23 High-Paying Jobs That You Can Get With An Associate's Degree

For those who don’t have the time or money to get a bachelor’s degree, several two-year associate’s degrees have a high return on investment and may actually be the better option.

According to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, the following are the 23 highest-paying jobs that require only an associate’s degree. Each has a median annual salary of at least $US51,000.

Many of the jobs on this list are in the fields of health care, technology, or skilled labour.

The median annual wages listed are calculated to include hourly, weekly, and annual pay, as well as sales commissions and production bonuses. Overtime wages are not included in the data. We also provided the expected job openings through 2022 and the work experience or on-the-job training needed for a particular job.

22. Cardiovascular technologists and technicians

Median annual wage (2012): $US52,070

Projected job openings (through 2022): 23,000

Work experience: None

Description: Use imaging technology to help physicians diagnose cardiac (heart) and peripheral vascular (blood vessel) ailments in patients.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labour Statistics

20. Geological and petroleum technicians

Median annual wage (2012): $US52,700

Projected job openings (through 2022): 8,100

Work experience: None

Description: Provide support to scientists and engineers in exploring and extracting natural resources, such as minerals, oil, and natural gas.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labour Statistics

17. Avionics technicians

Median annual wage (2012): $US55,350

Projected job openings (through 2022): 4,000

Work experience: None

Description: Install, inspect, test, adjust, or repair avionics equipment, such as radar, radio, navigation, and missile control systems in aircraft or space vehicles.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labour Statistics

15. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians

Median annual wage (2012): $US57,850

Projected job openings (through 2022): 30,400

Work experience: None

Description: Help engineers design and develop computers, communications equipment, medical monitoring devices, navigational equipment, and other electrical and electronic equipment.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labour Statistics

14. Computer network support specialists

Median annual wage (2012): $US59,090

Projected job openings (through 2022): 39,600

Work experience: None

Description: Analyse, test, troubleshoot, and evaluate existing network systems, such as local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet systems or a segment of a network system.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labour Statistics

13. Engineering technicians

Median annual wage (2012): $US59,440

Projected job openings (through 2022): 14,600

Work experience: None

Description: Solve technical problems. Some help engineers and scientists do research and development.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labour Statistics

11. Web developer

Median annual wage (2012): $US62,500

Projected job openings (through 2022): 50,700

Work experience: None

Description: Design, create, and modify websites.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labour Statistics

10. Magnetic resonance imaging technologists

Median annual wage (2012): $US65,360

Projected job openings (through 2022): 11,300

Work experience: Less than five years

Description: Monitor patient safety and comfort, and view images of area being scanned to ensure quality of pictures.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labour Statistics

7. Funeral service directors

Median annual wage (2012): $US66,720

Degree required: Associate's degree

Projected job openings (through 2022): 3,200

Work experience: Less than five years

Description: Plan, direct, or coordinate the services or resources of funeral homes.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labour Statistics

6. Nuclear technicians

Median annual wage (2012): $US69,069

Projected job openings (through 2022): 4,100

Work experience: None

Description: Nuclear technicians assist physicists, engineers, and other professionals in nuclear research and nuclear production.

On-the-job training: Moderate-term on-the-job training

Source: Bureau of Labour Statistics

5. First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers

Median annual wage (2012): $US70,060

Projected job openings (through 2022): 50,300

Work experience: Less than five years

Description: Coordinate activities of sales workers other than retail sales workers.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labour Statistics

3. Dental hygienists

Median annual wage (2012): $US70,210

Projected job openings (through 2022): 113,500

Work experience: None

Description: Clean teeth, examine patients for oral diseases such as gingivitis, and provide other preventative dental care.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labour Statistics

2. Radiation therapists

Median annual wage (2012): $US77,560

Projected job openings (through 2022): 8,400

Work experience: None

Description: Check equipment, observe patients' reactions to treatment, and document the session.

On-the-job training: None

Source: Bureau of Labour Statistics

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