Experts projected a 10% growth for jobs in the United States that requires an associate degree from 2016 to 2026. Some jobs on the list are mainly medical, one of America’s fastest-growing industries.
As the world gravitates towards a skill-based economy, companies are gradually shifting their focus from degree requirements to tech-savvy candidates willing to evolve and grow.
In this article, we shall explore the highest-paying jobs with an associate’s degree, so you’ll know the one that will suit you.
Quickly, let’s delve in.
Table of contents
- What Is An Associate Degree?
- 1. Air Traffic Controller
- 2. Information Systems Security Technician
- 3. Biomedical Technician
- 4. Fashion Designer
- 5. Radiation Therapist
- 6. Registered Nurse
- 7. Dental Hygienist
- 8. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
- 9. Computer Forensics Specialist
- 10. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist
- 11. Cardiac Catheterization Technician
- 12. Fashion Buyer
- 13. Avionics Technician
- 14. Electrical Engineering Technician
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What Is An Associate Degree?
An associate degree program usually lasts two years and provides graduates with access to high-paying jobs in a specialized field. Many people are moving towards an associate’s degree program because it comes with a lower cost, less time consumption, higher earnings, and more career opportunities.
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What Are The Benefits of Getting an Associate Degree?
With an associate degree, you have the leverage to spend as little as two years to learn and practice rather than spending four years for a bachelor’s degree program, and you can earn a good amount of money.
An associate’s degree program also comes with a lower cost, is less time-consuming, higher earnings, and possibly more career opportunities.
Lastly, you can earn an online associate degree and be certified at the comfort of your home, and you can get a high-paying job with an associate’s degree, you can still work remotely and be paid.
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Highest Paying Jobs With Associate Degree
Below is the list of highest-paying jobs with associate degrees.
1. Air Traffic Controller
The air traffic controller is at the top of the list of highest-paying jobs with an associate degree. An air traffic controller enforces accurate taxing procedures on the airways, providing aircraft with the proper landing protocol and instructions and performing visual monitoring of local airspace surrounding the air towers of airports.
On average, air traffic controllers earn an annual salary of $125,000, making it one of the top associate degree jobs. Experts predict that the market will experience a 4% growth in the next six years.
2. Information Systems Security Technician
Information systems security technicians are saddled with the responsibility of establishing individual user access in computer systems for corporate clients and big brands.
Security technicians also analyze systems’ collective data, maintain security files, log access requests, and keep track of trending user activity for future security purposes.
The median annual salary for an information system security technician is $96,116 making it rank among the highest paying jobs with an associate degree.
3. Biomedical Technician
Biomedical technicians monitor, service, repair, and set up medical equipment in hospitals, clinics, and private health organizations.
These individuals are well-grounded in technology and vision-driven, and the average annual salary for biomedical technicians is $48,600.
At the same time, some of the top-paying positions earn up to $95,000 per annum. This steadily growing field is gradually rising to become among the highest paying jobs with an associate degree.
4. Fashion Designer
This industry has a high level of competition and it takes passion, a continual flow of the juice of creativity, talent, and patience to stand out.
Fashion designers are students of style, responsible for creating new clothing designs, setting trends, and combining colorful, visual, and physical elements to form beautiful concepts with clothing. Annual salaries average around $87,698 making it rank among the highest paying jobs with an associate degree.
5. Radiation Therapist
This is another highest-paying job with an associate’s degree. If you are the type of person that derives pleasure in helping people and can deal with difficult situations proficiently, then a career as a radiation therapist might be a good fit for you. A radiation therapist administers radiation therapies and treatments, most often to cancer patients in hospitals.
Professional radiation therapists are in high demand as such a radiation therapist earns an average of $85,300. It has been predicted that this job will experience a 13% growth within the next six years, meaning now is another time to hop into this field.
6. Registered Nurse
Registered nurses are the heart and soul of any hospital, they manage patients’ day-to-day care and often provide emotional support to the family, friends, and other hospital guests in times of crisis.
People with an Associate Degree in Nursing earn an average salary of $74,000, annually making it rank in the list of highest-paying jobs with an associate degree.
It has been predicted that the field will experience a 15% growth within the next six years.
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7. Dental Hygienist
If you would consider yourself to be proficient in the art of dental hygiene, then you might want to consider pursuing a career as a dental hygienist. These individuals are responsible for regular patient teeth-cleanings, customer service, and oral health administration.
While some of the top-paying positions earn a whopping $107,800 annually, the average salary for a dental hygienist is $75,400, making it one of the highest paying jobs with an associate’s degree. In addition, the field is expected to experience a 20% growth in the next six years.
8. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
A diagnostic medical sonographer is responsible for managing special imaging tools that pass sound waves through the body of a patient to diagnose and treat various ailments.
This is typically known as an ultrasound; a diagnostic medical photographer earns around $73,860, annually, ranking it among the highest paying jobs associate’s degree.
9. Computer Forensics Specialist
Do you consider yourself competent in technology and managing computer systems? If yes, then a career as a computer forensics specialist might be a good fit for you.
These individuals are saddled with the responsibility of assisting law enforcement and other federal or international government agencies with criminal investigations. For example, as a computer forensics specialist, you might be recruited by the CIA to work on terrorist issues.
A computer forensics specialist earns an average salary of $72,900 annually, making it among the list of highest-paying jobs with an associate degree.
10. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist
A magnetic resonance imaging technologist specializes in the operation and data analysis of magnetic imaging machines often used for diagnoses and medical purposes. They work with radiologists to perform x-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs.
While some of the top-paying positions earn a whopping $99,100 per annum. On average they earn around $71,790, making it rank among the highest paying jobs with an associate degree.
11. Cardiac Catheterization Technician
Cardiac Catheterization Technicians are responsible for aiding in the diagnoses and treatments of patients’ hearts, and they are often present in the operating room to monitor heart rate, blood pressure, and general well-being of patients’ cardiovascular systems throughout the procedures.
On average, Individuals with an associate degree in Cardiac Catheterization earn $69,000, annually, ranking it among the list of highest-paying jobs with an associate degree.
12. Fashion Buyer
Do you think you have the designer’s eye that it takes to set trends? If you do, you might want to consider a profession in the fashion-buying industry.
Fashion buyers are saddled with the responsibility of purchasing the clothing items that are stocked, formulating and evaluating buying plans, and fashion trends, maintaining relationships with potential suppliers, and keeping track of product pricing.
A Fashion buyer earns an average annual salary of around $67,300 making it one of the highest paying jobs with an associate’s degree.
13. Avionics Technician
This is also among the highest paying jobs with an associate degree, as such Avionics Technician repairs, assesses, and maintains aircraft electronic systems which include antennas, radios, navigation equipment, and much more. On average an Avionics Technician earns around $65,400, and it has a high earning potential as such you can decide to get an associate degree in avionics.
14. Electrical Engineering Technician
An electrical engineering technician is saddled with the responsibility of assembling various electrical equipment, designing electrical systems, creating prototypes, testing equipment, and repairing instruments.
An electrical engineer earns an average salary of $64,100 annually, ranking it among the highest-paying jobs with an associate degree.
15. Electrical Drafter
Have you been looking for a career that will enable you to blend artistic elements with technology? Then earning an associate degree in electrical drafting might be a good fit for you.
The electrical Drafter is responsible for illustrating helpful diagrams instructing electrical instrument users to set up and operate their electrical appliances.
On average, an electrical drafter may earn about $63,900 annually, among the list of highest-paying jobs with an associate degree.
16. Advertising Sales Agent
Are you flexible, sociable, hardworking, and responsible? Do you think you can persuade people to take action in buying products or services? If you are, then you can look into taking a career as an advertising sales agent.
Almost every business needs to make sales, so they invest a high amount of money in Advert as such Advertising sales agents play several roles in business, such as contacting prospects, drafting and carrying out sales pitches and presentations, managing client accounts, and meeting quotas and deadlines, they’re also responsible for selling advertising space to companies and businesses which involves
On average, people in this career earn an annual amount of $63,300 making it one of the highest paying jobs with an associate degree.
17. Respiratory Therapist
This is one of the top highest paying jobs with an associate degree, experts predicting that the market will experience a 23% increase within the next six years.
A Respiratory Therapist treats patients who suffer from respiratory system diseases, such as heart attacks, emphysema, strokes, and many more.
A respiratory therapist earns an average amount of $61,900, you can delve into this niche if it revolves around your passion.
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18. Court Reporter
A court reporter is saddled with the responsibility of transcribing the happenings of the courtroom; they often use a stenotype machine to capture the transcript verbatim.
These individuals normally provide real-time broadcasting closed-captioning for political speeches, entertainment events, sporting events, conferences, and other live televised programs.
A Court Reporter may earn around $62,400, annually making it one of the highest paying jobs with an associate’s degree.
19. Lodging Manager
Do you think you can successfully manage the goings-on of a resort or hotel? Then, a career as a lodging manager might be a good option for you. Lodging managers are responsible for making their hotels inviting and hospitable for attending to the needs of their guests.
They also oversee the management of other hotel employees. On average, a graduate with an associate degree in lodging management earns around $60,900 annually, making it rank among the highest paying jobs with an associate’s degree.
20. Executive Administrative Assistant
This relatively lucrative field makes it one of the highest-paying jobs with an associate’s degree.
Executive Administrative Assistant is saddled with taking messages, receiving calls, and doing secretarial work for corporate executives. Executive Administrative Assistant earns an average of $69,900 annually.
21. Radiologic Technologist
A radiologist technologist is responsible for taking care of MRI machines, CAT scans, X-rays, and other helpful protocols within a health care setting.
On average, a radiologist Technologist may earn about $59,500, ranking it among the highest-paying jobs with an associate degree. It is predicted that this field will experience a 12% growth, making it rank among the highest-paying jobs with an associate degree.
22. Occupational Therapy Assistant
Are you the type of person who enjoys dialogue with different people? Then, earning an associate degree as an occupational therapy assistant might be a good fit for you. They diagnose and interact with therapy patients in rehabilitation and give prescriptions.
They earn an average amount of $60,300, making it one of the highest paying jobs with an associate degree. Experts predict that the job market will experience a 29% increase in the next six years so this is a lucrative field to delve into.
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23. Electro-mechanical Technician
Electro-mechanical Technicians are responsible for maintaining, operating, repairing, and testing electrical equipment for businesses, manufacturers, and other firms. An electromagnetic technician earns an estimated salary of $59,900, ranking it among the highest-paying jobs with an associate degree.
24. Food Service Manager
This is another lucrative field in the list of highest-paying jobs with an associate degree; a food service manager oversees the operations and day-to-day services of food chain restaurants, cafes, or other foodservice venues. They direct and give instructions to employees and are mainly responsible for the particular location to which they are assigned to manage. A food service manager earns an average annual amount of $57,700.
25. Cardiovascular Technologist
They are responsible for assisting surgeons and doctors with diagnoses, both invasive and non-invasive procedures, and operating cardiological equipment such as ultrasounds to diagnose patients.
On average, they earn an annual amount of $57,900 per annum. It is predicted that the field will experience a 12% growth, making it one of the highest-paying jobs with an associate degree.
26. Mechanical Engineering Technician
Do you enjoy completing hands-on projects, and collaborating with people in developing new and creative ways of mechanizing everyday products? Then, taking a career as a mechanical engineering technician might be a good fit for you.
They work with professional mechanical engineers to design, construct, plan, and test mechanical appliances; Mechanical Engineering Technician earns an annual salary of $55,900, ranking it among the highest-paying jobs with an associate degree.
27. Mechanical Drafter
Mechanical drafters are responsible for designing, constructing models, calculating dimensions, and drawing up plans for complex automated systems.
It is also one of the highest paying associate’s degree jobs as such a mechanical drafter earns an estimated amount of $55,150 per annum.
28. Wind Turbine Service Technician
Because they are vital contributors to the global movement towards sustainable energy, wind turbine service technician has risen to become among the highest paying jobs with an associate degree.
Their job is to install preventative features and specialized technology that resists malfunction in modern wind turbine designs. When something goes wrong with a wind turbine, service technicians analyze the problem, troubleshoot, repair it, and maintain wind turbines.
On average, they earn around $54,600; this is a highly promising associate degree job as such expert predicts that demand for this profession will skyrocket to 95% making it rank among the highest paying jobs will the associate degree.
29. Production Agriculture Salesperson
Are you capable of representing a major corporation and working under supervisors? Then taking an earning an associate degree as a production agriculture salesperson might be a good option for you.
They are responsible for advertising and selling products related to food production or agriculture, working as representatives for larger companies. This is another highest-paying job with an associate’s degree as such; they earn an average annual salary of $58,500.
30. Physical Therapist Assistant
Physical Therapist Assistant is one of the highest-paying jobs with an associate’s degree, they’re responsible for providing customer service to patients and performing organizational receptionist duties in a physical therapy office. On average, they earn an annual salary of $58,000 making it rank among the list of highest-paying jobs with an associate degree.
Experts Predict that the field will experience a 31% increase over the next six years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most of the career opportunities for associate degrees that pay more are in the health niche. With an associate degree, you can get a quality job that pays more than $60,000 annually.
The highest paying job with an associate’s degree is an air traffic controller degree, earning an average salary of $125,000 annually.
The major difference between the two types of degrees is how long it takes to earn each one. For a full-time student, an associate degree program lasts two years, while a bachelor’s degree program lasts four years.
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Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Perkinston, MS
Coastline Community College Fountain Valley, CA
Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis
If you’re the techy type, who is willing to evolve and grow. Then getting an associate degree gives you the hope of landing the highest-paying jobs in various sectors.
It is also projected that from 2016 to 2026, the number of jobs in the United States that require an associate degree will experience a 10% growth.
With as little as two years, you can earn an associate degree at a lower cost, less time-consuming, higher earnings, and more career opportunities.
In addition, you also pursue an online associate’s degree and be certified in the comfort of your home, and you can still earn any of the highest-paying jobs with an associate’s degree.
With this article, we hope you have gained an understanding of the highest paying jobs with an associate degree.
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