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Benefits of an Associate's Degree

Why earn an Associate's Degree?  

  • Over a lifetime, individuals with associate's degrees earn $593,000 more in salary than those with high school diplomas.
  • An associate's degree provides credentials that increase annual earnings by an average of $7,200.
  • Graduates with associate's degrees earn up to 23% more than high school graduates.
  • Graduates with additional certifications and licenses in their field earn up to 27% more than those with just bachelor's degrees.

Sources:     American Association of Community Colleges
                     US Census Bureau statistics, 1998, 1999, 2000

Check out these career fields that you can pursue with an associate's degree: 

Career Median Salary*
A/V Equipment Technician  $38,050
Architectural/Civil Drafter  $44,000
Automotive Technician  $35,110
Biological Science Technician  $38,397
Carpenter  $38,398
Childcare Worker  $18,969
Computer Support Specialist  $43,450
Construction Worker  $28,517
Correctional Officer  $38,380
Desktop Publisher  $36,600
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer  $61,980
Electrician  $46,426
Firefighter  $44,260
Fitness Trainer  $29,210
Food Service Manager  $46,320
Graphic Designer  $42,400
Health Information Technician  $30,610
HVAC Technician  $39,686
Landscape Architect  $58,960
Mental Health Counselor  $36,810
Paralegal  $46,120
Physical Therapist Assistant  $46,140
Plumber  $45,635
Registered Nurse  $62,450
Sleep Technician  $47,000
Surgical Technologist  $38,780
X-ray Technician  $52,210

*Source: U.S. Department of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook and online resources.

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