Get Certified, Get Paid

Get Certified, Get Paid

The earning of certifications is on the rise and could bring about a lot of new career opportunities for many working people. According to the 2020 Certificates Report from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the number of Hoosiers earning certificates has increased by 500 percent over the last decade. We did some digging to learn more about what’s behind the increase in attainments and what types of certifications could bring about the biggest potential salary hikes for workers in various industries.


Return on Investment

As stated by the 2020 Certificates Report, “Most credentials are paid for within only a few years and make returns on investment for years to come.”

Hoosiers who earn a certificate in one of the state’s high-demand industries (health, life sciences, IT and business services, advanced manufacturing, transportation, logistics, and construction) have a $6,800 median annual wage gain after completing the credential.

To get a little deeper into the level of pay increases certifications could generate, we turned to data from several different national salary sources.

A recent salary survey from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) found those holding at least one safety certification typically earn over $20,000 more than those without. That includes many types of safety certifications, but notably the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) certification alone can add up to $30,000 to the salary of a practitioner with no other credentials.

PayScale, a compensation software and data company, provides a few other examples of certifications that can make the largest impact on salary:

  • In the insurance sector, a Fellow certification from the Society of Actuaries could earn a worker up to a 75% salary increase.
  • A Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) certification is another top example, capable of generating a 39% salary increase in the quality assurance sector.
  • In the logistics industry, an International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) certification could earn a worker a 35% salary increase.
  • Another great example is in the field of education, where a Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) credential could earn a school psychologist up to a 31% pay increase.

The list of possibilities goes on and includes many types of compensation-boosting certifications across different industries, indicating that many types of workers have high-quality options out there.


What Produced a 500% Increase?

Business activities in many different industries have been evolving rapidly, which has meant a lot of employees have had to reskill in the last few years. New certifications are one of the most attractive ways to do that because they are a targeted and efficient way to pick up specifically what’s needed. They are also been a very affordable option too – sometimes even free.

The Commission for Higher Education pointed out that one of the driving factors behind much of the recent growth is the Next Level Jobs Workforce Ready Grant, a program that in most cases covers 100 percent of tuition costs for workforce education and training in some of the state’s highest-demand industry sectors.

Industries like health, life sciences, IT and business services, advanced manufacturing, transportation, logistics, and construction were already some of the most popular categories for certificate earners. Now that people have a chance to earn certifications in these areas for free, they’re taking advantage of them to accelerate their careers. Since 2017, almost 18,000 Hoosiers have earned a Workforce Ready Grant-eligible certificate and more than 38,000 are enrolled in the program today.

“While two- and four-year degrees are the right fit for many of Indiana’s learners, a high-value certificate may be the best option for others, particularly those who are looking to upskill to keep up with an evolving economy, or others who are looking to change careers,” Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers said.


Get Yourself Certified

No matter what type of industry a person works in, there is likely a certification out there that could add a lot to their qualifications and income. Obtaining one is relatively simple, affordable, and could be one of the best career decisions a worker makes.



Top 10 Certificates Awarded in Indiana 

  1. Business Administration
  2. Nursing Assistant
  3. Clinical Specialist
  4. Electrician
  5. Medical Assisting Services
  6. Licensed Nurse Training
  7. Emergency Care Attendant
  8. Pre-Nursing Studies
  9. Accounting Technology
  10. Early Childhood Education

Source: Indiana Commission for Higher Education, 2019


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