An online college certificate is a convenient option for someone looking to add to their professional qualifications. Compared to a bachelor’s degree or even an associate’s degree, the option of an online certificate is a substantial decrease in the required investment of both time and money. The convenience of online classes simply adds on to the benefits of this option. What’s more, certain online college certificates have the possibility of greatly increasing the earning potential of the students who earn them.
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 nationwide (based on information from collegenavigator.gov) 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.
The top ten highest paying college certificates are:
- Information Security/Cybersecurity
- Computer Science
- Project Management
- Information Technology
- Human Resources
- Business Administration
- Bookkeeper/Accounting Technology
- Website Design
- Medical Billing and Coding
Highest Paying Online Certificates Reviewed
10. Medical Billing and Coding
Certification in Medical Billing and Coding is the cheapest, most efficient way to obtain the necessary training to enter the field. While associate’s degree programs take a few years to complete, certificate programs range from 4-15 months, with some accelerated programs taking just 4 weeks. Most online Medical Billing and Coding programs allow students to work at their own pace, adding extra flexibility. Programs offer training in medical sciences, health information management, and more, and certified graduates can immediately enter the field with various job options, some of which can even be completed working from home. This is among the best paying online certificate programs.
Average Yearly Income: $48,038
Earning an online Paralegal certificate is a good career choice, as it helps to immediately enhance credibility and salary potential in a field that is projected to keep growing. Paralegal certification, which certainly makes our list of online certificates that pay well, is most commonly pursued either by those already in the field 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, and 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 to open the doors to various well paying careers such as a Programmer, Web Architect, or Web Developer. Certificate programs, many of which are available entirely online, are mostly designed for working professionals desiring to boost their career 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, and web design concepts.
Average Yearly Income: $55,816
7. Bookkeeper/Accounting Technology
Bookkeeping/Accounting Technology is a great career option and 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, and can be completed in anywhere from 4 months to a year. Online certification programs that pay well will teach the skills needed to succeed, including accounting equation, accounts receivable and accounts payable, payroll accounting, and revenue and expenses.
Average Yearly Income: $50,068
6. Business Administration
Certification in Business Administration is growing in appeal, both to 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, ranging from 18 to 31 credits. Certificate programs are sometimes better options than degree programs as they only focus on the relevant subject areas, such as organization, management skills, problem solving, customer service, and business law.
Average Yearly Income: $54,904
5. Human Resources
An online certification in Human Resources can usually be completed with just a few months of study, and is a perfect option for those looking for advanced development in the field. Certified HR professionals earn considerably more than their uncertified counterparts, and 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 in the various fields in need of IT professionals. Many IT certification programs are offered 100% online. A college degree is not necessary to pursue an online IT certificate, and certification programs work as a great starting place for both 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, and 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 (PMPs) grows, and many programs are offered entirely online. A certificate shows potential employers a commitment to the industry, and almost always guarantees a considerable salary advantage. Online certification programs help students learn to effectively plan, orchestrate, and control projects – as well as learning how to estimate costs, build timelines, and use the appropriate software. Programs range from 8 weeks to a year, depending 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, as well as 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, and technical skills of computer science, as well as help to build specific software skills. Most online programs range from 15 to 17 credits. Job options include Software Developer, Business Analyst, and Operations Manager, as well as many others.
Average Yearly Income: $61,040
1. Information Security/Cybersecurity
Certification in Cybersecurity is a sure pathway to a successful, high earning career, particularly for those who have previous experience or training in related fields. Earning an online certificate, along with some prior related work experience, is all that is needed for most entry-level jobs in the field. Additionally, there are other certification programs offered online for experienced professionals wishing to show mastery of skills. Many certificates are only 13-15 credits, taking just one semester to complete, and 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.
Average Yearly Income: $77,511
CVO Staff–January 2021