Licensed to ________
May 9, 2012 3:36 PM   Subscribe

Licensed to _______ : What are some cool/random/interesting licenses or certifications I can earn?

We love credentials these days. We'll license people for all sorts of things! Ride a scooter! Own a dog! Speak a language! Perform a wedding! Be a... Customs Broker?

In my line of work - higher education research administration dealing with financial conflicts of interest and allegations of research misconduct (god that's a mouthful) - there are some licenses/certifications that I have planned to pick up to spur professional advancement. I could become a CRA (Certified Research Administrator) and/or a CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner). Sure. Why not? Neither looks terribly complex or difficult to obtain. And since I went to law school, even though there is almost no practical reason for me to do so, I am planning to take the bar exam and get licensed to practice law. I might as well, right?

But what other licenses/certifications are out there that I could pick up? Bonus points if your suggestion is somehow both practical and hilarious.
posted by jph to Work & Money (33 answers total) 98 users marked this as a favorite
I'd go for Nuclear Plant Inspector. Great second career.
posted by sammyo at 3:46 PM on May 9, 2012

Buy a certificate frame and hang it on the wall as-is, perhaps embellished with a grandiose signature. I have several ;^)
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:56 PM on May 9, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: In the city of Houston, you need a license to become an exotic dancer. Other cities have similar license requirements. As far as I know, there is no test; only a fee. You get it at the police department, I believe.

Similarly, you can get a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission certification to serve alcoholic beverages. It's not mandatory, but most places that serve alcohol require their servers to become certified.
posted by MexicanYenta at 3:56 PM on May 9, 2012 [5 favorites]

Here's one with a gold seal.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:57 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Mediation/ arbitration could be right up your alley.
posted by travelwithcats at 3:57 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

You could obtain an Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels License (OUPV) which lets you operate a small vessel that takes up to six paying passengers.

You could also get a ham radio operator's license.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 3:59 PM on May 9, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: You could become an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:05 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

here are some
posted by KogeLiz at 4:07 PM on May 9, 2012

Read a story about how Nevada is getting a considerable amount of money from out-of-state businesses voluntarily applying for privilege licenses.

After all, being able to call yourself a certified astrologer or psychic is a win. And you don't even have to show expertise.
posted by politikitty at 4:08 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Amateur Radio License. Not very hard to get one of the lower-ranked ones if you've got a law student's tolerance for legalese and AP-level physics.
posted by phrontist at 4:09 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My husband, in finishing up his general credits, is getting certified in ASL and Stage Combat this summer.
posted by specialagentwebb at 4:24 PM on May 9, 2012

School bus driver? Boat captain?
posted by mskyle at 4:41 PM on May 9, 2012

Best answer: You could become nobility in Sealand. No practical benefits, but I'm sure it will be a nice certificate.
posted by _cave at 4:52 PM on May 9, 2012 [3 favorites]

CPR? First Aid? Are your dogs certified Canine Good Citizens?
posted by workerant at 4:52 PM on May 9, 2012

You can get a card saying that you're a Discordian pope:
posted by LSK at 5:36 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

I seem to know a lot of people with a PMP (Project Management Professional). Most of them like to refer to themselves as pimps. Requires a lot of experience, though -- at least three years of pimping.
posted by candyland at 5:39 PM on May 9, 2012

Someone mentioned it earlier, but getting a Private Investigator license is not something you can do for fun since nearly every state that requires a license also requires a bond for thousands of dollars.
posted by 23 at 6:00 PM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Here is a previous thread.

posted by cribcage at 6:48 PM on May 9, 2012

Certified Wine Sommelier
Licensed auctioneer
posted by FlamingBore at 8:19 PM on May 9, 2012

Is it still possible to buy Albanian royal titles?
Be sure to get an emergency lifesaving certification.
There are an awful lot of computer certifications. My favourite is the Certified Ethical Hacker.

Also previously
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:38 PM on May 9, 2012

Best answer: I've wanted to get licensed to drive a forklift for a long time. Given that my friend got his license in high school working for the summer at Lowe's, it probably isn't difficult once you get a part-time warehouse gig.

I enjoyed being able to trot out that I was a certified lifeguard when it was true. Red Cross certification isn't too difficult or time-consuming, scarily.

The Red Cross also has a babysitter licensing program, which I would find mildly humorous given your line of work.
posted by momus_window at 9:04 PM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

Ham Radio License

NAUI's SCUBA certification progression

LEED Green associate from the US Green Building Council
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:18 PM on May 9, 2012

Emergency medicine folks love certs... CPR/AED, EMT, Wilderness First Responder... the latter two can get spendy, but they are also prerequisites for certain professional gigs.
posted by cosmologinaut at 1:16 AM on May 10, 2012

FEMA offers a whole set of free courses in emergency management, and you can get pretty certificates.
posted by Forktine at 5:13 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've actually used my BJCP certification on job applications before.

The test is tough though. It's quite a bit of arcane brewing and beer history knowledge, in between judging beers. On the other hand, if you can find a good study group, you get to learn lots of arcane brewing and beer history knowledge and try lots of new beers.

Also then you can judge home-brew contests, which depending on what style you're judging and who you're judging with is either a nice way, or a great way to spend a Sat.
posted by Gygesringtone at 7:48 AM on May 10, 2012

judge of election?
posted by lester's sock puppet at 9:56 AM on May 10, 2012

Best answer: The California Blacksmith Level 1 certificate just takes one class - I'm certain there's equivalent certifications in other states/countries.
posted by subject_verb_remainder at 5:15 PM on May 10, 2012

For my 30th birthday, I became a certified barbecue judge with the Memphis Barbecue Network, but there are several groups that offer similar privileges. It's useful for getting to eat the best barbecue in the world for free, and gets me one step closer to my dream actually of getting paid to eat.
posted by ejvalentine at 6:57 PM on May 10, 2012

If it would get you to volunteer at our bike collective, I would certainly make up a "Certified Davis Bike Collective *insert clever title here* " also known as the "CDBCicth License" after you had put in enough hours of service to make it worth the effort. Say 50 hours. You would definitely pick up some practical skills in that time.

Enough non-profits are sufficiently in need of volunteers that many may also be more than happy to certify you with whatever title you fancy in exchange for your labor at their organization.
posted by aniola at 8:01 PM on May 10, 2012

Best answer: Get ordained!
posted by litleozy at 3:55 PM on May 11, 2012

Useful: notary, CPR, (maybe) weddings.

Less useful: NRA pistol instructor

Even less useful: cab driver
posted by talldean at 9:05 PM on May 11, 2012

I'm a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader--just takes 2 days!
posted by exceptinsects at 11:30 AM on May 15, 2012

After being required to go through the training for a national service program, a friend who later went into library science said that interviewers loved asking her about the chainsaw certification on her resume.
posted by psoas at 7:54 PM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

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