Top 10 Online Certifications That Pay Well

Author: Tom Panter
Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
Reading level: Grade 8
Reading Time: 5 minutes, 53 seconds
Original Publication Date: January 2021
Updates: 3

An online college certificate is convenient for those who want to boost their career. Compared to an actual degree, the option of an online certificate takes less time and money. The convenience of online classes simply adds to the benefits of this option. Moreover, certain online college certificates can greatly increase the earning potential of the students who earn them. This includes quick certifications that pay well in 2024 and beyond.

Our list of the top ten highest-paying online certificates is based on the salaries reported on payscale.com. The number of certificate programs offered was the secondary piece of information used in our ranking. We required a minimum of at least 25 online programs available for a given field.

Featured Programs

The top ten highest-paying college certificates are:

  1. Information Security/Cybersecurity
  2. Computer Science
  3. Project Management
  4. Information Technology
  5. Human Resources
  6. Business Administration
  7. Bookkeeper/Accounting Technology
  8. Website Design
  9. Paralegal
  10. Medical Billing and Coding

Many of these are easy certifications to get online that pay well.

Highest Paying Online Certificates Reviewed

#10 Medical Billing and Coding

Certification in Medical Billing and Coding is the cheapest way to get the necessary training to enter the field. The certificate program ranges from 4 to 15 months. Some accelerated programs take just four weeks. Most online Medical Billing and Coding programs allow students to work independently. This adds extra flexibility. Programs offer training in:

  • Medical sciences
  • Health information management

Graduates can immediately enter the field with various job options. This is among the best-paying online certificate programs.

Average Yearly Income: $48,038

9. Paralegal

Earning an online Paralegal certificate is a good career choice. It helps enhance credibility and salary potential. The field is projected to keep growing. Paralegal certification is most commonly pursued by those already in the field. It is perfect for those wishing to boost their career or those who have earned a bachelor’s degree in another area and desire to change careers. Certification demonstrates to employers a commitment to the profession. Many can be conveniently completed entirely online. Some programs can be completed in less than two months, while many are completed in about a year.

Average Yearly Income: $55,395

8. Website Design

Website Design certification programs combine art and technology. It opens the doors to various well-paying careers, such as:

  • Programmer
  • Web Architect
  • Web Developer

Certificate programs are mostly designed for working professionals desiring to boost their careers and earn a higher salary. Online certificate programs average 30-35 credits, taking as little as 10-12 months to complete. Certification programs teach skills such as:

  • Coding languages
  • Web page graphics
  • Mobile application designs
  • Scripting technologies
  • Web design concepts

Average Yearly Income: $55,816

7. Bookkeeper/Accounting Technology

Bookkeeping/Accounting Technology is a great career option. It’s easy to enter a certification program with only a high school diploma. Most certification programs in the field are available 100% online. Program requirements generally range from 14 to 30 credits. Programs can be completed anywhere from 4 months to a year. Online certification programs that pay well will teach the skills needed to succeed, including:

  • Accounting equations
  • Accounts receivable and accounts payable
  • Payroll accounting
  • Revenue and expenses

Average Yearly Income: $50,068

6. Business Administration

Certification in Business Administration is growing in appeal. It’s ideal for those entering the field for the first time and seasoned professionals looking to boost their resume and earn a higher wage. Online certificate programs offer flexibility both in scheduling and completion time. Most online certificate programs in Business Administration can be completed in a year or less. Certificate programs are sometimes better options than degree programs. They only focus on the relevant subject areas, such as:

  • Organization
  • Management skills
  • Problem solving
  • Customer service
  • Business law

Average Yearly Income: $54,904

5. Human Resources

An online certification in Human Resources can be completed with a few months of study. It is a perfect option for those looking for advanced development in the field. Certified HR professionals earn considerably more than their uncertified counterparts. Certification aids in achieving career success in little time. There are many kinds of online HR certifications offered for those with varying levels of experience in Human Resources. Although certificate programs are often expensive, they quickly pay off, leading to well paying employment in a wide array of fields.

Average Yearly Income: $61,697

4. Information Technology

Certification in Information Technology is a great option for those who want to stand out to prospective employers. Many IT certification programs are offered 100% online. A college degree is not necessary to pursue an online IT certificate. Certification programs work as a great starting place for entry-level and mid-level jobs. Program lengths vary, ranging from 5 months to 18 months. Career options include:

  • Web Developer
  • Computer Support Consultant
  • Help Desk Analyst
  • Media Technician

Average Yearly Income: $61,906

3. Project Management

Certificate programs in Project Management are becoming more and more popular. As the need for certified Project Management Professionals) grows, and many programs are offered online. A certificate shows potential employers a commitment to the industry. It almost always guarantees a considerable salary advantage. Online certification programs help students learn to effectively plan, orchestrate effectively, and control projects. You will learn how to:

  • Estimate costs
  • Build timelines
  • Use the appropriate software

Programs range from 8 weeks to a year. It depends on the depth of material and previous experience upon entrance.

Average Yearly Income: $83,642

2. Computer Science

An online certificate in Computer Science is a beneficial stepping stone for those just entering the field of computer science. It’s also a good option for those with a degree in an unrelated area who wish to enter the field and build relevant skills. This is one of the best online certifications that pay well. Certification programs teach:

  • Basic theory
  • Programming
  • Technical skills of computer science
  • Specific software skills

Most online programs range from 15 to 17 credits. Job options include:

  • Software Developer
  • Business Analyst
  • Operations Manager

Average Yearly Income: $61,040

1. Information Security/Cybersecurity

Certification in Cybersecurity is a sure way to a successful, high-earning career. This is especially true for those with previous experience or training. Earning an online certificate, along with some related work experience, is all that is needed for most entry-level jobs in the field. Additionally, other certification programs are offered online for experienced professionals. Many certificates are only 13-15 credits, taking just one semester to complete. It can often be used to supplement other qualifications on a job resume. This comes in at #1 on our list of online certifications that pay well.