The Best Blue Collar Online Certificate Programs
Adding a vocational certificate to your resume is a great way to advance your career. More importantly, certified training will make you that much better at your job.
Because blue-collar jobs are generally more hands-on than white-collar jobs, there are very few blue-collar certification programs that are 100% online. That said, if you can appreciate the kind of training that splits time between your computer and shop experience, our list of the best blue-collar online certificate programs will help you.
What are the Benefits of Pursuing a Blue Collar Online Certificate Program?
Compared to an expensive college degree, or no training at all, certification programs are an excellent alternative. And with the adoption of online training, many blue-collar certificate programs are accessible online from anywhere in the world.
Besides the apparent benefit of cost-savings and accessibility, the advantages of blue-collar online certificate programs include:
- Taking advantage of a syllabus that lasts a few weeks to a few months (as opposed to a year or more)
- Adding practical credentials to your resume
- Improving your chances for higher pay (Forbes found that “when you earn a certificate, you can expect anywhere from a 13 to 25% boost in your annual salary”)
- Receiving more up-to-date training from an agile program
Blue Collar Job Certification Programs by Category
Whether you are seeking or already employed in a blue-collar job, it doesn’t make sense to shop for just any vocational certificate. You should find out where you want to go in your career and understand the skillset it will take to get there.
You might also consider an apprenticeship program to supplement your certificate training. Lastly, it would be worth discussing your training aspirations with your employer. Many companies will subsidize certification costs in exchange for having a better-qualified employee.
If you work in the construction field, the main types of training you’ll need should involve safety supervision and construction project management.
Construction is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. If you intend to make it a lifetime career, you may need to get a formal college degree at some point. However, you can advance to a decent, high-paying job based solely on your experience and a certification or two from one of the construction online certificate program institutions listed below.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- American Institute of Constructors (AIC)
- National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)
- Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI)
- National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP)
- Construction Management Certification Institute (CMCI)
- USGCB (U.S Green Building Council)
Generally speaking, transportation includes two categories. First, there are DOT (Department of Transportation) careers. These careers are usually government jobs pertaining to fleet maintenance, safety training in hazardous materials, and mass transit systems.
Second, transportation jobs involve shipping and logistics. Work in logistics entails supply chain management and fleet maintenance for private companies. Here are the top three transportation certification institutions in the United States.
There are valuable certification programs for car repair, aviation, and robotics. As artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to infiltrate the world of machines, there is a growing shortage of mechanical technicians to troubleshoot issues and maintain parts/equipment.
But even without the growth of AI, traditional mechanics can benefit from standard training programs like an ASE certification. Here are some of the top schools offering online certificate programs in mechanical repair.
- Auto Mechanic School EDU (ASE Certification)
- Advanced Technology Institute
- Aviation Institute of Maintenance
- George Brown College: Robotics Technician Certificate Training Program
High-paying manufacturing jobs lean heavily on experts in automation and supply chain management. While some elite manufacturing jobs do require a college degree, many of them only require that you have mastered your craft.
Providing any one of the manufacturing certifications to your resume can help you in your job search or move you closer to the next promotion.
- Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC)
- ISA Certified Automation Professional® (CAP®) Certification Program
- Manufacturing Institute
Closely related to construction, skilled tradesmen and women are enjoying lucrative careers nationwide.
Plumbing, welding, electrician, and woodwork are among the most popular trade jobs. There are several excellent online certificate programs for skilled trades.
- Woodwork Career Alliance
- Architectural Woodwork Institute
- National Fire Protection Association (Electricians)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- American Welding Society
- Penn Foster Career School (Plumbers)
Which is Better: An Online or In-person Program?
Many would say that in-person programs give you better quality training. For many programs, this may be true.
However, what matters most is how your industry works and if you feel competent after your training. After examining the list of blue-collar online certificate programs here, you may decide that attending classes at your local community or technical college might be a better option.
But many blue-collar workers already have the skills and experience and lack the credential to show for it. In this case, it makes more sense to spend a little less for an online certificate program.
How Should You Promote your Blue Collar Online Certificate?
Updating your resume or portfolio with your latest certification is an ideal first step. If you promote yourself on LinkedIn, you should also publish your new credentials there, as well.
For those that are already happily employed – but might be seeking to grow within the company – they should inform their boss or human resources department about their completed training.