Proven Ways to Train for a New Career in Less Than One Year

People seek out new careers for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re not happy with your current job? Maybe you’re over 40 and want to try something new? Maybe you want to find a career path with more money and greater security? Whatever the case, starting a new career is less intimidating when the training takes a year or less.

More often than not, people simply don’t have time to make a career change that requires years of schooling or training. That’s why job growth in industries that provide quick training programs continues to soar. Many of these jobs are considered to be entry-level, but there are different ways to move up the ladder, and make a full career out of something that required very little training from the start.

There are multiple ways to get the schooling needed for a new career. Of course, it depends on the specific job field you plan on going into, and the actual job you’re pursuing. Sometimes, distance and finances can also come into play when choosing a short training program. Once you consider all these factors, you can better decide which type of training is best for you.

This article will cover different types of careers that offer fast training programs. We’ll also go into the best short-term training programs, the best job industries for growth and wages, and when you should consider a new career in the first place.

When Is It Time to Make a Career Change?

Regardless of your age or current career, people make switches all the time. It’s important to know when It’s time to start looking for a different career. It’s also important to know that finding a new job doesn’t have to feel overwhelming as there’s variety of different training programs available.

You’re also not alone in wanting to look for a different career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American worker will hold ten different jobs before the age of 50. And, since baby boomers are living longer than ever, the job market for individuals over 50 continues to increase, as well. There are fewer stigmas held against people of a certain age, and more jobs are becoming widely accepted for the elderly.

What’s the good news? Because of this shift in workplace dynamic and how quickly people change careers, it’s becoming easier to make those switches. Education and training are changing to be more dynamic and hands-on than ever before. The adage that you went to a four-year college or learned a trade for one life-long career is gone.

There are a few signs you can look for in your life or current job path that might be warnings. If you regularly feel these things, it might be time to look at a change in your career. Here are some good reasons to start a 12-month course:

  • You don’t feel regularly challenged at work, or you want to create bigger goals.
  • Your current career doesn’t line up with your values or beliefs anymore.
  • You want more time to focus on other aspects of life.
  • You’ve discovered a new passion.
  • You’re unhappy.
  • Looking for a job that’s suitable for introverts.
  • Your work-life balance isn’t what you want it to be.

How to Train for a New Career in Less Than 1 Year

What Are the Most In-Demand Jobs That Require Little Training?

A good place to start when making a career change that doesn’t require a lot of schooling is to seek out the jobs that are experiencing a lot of growth. These are industries that are constantly looking for qualified workers. Because they are always in need of more employees, training times are short. You can learn your skills quickly and effectively.

These types of jobs are not only beneficial for those just getting into them for the first time. Because they are growing so rapidly, it also means there are opportunities for growth within each industry. So, even if you start with an entry-level position, you may be able to grow and move up in a very short amount of time.

Here’s a list of jobs that are in-demand, that require less than a year of training.

  1. Phlebotomist: If you think you have to go to school for years to work in the medical industry, think again! You’ll find that many healthcare jobs require little training. One of the most lucrative is phlebotomy. As a phlebotomist, you’re responsible for drawing blood from patients, and working directly with a medical lab that can provide results.

Phlebotomists work in hospitals, clinics, private practices, and more. It is one of the fastest-growing jobs in healthcare. Programs can last anywhere from four to eight months, depending on whether or not you become certified. If you’re looking for a career where you’re likely to get hired quickly after completing your training, this is a great option.

The median hourly wage for phlebotomists $28,000 per year. This is greatly dependent on where you work. If you’re hired by a busy hospital, you may end up making more than you would at a small private practice or clinic. Some phlebotomists are even self-employed and are hired by organizations like nursing homes, jails, or for community blood drives through the American Red Cross.

  1. Medical assistant: As a medical assistant, you’ll perform administrative duties for physicians and other health practitioners. This includes everything from initially greeting patients, to taking care of billing, insurance, etc. If you’re interested in the healthcare field but feel more comfortable in an administrative role, it could be the perfect career for you. Most medical assistants can receive on-the-job training.

The wage of a medical assistant will vary depending on their experience and skill level. However, the average yearly salary is around $27,000.

  1. Dental assistant: Working directly underneath a licensed dentist, dental assistants do everything from taking x-rays, to sterilize equipment. It’s the biggest job of a dental assistant to ensure a patient is comfortable at all times.

Many community colleges offer dental assistant training programs that take less than a year to complete. In some cases, you may even be able to complete your training in just a couple months. The average yearly salary for a dental assistant is $30,000.

  1. Police officer: Police officers have many different duties on the job, from ensuring citizens obey the law to protecting lives and property. What most people don’t realize is that it doesn’t take that long to complete the schooling necessary to become an officer of the law.

While most police academies do require you to be at least twenty years old and have the ability to pass a fitness test, if you meet those requirements, training doesn’t take long at all. Training usually takes anywhere from 12-14 weeks and will consist of everything from patrol techniques to classroom learning. Keep in mind that some academies may require some college education, so learn what you can about your local academy before making a training commitment.

The pay scale of a police officer ranges depending on location, but the average median salary falls at about $48,000.

  1. Massage therapist: Becoming a massage therapist allows you to specialize in over 80 different types of massage. So, there is no shortage of career opportunities available if you’re willing to put in a little training time. As a therapist, you can work with everyone from the elderly, to athletes in their prime. It’s a very flexible career that allows you to set a lot of your own rules and scheduling.

Training to become a massage therapist can take as little as six months. Certification requirements are different for each state. So, before you begin training, look into your local licensing requirements. However, with over 1,500 massage therapy schools in the United States, you’re bound to find a program that works for you quickly. Many massage therapists choose to be self-employed, and build up a client list with time, offering additional flexibility even after you’ve finished training.

Massage therapists can usually set their price point for clients. However, the average hourly earnings of a licensed therapist are around $16.00.

Some other lucrative careers that take less than a year of schooling include:

  • Truck driver
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Hair stylists
  • Personal trainers

As you can see, there are steady jobs in some of the best industries available to those who don’t want to complete years of training. Seek out industries that continue to grow, despite economic hardships. Those are the careers that are more likely to have job openings without extended schooling.

Which jobs don't require much training?

Which Industry Has the Best Short-Term Training Opportunities?

You may have noticed several of the jobs listed above are in the healthcare field. Not only is it an industry that has many jobs that don’t require an advanced degree, but it is an industry that is currently experiencing consistent growth.

In 2016, the healthcare industry created more new jobs than any other. There are several reasons for this boom. However, the two biggest components are an aging population that needs more health care, and advances in technology.

You don’t have to go to medical school to have a successful career in the medical field. In many cases, you don’t have to complete much training at all. If you’re interested in this ever-growing industry and don’t want to go to school for over a year, consider any of the healthcare careers listed earlier in this article, or the following:

  • Home health aide
  • Medical coder
  • Medical biller
  • Psychiatric aid
  • Nursing assistant

Online Training for Convenience

The U.S. Department of Labor encourages short-term training in many cases. They suggest that short-term training can not only help with a current job, but it can also help if you’re looking for a promotion, raise, or new career altogether. Sometimes, throwing yourself into a new career is simply a matter of brushing up on your skills.

There is no better way to complete that type of training in a short amount of time than through an accredited online program. And if you want a career that doesn’t require math or chemistry, there are plenty of good options.

There are essentially two types of digital job training: Online supplementation of a course you’re attending physically, or complete online training. Either way, they are designed for convenience, speed, and cost-effectiveness.

Many community colleges offer online programs that you can take in place of attending an actual class. This makes it convenient for people who may have busy schedules or other careers, as it allows them to train from home. There are also programs that stand alone on the Internet. This means you can sign up and work at your own pace to get through them. You set the schedule, so it can take as little time as you’d like.

Another great benefit of training for a job on the Internet is that it helps to cut down on cost. Aside from time, money tends to be the major reason people stay away from years of schooling. It can get very expensive very quickly. Because there are no overhead costs when you take an online course, the cost stays low. You may have to pay for a few digital materials or a general class fee. However, it’s usually a minuscule amount compared to the tuition fees you might have at a community college or four-year school.

There are dozens of industries who offer some digital training. If you’re not sure what’s available, start by contacting your local community college. They should be able to let you know of programs they offer that you can either take solely online or partially online, depending on your preference.

How to train for a new career in 12 months

What to Look for in a Digital Education Program

One thing to be aware of if you do choose to go through an online training program is its legitimacy. The best thing you can do is to go to an accredited school or organization which offers online training. Many times, if the online coursework is not through an accredited institution, employers won’t recognize it as legitimate.

Below are some of the best jobs you can get into through digital training alone, along with an accredited institution that provides online options for that particular career.

  • Nurse Practitioner: Becoming a nurse practitioner does require a graduate degree. So, this type of training is great for someone who has already completed a college degree earlier in life and is looking for a change. You can obtain the graduate degree entirely through online education. One of the top online nursing schools to achieve such a degree is the Medical University of South Carolina.
  • Speech Pathologist: Speech pathologists/speech therapists also are required to have a master’s degree. However, it can be completed by getting online training. Idaho State University offers one of the most advanced digital training programs in the country for those who want to advance their careers in language.
  • Public Relations Specialist: A bachelor’s degree is required to become a public relations specialist. However, it is a career that allows you to obtain that degree at your own pace, online. You’ll need great communication skills, and a reputable online training program to land a job right away. One of the most notable digital training programs for public relations specialists is at Pennsylvania State University – World Campus.

As you can see, these jobs may take longer than a year for training to be complete. However, when you know the ins and outs of digital training, you can work at your own pace to complete a degree and get the advanced training needed to jump into some of the more advanced career titles.

If you don’t go through a school or accredited institution for your online training, be picky in your research. Take advantage of review sites. If an online course is legitimate, it should have shining reviews, and they should be able to share some of their students’ success stories. On the other hand, people are quick to warn about illegitimate sites or scams. A little research can go a long way in getting the right digital schooling.

Types of On-the-Job Training

Some of the growing careers listed above do offer training on the job. There are different forms of this type of training to consider. You could seek out an internship at a job you’re interested in. However, most internships are unpaid. If finances aren’t your top priority right away, an internship is a great way to get inexpensive (sometimes free) career training in a hands-on environment. You’re also more likely to get hired as an employee of the place you interned, over someone who received the same training somewhere else.

Another on-the-job option is an apprenticeship. This allows you to work directly underneath someone who currently has the job or a similar job to the one you want. Eventually, you may become their assistant, or you may share in their job duties if multiple positions are needed at the same location.

Finally, you can seek out a job that provides paid training. This allows you to learn as you go, so you’re an employee right away, even while you’re still learning how to do the job. If you’re interested in fully immersing yourself into a new career, on-the-job training can be a great opportunity.

Job training that takes under 12 months

Benefits of Hands-On Training

If you’re not sure whether on-the-job training would be right for you, consider the benefits.

  • You’ll be able to work directly with the tools and equipment needed for your specific task(s). Sometimes, this can’t be synthetically created in an outside training environment.
  • You’ll learn under the supervision of an experienced staff. It gives you the opportunity to ask more direct questions and learn faster.
  • While you’re working/training, you can receive feedback right away from management/supervisory employees. Not only can they tell you what needs to be improved, but they can show you directly.
  • Your training will specifically fit the needs of the company you’re working for. It’s an efficient process for both the employee and employer.

Why Should I Skip Expensive Schools?

Whether you’re new to the job market, or you’re considering a switch, you’ll probably hear people advise you to get a degree. There are hundreds of extremely profitable careers that do require a college degree of some kind. However, it’s not always practical or feasible for someone looking to get into a career right away.

What are some good reasons to avoid expensive colleges and training programs?

  • You’ll be able to start a new career with minimal debt.
  • A degree from an expensive college doesn’t guarantee immediate success.
  • The education/skills you receive at a community college or training center will likely be up to par with more expensive universities – at a fraction of the cost.

Is it Possible to Have a Successful Career with Less Than a Year of Schooling?

No matter your age or where you are in your career goals, you can always make a change. The job market is more accepting than ever before, and it is no longer considered taboo to change careers several times throughout your life.

The stereotype that years of schooling are required to have a successful career has also faded. Many of the jobs listed here have high salaries. Additionally, many of them are starting points for job advancements in a specific industry, so there is room for growth and pay increases.

Whatever your reason for wanting a new career, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money to get the right education. Once you know the industry you’re most interested in, you’re bound to find several careers that will allow you to start in a short amount of time.

Due to advancements in technology and consistent job market growth, it’s possible for someone to make a successful career change at almost any stage in life. We hope this article has given you some fresh ideas on how to go about training for that new, exciting career.