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Certificate Careers that Pay Well

There are a number of occupations that require a certificate that pay salaries higher than the median annual wage for all occupations. This article looks at some of those career options in greater detail.

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Career Options for Certificate Careers that Pay Well

Postsecondary certificates are non-degree awards that fall between a high school diploma and an associate's or bachelor's degree. They are typically held by professionals who have completed a specific course of education in a trade or service field. In 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calculated the median annual salary for all occupations was $37,040. We'll explore several certificate careers with salaries that exceed that figure.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Outlook (2016-2026)*
Wind Turbine Technicians $52,260 96%
Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers $45,910 15%
Court Reporters $51,320 3%
Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performing $60,970 11%
Insurance Appraisers, Auto Damage $63,510 5%
Hearing Aid Specialists $50,250 19%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for Certificate Careers that Pay Well

Wind Turbine Technicians

Wind turbine technicians enjoy a median annual income of $52,260, making this a career options for those with a postsecondary certificate that pays very well. Postsecondary certificate studies will prepare them for their role installing wind turbines. They will also learn how to test wind turbine systems to identify the cause of malfunctions and perform necessary repairs. They also replace parts and inspect turbines as part of their regular duties.

Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers

Heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers are also known as HVACR technicians and are expected to earn a postsecondary certificate to prepare for their career. They install heating systems, air conditioning equipment and refrigeration equipment, such as walk-in refrigerators. They are also responsible for maintaining this type of equipment and repairing it when it malfunctions. Their median annual income is $45,910, which is notably higher than the median annual income for all occupations, regardless of education level.

Court Reporters

Court reports enjoy a median annual income of $51,320, which is considerably higher than the median income all occupations. Court reports normally prepare to enter their career field by earning a postsecondary certificate. They must also be licensed or certified. Their responsibility is to ensure there is an accurate record kept of everything that is said or done during a court proceeding, which they may do by typing a transcript and using electronic means such as video cameras to record the proceeding.

Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performing

Theatrical and performing makeup artists prepare actors so that they appear in a way that is suitable for the character they're portraying. A postsecondary certificate will prepare individuals for this career option. As of 2016 the median annual income for these makeup artists was $60,970, which is considerably higher than the national median income for all occupations.

Insurance Appraisers, Auto Damage

A postsecondary certificate is typically required to become an auto damage insurance appraiser. This training prepares them to inspect vehicles after accidents. They determine the cost of repairing the vehicle. This information is then sent to an adjuster who uses the data to determine an appropriate settlement. In 2016, auto damage insurance appraisers had a median annual income of $63,510, which makes them one of the highest paid groups of professionals who are only required to have a postsecondary certificate.

Hearing Aid Specialists

With an annual median income of $50,250, hearing aid specialists enjoy one of the highest annual median incomes of professions that only require a postsecondary certificate. In some cases it is even possible to become a hearing aid specialist with on-the-job training instead of completing a postsecondary program, although earning a relevant certificate should increase job prospects. Hearing aid specialists are qualified to test people's hearing and determine if they need hearing aids. Their duties also involve teaching people how to use and care for their hearing aids.

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