For years, the Associate degree has been looked upon as the starting point for higher education. Most people who complete their Associate degree at a technical school transfer to a four-year college or university. But there are many high-paying jobs available to Associate-degree holders.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has ranked the following careers as the highest-paying jobs typically held by those with Associate degrees.
Computer Specialist – $59,480
Computer specialists perform tasks ranging from managing network security to providing technical support to help-desk consulting. Career opportunities are expected to increase by 19 percent through 2014.
Nuclear Technician – $59,200
Nuclear technicians will probably experience a 14 percent growth in job opportunities over the next eight years. Nuclear technicians are needed to monitor radiation levels and operate nuclear test and research equipment.
Dental Hygienist – $58,350
Now that dental hygiene has taken a front seat in personal grooming, dental hygienists are in high demand. Aside from a 43 percent growth in job opportunities, they also enjoy high salaries. Dental hygienists assist with routine dental services, such as teeth cleanings and X-rays.
Radiation Therapist – $57,700
Cancer and tumor patients interact with radiation therapists on a regular basis. Radiation therapists are responsible for administering radiation therapy to cancer patients. Increases in the number of cancer patients should fuel the 26 percent projected growth over the next eight years.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist – $55,840
Organ monitoring tests that require radioactive materials are generally administered by nuclear medicine technologists. This field is expected to grow by more than 21 percent through 2014.