Top Short Term Training Programs

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Completing a short-term job training program can be just the ticket for you to gain access to a rewarding career field. There are a surprising number of fields that you can enter without completing long degree programs. Here's a list of options to consider when you want to qualify quickly for a new occupation.

Top 10 Short Term Training Programs

1. Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are in high demand given the increasing needs of an aging population for medical support.

CNAs work in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, private homes and residential treatment centers. They support the medical efforts of the professional nursing staff by observing and reporting changes in vital signs and the health status of patients.

CNAs help patients to negotiate their daily activities such as eating, dressing, and bathing. Training programs are offered by the Red Cross, hospitals, community colleges, and online. Most programs can be completed in 4 - 6 weeks and require at least 75 hours of on-site training.

Search in your browser for "CNA training" to find a list of options in your area. Search by "CNA" or "Certified Nursing Assistant" to see some of the jobs offered in your area. Some hospitals and nursing homes offer free training programs to candidates who make a commitment to work for their organization.

  • Certified Nursing Assistant Career Information

2. Commercial Drivers transport goods and materials in trailers or other large capacity vehicles. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that opportunities for truck drivers will increase at a faster than average rate through 2020 given increased demand for goods.

Contact the division of motor vehicles in your state for the exact requirements in your area for obtaining a commercial license.

You will be required to complete a written test as well as a road test. Commercial driving schools abound. Consult with your local DMV website or office for a list of reputable schools in your area. Training programs generally last for 2-6 weeks.

3. Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are the first point of contact for people who are injured or suddenly ill. They intervene to provide medical assistance and stabilize injured or ill persons prior to treatment by physicians. EMTs transport patients to hospitals for care. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job prospects for EMTS to expand much faster than for the average occupation due to the aging population and attendant strokes, falls, heart attacks and other emergency conditions. The basic level EMT requires 100 hours of training.

The Intermediate or advanced level EMT certification entails about 1000 hours of training. Candidates must pass a national qualifying exam as well as complete an approved training program to qualify for all levels of EMT practice. Licensing requirements vary by state. Search the state department of health in your area with a query that includes "accredited EMT training programs."

4. Hair Stylists shampoo, cut, color, straighten, curl, and treat the hair of clients. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job opportunities to grow by about 16% through 2020, about average for most occupations. Training programs are most commonly 9-10 months in length with states requiring about 1000-1600 hours for licensing.

States require stylists to complete a written exam and sometimes a practical skills exam to qualify for a license. Search by the name of your state and keywords "approved cosmetology schools" to obtain a list of schools in your area.

5. Massage Therapists manipulate muscles and the soft tissue of clients to relieve pain, reduce stress, and increase relaxation. They advise clients about ways to reduce stress and muscular tension and achieve greater relaxation.

Massage therapists work in private practice, with chiropractors, and in hospitals, spas, and fitness centers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs for massage therapists will grow at a faster than average rate of 20% through 2020. Most states license massage therapists and require completion of an accredited program, usually a year or so in length, with at least 500 hours of study. Search by the name of your state and keywords "approved massage therapy schools" to obtain a list of schools in your area.

6. Personal Trainers design and deliver fitness programs for clients. They develop routines to optimize the aerobic conditioning, flexibility and muscular strength of their clients. Trainers must promote their services to prospective clients in an ongoing manner to maintain a viable income. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs for personal trainers will expand by a higher than average 24% by 2020. Most employers prefer to hire trainers with certifications.

Personal trainers work in private homes of clients, community-based gyms/fitness facilities, and corporate or resort fitness centers. Certifying bodies require candidates to complete a written exam and in some cases a skills test. Candidates typically complete either online courses lasting 6-12 weeks or training programs lasting about 6 months. Search "personal trainer courses" and your location to identify some training programs in your area.  Ask local personal trainers for recommendations regarding the best programs.

7. Physical Therapy Aides provide support to physical therapists and physical therapy assistants. They help to arrange equipment and prepare patients for procedures. Physical therapy aides greet patients and schedule appointments. Physical therapy aides help patients in and out of treatment areas. They reinforce treatment protocols after therapists have initiated interventions with clients.

Jobs for physical therapy assistants are expected to expand by 43% by 2020 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a much faster rate than for the average occupation. Most physical therapy aides are trained on the job for 3 -12 months.

8. Wind Turbine Technicians maintain facilities and equipment that generate power through the wind. They test equipment for safety and efficiency, diagnose problems, replace parts, and perform other repairs. Wind power has expanded rapidly due to the push for alternative energy sources and advances in wind power technology, so jobs are expanding at a much faster than average rate.

Technicians complete certificate programs which range in length from 3 months to 2 years. Search "Wind Turbine Technician Training" to identify some options in your area.

9. Apprentice programs provide a mechanism for new workers to learn trades through a combination of paid on the job training and classroom instruction. Common apprentice occupations include plumber, electrician, heating and air conditioning technician, carpenter, machinist, and mechanic. Training typically lasts 1-3 years, but trainees receive pay during this time and there is generally no charge for the training. Research apprentice options in your area through your state apprenticeship office.

10. Sales Trainees engage customers and encourage them to purchase products or services. Candidates with strong verbal and interpersonal skills can often convince employers to hire them without any direct sales experience. Make sure you demonstrate drive and assertiveness in your approach to the employer. Conduct informational interviews with salespeople and other staff at target companies to showcase your communication skills.

Follow up with persuasive emails/letters summarizing your candidacy and asking for the job. Apply for jobs with companies where you have some product knowledge based on your interests and experiences. Search on by the keywords "sales trainee" to uncover some opportunities. Be sure to inquire about the type of compensation you will receive. Positions where you receive a salary during a training period are usually a better fit than purely commission based jobs for new sales workers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sales jobs will increase at an average rate through 2020.

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