Breaking into a new career might be something you want to do, but not everyone has the means to go back to school for a four-year degree full-time while earning an income. The good news is that you don’t have to earn a bachelor’s degree. Some 6-month certificate programs can let you earn some cash or even help start your own business.

Here are some of the few options that you can complete in six months or less and start earning money right away.


Working as a real estate agent offers a great deal of variety. You’ll deal with different clients, go to different homes, and you’ll be your boss. You’ll enjoy the satisfaction of helping people get their dream home and getting rewarded handsomely for that.

The median pay for a real estate agent is about $49,000 per year. For realtors who have additional education, testing, and experience, the numbers can go up to $60,000. The top 10% of agents have been reported to have earned more than $100,000 per year.

If you want to become a realtor in under 6 months, you need an upfront investment of money and time – both of which will depend on where you’ll get your license.

Pool Service

If you like being outside most of the time and working in different locations, then starting a pool service business could be the right career for you. Pool cleaners visit client’s homes or businesses to maintain pumps, check skimmers, adjust water’s chemical balance, or clean the pool. Aside from a regular weekly schedule during the season, there are also extra visits to open and close down the pool or get a thorough clean of the pool after a storm. Pool service businesses can also work on hot tubs and spas.

Pool service professionals can earn around $50 to $60 per hour and can go up to $200 if they do repair and maintenance.

Home Inspector

Real estate is becoming a secure long-term investment even throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. This is why acquiring a home inspection certification is a smart, and profitable business.

Home inspectors are the key to ensure that both homebuyers and their existing homeowners are both made aware of the benefits and shortcomings of the property they own should they wish to purchase or sell a property.

Becoming a certified home inspector doesn’t take long as all it takes is 2 to 3 months of training and meet your state’s requirements to become a home inspector. Some states will require 60 hours of education, but some may need almost 400 hours of training. Some will need that you pass their national exam, and you’ll need to pass their exam to pass as well.

The average home inspector salary is about $50,000. You’ll make about $440 per inspection and can earn about $29 per hour. Depending on the state you live in, you can make up to $90,000 per year.

Dog Groomer / Trainer

Are you the happiest person in the world when grooming or training a dog’s hair? Then being a dog groomer or trainer might be your calling.

To be a successful dog groomer, you may require the necessary skills, either by completing a dog grooming program, or training from an experienced professional. There are several schools available to anyone interested in getting certified as a dog groomer. While certification is not necessary, it is beneficial as you have clear proof to your prospective customers that you know what you are doing. The average pet groomer’s salary is $17 per hour with an annual salary of $40,000 per year.

Dog trainers are in demand nowadays as many people start to appreciate the benefits of owning a pet. They don’t want the hassles of training their pet that is why they go hire someone to do it for them. There is plenty of excellent knowledge online to help build your knowledge in becoming a dog trainer, but the best way to learn a skill or more is to have yourself certified in dog training courses and webinars. You will need to complete around 300 hours of experience in training dogs and pass exams to become a certified dog trainer. With standards like that, your potential clients will have faith in your skills and prefer you over other dog trainers. The average dog trainer’s salary is $15 per hour.

Personal Trainer

Flexible hours, independent work, and seeing changes in clients make personal training an inspirational and satisfying career choice. Whether people want inspiration, motivation, train, improve overall fitness people choose personal trainers particularly if they want noticeable changes in their body. It is your job as a personal trainer to learn how to identify the needs of your clients and craft an appropriate exercise regimen.

To become a personal trainer, you need to earn a certificate that can be earned in a matter of months. You can also get certified online, and the benefit of studying online is that you can learn at your own pace. This means you can complete the required course as fast as you want it to be.

The average income of an entry-level personal trainer is $17 per hour or about $34,000 per year. The average for all trainers is $45,000 per year and top trainers can earn as much as $75,000.


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