10 Best Jobs Requiring Two-Year Degrees

associate degreeTo continue school or not continue school? That is the question for many high school graduates.

Although college can improve your career opportunities and increase your lifetime earnings, it also takes four years (or more) of your life and a lot of money. Plus, few majors can guarantee a financial return that will offset the financial debt many students will accumulate during college.

Two-year degrees, of which an associate degree is the most common, provide training and education for a variety of fields in approximately half the time as a bachelor's degree. Plus, you can earn an associate degree from a local community college for a fraction of the cost of a four-year degree at a university. Also, for most areas of study, an associate degree puts you halfway toward a four-year degree should you decide to pursue later.


Perhaps more important to students wondering about their educational future, workers with associate degrees on average earn more money than their counterparts with high school diplomas. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over a 40-year period, high school graduates will earn a total of $1.2 million, while workers with associate degrees will earn $1.6 million.

Is it any surprise two-year degrees are becoming an increasingly attractive option for many people?

Based on salary, industry employment and projected job growth, here are 10 of the best jobs for workers with two-year degrees:


1. Computer specialists

Median annual wage: $71,510*

Current Employment: 136,000

Projected 2016 employment increase: 15 percent


2. Dental hygienists

Median annual wage: $64,740

Current Employment: 167,000

Projected 2016 employment increase: 30 percent


3. Fashion designers

Median annual wage: $62,810

Current Employment: 20,000

Projected 2016 employment increase: 5 percent


4. Registered nurses

Median annual wage: $60,010

Current Employment: 2.5 million

Projected 2016 employment increase: 23 percent


5. Environmental engineering technicians

Median annual wage: $ 40,560

Current Employment: 21,000

Projected 2016 employment increase: 25 percent


6. Radiologic technologists and technicians

Median annual wage: $50,260

Current Employment: 196,000

Projected 2016 employment increase: 15 percent


7. Industrial engineering technicians

Median annual wage: $47,490

Current Employment: 75,000

Projected 2016 employment increase: 10 percent


8. Paralegals and legal assistants

Median annual wage: $44,990

Current Employment: 238,000

Projected 2016 employment increase: 22 percent


9. Occupational therapist assistants

Median annual wage: $45,050

Current Employment: 25,000

Projected 2016 employment increase: 25 percent


10. Computer support specialists

Median annual wage: $42,400

Current Employment: 552,000

Projected 2016 employment increase: 13 percent


Next: Top 10 Companies Hiring This Week >>

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Gary Mayer

What did you do with the blogs?

October 05 2009 at 2:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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