Job certifications used to be the domain of trade and technical school graduates. Now, industries such as health care, education, technical communications, and career counseling are increasingly relying on certified professionals with specialized training. With unemployment rates rising, having that certification could mean the difference between getting a job and collecting unemployment.
The good news? You can get certified for any of these careers online. Tackling online courses means flexible hours -- a great way to hang on to your current job. Some courses take just 30 days, putting you on the way to a more secure, lucrative career.
With a bachelor's degree in communications, you may be just three courses away from earning $60,240 per year as a technical writer, according to the Society for Technical Communication (STC). Technical communicators are involved at all stages of product development, effectively structuring information and instructions to be accessible to anyone.
Tom Gorski, director of communication for the STC, says an aptitude for technical information about computers, health, or finance is helpful. However, to gain an extra edge on the approximately 300,000 writers the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report being in the employment pool, you may want to get certified through a distance learning course in technical writing.
Coaching is one of the top home businesses of the century, according to Will Craig, founder of the Coach Training Alliance. As an unprecedented number of businesses downsize, the demand for career coaches who can develop strategies for those seeking a "Plan B" is growing. These professionals assist clients with planning and goal-setting and manage their progress as they seek a new career.
Prospective coaches can choose from a variety of self-paced certification programs. Some start seeing clients immediately as part of their training hours. Completion times vary but, on average, are between six months to two years.
The International Coaching Federation (IFC) reports that certified coaches who gain additional IFC credentials earned an average yearly income of more than $65,000. Though not necessary to practice, this additional accreditation can add approximately $20,000 to your annual salary, according to the IFC.