While it is hard to quantify the value of higher education, people with higher levels of education tend to have higher incomes and are less likely to be unemployed. Jobs with greater educational requirements tend to have higher pay as well as some of the best job security and benefits.
One of the best investments in higher education is the associate degree. A typical associate degree program lasts two years and can provide graduates with access to high-paying jobs in specialized, fast-growing fields.
The median annual wage for jobs that typically require an associate degree is $53,700, approximately $15,000 more than the median wage for all jobs and $29,000 more than the median pay for jobs with no formal education requirement. A number of the occupations that typically require an associate degree pay more than $70,000.
To identify the highest paying jobs you can get with an associate degree, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed annual median wage estimates for over 800 occupations that require associate degrees with data from the May 2018 Occupational Employment Statistics program of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Jobs requiring associate degrees also tend to be in fast-growing, in-demand fields. While the number of jobs in the United States is projected to grow by 7.4% from 2016 to 2026, the number of jobs that typically require an associate degree is projected to grow by 10.8%. Some jobs on this list — mostly in the medical practice, one of America’s fastest-growing industries — are projected to grow by more than 20% over the period.