Why Get an Online Certificate?
Accredited online certificate programs allow students to prepare for their desired career without pursuing a traditional 4-year degree. Many colleges and universities offer certificate programs online, allowing flexibility to complete coursework from anywhere. Learners can earn certificates in fields such as education, healthcare, business, and technology. Schools also offer certificates in trades such as plumbing and welding.
Completing an online certificate can boost your earning potential. According to the BLS, workers with some college experience earn a median of $833 a week, while those with only a high school diploma earn $746 a week.
This page highlights the best accredited online certificate programs. Read on for information on costs and program options.
Frequently Asked Questions About Online Certificates
What certificates can I get online?
Colleges and universities offer many certificate programs online. Common options include certificates in IT, healthcare, and law enforcement. Students should check with their prospective schools for specific offerings.
What certificate jobs pay the most?
Many trade jobs offer above-average salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction workers earn a median annual salary of $62,860. Plumbers and pipefitters earn $56,330, while HVAC professionals earn $50,590. These figures exceed the median annual salary of $41,950 for all occupations.
What is the quickest certification to get?
Learners can complete some online certificates in 3-12 months. Students with some foundational coursework can earn certificates faster.
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Featured Online Certifications
Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.
Top Schools With Accredited Online Certificate Programs
Coastal Pines Technical College
At CPTC, students can pursue online certificate programs in accounting, business technology, criminal justice, early childhood care and education, and marketing management. These 1-2-semester programs deliver content through Blackboard using an asynchronous format. Students gain access to career services and phone counseling. Other valuable resources include Virtual Job Shadow, an online service that provides users with career assessments and detailed information concerning different career tracks. Prospective students aged 16 and older who passed the GED or possess a high school diploma may apply to any of CPTC's certificate programs. Out-of-state learners pay double the in-state tuition rate. Georgia residents may qualify for the HOPE Scholarship, which provides automatic financial aid as long as recipients maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Georgia Piedmont Technical College
GPTC's 28 online certificate programs appeal to aspiring business, computer programming, and media professionals. Students can choose from certificates in entrepreneurship, PC repair and network technician, and design and media production specialist. All courses use an asynchronous format. At least once per semester, certificate-seekers must complete a proctored exam, presentation, or lab assignment at an approved location. Students gain access to career services, such as resume critiques, networking tips, and links to top job boards. Other student services include Purple Briefcase -- a network that connects certificate-seekers with local employers. Applicants must submit high school transcripts. Incoming learners who do not submit ACT or SAT scores must take the ACCUPLACER exam. Georgia residents save 75% on tuition compared to out-of-state certificate-seekers. New students submit only one financial aid application through AwardSpring to apply for 24 institutional scholarship opportunities.
Champlain offers several online undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. The school offers an undergraduate accounting certificate and more than a dozen graduate certificates in areas like business, cybersecurity, and healthcare. Full-time students can typically complete these programs within one year. Students gain access to career resources, including internship opportunities and career transition programs. Nearly 95% of Champlain graduates find a job or enter another academic program within six months of earning a degree or certificate. Champlain prefers applicants with a minimum 2.5 GPA. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency, and active-duty servicemembers save approximately 50% on tuition. Learners can apply for federal grants and loans by submitting FAFSA results. Vermont residents may qualify for additional financial aid opportunities.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College
GNTC offers dozens of online certificate programs in areas like entrepreneurship, marketing specialist, and tax preparation specialist. The college also boasts seven programs that teach in-demand Microsoft Office skills. Most programs require 9-16 credits, allowing full-time students to earn a certificate within one year. Learners gain access to career services, such as resume pointers, typical interview questions, and professionalism best practices. Additionally, students can take a career interest test to determine how to turn online certificate courses into a fulfilling career. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED and complete a placement test. In-state students save 50% on tuition compared to out-of-state certificate-seekers. Learners can apply for a foundation scholarship through the GNTC financial aid portal.
Southern Regional Technical College
SRTC's certificate programs feature 17 tracks in areas of criminal justice specialist, Microsoft network administrator, and technical management specialist. Programs take 2-5 semesters to complete, and SRTC admits news students each semester. All students benefit from a program advisor who helps them select courses and stay on track for graduation. Through SRTC's career services, learners can receive resume critiques, sign up for mock interviews, and develop marketing skills. Applicants must submit high school transcripts and ACT, SAT, or ACCUPLACER scores. In-state students enjoy a significant tuition discount. Students earning a certificate in an in-demand field may qualify for a HOPE Career Grant.
BSC offers online certificate programs in electronics technology and water and wastewater technology. Electronics technology students complete 28 credits that cover topics in manufacturing and information technology. The water and wastewater technology program requires a job shadowing experience and includes coursework in applied math and laboratory procedures. Full-time certificate-seekers in both programs can graduate in one year. Nearly 100% of students who earn a certificate at BSC find a job within one year of graduation. Students can start preparing for life after graduation through Job Seekers Network and Kuder Journey, a software suite that offers interest assessments and job search strategies. Prospective students can apply for the spring, summer, or fall semester. In-state students and active-duty servicemembers pay approximately 50% less in tuition than out-of-state students. The BSC Foundation awards more than $600,000 in scholarships to eligible students each year.
Pamlico Community College
PCC offers some of the best online certificate programs in the country in areas of criminal justice technology, early childhood education, and human services technology. Students can log in to WebAdvisor -- a software platform that connects learners with a PCC advisor -- to receive academic and career guidance. Additionally, the school offers specialized resources for students with disabilities, such as career skills training programs. New students without ACT or SAT scores must take a placement test before signing up for courses. PCC charges out-of-state learners more than three times the in-state tuition rate. Certificate-seekers need only submit the Scholarship General Application to apply for all institutional financial aid opportunities.
Regis boasts over 24 undergraduate and graduate certificate programs in areas like executive information technology, healthcare informatics, and project management. Many certificates feature an optional accelerated track, allowing students to graduate in less than one year. More than 85% of Regis alumni find a job within 12 months of earning a degree or certificate. The Center for Career and Professional Development offers Handshake software, one-on-one career counseling, and interviewing tips. Regis uses a different application for prospective undergraduate and graduate students. Tuition varies by program, but Regis does not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state tuition. Undergraduate certificate-seekers may qualify for one of five institutional scholarships.
Charter Oak State College
Charter Oak offers some of the best online certificate programs in the country. Students can pursue certificates in areas like project management, public safety, and victim advocacy. All programs feature 5-8-week accelerated courses. Certificate-seekers must earn a minimum "C" grade in each course to remain in good academic standing. Students gain access to career services, such as resume and cover letter guides, job boards, and networking sites. CS also promotes learners' academic and career success by providing free virtual tutoring through Tutor.com. Admission materials include high school transcripts or GED scores. Connecticut residents save approximately 25% on tuition compared to out-of-state students. In-state learners may qualify for one of three institutional scholarship programs.
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
WITC's seven online certificate programs include unique topics like broadband customer service specialist and nonprofit essentials. Part-time students can typically earn a certificate within one year. The college classifies some online certificates as Career Pathways Programs. In these programs, students complete hands-on experiences to gain in-demand skills. Students gain access to career services, such as job openings, resume critiques, and interview help. Over 90% of WITC students find a job or enter another academic program after graduation. Application requirements include a high school diploma or GED scores. Incoming learners without standardized test scores must also take the ACCUPLACER exam. WITC extends in-state tuition to Minnesota and Michigan residents. Learners interested in institutional financial aid should submit a scholarship application by the April 6 deadline.
West Kentucky Community and Technical College
WKCTC offers multiple online certificate programs in business administration systems, logistics and operations management, and marine technology. Each certificate offers several specializations. Students can access career services, such as mock interviews, resume and cover letter guides, and a job board that posts career and internship opportunities throughout Kentucky. WKCTC also hosts a chapter of Phi Theta Kappa - an honor society that recognizes academically gifted community college students. In addition to high school transcripts or GED scores, all applicants must submit FAFSA results. Out-of-state students who do not live in a county bordering Kentucky pay more than three times the in-state tuition rate.
CCC offers online certificate programs in six areas, including business administration, criminal justice, and liberal arts. Programs typically comprise around 30 credits, and learners can apply certificate credits toward a CCC associate degree. The Career Resource Center offers job boards, career self-assessments, and links to top job and networking sites. Incoming students must take the ACCUPLACER exam or submit standardized test scores. Although out-of-state certificate-seekers pay more than double the in-state tuition rate, CCC is among the most affordable schools in this ranking. Students can research and apply for the latest institutional scholarships by signing up for AcademicWorks.
Ogeechee Technical College
Ogeechee Tech's online certificate programs attract aspiring automotive technicians, medical assistants, and welders. Most programs take approximately one year of full-time study to complete. Students gain access to career services and resources, such as one-on-one resume assistance, salary ranges for popular careers, and career self-assessments. Approximately 85% of graduates find employment within six months of earning a certificate. Applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED and meet their prospective program's age cutoff. Out-of-state certificate-seekers pay double the in-state tuition rate. The college offers over a dozen institutional scholarship opportunities.
Liberty offers a variety of online certificate programs in unique areas of global studies, military resilience, Christian leadership, and pastoral counseling. Typical undergraduate certificate programs require 19 credits or fewer, and most students graduate in one year. Nearly 75% of graduates find a job related to their degree or certificate. Liberty helps learners plan for the future by offering Handshake software, portfolio development assistance, and mock interviews. The university also boasts exclusive internship opportunities throughout the country. Prospective students must submit a high school self-verification form and FAFSA results. Liberty's website features many institutional and private scholarship opportunities for online learners.
Minnesota West Community and Technical College
Granite Falls, MN
MWCTC offers 24 online certificate programs that can lead to an associate program or a new career. Nearly a third of the college's online certificates confer in-demand IT knowledge and skills. Most certificates require 16-17 credits and take one year of full-time study to complete. Students gain access to exclusive job boards and an online career assessment test and career advisors. Application requirements include a high school diploma or GED. All incoming learners must submit the FAFSA and speak with an academic advisor before registering for courses. Some out-of-state certificate-seekers may qualify for MWCTC's in-state tuition rate. The college requires only one application to apply for all institutional scholarships.
SCC offers seven online certificate programs in areas like accounting, early childhood education, and information technology. Each 16-18-credit program features one or more optional specializations, and full-time students can earn a certificate in one year. SCC's online certificate courses prepare graduates for career advancement and further study. SCC Career Connect gives students access to services and resources like interest inventories, advising sessions, and resume guides. The website also hosts a job board where learners can explore the latest openings throughout North Carolina. Applicants must submit the FAFSA, and those without standardized test scores must take a placement test. Out-of-state certificate-seekers pay four times the in-state tuition rate. Students must submit institutional scholarship applications by April 15.
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
Wiregrass offers eight online certificate programs in areas like child development specialist, fire officer I, and quality assurance specialist. All programs feature an asynchronous format, and students use Blackboard to access course material. Most students earn their certificate within one year. Students and alumni gain access to a Virtual Job Shadow, a service that guides students through the job hunting process from career exploration to salary negotiation. The career services website also includes links to job search and networking websites. Applicants need a high school diploma or equivalent. Some online programs require a criminal background check. In-state certificate-seekers save 50% on tuition compared to out-of-state students. Georgia residents may qualify for one of the state's many scholarship and grant programs.
Oconee Fall Line Technical College
OFTC offers 21 online certificate programs in areas like CompTIA A+ certified technician, magnetic resonance imaging specialist, and computerized accounting specialist. Credit requirements vary widely among programs, and some full-time students may need more than one year to graduate. Online students gain access to career assessments, interviewing tips, and resume writing assessments. Thanks in part to these services, the school boasts a nearly 100% job placement rate for alumni, and over 90% of graduates work in a field related to their certificate. Although out-of-state students pay a higher tuition rate than in-state students, OFTC charges a lower per-credit tuition rate to full-time students. The college does not award institutional aid at this time, but students can still apply for federal financial aid programs.
Minnesota State Community and Technical College
Fergus Falls, MN
M State's 14 online certificate programs include Cisco networking, cybersecurity, and professional sales skills. Most of the school's online certificates take about one year of full-time study to complete. Online students can access resume assistance and on-campus career fairs and subscribe to the College Central podcast. These and other resources contribute to over 90% of the school's certificate students finding a job or entering another academic program after graduation. All new students must complete a 20-30-minute online orientation before registering for courses. All online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.
FSU boasts 18 online certificate programs in areas of business-to-business marketing, cybersecurity - ethical hacking, and professional digital marketing. Most programs allow full-time students to graduate in a year or less, and some programs offer a specialization option that leads to an industry certificate. All programs use a flexible, asynchronous format. FSU's Career Center (CC) helps learners explore career opportunities, develop interview skills, and create an online presence. The CC also actively recruits local employers to attend on-campus career fairs. Prospective students must submit high school transcripts or GED scores, and all online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency. FSU recommends that certificate-seekers apply for federal financial aid programs soon after the application window opens on October 1.
Seminole State College of Florida
Seminole State offers over 24 online certificate programs in areas like architecture, business, public safety, IT, education, and health. Typical programs require 12-24 credits and deliver asynchronous coursework through Canvas. At the Career Development Center, students can explore career and internship opportunities in addition to resources that increase employability. Learners can also sign up for the college's Job Shadow Program. In this program, advisors pair students with a company or organization that relates to their academic focus. Applicants must submit official high school transcripts or GED scores. The school offers a variety of institutional financial aid opportunities.
Eastern Florida State College
EFSC's online certificate programs include college credit certificates (CCC) and advanced technical certificates (ATC). CCCs include entrepreneurship operations and aging services, while ATCs include computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and veterinary practice medicine. The Career Planning and Development Center provides students with career coaches, internship opportunities, and resume critiques. Students who live near EFSC's Cocoa campus can also attend on-campus workshops that cover topics in employability and workplace etiquette. Prospective students must submit high school transcripts or GED scores, take a placement test, complete an orientation, and speak with an academic advisor. Out-of-state learners pay approximately four times the in-state tuition rate.
Northwest Technical College
NTC partners with Distance Minnesota to offer 11 online certificate programs that fall under three academic areas: business and entrepreneurship, health and human services, and science and technology. Most programs take one year to complete. Certificate-seekers can sign up for Connect2Careers, a free service for learners and alumni that lists job openings throughout Minnesota. Prospective students first apply to NTC and then register with Distance Minnesota. All new learners speak with an online success coach before registering for courses. Some certificate-seekers may need to take a placement test. NTC charges the same per-credit tuition rate to all students regardless of residency.
Maysville Community and Technical College
Maysville offers over a dozen online certificate programs in areas like administrative office technology, air conditioning technology, and electrical technology. The school's Center for Career Development and Experiential Learning posts job opportunities through the College Central Network. Other services include advisors who work with learners one-on-one to develop a resume and an online presence. Application requirements include a high school diploma or GED scores, and incoming students without ACT or SAT scores must take the ACCUPLACER exam. Out-of-state learners pay over three times the in-state tuition rate. Certificate-seekers can apply for all institutional scholarships by submitting one application by the April 15 deadline.
Southern Crescent Technical College
SCTC works with the Georgia Virtual Technical Connection to bring online certificate programs to students. Popular programs include accounting, biology, and criminal justice. Learners use Blackboard to complete asynchronous coursework, and the college gives all certificate-seekers Office 365 for free. Online students gain access to the TigerLink job board, instructional videos, and a job shadowing program. The college also shares potential career paths that align with each of the school's academic programs. Prospective students complete an eight-step admission process that includes providing transcripts or GED scores, taking a placement test, and completing an online orientation. In-state learners save 50% on tuition compared to out-of-state certificate-seekers. Any student who maintains a minimum 2.5 GPA can apply for a Foundation Scholarship.
Accreditation for an Online Certificate Program
Students should only apply to accredited online certificate programs. Accreditation helps ensure that higher education institutions meet acceptable quality standards. Schools may feature regional or national accreditation. Individual departments or programs may feature programmatic accreditation.
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) oversees the federally approved agencies that accredit programs. Students can view a list of accrediting agencies on ED's website.
How Much Does an Online Certificate Cost?
The cost of an online certificate varies by school and program. Certificate-seekers at in-state public schools spend an average of $1,000-$5,000 annually on tuition.
Students who pursue certificate programs online can save money by avoiding a commute. Most certificate programs run asynchronously, allowing enrollees to complete coursework around job and family responsibilities.
Additional Online Student Fees
In addition to tuition, students should budget for other expenses. They may need to upgrade their computer and internet. Online learners also may need to buy books, supplies, and software. Some programs require onsite components. Learners should budget for travel and lodging expenses.
Some online programs charge graduation fees. Students who want to pursue certification in their desired field should plan for application and exam fees. Prep materials for these certifications cost extra.
Online Certificate Program Options
Online certificate programs prepare students for careers in many fields. Most programs focus on one area of study, such as law enforcement or accounting. See below for online certificate program options. Keep in mind that not all schools offer these exact programs.
Project ManagementThis program trains students for project management careers in various industries. Students learn about initiating, planning, and completing projects. Most programs last 12 months and prepare students for the Project Management Professional Exam. Graduates may work in the construction, editorial, or technology fields.
Accounting CertificateStudents learn the fundamentals of accounting, financial reporting, and taxation. Most accounting certificate programs appeal to small-business owners or professionals with no prior accounting knowledge. Programs last 24 months and prepare enrollees to take the Certified Public Accountant Exam.
Plumbing CertificateThis program prepares enrollees for plumbing jobs or apprenticeships. Learners can complete programs at their pace. Coursework covers plumbing codes, piping prints, and pipefitting. Certificate holders can pursue jobs or paid apprenticeships in residential or commercial plumbing.
Paralegal CertificateThis program trains students for law careers or paralegal jobs. Students explore the basics of litigation, law, and documentation. Enrollees can complete some certificates in one semester. Certificate holders can apply for jobs in many legal fields, including civil rights, real estate, and family law.
Web Design and Development CertificateThis program prepares enrollees for careers designing and developing websites and apps. Students learn coding languages such as HTML and CSS. They also explore how to make websites collect and respond to data. Programs last 3-12 months.
Learn About Popular Certificate Certificate Programs