Obtaining job certifications are an excellent way many people improve their job prospects. With college tuition rates continually increasing, many are looking for alternatives to the traditional college degree route to obtain good employment. Competition in the job market is fierce as there are many well-prepared workers all competing for a limited number of jobs. Whether they are currently employed and looking for ways to land a promotion or are unemployed and seeking new job opportunities, job certification can be a great way to stand out from the crowd. Many job certifications exist and can be obtained in a relatively quick amount of time. For many people, choosing the right certification can be difficult as many exist that unfortunately does not lead to employment because of the lack of demand for the certification. However, obtaining the right certification can make the difference between having a meaningless resume filler and a determining factor in obtaining an awesome job. This list details five of the top, in-demand job certifications for 2018.
1. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Certification
The medical field is a timeless industry that will always need workers. As long as humans are around, people will need healthcare. Medical sonographers are healthcare professionals who use ultrasounds to obtain the sonograms or medical images that are vital to doctors’ diagnosis and treatment plans. This certification usually requires two to three years of schooling which also includes clinical internships. It is also preferred that eligible graduates of the program pass the certification exam given by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) as many insurance providers require this credential to issue payment for the services provided. Although this is one of the more intensive certificate programs, graduates do not go unrewarded. The annual salary for this career is around $70,000 making it one of the highest-paying jobs that only require a certificate.
2. Web Designer Certification
Information technology is very popular these days and for good reason. Almost every aspect of life involves technology in some way, and it often involves the internet. Web designers use their creative and technological skills to create up-to-date, attention-grabbing websites that allow users to access data in an intuitive way. Well created websites serve as one of the greatest marketing tools used by companies in the 21st century. This certification program can be for the unemployed looking to enter into the information technology field or a professional already in the field seeking to enhance their skills. Those enrolled in a program will become familiar with the various programming languages such as HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). Program lengths can be as short as few months or longer depending on the content covered. The average annual salary for this occupation is about $66,000.
3. Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Certification
This certification is another that’s in the healthcare field, and it serves as the entry point for many individuals interested in the nursing profession. Nurses help care for patients and help monitor their health. They are there to ensure that patients are comfortable, their records are properly maintained, and to listen to patient concerns. There are different credentials awarded to nurses based on their educational attainment and licensure. An LPN certification usually only requires one year of training which includes clinical experience. Graduates of the program must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) to obtain a license to work as an LPN. Nurses may also opt to take additional exams which certify them in specific fields such as gerontology. The pay for this occupation is about $44,000 annually.
4. Bookkeeper Certification
Bookkeeping has been around for as long as businesses have existed. With the frequent exchanging of goods and services, someone needs to keep accurate records of all these various transactions. This is where bookkeepers come into play. Bookkeepers maintain an organization’s financial records which involve creating and updating financial statements, recording financial transactions, and checking data for accuracy. Most bookkeepers utilize software to assist them in their work. Additionally, bookkeepers may also receive cash, checks, and vouchers. A typical certification program takes about one year to complete. The Certified Bookkeeper title given by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, which in part involves an exam, is highly desired by employers for those completing a certification program. A bookkeeper’s annual salary is about $38,000.
5. Pharmacy Technician Certification
Pharmacies can be found in just about every city in America. Americans spend about $374 billion on prescription drugs from about 4.3 billion prescriptions. This leaves plenty job opportunities for people who want to help fill these prescriptions. A pharmacy technician is one of these people who fill these prescriptions. They do this by collecting information from prescriptions, accurately measuring the drugs, and then packaging and labeling the drugs. Pharmacy technicians dispense these drugs to customers in addition to accepting payment and answering customer questions. A certification program in this field takes about one year or less to obtain. Many employers and states require certification which includes passing an exam. The median annual salary for a pharmacy technician is about $30,000.