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Guide to Online Post-Secondary Certificates, Part 2


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Fields of Study

The average certificate holder earns a monthly salary around 3,000 dollars. Aviation is the highest earning certificate with an average salary of 65,642 dollars. The lowest earning certificate is in food service with an average salary just above 17,000 dollars.

Forty-four percent of all certificate holders are employed in a career related to their field of study. Working in their field of study usually raises a certificate holder’s earnings by 37 percent, whereas certificate holders working outside of their field earn a salary equivalent to employees with a high school diploma.

Most popular fields of study include healthcare, business, cosmetology, automobile mechanic and computer studies. Majority of certificate programs are gender oriented. More than half of all certificate holders in healthcare and business fields are women, just as men dominate technical and transportation fields.

Certificate Fields of Study



Healthcare certificates accounted for almost half of all certificates awarded in 2007. Women hold around 90 percent of all certificates awarded in the Healthcare field. Healthcare certificates include nursing assistant, medical assistant, medical technology and dental technology. Working in their field of study, employees with a healthcare certificate usually earn around 2,500 dollars a month or 30,000 dollars a year, which is equivalent to the earnings of an employee with an Associate’s degree.


In 2007, almost ten percent of all certificates awarded were business affiliated. Offering women the highest earnings at a certificate level, 80 percent of all business certificates are awarded to females.  Business certificates specialize in administration, management and secretarial services. Earning close to 40,000 dollars, holders of these certificates on average make more than those with an Associate’s degree that usually earn around 30,000 dollars.

Science & Engineering

Six percent of all certificates awarded in 2007 were in the science and engineering field. These certificates specialize in computer information, engineering technology, mathematics and science. Male students make up around 70 percent of computer and information certificate programs and earn on average around 70,000 dollars, which is more 20,000 dollars more than students with an Associate’s degree.

Cosmetology & Auto Mechanics

Coming in second to only Healthcare, cosmetology and transportation are also two of the most popular academic certificates. Over 90 percent of cosmetology certificate holders are female, just as over 90 percent of transportation and repair certificate holders are male. On average, cosmetology certificate holders working in their field make around 25,000 dollars a year and auto mechanics make around 45,000 dollars a year. Both of these certificate holders earn more than the average employee with only a high school education. In the field of cosmetology, employees with only a high school diploma earn an average of 19,000 dollars a year. High school graduates working in the transportation and repair industry make an average of 30,000 dollars a year.

Common Certificate Fields of Study