8 Healthcare Certificates in 1 Year or Less
If you want to join an allied health career, you can choose to do it fast – or super fast! Depending on the type of certification requirements and where you decide to go to school, some programs can be completed in 12 months or less. This means your whole life could change by this time next year.
Quicker routes to healthcare certification are ideal when want to start work as soon as possible. If you already work in healthcare but are thinking of switching career paths, a shorter training program can help get you there.
We’ve compiled a list of quick certifications that allow fast access to great entry-level jobs, including 6-month certificate programs that pay well!
1. Phlebotomy Technician
Certification: Approximately 2-6 months
Some people can’t stand the sight of blood, while others can’t learn enough crazy blood-related 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 is taken, it’s the phlebotomist’s responsibility to prepare it for lab testing. A phlebotomy training course is mostly hands-on, and certified professionals often use this job as a stepping stone to other careers.
2. Pharmacy Technician
Certification: Approximately 9 months
Each time you visit your local drugstore, you likely encounter pharmacy techs. These allied health professionals work under a licensed pharmacist’s supervision to fill prescriptions, perform inventory, and work with patients and their insurance companies.
To become a certified pharmacy technician, training takes around three months, but there’s a lot to cover in this time. Students will learn about proper drug classifications and administration, as well as pharmaceutical terminology and management.
3. Certified Cardiac Monitor Technician
Certification: Approximately 3-6 months
If you want a more defined role, there’s an extremely quick route into cardiology as a cardiac monitor technician. Working under the direction of physicians and cardiologists, these techs use electrocardiogram (EKG) machines to check for heart problems like birth defects and disease.
During their expedited certification training course, cardiac monitor techs are required to study EKGs, stress testing, ambulatory monitoring, and how to interpret these results. In addition to short program lengths, many technical schools offer flexible scheduling which allows many students the opportunity to work and/or take care of their family while studying.
4. Medical Billing and Coding Specialist
Certification: Approximately 4-9 months
Mistakes in billing and insurance can cost the hospitals, patients, and insurance companies huge sums of money, especially if an error results in a fine or misdiagnosis. To avoid incorrect (and expensive) charges, medical billers and coders ensure that healthcare bills and insurance are processed properly by using specific industry codes to communicate procedures.
It doesn’t take long at all to become a certified healthcare professional in billing and coding, but the job requires diligence.
5. Surgical Technologist
Certification: Approximately 14-17 months
The surgical team is a popular – and adrenaline-charged – career path in hospital operating rooms, emergency rooms, and even ambulatory care centers. Surgical technologists are crucial team members who spend their time in operating rooms supporting both the patient and medical team (especially nurses, anesthesiologists, and surgeons).
It’s possible to become a certified surgical tech with just over one year in a training program. Here, students can expect to learn everything from prepping surgical tools, ensuring a sanitary environment that’s ready for procedures, and both pre- and post-operative patient care.
6. Medical Assistant
Certification: Approximately 9-12 months
For anyone looking for a job that offers workplace variety, medical assistant (MA) certification might be the way to go. Certified MAs are typically able to work in a number of different settings, from a busy hospital to a small podiatrist’s office.
MAs are responsible for both clinical and administrative tasks, so training covers lab techniques and diagnostic procedures, as well as office practices, patient confidentiality, and record keeping.
7. Neurodiagnostic Technologist (NDT)
Certification: Approximately 12-18 months
If you’re intrigued by the idea of studying normal and abnormal electrical activity within the body, a healthcare job in neurophysiology might be right up your alley.
During their NDT training, students learn about electrical activity in the brain and nervous system. They’re then trained to record and go over the results with the acting physician. In addition to EEGs (electroencephalography), future NDTs might practice nerve condition studies and/or polysomnography (otherwise known as sleep studies).