Jobs That Only Require an Associate Degree

Although traditionally it was thought that in order to obtain a high paying, secure career you needed to obtain a bachelor’s degree or even higher education such as a master’s, PhD or professional degree such as those obtained by doctors and lawyers. However, times are changing and many companies are seeing the benefits of hiring individuals with less schooling, such as those with an associate degree. Indeed, they can often hire these individuals cheaper than they can hire someone with a four or more year degree and the quality of work is still the same. However, that’s not to say the pay isn’t still good.

An associate degree (an AA) is a two-year degree often offered by community, arts, and technology colleges. These colleges often offer two- and three-year degrees in a wide variety of subjects. Although the average program takes two years, this can take longer if you take more electives, or can be expedited by taking more than a typical course load over the duration of the program.

There are number of benefits of obtaining an associate degree including the speed at which one can be obtained which results in far less student debt at graduation; the ability to transfer credits obtained during your associate degree over to a university for credit towards a bachelor’s degree; and the hands on experience you’ll obtain in many associate degree programs. But what are good jobs that only require an associate degree?

What Types of Jobs Only Require an Associate degree?

One of the primary questions students have when deciding whether or not to apply for an associate degree is “what type of job is an associate degree good for?” Many students fear that by choosing an associate degree over a bachelor’s degree they will be limiting their career options at the conclusion of their program. This however, is not the case.

There are a number of careers you can obtain with an associate degree that will pay a very decent salary. These careers are in a wide range of industries including trades, healthcare, medical office or dental office, business, legal, technology, and countless others. Now that we’ve answered what type of career is an associate’s degree good for, we’ll get down to some specifics so you can see just what type of jobs you’ll be able to land.

Specific Answers to What Type of Career is an Associate degree Good For?

While it’s okay to answer the question, “what type of career is an associate degree good for?” by listing off all of the industries you’ll be able to work in, it’s more beneficial to provide some specific jobs so you’ll be able to see the calibre of jobs you’ll be working in.

  • Computer Programmer. The IT industry is booming and with the exponential growth of technology, the industry is projected to grow into the foreseeable future. One career in the tech industry you’ll be able to land a job in with an associate’s degree is a computer programmer. Computer programmers work on all types of software including business software, computer games, and security software. Not only will you have a secure job upon graduation, but within a couple of years you’ll likely be earning about $50,000/year.
  • Dental Hygienist. As mentioned, there are a large number of careers in the healthcare field you’ll be able to get into with an associate degree. One of these is as a dental hygienist where you’ll be working on people’s teeth with responsibilities such as cleaning teeth and aiding the dentist in tasks such as filling cavities. If you can handle working with people’s mouths, a career as a dental hygienist will provide you with an average salary of over $65,000 per year.
  • Office Manager. Along with the technology and healthcare fields, an associate degree can land you a job in the business industry. Although there are many careers in business you’ll be able to obtain such as Sales or Administration, one of the better jobs is that of an Office Manager. You’ll be responsible for delegating work and ensuring your department runs smoothly. Not only that, but you’ll be making well over the average salary of most Americans.
  • Trades. One of the most popular and most in demand career areas you’ll be able to get into with an associate degree is the “trades.” These jobs range from electricians to HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) mechanics to carpenters and plumbers. As trades are currently in high demand, the pay is often very good. For instance, an HVAC mechanic with 10 years of experience can make as much as $90,000 per year. Not bad for a two year degree.

Conclusion to Good Jobs That Only Require an Associate degree

Hopefully this article has provided you with an answer to the question, “what type of career is an associate degree good for?” Upon completion of your two-year degree you’ll be able to enter a high paying, high demand job in a wide variety of industries such as business, healthcare, trades, and technology.