What is an associate degree? An associate is a 2-year college degree offered at most community colleges, technical colleges, vocational schools, and some 4-year universities. An associate degree is often a more affordable option than a bachelor’s degree, as it takes less time to complete.
Students can typically transfer credits earned in an associate program towards a bachelor’s degree program, but you can find rewarding associate degree jobs in a wide array of industries. Have you ever thought about being an allergy technician? Architectural technician? How about a crop production specialist?
Many associate degree jobs have a short payback timeframe of only two years due to a high median salary and a substantially lower tuition rate than a bachelor’s degree. You can launch a lucrative career with this 2-year college degree, sometimes even making more money than workers with a bachelor’s degree.
Below, we will discuss some of the best associate degrees for high-salary career paths. Some of the jobs in the list don’t require an associate degree, but having one provides an edge on the competition.
List of Associate Degree Jobs
We placed the jobs in alphabetical order.
(2013 and 2014 salary data)
1. Advertising sales agent:
The work of advertising sales agents envelopes today’s world. Work in the dynamic media industry, using your communications skills to sell advertising space, time or media in television, radio, publications or on the Internet.
Advertising sales agent education: Associate’s in Marketing degree
Average advertising sales agent salary: $45,830
2. Air traffic controller:
Most people have the impression a pilot controls the airplane, but air traffic controllers know better. Communicating to pilots from towers on the ground, air traffic controllers provide and relay pivotal information and directions to pilots to ensure a safe and effective flight for hundreds of pilots and thousands of airline passengers each day.
Air traffic controller education: Associate’s in Air Traffic Control degree
Average air traffic controller salary: $62,000
3. Allergy technician:
Allergies affect people ranging from mild annoyance to life threatening; allergy technicians are the faces of hope, sympathy, and kindness as they assist patients and doctors through the allergen testing process. Allergy technicians perform tasks ranging from paperwork, to blood draws, to interactions with patients.
Allergy technician education: Associate’s in Medical Technology degree or an Associate’s in Healthcare Technology degree
Average allergy technician salary: $42,000
4. Architectural drafter:
Architects are the structural creative visionaries, but it’s the architectural drafters who actually draw the vision’s specifics, so others can bring the vision to fruition. Construction workers use the architectural drafter’s drawings to build the structure, so extreme attention to detail is an absolute must in this profession.
Architectural drafter education: Associate’s in Architectural Drafting degree
Average architectural drafter salary: $41,000
5. Architectural technician:
Architects may get all the glory, but they wouldn’t get very far without the architectural technicians. Once an architect creates a design, the architectural technician transforms it into a workable project through developing and drawing up a set of construction drawings.
Architectural technician education: Associate’s in Architectural Technology degree
Average architectural technician salary: $35,000
6. Audio & video equipment technician:
Due to employees working from various locations across the country or the world, businesses often hold meetings via computers. Companies increasingly rely on audio & video equipment technicians to keep meetings and presentations running smoothly. Audio & video equipment technicians provide the necessary technical support to help businesses communicate effectively.
Audio & video equipment technician education: Associate’s degree in Audio Production and Engineering degree
Average audio & Video equipment technician salary: $41,250
7. Avionics Technician:
Avionics technicians are the grease keeping aircrafts working smoothly and safely. Avionic technicians may specialize in a specific aspect of avionic systems, as these systems run everything from communication, navigations, flight control, and life-support for aircrafts.
Avionics technician education: Associate’s in Aviation Maintenance Technology degree
Average avionics technician salary: $53,000
8. Biomedical Technician:
Medical equipment can help save lives, but only if it’s working properly; in this sense, biomedical technicians can help save lives without having to endure years of school and residency. Medical equipment varies vastly in technicality, so biomedical technicians must understand how to use a large range of tools and perform a diverse array of tasks.
Biomedical technician education: Associate’s degree in Biomedical Technology or an Associate’s degree in Biomedical Engineering
Average biomedical technician salary: $42,000
9. Broadcast technician:
The work of the broadcast technicians truly brings the evening news to us; they operate the cameras and related equipment during broadcasts. Broadcast technicians plan ahead for all foreseeable issues and react and problem solve quickly, as they often operate live broadcasts.
Broadcast technician education: Associate’s degree of Applied Science in Broadcast Technology
Average broadcast technician salary: $36,710
10. CAD technician:
CAD technicians bring architecture and structural projects closer to reality through translating a vision or plan into specific graphical drawings through computer drawing programs. A CAD technician’s drawings bridge the gap between architects, investors, and construction workers all working toward bringing a vision to reality.
CAD technician education: Associate’s degree of Applied Science in Computer-aided Design Technology
Average CAD technician salary: $41,000
11. Cardiac Catheterization Technician:
Doctors perform the diagnosing and direct interaction with patients, but the cardiac catheterization technicians test and operate the equipment and systems which test patients for diagnostic purposes.
Cardiac catheterization technician education: Associate’s in Invasive Cardiovascular Technology degree
Average cardiac catheterization technician salary: $55,000
12. Cardiopulmonary Technologist:
A cardiopulmonary technologist, a vital part of any cardiopulmonary team, works directly with patients and doctors to manage or resolve cardiopulmonary irregularities. Cardiopulmonary technologists do everything from collecting patient history and paperwork, to performing cardiopulmonary procedures – both invasive and non-invasive.
Cardiopulmonary Technologist education: Associate’s in Science degree in Cardiopulmonary Technology
Average cardiopulmonary technologist salary: N/A
13. Cardiovascular physical therapy assistant:
Just about everyone benefits from an assistant, even physical therapists. Cardiovascular physical therapy assistants work under the direction of cardiovascular physical therapists to help patients recover from or live with respiratory issues such as asthma or infections, or even prepare for respiratory-related surgeries.
Cardiovascular physical therapy assistant education: Associate’s degree in Physical Therapy or an Associate’s degree in Cardiovascular Technology
Average cardiovascular physical therapy assistant salary: N/A
14. Cardiovascular Technologist:
Many professionals work together to help people with heart and other cardiovascular problems, including cardiovascular technologists. Cardiovascular technologists assist physicians and cardiologists in procedures and with analysing test results related to heart and blood vessels.
Cardiovascular technologist education: Associate’s in Science in Cardiovascular Technology degree
Average cardiovascular technologist salary: $53,210
Food is the tie that binds all humans together, and chefs wear this understanding and weight on their shoulders every day. This profession is not for the weak-willed, as it requires an ironclad work ethic, long hours, and working holidays; however, it’s also highly rewarding for those who enjoy constant innovation, creativity, and bringing smiles to people’s faces daily.
Chef education: Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts
Average chef salary: $53,000
16. Chemical technician:
We are surrounded by chemicals daily, whether it’s our cleaning products, food preservatives, hygiene products, or medicine; they’re everywhere. Chemical technicians assist chemists and chemical engineers in developing, testing, and producing chemicals for a variety of fields. This is a highly transferable skill set.
Chemical technician education: Associate’s degree in Applied Science or an Associate’s degree in Chemical Technology
Average chemical technician salary: $33,000
17. Childcare center director:
Although their business is the care of children, childcare center directors are often not the primary caretaker for the children; rather, the childcare center director focuses on duties such as recruiting new families, addressing parents’ concerns, collecting payments, and managing staff members.
Childcare center director education: Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education
Average childcare center director salary: $35,000
18. Civil drafter:
Most people take large-scale projects such as highways, city sewer piping, and oil pipelines for granted, but it’s the work of civil drafters which allows these types of projects to come to fruition. Civil drafters hand-draw and utilize computer-aided design and drafting programs to create drawings, maps, and blueprints for large projects.
Civil drafter education: Associate’s in Applied Science Drafting degree
Average civil drafter salary: $45,000
19. Civil engineering technician:
The world is in a state of constant demolition and rebuilding, as humans’ needs change and evolve. Civil engineering technicians greatly contribute to our success as a society through working with civil engineers in planning and creating necessary structures ranging from buildings, to bridges, to sewage systems.
Civil engineering technician education: Associate’s degree in Civil Engineering Technology
Average civil engineering technician salary: $47,780
20. Clinical social work aide:
For some individuals, helping people through the toughest times in their lives is worth much more than a pay check; clinical social work aides work directly with clients, under the supervision of a licensed social worker, to educate them on available options relevant to their unique situation and help clients create plans to get back on their feet.
Clinical social work aide education: Associate’s in Human Service degree
Average clinical social work aide salary: N/A
21. Community service specialist:
Although community service specialists work in a large variety of organizations, one aspect of the job is always the same – they work directly with people, creating and fostering relationships between their business and others. Community service specialists focus on increasing quality of life for those who may need assistance, such as elderly, disabled, or children.
Community service specialist education: Associate’s in Human Services degree
Average community service specialist salary: $34,000
22. Computer forensics specialist:
In most of the cop shows, the computer forensics specialist has the most interesting-yet-non-life-threatening job. A computer forensics specialist receives and analyzes evidence of a crime scene, develops an educated hypothesis, and reports back to the investigators or court. Workers in this field can earn an annual average salary that is around $19,000 greater than the national mean wage, making this one of the best associate degrees for professionals seeking immediate entry into a high-paying career.
Computer forensics specialist education: Associate’s in Computer Forensics degree
Average computer forensics specialist salary: $68,000
23. Computer network technician:
Modern businesses run on computer networks, so someone has to have the responsibility for building, testing, and trouble-shooting them. Computer network technicians do all this for any kind of network, ranging from local area network (LANs) to Wide Area Networks (WANs), and Intranets.
Computer network technician education: Associate’s in Computer Science degree, an Associate’s in Computer Information Science degree or an Associate’s of Computer Engineering Technology degree
Average computer network technician salary: $46,000
24. Computer maintenance technician:
Being an IT guy has become a lot cooler over the past decade. Computer maintenance technicians are the individuals business employees turn to help with computer-related problems, as computer network technicians build, trouble-shoot, and maintain computer and hardware systems.
Computer maintenance technician education: Associate’s degree in Computer Maintenance and Networking
Average computer maintenance technician salary: $45,000
25. Computer support specialist:
Anyone who has ever experienced computer trouble at some point can speak of the importance and appreciation of the computer support specialist. Computer support specialists work directly with people to find a fast and efficient solution to a computer problem.
Computer support specialist education: Associate’s in Computer Science degree or Associate’s in Information Technology degree
Average computer support specialist salary: $36,000
26. Court reporter:
Court reporters aren’t allowed to have an ‘off’ day; what they record in courtrooms and legal meetings become ‘the record’ and could affect the future of the trial. Court reporters are responsible for accurately documents everything said in a trial or legal meeting.
Court reporter education: Associate’s degree in Court Reporting
Average court reporter salary: $49,560
27. Crop production specialist:
The world always need food, so a crop production specialists will always be important contributing members of society. Crop production specialists may specialize in specific crops and they’re expected to understand all aspects of producing successful outcomes for a crop or crops.
Crop production specialist education: Agriscience Technician Associate’s degree
Average Crop production specialist salary: N/A.
28. Customer service supervisor:
Good customer service requires the patience of a loving parent, a thick skin, and genuine care for others. A customer service supervisor oversees customer service representatives as well as works with upper management to help set and reach company goals.
Customer service supervisor education: Associate’s degree in Business or an Associate’s in degree in Business Administration
Average customer service supervisor salary: $44,000
29. Dental hygienist:
It’s possible to make a significant difference in someone’s life via their teeth and mouth without having to endure eight years of dental school. Dental hygienists clean teeth, educate people on oral care, and search for signs of oral diseases such as gingivitis. Often times, they spend more time directly with the patients than the dentist.
Dental hygienist education: Associate’s in Dental Hygienist degree
Average dental hygienist salary: $61,000
30. Desktop publisher:
A skilled desktop publisher can draw people into a specific company through clever and appealing design and information. Desktop publishers create page layouts and written content for print and computers.
Desktop publisher education: Associate’s in Graphic Arts degree, an Associate’s in Graphic Communications degree or an Associate’s in Graphic Design degree
Average desktop publisher salary: $37,850
31. Diagnostic medical sonographer:
Diagnostic medical sonographers work directly with patients as well as senior medical staff. Utilizing sonography equipment, diagnostic medical sonographers find and capture images which help doctors make diagnoses.
Diagnostic medical sonographer education: Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (Ultrasound) degree
Average diagnostic medical sonographer salary: $67,410
32. Dietetic technician:
While working alongside a dietician, a dietetic technician works with clients on a variety of dietary issues and may create meal plans to accommodate specific dietary goals or restrictions. Dietetic technicians help turn a client’s life around and increase quality of life through changes in food.
Dietetic technician education: Associate of Applied Science Dietetic Technician degree or an Associate of Science in Dietetic Technology degree
Average dietetic technician salary: $38,000
33. Electrical drafter:
People living in first world countries often take electricity for granted, but it takes a significant amount of work and planning to get electricity to rooms and machines in businesses at the flick of a switch. Electrical drafters, a primary reason electrical issues run smoothly for businesses, develop diagrams for wiring, circuit boards, and electrical equipment.
Electrical drafter education: Associate in Design and Drafting Engineering Technology degree or Associate in Computer-Aided Drafting & Design degree
Average electrical drafter salary: $47,000
34. Electrical engineering technician:
Electrical engineering technicians have the ‘power’ of many companies in their hands. Electrical engineering technicians assist electrical engineers in installing, testing, and monitoring all things electrical for a variety of businesses.
Electrical engineering technician education: Associate’s degree in Electrical Engineering Technology
Average electrical engineering technician salary: $56,000
35. Electro-mechanical technician:
Electro-mechanical technicians, the Ironmen of the electrical and mechanical fields, regularly work with a variety of tools on large electrical and hydraulic machines on vessels such as oil rigs and submarines. This is one technician you don’t want to mess with!
Electro-mechanical technician education: Associate’s degree in Electronic Technology or Associate’s degree in Mechanical Technology
Average electro-mechanical technician salary: $51,330
36. Environmental engineering technician:
The environment has one more reason to hope for a cleaner and healthier future with each new environmental engineering technician who enters the field. These individuals carry out plans developed by environmental engineers with the intention of bettering the environment.
Environmental engineering technician education: Associate’s degree in Environmental Engineering Technology
Average environmental engineering technician salary: $46,160
37. Environmental science and protection technician:
Environmental science and protection technicians aren’t afraid to get their hands and knees dirty to perform field and laboratory tests. They know someone has to do it, and the health of the environment and how it affects public health gives them motivation.
Environmental science and protection technician education: Associate’s degree in Environmental Science or Associate’s degree in Environmental Health
Average environmental science and protection technician salary: $41,700
38. Executive administrative assistant:
Not your average assistant, an executive administrative assistant works for the top-tier executives. They’re expected to provide input, creativity, and problem-solving skills in addition to traditional clerical work.
Executive administrative assistant education: Associate’s in Administrative Technology degree or an Associate’s in Office Technology degree or an Associate’s in Administrative Assisting degree
Average executive administrative assistant salary: $41,000
39. Family service assistant:
Every parent probably wishes they had a family service assistant at some point. A family service assistant performs nanny-like duties by helping with childcare as well as pitching in heavily with the housecleaning. They’re likely a lot of bonus hugs of gratitude – from the parents and children alike – in this position.
Family service assistant education requirements: Associate’s in Human Services degree
Average family service assistant salary: $27,000
40. Fashion buyer:
A savvy store fashion buyer can place an imminent hole in your wallet. Fashion buyers study sales reports and fashion trends to determine what clothing to carry, the sales price, when to mark merchandise down, and when to make new inventory orders. Workers in this field can earn an annual average salary that is almost $20,000 greater than the national mean wage, giving this 2-year college degree an especially high ROI.
Fashion buyer education: Associate’s degree in Fashion Merchandising
Average fashion buyer salary: $69,000
41. Fashion designer:
It’s easy to have an opinion about fashions and trends, but it’s entirely different to be the person creating them. Fashion designers channel their creativity into designing clothing, shoes, and accessories.
Fashion designer education requirements: Associate’s degree in Fashion Design
Average fashion designer salary: $49,000
42. Fitness instructor:
Motivating and educating people on personal fitness is no easy task; this job sees plenty of failure, but fitness instructors also reap the unique benefits of watching people transform attitudes, bodies, and lives for the better. Fitness instructors may lead group fitness activities or work with individuals on reaching specific health goals.
Fitness instructor education: Associate’s degree in Exercise Science or an Associate’s degree in Kinesiology or an Associate’s degree in Physical Education
Average fitness instructor salary: $35,000
43. Food science technician:
Food and agriculture is arguably one of the most important industries on earth; food science technicians play an important role in it. Food science technicians constantly measure, test, and analyze food and agriculture to help keep our food safe and healthy.
Food science technician education: Associate’s in Food Safety degree or an Associate’s in Biology degree
Average food science technician salary: $34,790
44. Food service manager:
Food service is a highly competitive field, with customers having more options than they know what to do with; this makes the food service manager’s dedication to and skill at their job vital to the success of the business as a whole. Food service managers deal with everything from customer relations, to food quality, to staff management.
Food service manager education: Associate in Science in Foodservice Management degree or an Associate in Science in Restaurant & Food Services Management degree
Average food service manager salary: $48,080
45. Forest technician:
Forestland is not only vital to keeping earth’s environment healthy and viable, forestland is an ideal location for relaxation and fun. Forest technicians work tirelessly to improve the quality of forestland.
Forest technician education: Associate’s in Forestry Technology degree
Average forest technician salary: $34,910
46. Greenhouse manager:
A greenhouse manager must perform the tricky balancing act between thousands of different plant species’ specific growing needs and what the general public is looking to buy at any given season. Greenhouse managers also oversee the greenhouse staff and regularly interact with customers to answer specific questions and accommodate requests.
Greenhouse manager education: Associate’s in Landscape and Ornamental Horticulture degree
Average greenhouse manager salary: $35,000
47. Health information technician:
Most people take for granted their health information is organized, accurate, and up-to-date; but this doesn’t happen without health information technicians. Increasingly, health information technicians deal with electronic records. They also focus on security of records.
Health information technician education: Associate’s degree in Health Information Technology
Average health information salary: $33,000
48. Horticulture salesperson:
In order to sell food and plants, a person must be extraordinarily knowledgeable about it himself. Horticulture salespersons obtain and manage sales agreements for large-scale orders of fruit, vegetables, flowers, and ornamental plants.
Horticulture salesperson education: Associate’s degree in Landscape and Ornamental Horticulture
Average horticulture salesperson salary: N/A
49. Human resources assistant:
One of the most important resources in a business is the human resource assistant; they’re the friendly face employees turn to with a variety of questions and requests. A human resources assistant must communicate effectively with people.
Human resource assistant education: Associate’s degree in Human Resource Management
Average human resource assistant salary: $32,000
50. Human service assistant:
Human service assistants are some of the good people in this world who help revive hope in humanity. They offer genuine care, assistance, and education of available community services and benefits for people truly in a time of need.
Human service assistant education: Associate’s in Human Services degree
Average human service assistant salary: N/A
51. Hydroelectric plant technician:
Hydroelectricity is a luxury we often take for granted, and hydroelectric plant technicians doing their job to keep the plant working smoothly is a large reason we don’t have to think about it daily. Hydroelectric plant technicians perform regular maintenance and trouble-shooting on the machines and systems at a hydroelectric plant to ensure everything continues in working order.
Hydroelectric plant technician education: Associate’s in Engineering Technology degree or an Industrial Engineering Technician degree, or an Associate of Industrial Engineering Technology degree
Average hydroelectric plant technician salary: $58,000
52. Information systems security technician:
As the world becomes increasingly electronic, people want to know their information is secure. Information systems security technicians utilize security practices and principles in creating, testing, and analyzing information systems to ensure their safety and security to everyone affected.
Information systems security technician education: Associate in Applied Science in Information Systems Security degree
Average information systems security technician salary: $36,000
53. Landscape technician:
Landscape technicians make areas more appealing through the introduction of more nature. Landscape technicians use their extensive knowledge about plants, soils, and growth patterns to design and implement plants, trees, shrubs, and other foliage in areas ranging from personal gardens to the land surrounding office buildings.
Landscape technician education: Associate’s in Landscape and Ornamental Horticulture degree
Average landscape technician education salary: $28,000
54. Library technician:
Books are one of the longest enduring human art forms. Library technicians get to work with books daily, organizing, shelving, and even recommending books to library visitors.
Library technician education: Associate’s degree in Library Technology
Average library technician salary: $32,000
55. Livestock technician:
Imagine wrangling, keeping track of, and caring for hundreds of animals every day. No, this isn’t a metaphor for a day care center, we’re talking about what livestock technicians do every day. These individuals are responsible for either administering, organizing, or monitoring all aspects of daily care for livestock.
Livestock management technician education: Agriscience Technician Associate’s degree
Average livestock management technician salary: N/A
56. Lodging manager:
Being responsible for someone’s home-away-from-home, whether they are travelling for pleasure or business, is a large responsibility, but it’s essentially the job of a lodging manager. Lodging managers often go above and beyond the everyday expectations of people in order to ensure they have an enjoyable time.
Lodging manager education: Associate’s in Hospitality Management degree
Average lodging manager salary: $53,000
57. Magnetic resonance imaging technologist:
It’s intimidating enough just being the patient who must get into the MRI machine, but then someone needs to know how to actually run it! The magnetic resonance imaging technologist, the professional behind the MRI controls, guides patients along through the process, controlling the machine, and recording the results for a physician to analyze and interpret.
Magnetic resonance imaging technologist education: Associate of Applied Science in Magnetic Resonance Imaging degree
Average magnetic resonance imaging technologist salary: $67,050
58. Manufacturing production technician:
If Santa’s elves wanted jobs in the real world, they would make excellent manufacturing production technicians. Millions of today’s goods, from toys to electronics, are manufactured through machines run by manufacturing production technicians. A manufacturing production technician must learn to operate, troubleshoot, and maintain their machine.
Manufacturing production technician education: An Associate’s in Manufacturing Technology degree or an Associate’s of Applied Science in Manufacturing, Production and Operations degree
Average manufacturing production technician salary: $32,000
59. Mapping technician:
Although we all use maps, it’s not often we consider the work and experience that went into creating them. Mapping technicians work in all types of weather and environments to assist surveyors and cartographers to collect data used for creating maps.
Mapping technician education: Associate’s degree in Geomatics
Average mapping technician salary: $31,000
60. Mechanical drafter:
The more technical and involved a machine is, the more vital a mechanical drafter’s work is. Mechanical drafters create diagrams of machines showing how they are built, where moving parts are located and the measurements and dimensions of all pieces. Their work is necessary for machine maintenance, repair, and replacement.
Mechanical drafter education: Associate of Science in Mechanical Drafting and Design Technology degree or an Associate of Science in Drafting degree
Average mechanical drafter salary: $43,000
61. Mechanical engineering technician:
To a mechanically-inclined individual, a job as a mechanical engineering technician is similar to going to work to play every day. Mechanical engineering technicians work alongside mechanical engineers to design, build, and test mechanical devices of all sizes and purposes.
Mechanical engineering technician education: Associate’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology
Average mechanical engineering technician salary: $51,000
62. Medical assistant:
Jobs in the medical field may vary drastically, but most of them require a medical assistant. Medical assistants may select a speciality to work in. Common duties of a medical assistant range from paperwork, to collecting medical history from patients, to helping with some medical procedures.
Medical assistant education: Associate in Science in Medical Assisting degree
Average medical assistant salary: $23,000
63. Medical equipment repairer:
They’re often overlooked, but they’re essential workers in the healthcare industry. Medical equipment repairers keep diagnostic equipment, patient monitors, wheelchairs and other equipment functioning. These individuals install, inspect, maintain, and fix the equipment used to help improve health and save lives.
Medical equipment repairer education: Associate’s degree in Biomedical Equipment Technology or an Associate’s degree in Engineering
Average medical equipment repairer salary: $44,180
64. Medical laboratory technician:
The human body is one of the most studied things on earth, yet it still holds numerous mysteries. Medical laboratory technicians are some of the individuals seeking answers and explanations for those mysteries through collecting, studying, and analyzing bodily fluids in a scientific matter.
Medical laboratory technician education: Associate in Applied Science in Medical Laboratory Science degree
Average medical laboratory technician salary: $37,970
65. Neurodiagnostic technologist:
The human brain is simultaneously the most powerful, most fragile, and least understood matter on this planet. Neurodiagnostic technologists take this challenge head on and diagnose and study neurological disorders through the use of science and technology.
Neurodiagnostic technologist education: Associate’s degree in Neurodiagnostic Technology
Average neurodiagnostic technologist salary: $51,000
66. Occupational health and safety technician:
Has the rewarding job of protecting workers and the general public. They work to ensure employees of any business are safe from all foreseeable hazards.
Occupational health and safety technician education: Associate’s in Applied Science in Occupational Safety and Health Technology degree
Average occupational health and safety technician salary: $45,000
67. Occupational therapy assistant:
Helping someone get back to living their life the way they want to live it is a priceless reward of being an occupational therapy assistant. These individuals provide physical therapy for people in need of developing, improving, or recovering specific skills in order to improve their quality of life and ability to work.
Occupational therapy assistant education: Occupational Therapy Assistant Associate’s degree
Average occupational therapy assistant salary: $59,000
68. Office supervisor:
An office environment is a constant juggling act to keep employees happy and productive, communication flowing openly, and goals achieved. The office supervisor must find a way to keep the office running smoothly at all times.
Office supervisor education: Associate’s in Office Supervision and Management degree
Average office supervisor salary: $50,190
69. Ophthalmology technician:
Eye health is something most people take for granted, but it immediately becomes a priority when something is wrong. An ophthalmology technician is the friendly face and the person who collects relevant medical history, answers questions, or performs an initial eye exam at an ophthalmologist’s office.
Ophthalmology technician education: Ophthalmology Technician Associate’s degree
Average ophthalmology technician salary: $46,000
70. Ornamental plant producer:
You can find ornamental plants in an array of environments such as homes, businesses, and stores, but few people stop to consider someone grows these plants. Ornamental plant producers grow the plants sold in greenhouses and plant nurseries.
Ornamental plant producer education: Associate degree in Landscape and Ornamental Horticulture
Average ornamental plant producer salary: N/A
71. Orthopedic technician:
If you have a broken bone, an orthopedic technician can be your best friend. Orthopedic technicians are experts at putting on and removing plaster and synthetic casts.
Orthopedic technician education: Associate in Applied Science in Orthopedic Technology degree
Average orthopedic technician salary: $37,000
Many lawyers wouldn’t want their job without the assistance of a paralegal. Paralegals assist lawyers in everything from general filing and organization to legal research and writing documents.
Paralegal education: Associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies
Average paralegal salary: $47,570
73. Pastry Chef:
Everyone knows dessert is the best part of the meal. Pastry chefs are responsible for this culinary highlight, they turn a pile of raw ingredients into a beautiful tasty treat.
Pastry chef education: Associate’s in Culinary Arts degree
Average pastry chef salary: $35,000
74. Petroleum technician:
Petroleum technicians aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty – literally. While assisting in the monitoring of current resources, petroleum technicians also aid in search for new petroleum resources.
Petroleum technician education: Associate’s degree in Petroleum Technology
Average petroleum technician salary: $43,000
75. Photographic equipment repairer:
Photographs are arguably the most personal and telling way to preserve history; you don’t want a broken camera. Photographic equipment repairers work on a variety of camera styles and sizes, doing their part to help the world preserve memories and history.
Photographic equipment repairer education: Associate’s degree in Electronics
Average photographic equipment repairer salary: $37,430
76. Photonics technician:
You can actually grow up and get paid to play with lasers. Photonic technicians install, maintain, and troubleshoot devices which use fiber optics and lasers.
Photonics technician education: Associate’s degree in Electronics or an Associate’s of Science degree in Physics
Average Photonics technician salary: N/A
77. Photovoltaic technical salesperson:
Think you have the skills to sell the sun? Well, it’s energy at least. Photovoltaic technical salespersons sell solar powered devices, such as solar panels.
Photovoltaic technical salesperson education: Associate’s in Renewable Energy Solar degree
Average photovoltaic technical salesperson salary: N/A
78. Physical therapist assistant:
Not everyone gets to help people directly and drastically improve the quality of their lives, but physical therapist assistants can claim this every day. Physical therapist assistants work with patients on exercise plans physical therapists design for each patient.
Physical therapist assistant education: Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant degree
Average physical therapist assistant salary: $60,000
79. Preschool teacher:
Have you hugged a preschool teacher today? Teaching very young children the fundamentals they take through their entire education process is a tremendous responsibility. Preschool teachers focus on teaching children, generally ages three through five, reading, writing, science, art, and social skills.
Preschool teacher education: Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education
Average preschool teacher salary: $29,000
80. Production Agriculture salesperson:
Farming comes with a lot of equipment, but where does someone go to buy such a large-scale tractor or other farming-specific supplies? A production agriculture salesperson sells all-things related to agriculture.
Production agriculture salesperson education: Associate’s in Production Agriculture degree
Average production agriculture salesperson salary: N/A
81. Radiation therapist:
Has the rewarding opportunity to fight cancer. Radiation therapists provide radiation treatments for patients with cancer with the aim of diminishing cancer cells and eliminating cancerous tumors.
Radiation therapist education: Associate’s degree in Radiation Therapy
Average radiation therapist salary: $76,000
82. Radiologic Technologist:
Getting an x-ray can be scary for some people, as it’s usually not for a positive reason. Radiologic technologists are the individuals who walk patients through the x-ray process and who run the x-ray machines.
Radiologic technologist education: Associate of Applied Science in Radiography degree
Average radiologic technologist salary: $54,000
83. Registered nurse:
A lot of people have a memory of a nice nurse who comforted them when they were scared, took their pain away, held their hand during a shot, or simply offered an empathetic ear or hand pat when it was needed most. Nurses work directly with people, educating, scheduling, and generally caring for them. Registered nurses can earn an annual average salary that is around $20,000 greater than the national mean wage, making this one of the best associate degrees for professionals seeking immediate entry into a high-paying career.
Registered nurse education: Associate’s degree in Nursing
Average registered nurse salary: $69,000
84. Respiratory therapist:
Has a vital role in the healthcare field. Respiratory therapists helps patients who experience restricted airflow from allergies, respiratory disease, asthma, or other causes.
Respiratory therapist education: Associate of Science degree in Respiratory Therapy
Average respiratory therapist salary: $65,000
85. Retail sales supervisor:
Keeping a store running smoothly requires near-constant multi-tasking every day. Retail sales supervisors oversee all aspects of running a retail store, including staffing issues, customer relations, finances, and scheduling.
Retail sales supervisor education: Associate of Applied Science in Retail Management degree
Average retail sales supervisor salary: $45,000
86. Robotics technician:
Although not all robots are similar to the Jetson’s maid or the cyborgs we see in movies, they’re impressive machines designed to perform tasks better or at least more precise and dependably than humans. Robotic technicians are the masterminds behind the construction, maintenance, and trouble-shooting of robots.
Robotics technician education: Associate’s in Electrical Engineering Technology or an Associate’s in Mechanical Engineering Technology
Average robotics technician salary: $54,000
87. Social service assistant:
Social service assistants reach out directly to people and offer the helping hand a lot of people hope to get. Social service assistants work with other professionals, such as psychologists and social workers, to help counsel clients, locate relevant local services, and maintain a client’s record, regularly checking in with them.
Social service assistant education: Associate in Human Services degree
Average social service assistant salary: $36,000
88. Soil and water technician:
A soil and water technician is an important member to any land conservation team. They devise irrigation and farming techniques to help reduce erosion.
Soil and water technician education: Natural Resources Technician Associate’s degree
Average soil and water technician salary: $33,000
89. Solar thermal technician:
Solar power is certainly going to be a part of our future, so we need solar thermal technicians to install, maintain, and repair solar powered systems. They also often design the systems, so they know the systems inside and out.
Solar thermal technician education: Associate’s degree in Renewable Energy Solar
Average Solar thermal technician salary: N/A
90. Solar photovoltaic installer:
Having solar panels is pretty cool, but how do you install them? No worries, that’s where a solar thermal technician comes in. Solar thermal technicians install and maintain solar panel systems on houses and other buildings.
Solar photovoltaic installer education: Associate in Arts degree in Solar Photovoltaic Installation
Average solar photovoltaic salary: N/A
91. Special education assistant:
Working with children of special needs is a highly challenging, yet highly rewarding career. Special education assistants work directly with the students with everything from schoolwork to daily living skills and exercises.
Special education assistant education: Associate of General Studies Special Needs Educational Assistant degree
Average special education assistant salary: $23,000
92. Surgical technologist:
Surgical technologists are involved before, during and after surgeries. During surgeries surgical technologists assist surgeons performing tasks such as sterilizing materials, handing instruments to the surgeon, and suturing incisions.
Surgical technologist education: Associate in Science degree in Surgical Technology
Average surgical technologist salary: $39,000
93. Surveying technician:
Many people consider construction the beginning of a project, but long before a construction team can start building, a surveying technician must perform his job helping licensed surveyors collect data. Surveying technicians gather data used in construction, engineering and environmental industries.
Surveying technician education: Associate in Applied Science in Surveying Technology degree or an Associate of Applied Science in Geomatics Technology degree
Average surveying technician salary: $36,000
94. Teacher assistant:
Sometimes a teacher just can’t be everywhere, and help everyone, all at once, that’s where teacher assistants come in. Teacher assistants provide the extra set of eyes, hands, and general attention a class may require to optimally function.
Teacher assistant education: Associate of Applied Science degree in Educational Assistance
Average teacher assistant salary: $23,000
95. Textile designer:
So long as they’re fashion trends in clothing and homes, textile designers remain in demand. A textile designer develops new, creative, and fashionable designs for printed or knitted materials, ranging from clothes to bed linens. Workers in this field can earn an annual average salary that is around $18,000 greater than the national mean wage, making this another 2-year college degree with a high ROI.
Textile designer education: Associate of Arts Textile Design degree
Average textile designer salary: $67,000
96. Turf management technician:
Football, soccer, golf and other sports require an expertly maintained turf and it sure doesn’t maintain itself. A turf management technician knows his soil and crop management inside and out and exhibits an extreme attention to detail.
Turf management technician education: Associate’s degree in Landscape and Ornamental Horticulture
Average turf management technician salary: N/A
97. Veterinary technician:
When people bring their pet into a veterinary office, they’re usually seeking someone to offer them comfort, educate them about their pet’s ailment, and provide information on how to provide their pet with a high quality of life. Veterinary technicians do all of this, as they assist veterinarians perform medical tests and diagnose injuries or illnesses.
Veterinary technician education: Associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology
Average veterinary technician salary: $30,000
98. Web designer:
Having an attractive, functional, and memorable website is increasingly necessary for businesses to succeed today. Web designers are responsible for developing the look of a website, which could make or break a company’s success.
Web designer education: Associate’s degree in Web Design
Average web designer salary: $61,000
99. Wildlife technician:
The best way to preserve an environment is to learn as much as possible about it. Wildlife technicians are charged with understanding as much as possible about an assigned area’s wildlife and natural resources with the intention of working with other professionals to preserve the land and environment.
Wildlife technician education: Associate’s in Wildlife Biology degree or an Associate’s in Wildlife Technology degree, or an Associate’s in Wildlife Management degree
Average wildlife technician salary: $31,000
100. Wind turbine service technician:
Wind power, an alternative energy source, may become a major energy source in the future. Wind turbine service technicians perform preventative maintenance and trouble-shooting on wind turbines to keep them in working order.
Wind turbine service technician education: Associate’s degree in Wind Energy Technology
Average wind turbine service technician salary: $34,000
Our list provides plenty of rewarding associate degree jobs to choose from.
* Salary information provided by