Due to student loan debts growing higher than ever, plenty of people have determined that it’s better to get an associate degree than to attend an expensive four-year program for becoming a B.A.
Looking at the job market, we can determine that this decision makes sense because it’s supported by plenty of companies. You can find a variety of jobs that require an associate degree and pay extremely well. Here are some of the most lucrative occupations that you should consider if you don’t want to invest in four-year studies:
- Air traffic controller
- Web developer
- Dental hygienist
- Computer network specialist
- Radiologic technologist
Air Traffic Controller
Working as an Air Traffic Controller is one of the best-paid associate degree jobs you can find. Your job will be to ensure the safety of each flight by directing air traffic. You will be responsible for providing pilots with instructions during landing and takeoff, and making sure that they’re informed about weather conditions constantly during the flight. You will also manage any ground traffic happening around runways.
Instead of creating separate teams for client-side and server-side tasks, more and more companies are hiring full-stack web developers for handling all aspects of websites and applications. This includes handling the foundation via the back end and creating the perfect user experience via the front end. When it comes to this position, most companies are more interested in what you can do than what kind of degree you’ve got.
The job of a dental hygienist is to check for oral health conditions, perform basic dental cleaning, and provide different types of preventive healthcare. While you only need an associate degree for this position, you will have to take up about three years of studies and training. A dental hygienist needs to be a licensed practitioner in a particular state, but it’s worth it considering that you’ll be doing one of the best-paid jobs with your associate degree.
Computer Network Specialist
Working as a computer networking specialist, your job will be to establish and maintain a company’s wide and local computer networks. You’ll set up operating systems, install and update software, and maintain crucial security practices. When it comes to career advancement, computer network specialists usually become network security professionals or computer network architects. While some people get bachelor degrees to advance, experience and proficiency are generally much more important factors for being promoted to higher-ranking positions.
A radiologic technologist—or radiographer—is one of the best-paid job positions in the healthcare industry. When signing up for this position, you will be trained to handle X-rays to diagnose patients. Your responsibilities will most likely be to help patients prepare for the procedure and work with the X-ray imaging equipment. You might also be assigned to analyze the results and maintain patient records.
While you can get hired for these jobs with an associate degree, keep in mind that they’re not easy to do. They all require a certain amount of technical proficiency and the ability to remain highly focused throughout the workday. For some of them, you’ll need to take up additional studies and training.
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