Get me some certs
January 21, 2009 8:59 AM   Subscribe

What are some unusual certifications/licenses I can get?

I recently got my boaters license and am going to get my concealed weapons permit tomorrow. I don’t own a boat or a gun but I figured it would be fun to get them anyway. Now I am interested in how many other certifications/licenses I can get.

For example I want to become an ordained minister so I can legally marry people.

What are some other fun, interesting, or strange ones you can think of?

posted by birdlips to Education (30 answers total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
SCUBA? Pilot's license? Notary Public?
posted by charlesv at 9:07 AM on January 21, 2009

Amateur radio license, MVAC Certification (You can buy R-12).
posted by gog at 9:10 AM on January 21, 2009

Road kill removal
posted by overhauser at 9:15 AM on January 21, 2009

You could become an official skydiver.
Or get licensed with a commercial vehicle.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:18 AM on January 21, 2009

Braille transcription (U.S. only)
posted by Melismata at 9:19 AM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Easy-ish - Fishing license, marriage license, motorcycle license, CPR/first aid training.

Harder - teaching certificate, childcare certificate, security clearance (probably requires a job change)

Liquor license? Distilling license?
posted by backseatpilot at 9:22 AM on January 21, 2009

You can become certified in Adobe products. Good luck learning everything there is to know about Photoshop, though.
posted by bristolcat at 9:24 AM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Hunting and fishing are among the more mundane, so how about a Bounty Hunter license? First, make sure it's legal in your state (assuming you're in the US).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:27 AM on January 21, 2009

EMT, though it's not really fair to take the class unless you intend to practice. Although it varies by state, there are three general levels:

- EMT- Basic
- EMT- Intermediate
- EMT- Paramedic

Through that you can gets tons of additional certs:

- Swift water rescue.
- Rope rescue.
- Confined space rescue.
- Vehicle Extrication (Yes, with the jaws of life).
- Trench rescue.
- HazMat Operations.
... and many, many more. Those listed are just the more memorable ones that I've collected over the years.
posted by charmcityblues at 9:29 AM on January 21, 2009

Check with OSHA, they have tons of work-related certifications, for instance: forkliftts!
posted by 1f2frfbf at 9:35 AM on January 21, 2009

One of my co-workers and his two brothers all have their blasting certification. A weekend course, a written test, and now they can legally blow stuff up.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 9:35 AM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

This question has already been asked.
posted by saladin at 9:42 AM on January 21, 2009

Get your ABRA Biorecovery Technician certification and you can clean up crime scenes.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 9:44 AM on January 21, 2009


Even if you don't give a shit about hazardous waste remediation, you know you want to be able to say with a straight face, "Nice to meet you! I'm birdlips (dramatic pause), HAZWOPER."

Or you can just say it to yourself over and over again like a kind of ridiculous Zen kōan: hazwoper hazwoper hazwoper hazwoper...
posted by jesourie at 9:48 AM on January 21, 2009

HAZWOPER training makes for great pictures - you get to wear the Tyvek suit & breathing apparatus.
posted by djb at 9:56 AM on January 21, 2009

HAZWOPER is pretty expensive though: we charge around $5000/person for the 40-hour (Govt only, sorry), and we're cost only. Also, it needs to be kept up every year.

Fall protection, confined space entry, sewer rescue are all much cheaper.
posted by bonehead at 9:59 AM on January 21, 2009

Also, who does HAZWOPER in Tyvek? Paper is going to protect you from chlorine? Tyveck isn't even level C, let alone a proper TCEPS. Geeze!
posted by bonehead at 10:01 AM on January 21, 2009

The ULC (Universal Life Church) offers online ordinations for free. Totally legit - I've been a minister for years and performed a couple of marriage ceremonies (I will point out however, that being ordained and going through the legal steps to performing a marriage ceremony are two very different things - do your research first).

In addition to HAZWOPER, you might try MSHA (Mining Safety and Health Association) training. However, as I have to have both of the above certifications for my job, I dont recommend that you do it for fun - because they are FAR from fun classes. 40 hours each of mind-numbing instruction and rote memorization of all kinds of minutia that you will never use unless you work in the industry. And the classes can be expensive. And what bonehead said.
posted by elendil71 at 10:05 AM on January 21, 2009

Excuse me, that's Mining Safety and Health ADMINISTRATION. My bad.
posted by elendil71 at 10:07 AM on January 21, 2009

You might be able to get certification to be a Private Investigator in your state. Although some states make it so you work for a PI before you can be licensed to be one yourself.
posted by nickerbocker at 10:40 AM on January 21, 2009

Don't forget pyrotech! And demolition! Who doesn't want to blow stuff up?
posted by trinity8-director at 10:47 AM on January 21, 2009

A Chauffeur License is pretty easy to get, at least in Michigan.
posted by kc8nod at 10:53 AM on January 21, 2009

Oh, you can knock out lots of certs once you start flight training. There are plenty of different license levels - private, instrument, commercial, flight instructor, air transport pilot - plus secondary licenses and endorsements - multi-engine, seaplane, taildragger, complex. And if you want to fly jets, each turbine aircraft is a separate type rating. And then there are helicopters!

You could also get your A&P (airframe and powerplant) mechanic certification. Or become a licensed air traffic controller.

The FAA also gives out Designated Representative titles to people who have enough experience and are chosen. Basically, the FAA doesn't have the manpower to do everything it needs to do on its own, so they give out these licenses to people who are then allowed to award licenses and registrations, sign paperwork, etc. Examples - Designated Flight Examiner (give people their licenses!), Designated Airworthiness Representative (certify that an aircraft is safe to fly), Designated Engineering Representative (approve minor changes to existing Type Certificates, among other things). These all require some experience, but you do get to charge for your services.

More general, you could be a licensed Professional Engineer, which would allow to you sign off on engineering drawings - again, you can charge for your services.

What about becoming an Expert Witness? You can get paid for testimony!
posted by backseatpilot at 10:56 AM on January 21, 2009

Customs broker
posted by Carbolic at 11:59 AM on January 21, 2009

A High Power Rocket Certification for model rocket launches, Levels 1 - 3.
posted by barchan at 12:35 PM on January 21, 2009

Also, falconry requires licensing, as I understand it, with levels for the types of birds one can have.
posted by trinity8-director at 1:39 PM on January 21, 2009

Wilderness First Responder -- (that's the one I want)
posted by salvia at 1:55 PM on January 21, 2009

I'm a certified indexer.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:33 PM on January 21, 2009

Some cities "license" exotic dancers. Just pay your money, pass the background the check, and you can start shaking your moneymaker.

I don't think it's available anymore, but I always enjoyed this story: Arizona's (non-medical) marijuana dealer license.

Either one of those would go great with the ULC ordination.
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 2:55 PM on January 21, 2009

I don't know if joke certifications are what you are looking for but you can get your ham sandwich certification.
posted by chugg at 8:42 AM on January 26, 2009

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