You don’t have to get a college degree to earn more money this year.

8 minute read

Learning new skills is a great way to make extra money and advance your career. If the thought of spending years in a classroom overwhelms you, fear not. While getting a degree requires years of study, acquiring a new skill can take a few weeks to a few months.

Having the right skill can make your resume stand out and increase your value to your employer. This can give you more negotiating power and leverage during salary discussions. Use your knowledge to differentiate yourself and keep up to date with industry trends.

1. CPR or First Aid Certification

Female instructor showing CPR on training doll

Learning how to save a life can also help you land a job. Getting certified in CPR or first aid can be beneficial in a number of jobs, including teaching, coaching, counseling, security, and even construction.

Having the skills to administer first aid or assist someone who’s choking can also be helpful in daily life, especially if you’re a parent or grandparent. The best way to get certified is to take a CPR class. Training takes three to five hours and the cost ranges from $50 to $115. Check out the American Red Cross website for classes near you.

2. A second language

Depending on the job, knowing another language can set you apart from the competition. In certain careers such as customer service or sales, a second language can increase your value as an employee or help you drive sales. This can result in higher pay and better promotion opportunities.

You can also use your mastery of another language to earn extra cash by tutoring or offering translation services. Tutors can earn anywhere from $25 to $100 an hour, making this a lucrative side hustle.

Check your community college for in-person or online class options. To brush up on your skills or start learning a new language, check out Duolingo for free lessons. Ready to get certified? The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a six-month Business Spanish Certificate program starting at $810.

3. Veterinary assistance

If you love animals and would like to work with them, consider getting certified as a veterinary assistant. You’ll work in a veterinary clinic or animal hospital under the guidance of a veterinarian.

There are both in-person and online programs available for veterinary assistant certification. The training includes both hands-on experience and coursework. VetBloom offers a six-month veterinary assistant program for $4,000.

4. Online marketing

Digital marketing new startup project Millennials Business team hands at work with financial reports and a laptop

Online marketing is an in-demand skill for any business that has an online presence. Knowing how to promote a business and increase online traffic can help you land a digital marketing job. This skill can also come in handy if you’re starting your own business.

If you’re looking to learn more about online marketing, check out Udemy’s digital marketing courses. Ready to get certified? The University of Vermont offers a 10-week Digital Marketing Fundamentals Professional Certificate for $1,695.

If you want to learn more about Udemy online courses, check out Debt.com’s review What is Udemy?

5. Google Analytics certification

Modern digital marketing on the tablet in vintage style

Looking for a career change? If you’re thinking about switching to a career in digital marketing or advertising, consider getting a Google Analytics Certification. It’ll improve your data gathering and analytical skills and launch your online career. Google Academy also offers more advanced analytics courses, which can help you further your education.

One of the best things about this certification is that it’s free and can be completed at your own pace. It takes four to six hours to complete from beginning to end. Once you’re done, you’ll need to take the Analytics Individual Qualification Certification test.

6. Coding

Programming source code abstract background

According to a report by Burning Glass, programming jobs are growing 12 percent faster than the general market. With the increasing reliance on technology, learning coding can help you in all different types of job roles. It can also increase your compensation.

There’s no need for a four-year degree in computer science to get started. There are many free resources such as Codecademy to help you learn the basics. If you’re looking for a formal certification program, check out the Programming Certificate from the Harvard Extension School, which requires as little as three courses to complete and costs $2,980.

7. Writing

Writing letter to a friend

Knowing how to write well can help you in many career paths from administrative to management. From writing a report to drafting memos, well-written communication can serve you well and increase your chances of promotion.

There are many online courses that can help you learn to be a better writer for little or no cost. Considering becoming a full-time freelance writer? Check out The Complete Freelance Writing Online Course on Udemy for $17.99.

If you’re considering freelance writing for your main source of income, check out 8 Things to Know Before Freelancing Full-Time.

8. Public speaking

Male speaker on stage talking to audience

While you may not want a career as a public speaker, knowing how to talk in front of an audience can pay dividends in other ways. Many organizations look for talented workers to give presentations on behalf of the company. This can propel you on the fast-track to management and increase your earning potential.

Additionally, learning this skill can make you a better salesperson. If you’re looking to conquer your fear of public speaking in a group environment, look at the Toastmasters International website for meetings near you. For more personalized training, check out a 3-hour online training from Dale Carnegie on Successful Public Speaking for $385.

9. Google AdWords certification

riting note showing Seo and Adwords. Business photo showcasing Pay per click Digital marketing Google Adsense
Helping businesses get noticed on Google can be a valuable skill for digital professionals. Google Academy offers a Google AdWords certification to help you learn digital strategy best practices for free.

Videos vary in length from a few minutes to more than an hour, so you can study at your own pace. Training topics include creating Google ads for mobile, display and search, as well as video and shopping ads. Head over to the Google Academy for Ads to get started.

10. Photography

Female hands taking picture of breakfast table set up

Consider turning your skills for taking photos into a profession by becoming a photographer. If you have a natural aptitude for finding the perfect shot, there are many opportunities to use your skills. Professional photographers do everything from photojournalism to real estate photos.

You don’t need a degree to get started. Consider completing online classes to get the basics. Udemy offers digital photography classes online for beginner to advance levels starting at $18.99.

11. Video editing and production

From entry-level work in television and video editing to marketing video production, there’s no lack of opportunities. You can also use your skills as a wedding videographer or to make YouTube videos.

Skillshare, an online learning platform, offers a variety of video editing classes as well as many other courses and costs $32/month.

12. Real estate sales

If you’re interested in a career with a more flexible schedule, consider real estate sales. You won’t need to go back to college and you can complete the required training in just a few weeks or months.

Each state has different training requirements, from 75 hours in Georgia to 180 hours in Texas. You’ll need to take several pre-licensing courses and costs vary between $200 and $400. Each one is specific to the state where you’ll be an agent.

For example, the New York Real Estate Institute offers salesperson-licensing courses for $495. After course completion, you’ll need to pass the real estate licensing exam, which costs between $100 and $300.

13. Yoga instruction

Do you love yoga? You can turn your passion into a money-generating career by becoming a yoga instructor. Job opportunities can be found at yoga studios and fitness centers or you can offer one-on-one instruction.

Getting certified takes 200 to 500 hours, according to the Yoga Alliance. The cost of training varies depending on whether you attend in-person training or opt for an online program.

14. Notarizing

The businessman puts a stamp on the contract

Becoming a notary can make you a valuable asset to your current employer. In addition, you can make money as a freelance notary by witnessing and recording the signing of important papers such as mortgage closing documents.

Getting certified as a notary is fairly quick, requiring only three to six hours to complete the training. However, before you can practice, you’ll need to pass a notary exam approved by your state. Check with your employer to see if you can get the cost of the training covered. Training costs $100 to $200, according to the National Notary Association.

15. Bartending

Close up details of barman pouring vodka cosmopolitan cocktail in martini glass

If you have an outgoing personality and want a flexible job, consider getting certified as a bartender. This could be a great side hustle, helping you earn extra money working at a bar or a private party.

Getting the required training only takes two to five weeks. Training programs can cost anywhere between $40 and $400.

16. Transcription

Person's Hand Marking Error During Spellchecking Text

Learning the skills to do transcription can lead to career opportunities in legal, finance, and hospital settings. You can also use the skill to do closed captioning work for videos. Transcribing involves the process of listening to audio recordings and writing down word-for-word everything you hear using specialized software.

Training can be done via online classes and can take up to 90 days to complete. The Transcription Certification Institute offers an online course for a one-time $499 fee or $199 a month for three months.

17. Graphic design

Designer Editing Photo On Computer
Becoming a graphic designer doesn’t require formal training. The most important requirement is creativity and an eye for design. However, taking some online courses can teach you the basics and help you sharpen your skills.

You can use your newfound skills to help companies market their products and drive sales. To learn the fundamentals, try an online course such as the ones from Creative Live, starting at $49. If you’re looking to get a full-time position as a designer, consider completing a graphic design certificate program. Debt.com has previously reported that graphic designer is No. 1 out of The Top 10 Creative Jobs.

Now write a perfect resume, nail the interview, and get that perfect job!

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About the Author

Veneta Lusk

Veneta Lusk

Veneta Lusk is a freelance writer who loves empowering people to get smart about their finances. After becoming debt free, she and her husband created a flexible lifestyle so they can travel more, focus on fun projects, and spend time with family.

Published by Debt.com, LLC