Associate Degrees High-Paying Jobs

  • Registered Nurse
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Electrical Engineering Technician
  • Web Developer

There are many reasons why you might choose an associate’s degree over a bachelor’s; you want to save money, you want to graduate faster and enter the workforce sooner; you aren’t a fan of school but still want a college degree to increase your career opportunities. The list goes on and on. Many students even choose to earn an associate’s so they can begin working and continue their education later on.

There may be several reasons why you’re considering earning your associate’s degree, or maybe you’re just exploring all your education options before making a decision. In either case, read on to learn about five high-paying jobs that you can work with just an associate’s degree.

Keep in mind that most associate’s degrees take two to three years to complete depending on the type of degree and institution.

1. Registered Nurse

A nurse is probably one of the most popular careers pursued by people with associate’s degrees. You can earn your degree online with some in-person training or entirely on-campus. One of the great things about nursing is that there are many different paths to take depending on your interests. Nurses can work in hospital wards, emergency rooms, operating rooms, in doctor’s offices or offer at-home care. You can also further your career as a registered nurse by earning your bachelor’s and/or master’s degree for a higher job title and salary.

Even if you only decide to go with your associate’s in nursing, you can expect to bring home an annual average salary of $59,287.

2. Dental Hygienist

A dental hygienist provides basic dental examinations, performs routine cleanings and advises patients on general oral health and upkeep. They may also perform some administrative tasks working in a dentist’s office such as responding to emails, making reminder phone calls and doing some billing.

If you have an interest in oral medicine and would rather enter the workforce than attend medical school to become a dentist, an associate’s degree might be right for you. Dental hygienists make $72,330 a year on average.

3. Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory therapists work in hospitals treating patients with breathing difficulties. This can be infants who were born prematurely, people suffering from pulmonary infections or disorders and elderly people with lung troubles. Respiratory therapists can also provide emergency respiratory care.

Respiratory therapists earn an average salary of $57,790.

4. Electrical Engineering Technician

A career in engineering doesn’t have to take nearly 10 years and cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in student debt. Earning an associate’s in electrical engineering can prepare you to work as an engineering assistant. Your job duties would revolve around assisting an engineer with technology development and implementation and working with various types of electronic equipment.

Electrical engineering techs take home an average annual salary of $61,130, and most entry-level positions require no additional training or prior work experience.

5. Web Developer

Web design and development careers have exploded over the past five years. Now, an associate’s in web development can land you one of the fastest growing and highest paying jobs on the market. Web developers code in a variety of programming languages to make websites and other applications. You can choose to study front-end web development, which deals with the physical, visible functionality of a website, backend development that relates to “behind the scenes” work or do both and become what is known as a full-stack web developer.

Web developers are in high demand because their skills are able to be utilized in virtually every industry. From entertainment to the medical field, every business needs a website and applications that work. It’s a web developers job to ensure everything is coded and optimized to its full potential for both site owners and visitors.

They also make a median salary of $64,970, which isn’t bad for a two-year degree’s worth of work.

Which job is right for you?

Apart from doing your own research, talk to a career advisor at the university you currently attend or are thinking of attending. They can help you decide which career path best aligns with your interests and professional goals.

Related Resource: Top 10 Online Associates Degrees