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Training for a High Paying Career In 6 Months Or Less

Careers in six months or less

Sometimes, you just want to get trained and get out into the real world where you can start earning money. Four-year colleges may seem too time-consuming, not to mention too expensive. And, quite frankly, you don’t feel like spending more than six months to train for a career. You want to get into a career, and fast! Well, your local trade school options are wide and varied: There are so many careers out there that only require a minimal amount of training before you’re set loose into the job market, including popular online programs. And hey, some of these careers will train you right on the job, so your out-of-pocket cost is zip. Actually, it’s the opposite of nothing. Most careers that train on-the-job will pay you as you learn. Not too shabby. Behold, a list of 20 careers that take you from training to working in six months or less, as little as 6 weeks for CMA medical assistant or long haul CDL driver. A few of these even set you on the road to some of the highest paying trade school jobs.


  • Flight Attendant: There is a minimum age requirement; depending on the airline, it could be 18 or 21. You’ll also need a high school diploma or GED. If you’re hired, the training will take several weeks. Once you’re fully trained, you’ll enjoy the many perks of the career! Average entry level salary for flight attendants is between $16K-$25K depending on the airline. But you can’t beat all the traveling you’ll get to enjoy, at either a discounted price or free!

Criminal Justice

  • Court Clerk: Many courts require you to have only a high school diploma or GED. You’ll have to apply to the court, go through a background check and a drug test, be interviewed, and then get hired. Once you’re hired, you’ll be trained as an intern. Not all court systems allow this; some will require you to have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in some area of criminal justice. The average salary for court clerks is a bit over $39K.
  • Security Guard: Generally speaking, you’ll receive on-the-job training through the hiring company. You’ll go through an interview process, have a background check, get hired, and receive training. Security guards earn an average salary of close to $25K.

Health and Fitness

  • Massage Therapist: Massage therapists bring in over $38K per year. The average amount of training involved is between 500-600 hours, which takes only a few months. Once you’ve completed that and gotten your state license, you’re good to go!
  • Personal Trainer: If you love everything about working out, you can turn that into a career and share your love of fitness with paying clients. Training programs last up to six months, and you’ll need to take a certification test after you complete your program. On average, personal trainers earn over $38K. Very successful ones can earn $72K or more.

Medical Field

Learn about: 6 week medical assistant training programs.

  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA): Works in doctor's offices, hospitals, athletic training facilities and more. CMA's take medical histories, recording vital signs, prep patients for exams, provide treatment and procedure explanations and assisting the doctor during exam.
  • Certified Cardiographic Technician: You will work as part of a medical team diagnosing heart conditions. Training programs allow you to join the workforce in as little as a few weeks, while others may choose to get an associate’s degree, which takes two years. On-the-job training, straight after you earn your high school diploma, takes about 4-6 weeks. The average salary is over $56K.
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA): With a high school diploma or GED, you are ready to start your 6-12 weeks of CNA training. Depending on where you work, it will determine the type of responsibilities you’ll have. For sure, you can expect to be nurse’s right-hand person. And for your efforts, you’ll earn an average salary of close to $27K.
  • EMT: You can become an EMT in less than one year, with some programs taking only a couple months to complete. After you finish your course and take the licensing exam, you’re good to go and save people! The average EMT earns over $32K per year.
  • Home Health Aide: Your minimum requirement is a high school diploma or GED before you can start your official training as a HHA. Part of that process is to get a job with a home health or hospice agency. You will have to pass a competency exam but each state has its own variation of requirements. HHAs earn a median annual salary of $22K.
  • Medical Billing or Medical Coding: Medical billing and medical coding are two separate careers. They are like siblings living in different rooms of the same house but they meet in their shared bathroom to complain about their parents. You can become a medical biller in less than a year, and a coder in the same amount of time. They both earn, on average, $38K per year. Online medical billing and online certified coding specialist courses are popular choices among students.
  • Medical Transcriptionist: Some medical transcriptionist programs can be completed in six months, while others could take up to a year. Medical transcriptionist falls under Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, and they earn an average of $38K per year.
  • Phlebotomist: Phlebotomy is an entry level position within the medical field. Some people use it as a stepping stone toward other medical careers, while many happily stay in this career for a long time. You need a high school diploma or GED prior to enrolling in the training program. You’ll need to get certified and licensed in accordance with what your state mandates. From there, you’ll earn a median annual salary of over $32K.


  • Pharmacy Technician: You can learn to be a pharmacy technician through on-the-job training, but you must have your high school diploma or GED first. Training should only last around 15 weeks if you choose to go the vocational school route. Each state has its own requirements when it comes to licensing, and there are continuing education credits necessary every two years. You’ll make over $30K per year as a pharmacy technician.


  • 3D Animator: You either need some killer talent with an awesome portfolio, or you’ll need to get either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. But if you’re banking on your talent to land you a job as a 3D animator, and your portfolio is ready to be shared, then you may find yourself on the receiving end of a $63K+ per year job.

Skilled Trades

  • Auto Mechanic: There are a couple different paths to take when it comes to becoming an auto mechanic. You can find yourself in an apprenticeship (3-5 years) where you’ll earn as you learn, or you can go to trade or vocational school, which takes six months to two years—plus you’ll still have to do an apprenticeship. Once you’re a full-fledged auto mechanic, you can earn an average salary of $39K.
  • Electrician: With your high school diploma or GED and an electrical apprenticeship, you will get paid as you learn the trade. Apprenticeships are usually found through unions, and you must pass a basic algebra test to even be considered. You’ll have 4-5 years of the apprenticeship ahead of you but, the good news is, you don’t have to pay for the education: You’ll be the one earning money! The average salary you can expect to earn is $52K. However, some electricians earn much more than that.
  • HVAC Tech: There are a few different options when going into HVAC. The quickest one is through a trade school, where you can get your diploma in as little as six months. You may have to do an apprenticeship, but you’ll start earning an hourly rate because it’s a pay to learn process. The median salary for HVAC techs is over $45K annually.
  • Plumbing: Many plumbers get their start with on-the-job training or an apprenticeship. It’s an earn as you learn situation, which is a win-win. You’re getting paid to learn a trade. To start with, you’ll have to have your high school diploma or GED, and then you can enroll in an apprenticeship program. These will last 4-5 years, but your pay goes up in par with your experience. The average plumber earns over $51K, but it’s not uncommon to make much, much more than that. And since there is such a strong need for new plumbers, there are plenty of jobs available.
  • Truck Driver: Depending on where you live or what program you attend, you can get your CDL in as little as a couple weeks. Each state has its own truck driving requirements, but as long as you meet them and get your CDL, you’re on the road to earning an average salary of $40K.
  • Wind Turbine Technicians: This is one of the fastest growing careers (108% through 2024), and it doesn’t take too long to get your training. There are certificate programs lasting anywhere between 3 months to two years. Apprenticeships are also available, in which you’ll get paid as you learn this trade. You’ll earn a median annual wage of over $52K.

You want it all, but you don't want to wait too long. And you simply don't have to. There are so many careers to choose from that you can step into with six months or less of training. Now your biggest decision is figuring out which one!

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