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8 Healthcare Certificates in 1 Year or Less

8 Healthcare Certificates in 1 Year or Less

University of Exeter / Flickr / CC BY

If you want to get into healthcare, you can do it fast or super fast: the choice is yours. Depending on the level of certification required and your school choice, some healthcare certificates can take 2 years or longer to complete. There are, however, some programs that can be completed in 12 months or less. This means your whole life could be changed by this time next year.

Quicker routes to healthcare certification are ideal when you prefer on-the-job learning and want to start work as soon as possible. If you already work in healthcare but want to change lanes and switch career paths, a shorter training program can help get you there. If your healthcare job search has led you to a role that doesn’t require a degree, read on.

Here are some of your best options for fast access to jobs in healthcare that best suit your own interests.

1. Phlebotomy Technician

Certification: Super Fast
Approx. 1 – 2 months

Some people can’t stand the sight of blood. Others are fascinated by it and can’t get enough crazy facts about the red liquid that runs through our veins. Phlebotomy technicians, also known as phlebotomists, draw blood from patients and send it to labs for processing.

Phlebotomy certification can be obtained in a matter of weeks. Once a patient’s blood has been taken, it’s the phlebotomist’s responsibility to prepare it for testing in a lab. Training for this role is mostly hands-on, and certified professionals can often use this job as a stepping stone to other careers.

2. Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy Technician

Direct_Relief / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND

Certification: Super Fast
Approx. 3 – 4 months

One of the fastest routes into health professions that involve dealing with the general public is to become a certified pharmacy technician. Training takes around three months. However, handling prescriptions comes with a great responsibility, so there’s a lot to cover in this time.

Students learn about proper drug classifications and administration, as well as pharmaceutical terminology and management. Pharmacy technicians go on to help patients face-to-face and over the phone, while also assisting licensed pharmacists in their practice.

3. Certified Cardiographic Technician

Certification: Super Fast
Approx. 2 – 3 months

If you want a defined role in cardiology, there’s a very quick route into this area. Cardiographic technicians work alongside doctors and analyze results from electrocardiogram (EKG) machines, which check for problems in the heart.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation states that coronary disease is the leading cause of premature death worldwide, but also that “efforts to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases appear to be working.” This means that work in this field is unlikely to disappear any time soon.

4. Medical Billing and Coding Specialist

Medical Billing and Coding Specialist

Anoto AB / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND

Certification: Fast
Approx. 4 – 12 months

It’s the job of a medical billing and coding specialist to make sure healthcare bills and insurance are processed properly. It doesn’t take long at all to become a certified healthcare professional in billing and coding, but the job requires diligence.

Why? Mistakes in billing and insurance can cost the healthcare industry huge sums of money, especially if an error results in a fine. These specialists make sure filing and billing systems are efficient and robust enough to withstand any form of disruption.

5. Surgical Technologist

Certification: Fast
Approx. 9 – 15 months

There are many hospital careers to choose from, but surgery is a popular ambition. Surgical technologists spend their time in surgery supporting both the patient and healthcare workers. It’s possible to become a certified surgical tech in less than 12 months.

They prep the equipment and ensure a sanitary environment ready for surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses to perform surgical procedures. A vital contributor before, during and after surgery, this role can be carried out in emergency departments, in hospital operating rooms, or in ambulatory care centers.

6. Medical Assistant

Medical Assistant

University of the Fraser Valley / Flickr / CC BY

Certification: Fast
Approx. 9 – 12 months

For anyone looking for jobs that offer variety in the workplace, certification to be a medical assistant (MA) is the way to go. MAs are responsible for both clinical and administrative tasks, so training covers lab techniques and diagnostic procedure, as well as office practices and patient relations. They’re also responsible for keeping patient records in order.

Certified MAs find they’re able to work in a number of different settings, depending on their preferences: from a busy hospital to a small podiatrist’s office.

7. Electroneurodiagnostic Technologist

Certification: Fast
Approx. 1 year

If the idea of learning to recognize normal and abnormal electrical activity in the body fires you up, healthcare jobs in neurophysiology are right up your alley. Students learn about electrical activity in the brain and nervous system and then are trained to record and analyze the results.

Certified electroneurodiagnostic technologists go on to record electrical potentials and calculate test results. Specifically, those who enjoy performing procedures like EEGs (electroencephalography), can go on to be an EEG technologist. EEG programs take around 1 year go completely.

8. Dental Assistant

Dental Assistant

US Army Garrison Red Cloud – Casey / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND

Certification: Fast
Approx. 1 year

Dental assistants work under the direction of a qualified dentist. They can perform administrative tasks, as well as some laboratory tasks. Scheduling appointments with patients is a big part of this role, as is managing billing and payments.

Since many people dislike going to the dentist, putting them at ease and educating patients about oral healthcare becomes an important part of the job. Whenever the dentist performs a procedure, dental assistants are on hand to pass equipment and devices to them while they work.

Are healthcare careers in demand?

Healthcare training programs offer a wide range of options for anyone eager to pursue a career in this area. If you want to enroll and graduate quickly from an accredited course, but also want a job that’s hot on prospects and salary, we’ve got you covered.

Find out which of these careers that don’t require a degree offer you the most in return for your study.

30 thoughts on “8 Healthcare Certificates in 1 Year or Less

  • David Scott says:

    i would love to do an online class but, I am worried that I won’t get the same thing out of it cause, people aren’t really there the same as if I was in class

  • […] If you’re interested in starting a fast-paced career with hands on experience with some healthcare technology, check out the 8 Healthcare Certificates you can gain in 1 year or less! […]

  • Tiffany Sawyer says:

    Hi, I’m interested in your Surgical Tech class, I’m currently a Nurse Assistant at a Hospital

  • Sierra Shields says:

    I am interested in the Phlebotomy classes along with Surgical Tech as well!

  • Stephanie Ayisi says:

    I’m interested in electroneurodiagnostic technician. I would love to try something out of my comfort zone

  • Maddie says:

    Hello I am interested in the medical assistant position please give me more information. Thank you

  • KEWANI GREEN says:

    I want to get started with the surgical tech as soon as possible.

  • Chanel Lafua says:

    Hi, I am Interested in Pharmacy technician and I would love to get more information.

  • Melanie Mitchell says:

    Haven’t decided on program but it’s two I’m interested in please contact me asap about tuition and grants thanks so much

  • Michelle says:

    I’m interested in the medical assistance field im a certified nurse assistant so I would love to upgrade

  • Lisa says:

    Interested in Dental Assistant.

  • Edward Hare says:

    I want to become a Physical Therapy Aide. What position should I train for and get experience in to train to become a PTA?

    • Ashley says:

      I work in a physical therapy office. What I hear is PTA’s are going out and there are only aides and therapist now 🙂

  • […] If you need help picking the right allied health career, check out our other article “8 Healthcare Certificates in 1 Year or Less” […]

  • Merlynn says:

    I live in Philadelphia and was just wondering if there are online classes?

  • […] In New Jersey, pharmacy techs can expect to make slightly less than the national average ($32,750). People working in Jersey City have an average salary of about $35,000, making this a great place to kickstart a career. This amount certainly isn’t a bad start for a position that gets you trained and into the workforce within one year. […]

  • […] (also known as cardiac monitor technicians) are part of the allied health family and are among the healthcare careers that you can kick start in less than a year. Typically, they work in hospitals or clinics and provide direct patient care. EKG techs can have a […]

  • Regina whetstone says:

    Hi I’m a CNA but I’m interested in medical assistant, surgical tech. But it’s not enough hours in the day for me to go to class

  • Tori Whitfield says:

    I am a certified pharmacy tech, I have been since I was 19. It took maybe a month to get in the state of GA. It’s very rewarding and it’s very easy to find a job. Any grocery store or healthcare store (CVS, Walgreens, etc), Hospitals, and even pharmacy/physician call centers are a good place for pharmacy techs. The pay ranges, I started at $10.85 hourly at CVS in 2015 and now at $12.50 (I left then came back) with CVS but I have been offered opportunities for $17, I just did not want to drive an hour away from home. I’m 23 now and I love the pharmacy!

  • Myriam Mamno says:

    Hi! How much a dental assistant can make?

  • Stormy Hall says:

    I did my phlebotomy certification but never did anything with it due to some unexpected surgery complications ending with three major surgeries in four months. So now I’m a certified phlebotomist with a certification that expires May 2019. My question is how long does it take and how much to get your surgery technician?

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