Many students that graduate high school are unwilling or unable to attend a four year university. But just because they don’t possess a bachelor’s degree doesn’t mean they can’t earn high salaries and have a variety of career opportunities available to them. Research shows that students who successfully complete an associate degree program, which generally last only two years, earn 15 percent higher wages than those that only possess a high school diploma. Below is a list of the top five paying associate degrees and various professions available with each one.
- Computer Science/Computer Technology. It is should be no surprise that the top earning associate degree is one in the computer industry. A degree in computer science or computer technology can earn professionals around $60,000 per year in a variety of industries and environments. Degree holders can work as Information Technology Managers, Network Administrators, Programmers, Support Technicians, Project Managers and more. A degree in computers offers a wide range of options and earning potential.
- Science/Nuclear Technology. This program teaches students the basic principles of nuclear technology and prepares technicians to monitor radiation, operate nuclear tests and use research equipment. Nuclear Technicians can also assist researchers and physicists with research projects and studies. These professionals can earn around $59,000 per year on average.
- Science/Radiation Therapy. Students of this program will learn to safely and properly administer radiation therapy to patients suffering from tumors or cancer. They will also learn complex medical terminology, how to assess patients, and how to use the radiation equipment. Radiation Therapists can earn around $58,000 per year in a variety of setting including hospitals, clinics, and private practices.
- Court Reporting. These degrees are also high paying in the United States. Court reporting is the transcription of legal proceedings, like trials or hearings, in short hand. Also known as stenography, this degree can earn professionals around $55,000 per year. Aside from working in the judicial system, court reporters can work for companies that provide close captioning and other translation services for the legally deaf or hard of hearing.
- Engineering Technology. This program can lead professionals to work as facilities managers, engineering technicians, network administrators and quality control managers in a variety of engineering fields, from civil to mechanical and environmental to electrical. Holders of this degree can earn around $53,000 per year on average.
For those individuals uninterested or unable to attend a four year college and receive a bachelor’s degree, there are many alternatives available for earning great salaries with only a two year associate degree.
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