Associate Degrees: Bang for Your Education Buck

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The Best Jobs that Only Require an Associate Degree

With the cost of tuition at four-year colleges and universities growing out of control, it is no surprise people are more interested in two-year degrees. Let’s take a look at how popular associate degrees are and how they are paying off.

28.2%: Associate degree holders who out-earn those with bachelor’s degrees
Median lifetime earnings by highest education attainment:
Less than high school $1,061,947
High school diploma $1,423,205
Some college/no degree $1,688,419
Associate degree $1,884,874
Bachelor’s degree $2,475,330
Master’s degree $2,915,170
Doctorate $3,549,283
Professional degree $3,981,483

Best Jobs That Only Require an Associate Degree

The following are the best-paying jobs for which an associate degree will be sufficient to get hired.

Radiation therapist
Median hourly earnings: $38.71
Growth through 2020: 20%

Dental hygienist
Median hourly earnings: $35.23
Growth through 2020: 38%

Nuclear medicine technologist
Median hourly earnings: $35.39
Growth through 2020: 19%

Nuclear technician
Median hourly earnings: $35.15
Growth through 2020: 14%

Diagnostic medical sonographer
Median hourly earnings: $33.23
Growth through 2020: 44%

Aerospace engineering and operations technician
Median hourly earnings: $29.99

Engineering technician
Median hourly earnings: $31.41
Growth through 2020: 4%

Respiratory therapist
Median hourly earnings:$28.03
Growth through 2020: 28%

Commercial pilot
Median hourly earnings: $47.25
Growth through 2020: 11%

Electrical and electronics repairer
Median hourly earnings: $25.38
Growth through 2020: 3%

Fashion designer
Median hourly earnings: $33.31

Aerospace engineering and operations technician
Median hourly earnings: $29.99

Paralegal
Median hourly earnings: $24.10
Growth through 2020: 18%

Registered nurse
Median hourly earnings: $33.40
Growth through 2020: 26%

Air traffic controller
Median hourly earnings: 55.77

Construction manager
Median hourly earnings: $43.30
Growth through 2020: 17%

Police
Median hourly earnings: 28.40
Growth through 2020: 7%

Emergency management director
Median hourly earnings: $32.45
Growth through 2020: 14%

Insurance claims adjuster
Median hourly earnings: $30.18
Growth through 2020: 3%

Chef
Median hourly earnings: $20.97

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Sources:

http://www.bls.gov
http://www9.georgetown.edu
http://www.economicmodeling.com