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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 $693,600 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 35% 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.

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

Career Median Salary*
Architectural/Civil Drafter  $76,100
Automotive Technician  $37,850
Biological Technician  $41,650
Broadcasting & Sound Engineering Technician  $41,780
Carpenter  $42,090
Computer Support Specialist  $51,470
Construction Worker  $30,890
Correctional Officer  $40,580
Desktop Publisher  $38,840
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer  $63,630
Early Childhood Education Technology  $28,570
Electrician  $51,880
Firefighter  $46,870
Fitness Trainer  $36,160
Food Service Manager  $48,690
Graphic Designer  $46,900
Health Information Technician  $37,110
HVAC/R Technician  $45,110
Landscape Architect  $63,810
Mental Health Counselor  $43,190
Paralegal  $48,810
Physical Therapist Assistant  $42,980
Registered Nurse  $67,490
Surgical Technologist  $44,330
X-ray Technician  $58,120

*Source: U.S. Department of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook and online resources, 2015.  Median Salary is defined as the wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. 

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