Today, most people agree that the decision isn’t whether to go to college, but where to go to college, if you want to get a good job and have a long career. However, many individuals erroneously think this necessitates getting a bachelor’s or even a master’s degree. Please hold on! An associate degree, which can be achieved in two years or less, is a valuable credential that can lead to a variety of well-paying employment and successful careers. It can even be a more reasonable method to get a bachelor’s or advanced degree. Let’s look at jobs you can do with an associate degree and how it would be a brilliant place to start your post-high school education career. Knowing more about these and other advantages of associate degrees might help you decide if this is the right degree for you.
Table of Contents
Associate Degree Types
Associate degrees come in a variety of formats. The type you should choose is determined by the kind of employment you want to pursue and other considerations like whether or not you plan to seek a bachelor’s degree later. These are the most common forms of associate degrees; however, keep in mind that each of these broad categories might include a variety of individual degree programs:
- Associate of Scientific: An Associate of Science degree consists of multiple sciences, math, courses, and other coursework required for the student’s specific degree program.
- Associate of Arts: This degree is also a popular alternative for who desire to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree after getting an associate’s degree. A bachelor’s degree in the humanities, social sciences or both comprises several humanities and social science courses.
- Associate of Applied Science: Rather than general education classes, an Associate of Applied Science degree offers more specific courses depending on a student’s major.
- Associate of Applied Business: This degree usually includes classes more focused on a student’s major than regular college courses.
Advantages of Acquiring an Associate Degree
- Opportunities for Employment
Compared to having merely a high school diploma, earning an associate degree opens up many job choices. This demonstrates to potential employers that you have the drive and discipline to complete a college degree. Remember that associate degree programs frequently prepare you for the profession rather than focusing just on education. You’ll learn valuable abilities that will help you in various careers, as well as specific talents required for your field. With an associate’s degree, you’ll have a better chance of obtaining multiple work options, regardless of the current unemployment rate.
- Alternatives to Education
You don’t have to get an associate’s degree to get a bachelor’s degree. However, this degree can spring to more advanced higher education degrees. You can, for example, get your associate degree and then move on to get your bachelor’s degree. When you start a bachelor’s degree program, you’ll most likely be able to transfer some of the credits you earned with your associate degree. These school alternatives provide you additional opportunities to explore occupations that need more advanced degrees, while an associate degree will still open many doors.
- Increased Wages
You’ll find that if you put in the time and effort to acquire an associate degree, you’ll be able to earn more money than if you only have a high school diploma. In reality, some positions require an associate’s degree and pay far more. An occupational therapy assistant, for example, can make $59,200 per year or $28.46 per hour, while a computer programmer can make $86,500 per year or $41.61 per hour.
- Flexibility to Profession
This employment flexibility allows those who need to support a family or who don’t want to give up a full-time or part-time job for various reasons to acquire a degree. Rather than delaying obtaining a higher education degree, these persons might continue to work while studying and getting their degree.
- Earning a Degree in Less Time
Associate degree programs are advantageous since they do not demand as much time commitment as other degree programs, such as bachelor’s degrees. Associate degrees are often completed in two years instead of four years for a bachelor’s degree or six years or more for a bachelor’s + master’s degree. Associate degrees offer a speedier method to receive a college diploma and start your career.
Jobs You Can Do With an Associate Degree
- Dental Hygienists
Dental hygienists are critical in ensuring that patients’ teeth and gums are clean and healthy. During appointments, they assist dentists by taking X-rays, screening for indicators of dental abnormalities, cleaning plaque and tartar buildup, applying fluoride, and giving patients oral care recommendations.
What kind of salary can you expect as a dental hygienist? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), dental hygienists earn roughly $76,200 per year or $36.65 per hour. Therefore, this career has a 6-percentage-point job outlook.
- Veterinary Technicians
In veterinary offices, veterinary technicians are responsible for a variety of responsibilities. Assisting vets during exams, prepping pets for surgical procedures, bathing, and grooming, delivering vaccines and prescriptions, and taking X-rays are just a few examples. In addition, some veterinary technicians work with small animals, while others work with agricultural animals or animals in zoos.
According to the BLS, vet techs make roughly $35,320 per year or $16.98 per hour. This career’s job outlook is anticipated to be 16 percent through 2029, significantly more significant than the national average. There should be plenty of opportunities for vet techs with a brighter career outlook in the future years.
Attorneys use paralegals to assist them in various ways, including gathering data for cases, contacting witnesses and clients, creating documents, and researching laws and regulations. Litigation paralegals, corporate paralegals, personal injury paralegals, bankruptcy paralegals, family law paralegals, and immigration paralegals are examples of paralegal careers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical annual compensation for paralegals is $51,740, or $24.87 per hour. In addition, paralegal job growth is expected to be 10% between 2019 and 2029, which is greater than average. This job prognosis is encouraging for people who want to acquire a paralegal studies associate degree.
- HVAC Technician
HVAC professionals work on heating and cooling systems, including furnaces and central air conditioners, servicing, fixing, and constructing them. Examining HVAC systems, repairing or fixing broken parts, cleansing HVAC parts, and installing brand spanking new systems are everyday duties. Residential HVAC systems are handled by some HVAC specialists, while others control commercial HVAC systems.
According to the BLS, the median income for an HVAC technician is roughly $48,730 per day or $23.43 per hour. In addition, HVAC technicians have a 4% job growth forecast over the next few years, in line with the national average.
- Ultrasound Machinist
Diagnostic medical sonographers, often known as ultrasound technicians, provide images to diagnose medical disorders or other purposes, such as tracking a baby’s progress in the womb. These photos are created using ultrasound imaging equipment by these technicians. They also review images for anomalies or areas of concern, record their findings, and answer patients’ queries concerning imaging treatments. Ultrasound technician positions are accessible in various medical specialties, including obstetrics and gynecology, pediatric medicine, and heart medicine.
According to the BLS, the median salary for ultrasound technicians is $68,750 per year or $33.05 per hour.
- Court Correspondent
In judicial settings, court reporters are responsible for various activities and responsibilities, including transcribing proceedings. Using specific equipment to record discussion, double-checking notes for correctness, asking people speaking to clarify claims, and delivering transcript copies to courts are just a few of them. In addition, some court reporters also work as broadcast captioners, transcribing dialogue for television monitors.
The typical compensation for court reporters, according to the BLS, is roughly $60,130 per year or $28.91 per hour. So, when working as a court reporter, what type of employment growth can you expect? The job prognosis till 2029 is 9 percent, which is higher than the national average.
- Human Resources Assistant
HR assistants are in charge of assisting HR managers with day-to-day work. These are typical examples of recruiting new employees, managing personnel records, helping staff with administrative chores, and monitoring HR calendars. These assistants may also process payroll or address payroll mistakes in some circumstances. Other responsibilities include coordinating training seminars and sessions, conducting departure interviews, and communicating with benefits vendors.
According to the BLS, the median compensation for human resources assistants is $41,430 per year or $19.92 per hour. Therefore, from 2019 to 2029, there is a 7% chance of finding work in this field.
- Medical Assistant
Medical assistants undertake several jobs in medical offices, hospitals, and other healthcare institutions. Keeping records of patients’ medical histories, testing blood pressure and other vital indicators, assisting doctors with exams, and providing prescriptions or immunizations are just a few of the responsibilities of these assistants. Medical assistants may also help patients arrange visits and prepare lab samples for testing.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants earn roughly $34,800 per year or $16.73 per hour. Moreover, this career has a substantially better job prognosis than the norm, with a projected growth rate of 19 percent over the next several years.
- Physical Therapy Assistant
PTAs (physical therapist assistants) assist physical therapists in the care of patients. Their day may consist of observing patients during the therapy session, assisting patients with specific activities or exercises, and assisting patients with equipment. PTAs may also provide patients and their loved ones instructions about what to do after a therapy session.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, PTAs earn a median annual pay of $48,990, or $23.55 per hour. Therefore, those interested in pursuing a career in this field should anticipate a strong job market. The job outlook for PTAs is 29%, which is significantly higher than the national average.
- Preschool Instructor
Preschool instructors are in charge of teaching children who are generally under five. These teachers assist children in preparing for kindergarten by introducing a variety of abilities, such as social and language skills. Preschool teachers are responsible for developing the curriculum, teaching basic learning skills such as numbers, colors, letters, and shapes, and keeping track of each student’s development. In addition, preschool teachers frequently identify children’s issues while learning to be addressed early.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, preschool teachers earn a median annual pay of $30,520, or $14.67 per hour. With a job outlook of 2%, these teachers have a somewhat lower than average chance of finding work.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologists
An MRI technologist is one of the best occupations you can acquire with an associate degree. These technologists use MRI scanners to create images that doctors can diagnose. MRI technologists are also in charge of maintaining MRI equipment, supporting doctors in evaluating MRI images, managing patient records, preparing patients for MRI scans, and taking these images utilizing computerized equipment.
What can you expect to earn as an MRI technologist? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for this job is $62,280 per year or $29.94 per hour. In addition, MRI technologists have a job outlook rising at a faster-than-average rate of 7%.
- Executive Administrative Assistant
Executive administrative assistants support firm executives with various administrative and clerical chores. Answering phones, setting up staff or customer meetings, scheduling appointments, managing an executive’s calendar, keeping files or databases, and processing mail are all examples of these responsibilities. Executive administrative assistants may also be in charge of document preparation, such as invoices.
According to the BLS, the median compensation for senior administrative assistants is roughly $60,890 per year or $29.27 per hour. Keep in mind that while job possibilities are still available, the job prospects for this career are dwindling.
So these are some of the fantastic career opportunities for you if you are looking out for jobs you can do with an associate degree. An associate degree is easy to earn, and you can start working early and gain enough experience in the working sector with handsome pay.