In-Demand Careers that Require Certificates

Jan 19, 2020

Certificate studies are available in a number of career fields and many jobs with positive employment growth require applicants to have a relevant certificate in their field. These include occupations in construction, personal care and healthcare, as well as other fields.

In-Demand Career Options that Require Certificates

Those who do no wish to pursue studies towards a degree may be more interested in a career that requires a certificate, since certificate programs typically take a year or less to complete. Certificates are also awarded to those who complete approved apprenticeship programs, which involves completing courses and paid training.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Outlook (2018-2028)*
EMTs $34,320 (for EMTs and paramedics) 7% (for EMTs and paramedics)
Elevator Installers and Repairers $79,780 10%
Nursing Assistants $28,530 9%
Skincare Specialists $31,290 11%
Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers $47,610 13%
Social and Human Service Assistants $33,750 13%
Medical Assistants $33,610 23%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for In-Demand Jobs that Require Certificates


EMTs, also known as emergency medical technicians, respond to emergency situations where people need medical help. Their duties can include providing first aid to someone who's been injured or taking steps to stabilize a patient who's having a medical emergency, such as a heart attack. Earning a certificate through a postsecondary program, along with obtaining state licensure, is required to work in this field. With faster than average job growth expected for this career in 2018-2028, there is a lot of demand for EMTs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Elevator Installers and Repairers

Elevator installers and repairers work with elevators and other types of machines that move people, such as escalators. Their job involves putting these machines together and then maintaining them to ensure they meet safety standards. They are required to complete an apprenticeship, which typically awards a certificate upon completion; many states also require elevator installers and repairers to have licenses. The BLS has predicted this career will grow by a percentage that is almost double the national average growth rate for all occupations in 2018-2028, according to the BLS.

Nursing Assistants

Nursing assistants must complete postsecondary training, which often results in a certificate, and they also have to pass a credentialing exam administered by their state. With the BLS forecasting job growth at close to 9% in this field, there are a lot of opportunities for those seeking work. They work with patients in a variety of ways, including helping patients bathe and assisting patients as they get in and out of bed. They also monitor the patient's health condition and in some states they may be qualified to give patients medication.

Skincare Specialists

Skincare specialists provide beauty-enhancing skin services, such as hair removal or facials. They are required to earn a certificate or other postsecondary nondegree award by completing a cosmetology or esthetician program program, and almost all states also require skincare specialists to be licensed. Skincare specialists work directly with their clients and their duties involve assessing clients' skin condition and educating them about skin care. The BLS reports that skincare specialists can expect a much-faster-than-average job growth during the 2018 and 2028 decade.

Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers

Heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers, also known as HVACR technicians, install systems in residential or commercial buildings. HVACR technicians use their technical skills to ensure that the types of heating and cooling systems they work on are installed correctly. When these systems break down, HVACR technicians assess the equipment and perform repairs to restore them to working order. Employers prefer to hire mechanics who've earned a postsecondary certificate or completed an apprenticeship; some who enter this field choose to earn an associate's degree, although that is not required. Those who work with refrigerants must be certified. Their current job outlook percentage for 2018-2028 is double the average for all occupations, per the BLS.

Social and Human Service Assistants

Social and human service assistants help people with their practical and personal needs by assisting them in applying for aid or locating needed services. Their duties can be as varied as helping addicts find support groups to helping immigrants register for English classes. Although it's possible to pursue this type of work with a high school diploma, employers prefer applicants with relevant experience and/or a certificate or associate's degree in the field. According to 2018-2028 statistics from the BLS, these workers are currently seeing a much-faster-than-average job growth in their field.

Medical Assistants

Medical assistants typically work in hospitals or physicians' offices as part of a medical team and perform a range of duties, such as making appointments for patients, taking a patient's temperature or assisting with medical exams. Relevant postsecondary training, along with professional certification, is preferred by employers and may increase job prospects. According to the BLS, 65% of those who work in this field have a postsecondary certificate, while an additional 18% have an associate's degree. With the BLS expecting job growth of over 20% in this field from 2018 to 2028, there is a very high level of demand for qualified medical assistants.

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