10 Great Jobs You Can Get With a Certificate
10 Great Jobs You Can Get With a Certificate

Are you looking to change careers, but don’t want to have to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree to do it? You may not have to.

In today’s rapidly evolving employment market, there are many desirable jobs with good pay that you can break into by earning a certificate or other non-degree credential. Read on to learn about these roles, and the UW Professional & Continuing Education programs that can help you land them.

Note: All data for projected job growth and salaries comes from O*NET and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

1. Web Developer

Are you good at using logic to work through complex problems? Do you have a love of technology and an eye for detail? You might enjoy a career as a web developer.

 Projected Growth

U.S. (2022-32): 11%
Washington state (2020-30): 39%

 Median Annual salary

U.S. (2022): $78,580
Washington state (2022): $138,780

It’s no secret: Web developers earn excellent salaries and major companies always seem to be hiring for these technical roles. Because technology is constantly evolving, a certificate program is often a great way to learn the latest coding tools and techniques and show employers that you have the cutting-edge skills they want.

Programs for Web Developers:

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2. Business Analyst or  Management Analyst

Do you like developing solutions that help businesses resolve challenges? You could be a budding business analyst.

 Projected Growth

U.S. (2022-32): 11%
Washington state (2020-30): 29%

 Median Annual salary

U.S. (2022): $95,290
Washington state (2022): $103,680

Business analysts (also called management analysts) are problem solvers who bridge the IT and business sides of an organization. These professionals must understand their company’s IT systems and software development processes so they can create tools and solutions that meet business needs. A program like the UW Certificate in Business Analysis can help you gain a deep understanding of this role and acquire the skills needed to land a job in the field.

Programs for Business Analysts/Management Analysts:

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3. Human Resources Specialist

In a competitive employment market, every organization needs professionals who can help them attract and retain top-notch talent. Good human resources (HR) people are often hard to find. Maybe you can be one of them?

 Projected Growth

U.S. (2022-32): 8%
Washington state (2020-30): 26%

 Median Annual salary

U.S. (2022): $64,240
Washington state (2022): $79,620

Human resources specialist is an entry-level role on the HR career ladder. These pros recruit, screen and interview job applicants and onboard new employees. They also often handle functions related to compensation and benefits, training and employee relations. Taking the UW Certificate in Human Resources Essentials is a great way to gain the knowledge and skills required for this role.

Programs for HR Specialists:

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4. Marketing Specialist or  Digital Marketing Specialist

Do you enjoy crafting the perfectly worded social media post or selecting just the right image for Instagram? You might be cut out for a marketing specialist role (sometimes called a digital marketing specialist or analyst).

 Projected Growth

U.S. (2022-32): 11%
Washington state (2020-30): 19%

 Median Annual salary

U.S. (2022): $68,230
Washington state (2022): $85,020

These entry-level marketing professionals use their communication skills to grab an audience’s attention and compel them to act. They work to execute different aspects of a marketing plan and use the latest digital tools to track the results.

Programs for Marketing Specialists/Digital Marketing Specialists:

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5. Paralegal

Fact: getting a law degree is time-consuming and expensive. If you’re fascinated by the legal field but not ready to commit to law school, a job as a paralegal could be a great fit for you.

 Projected Growth

U.S. (2022-32): 11%
Washington state (2020-30): 14%

 Median Annual salary

U.S. (2022): $59,200
Washington state (2022): $69,260

Most law firms and legal departments rely on paralegals to assist attorneys with their day-to-day work: gathering evidence, conducting research, drafting documents, taking notes and many other vital tasks. The UW Certificate in Paralegal Studies is a great way to gain the skills to succeed in the role.

Programs for Paralegals:

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6. Technical Writer

As technology continues to introduce complexity into our personal and professional lives, the demand for trained technical communicators who can cover complex topics keeps growing.

 Projected Growth

U.S. (2022-32): 6%
Washington state (2020-30): 29%

 Median Annual salary

U.S. (2022): $78,580
Washington state (2022): $138,780

Technical writers are responsible for generating and editing a wide range of content, including medical writing, white papers and traditional product documentation. Technology companies and other employers need people with these specialized skills, and the UW Certificate in Professional Technical Writing can deliver them.

Programs for Technical Writers:

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7. Project Manager 

Do you like to set goals, track everything in detail and obsess about deadlines? Do you pride yourself on following up on all commitments? Then you're a born project manager (PM).  

 Projected Growth

U.S. (2022-32): 7%
Washington state (2020-30): 20%

 Median Annual salary

U.S. (2022): $95,370
Washington state (2022): $105,880

Project managers are a linchpin role in many organizations. They ensure that key initiatives adhere to time and budget constraints while keeping an eye on business goals. An effective PM will always be in demand in today’s job market, and the UW Certificate in Project Management can set you up for success in the field.

Programs for Project Managers:

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8. Training and Development Specialist or  E-Learning Specialist

If you’ve ever taken an online course or training module that was particularly well-produced, you have an e-learning specialist to thank.

 Projected Growth

U.S. (2022-32): 8%
Washington state (2020-30): 18%

 Median Annual salary

U.S. (2022): $63,080
Washington state (2022): $78,370

As more learning and training takes place via online platforms, the demand for those with the skills to develop e-learning content has continued to grow. These professionals are responsible for producing engaging, effective material for courses and training modules, as well as evaluating outcomes across a range of environments and contexts. The UW Certificate in E-Learning Instructional Design delivers the skills you need to break into this growing field.

Programs for Training and Development Specialists/E-Learning Specialists:

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9. Facility Manager

What do office buildings, stadiums, shopping malls, schools, libraries, museums and college campuses have in common? They all rely on facility managers to help them operate smoothly.

 Projected Growth

U.S. (2022-32): 7%
Washington state (2020-30): 12%

 Median Annual salary

U.S. (2022): $99,030
Washington state (2022): $123,590

Facility managers coordinate complex systems to ensure their facilities remain open, safe and accessible for public use. If you’re good at multitasking and systems-level thinking, you might be a great fit for this field. The UW Certificate in Facility Management can help you learn about the role and what it takes to land a job.

Programs for Facility Managers:

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10. Proofreader or  Editor

If you frequently mentally edit your friends’ texts or catch typos in articles you read, you’re a natural proofreader or editor. Good news: there’s a whole career for that!

 Projected Growth

Proofreaders

U.S. (2022-32): -4%
Washington state (2020-30): 11%

Editors

U.S. (2022-32): -4%
Washington state (2020-30): 18%

 Median Annual salary

Proofreaders

U.S. (2022): $45,410
Washington state (2022): $43,520

Editors

U.S. (2022): $74,640
Washington state (2022): $73,080

Proofreaders and editors help writers express themselves more clearly. They rewrite copy, check grammar and spelling, and correct all errors. If you love the written word, then these jobs might be for you.

Note that job titles can vary (“content” is a popular term used with many editing jobs today). Also, many organizations hire proofreaders as an entry-level rung on the editing career ladder.

Programs for Proofreaders/Editors:

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Keep Learning

Check out our Program Finder to explore all of our career-oriented programs, and visit our News & Features section to learn more about hot jobs and career trends.


For more career tips and industry trends, visit the News & Features section of our website, and subscribe to our email list. To learn more about UW Professional & Continuing Education certificates, specializations, degrees and courses, explore your options or contact us.


Author David Hirning

David Hirning

David Hirning is an accomplished writer and editor with extensive experience in both tech and higher education. He began his career in journalism, then spent over a decade as an editor at Microsoft, where he worked on Encarta Encyclopedia and related reference products.

David worked for six years as a full-time writer and content manager at UW Professional & Continuing Education. He also operated his own editorial consulting business, with stints at leading companies like Amazon and Expedia, and taught English for two years in Costa Rica.

David has served as an instructor for the UW Certificate in Editing program and as a teaching assistant for the UW Certificate in Storytelling & Content Strategy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Stanford University and a Certificate in Literary Fiction from the UW.

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