add it to your resume with the help of one of the best resume writing services online and when you start searching jobs, use ZipRecruiter to find your career!