Our educational system has pushed the same idea since the ’90s: if you want a high-paying job, you need a four-year degree. As it turns out, they’re wrong.
Four years of full-time school is a long time to wait to get your career off the ground. We won’t even go into the massive amount of debt you’re likely to have when you graduate.
Instead, there are plenty of high-paying jobs you can get with two years or less of training. If you’re looking for short courses that lead to good jobs, start with this list.
Short Courses That Lead to Good Jobs
Ready to get your career on the fast track toward success? Try these training programs.
1. Respiratory Therapy Training
A respiratory therapist is a medical professional who helps patients who have trouble breathing. You’ll be able to work in a variety of environments from hospitals to nursing homes and assisted living homes.
As rewarding as the job is, the best part of respiratory therapy is the pay you get for a minimal starting investment. The median pay in the US is just under $60,000 per year and it only takes two years of schooling to be qualified.
2. Electrician Training
Perhaps you’re less interested in the medical field and you prefer a construction setting. There are few ways to make great money with as little schooling as an electrician requires.
To become an electrician, you’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent. From there, you can choose to go through an educational training program. Most of these programs take two years or less.
Your other option is to go through an apprenticeship. In this case, you’ll be learning on the job for about four years while taking a few classes along the way. No matter which path you choose, you can look forward to earning the median pay of over $54,000 per year.
3. Dental Hygienist Training
You might enjoy caring for teeth, but few of us have the time and money to invest in a dentistry degree. In that case, becoming a dental hygienist may be the perfect fit for you.
Dental hygienist training programs tend to be two-year associate degree programs. With this minimal amount of training, the median pay of $74,000 per year is impressive.
4. Plumber Training
Let’s face it: working in a dental office isn’t for everyone. If you prefer to stay out of that environment, plumbing may be a better fit.
As a plumber, you can make a median of $53,00 per year fixing and installing anything relating to water in homes and businesses. The best part, though, is that you need minimal training to get started.
You’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent. You can then choose an educational program, or if you’re still in high school, you can opt for a vocational high school. Your other option is to learn on the job with an apprenticeship.
5. Registered Nursing Training
Having dreams of a stethoscope around your neck but don’t have six figures and eight years to spend on a medical degree? Nursing can give you just as much time caring for patients without a massive amount of training.
While there are Bachelor degrees for nursing, you can also become a registered nurse with a two-year degree. Either way, you have a median earning potential of $70,000 per year.
Keep in mind that you may need ongoing training too, like hazardous materials training. You may know the organization as OSHA in the US, but if you’ll be working in Canada instead, learn more about their equivalent.
6. Web Development Courses
Not interested in a job in the medical or construction fields? How does technology sound instead?
Many people assume you need a four-year degree to become a web developer, but that’s not true. While software engineers tend to need four-year degrees, web developers don’t deal with as many complex operations.
A two-year associate degree is all you need to be a web developer. With that in hand, you can look forward to the median pay of $68,000 per year.
7. Paralegal Training
It might not be what you see on shows like The Good Wife and Suits, but the field of law can still be fascinating. Becoming a paralegal is the perfect way to get your foot in the door without law school.
A paralegal supports a law firm’s needs by doing research, preparing certain documents, gathering materials, and more. You can jump into a job after earning a two-year degree. As your career grows, you can expect to earn a median of $50,000 per year.
8. HVAC Technician Training
You’ve already seen that you can handle a building’s plumbing and electrical systems without extensive training. It should come as no surprise that an HVAC technician can do the same?
HVAC, or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, is a field you can enter after a dedicated training program. These programs can range from six months to two years. Even the longer programs are worth the median salary of $47,000 per year.
9. Radiation Therapy Training
Radiation therapy has become a valuable medical treatment. It’s most common for cancer patients, and a radiation therapist is an essential part of the team. In this role, you’ll help to administer the therapy and keep the patient comfortable while operating the complex equipment.
As much as you may love working with patients, there’s even better news. With a two-year degree, radiation therapists have the highest median pay on this list at $80,000 per year.
Investing In Yourself
A successful career takes planning and ambition. However, it may not take as much of a sacrifice as you think. This list of short courses that lead to good jobs is just a sample. There are plenty of other jobs and careers you can get with minimal education.
The first step is figuring out what field you want to be in and then find an easy way to get your foot in the door. For more guidance about training for a career, you can enjoy, check out our education blog.