If a bachelor’s degree is not in the cards for you right now, there are several high paying jobs you can land with just an associate degree. Many lucrative careers have seen steady growth over the past ten years, and the demand for highly trained people in the information technology and health care fields has never been higher.
If you’re ready to start a successful and exciting in-demand career, here’s our list of the top 5 online associate degrees with the highest earning potential. Just think, in only two years, you’ll be on your way to a highly satisfying job with long-term financial rewards.
Just remember, some of the associate degree programs may require either hands-on lab or clinical hours in order to complete your online degree. The good news is that most programs partner with local colleges or businesses that allow you to complete these degree requirements near your home.
*All salaries are from payscale.com as of 2020 and are subject to change.
With an Associate Degree in Radiation Technology, you can earn one of the highest salaries from your two-year degree. But the job is not for everyone. As a Radiation Therapist, you would administer radiation therapy to cancer patients, making it an emotionally stressful job. Other risks include coming into contact with radioactive material and the potential risk of exposure. Entry-level pay is excellent, and as you gain experience and achieve certification, your pay will increase dramatically over time. Radiation therapist ranks #1 on our list of highest paying 2-year degrees.
Radiation Therapist Salary Range
Entry Level: $60,934
Average Pay: $73,038
Job Outlook: 7% growth
Best Schools that offer Online Associate Degree in Radiation Therapy
Web Development and Design
With an Associate Degree in Web Development, you will be trained to construct every aspect of a website, from backend and e-commerce to designing the user’s experience on the front end. Not only will you build the web page, but you’ll be able to be creative and make them user friendly and attractive. Making a great website is not easy, so you’ll learn how to use and create graphics and other multimedia functions for the websites you build. You would also be responsible for all of the code and each modification that makes a website visually appealing, user-friendly, functional, and navigable. In the end, getting a job as a web developer is one of the highest paying 2-year degrees available to you.
Web Designer and Developer Salary Range
Entry Level: $47,854
Average Pay: $57,401
Job Outlook: 8% growth
Best Schools that offer Online Associate Degree in Web Development and Design
Every business has a computer and networking system that runs its business. With an Associate Degree in Network Technologies, you would be responsible for setting up and maintaining local computer networks for companies and organizations. You would also perform scheduled maintenance, install software and updates, configure operating systems, and ensure the security of vital data, software, and hardware. Jobs you can land with an Associate in Network Technology include Systems Administrator, Computer Network Support Specialist, and Computer Support Specialist.
Network Administrator Salary Range
Entry Level: $49,384
Average Pay: $59,784
Job Outlook: 4% growth
Best Schools that offer Online Associate Degree in Network Technology
Nuclear Technician Technology
As a Nuclear Medicine Technologist, you can find plenty of jobs in the healthcare field. You would work with very slightly radioactive medicines that doctors use to diagnose medical conditions. You could also operate medical equipment like CT and MRI scanners. While an Associate of Applied Science Degree (AAS) in Nuclear Medicine Technology can get your foot in the door, most people eventually continue on to get their bachelor’s degree. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, then an AAS in Nuclear Medicine is one of the best associate degrees to pursue.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Salary Range
Entry Level: $50,146
Average Pay: $63,020
Job Outlook: 5% growth
Best Schools that offer Online Associate Degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology
With an Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene, you will be able to provide essential dental hygiene services like oral health care assessments, taking and analyzing dental x-rays, applying cavity-preventive treatments, and administering local anesthetic. If you are a people person, like to work with your hands and don’t mind working with people’s mouths, then a career as a dental hygienist may be right for you. To get to positions of greater responsibility and make the most money with your degree, you’ll have to work towards earning your bachelor’s degree.
Dental Hygienist Salary Range
Entry Level: $54,635
Average Pay: $59,723
Job Outlook: 6% growth
Best Schools that offer Online Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene
*Note: All salary estimates from Payscale.com
*Growth figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition.”
Jim spent 22 years on active duty, climbing the ranks from Airman Basic to a decorated Air Force Major. Stationed all over the world, he held many high-level posts, including Chief of Foreign Military Sales at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Jim earned his Ph.D. through the Montgomery Era GI Bill and spent 13 years teaching African Studies in Pennsylvania. Jim is also an award-winning travel writer.