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10 Healthcare Certifications You Can Get in 2 Years or Less

Healthcare certification in action

Sydney Uni / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Anyone looking at an allied health career has to ask themselves whether a degree or a certificate is right for them. With lower costs, more concentrated study, and greater flexibility, certificate programs are becoming very common in the industry.

They’re especially convenient for those looking to make a career switch at a later point in life, as most of these certificate programs can have you working in a new healthcare job in less than two years.

Here are 10 great programs that might be a good fit for your goals and availability:

1. Sonographer

Most people are familiar with sonography when it’s used to monitor a fetus in an expecting mother, but it’s also centrally important in monitoring issues with the brain, blood vessels, breasts, heart, and many other vital organs. Certifications can be earned as Cardiovascular Technologists, Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, Vascular Technologists, and more.

With a safe work environment (sonography doesn’t involve radiation), salaries ranging from 40–70K, and high demand, certification as a sonographer is a great option. Especially for anyone interested in a career-changing professional certification.

2. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Paramedic

Certified EMTs at work

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Patrick J. Cook / Foter / CC BY

It’s undeniable that many health professions offer incredible excitement. Whether it’s the high-pressure environment or the knowledge that you are able to save lives, many love the high-stakes component of their medical job. If that sounds like you, then getting certified as an EMT or paramedic may be just the career you’ve been looking for.

While salaries range widely depending on where you’re based, it’s a fast-paced world you can enter with just a few months of courses and a certification exam.

3. Electroneurodiagnostic Technologist

It may be difficult to pronounce, but electroneurodiagnostic technologists, also known as neurodiagnostic techs, are capable of doing a number of neurodiagnostic procedures including EEGs, nerve conduction studies, intraoperative neuromonitoring, and evoked potential tests among others.

However you choose to use the certification, positions requiring it are increasing and opportunities for advancement around the country are plentiful. With the possibility of obtaining an electroneurodiagnostic technologist certification in 12 months, this is a great allied health career option.

4. Embryology Technologist

Embryology course in action

ZEISS Microscopy / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Considering how many people making the switch into an allied health career are looking for greater job satisfaction, it’s surprising that more people aren’t familiar with the embryology technologist career path.

Being a key part of fertility assistance by helping with in-vitro fertilization procedures in clinics and hospitals means changing lives every day. With certificate programs that can be completed in less than one year, you can become certified in the science of bringing new life into the world. Having a degree in a science-related field is often recommended for this career.

5. Phlebotomy Technician

One of the shortest available programs out there is phlebotomy. In as little as one month, you can be certified to draw blood and prepare it for lab testing in addition to other responsibilities.

Aside from the short program length, a phlebotomy technician is a very in-demand position and can serve as a stepping stone to many other allied health careers. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door, so you can start working at a hospital or clinic quickly.

6. MRI Technologist

MRI technicians

pennstatenews / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is another way to view the inner workings of the human body. It’s an integral part of diagnosing a wide variety of conditions and plays an important role in every hospital.

As such, MRI is a highly sought after career, providing competitive salaries and great future job prospects. In just about two years, you can gain ARRT or ARMRIT certification and be ready to start earning a median income of $29 an hour.

7. Surgical Technologist

We’ve all seen these essential healthcare workers in the movies: handing over surgical instruments when needed and ensuring all operations go smoothly.

Well, don’t be fooled into thinking they’re just glorified assistants. Surgical technologists have a myriad of responsibilities and are a critical link in any surgical team. With certification programs ranging from one to two years and ample advancement opportunities, it’s no surprise that this is a popular healthcare training program.

8. Radiologic Technologist

Taking an X-Ray

myfuture.com / Foter / CC BY-ND

The radiologic technology field encompasses a variety of modalities that techs can specialize and gain certification in.

Radiologic technologists can pursue certifications in radiography, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear medicine, sonography, and radiation therapy. It’s a fascinating and diverse field with important responsibilities, like limiting radiation exposure. While some of the specializations may require a degree, most programs can be completed in 2 years or less.

9. Medical Assistant

One of the most flexible, yet in-demand, healthcare certifications is that for medical assistants. Nearly all healthcare businesses require these knowledgeable and reliable professionals to help with everything from taking patient vitals and drawing blood to handling administrative tasks.

Working as a medical assistant is a great chance to see where your talents lie and explore future career options, as well as avoid ever having the same day twice. With some programs you can get certified and start your new career within a year.

10. Medical Billing & Coding Specialist

Medical Billing

Phil Dowsing Creative / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Medical practices and hospitals around the country are quickly realizing that medical billing errors can cause them enormous problems. As a result, they’re hiring qualified medical billing and coding specialists in droves, making this a highly sought-after position with flexible schedules and good salaries.

Certification programs last anywhere from one month to two years. These programs are the perfect option for someone who would like to enter the medical field, but has less interest in medicine or nursing.

How are you deciding whether to go for a degree or a certificate program to enter an allied healthcare job? What are your top considerations? We’d love to hear about your decision process in the comments!

One thought on “10 Healthcare Certifications You Can Get in 2 Years or Less

  • TARANG DESAI says:

    I’m an internist .practicing as a physician in india. I have immigrated to usa. Want to be a certified cardiographic technician or echocardiography technician.

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