Skip navigation

5 $60,000 jobs in 2 years or less

You don’t need a bachelor’s degree to earn a good living. In fact, dozens of in-demand occupations for associate degree graduates pay well above $60,000. They might not be what you expect.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an associate degree can help you land a job making $60,000 or more in a variety of fields, including health care, manufacturing and technology.

If you want to get the most out of your two-year degree and earn well above the average salary, consider one of these careers:

Respiratory Therapists

2018 Median annual wage: $60,280

Part of the healthcare team that treats respiratory conditions, respiratory therapists deliver care to patients suffering from conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia. Employers prefer to hire applicants who graduate from programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. In most states, respiratory therapists must be licensed or certified.

Electrical Engineering Technicians

2018 Median annual wage: $64,330

These technicians operate the equipment necessary for developing, testing and producing projects in manufacturing settings, engineering services, the federal government, research-and-development laboratories and the utilities industry. Most employers prefer to hire candidates with an associate degree.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

2018 Median annual wage: $67,080

These healthcare workers specialize in creating sonograms and ultrasounds of organs and tissues that help physicians assess and diagnose medical conditions. Becoming a diagnostic medical sonographer requires an associate degree in sonography. Employers prefer candidates who have graduated from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program and obtained certification through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography examination.

Web Developers

2018 Median annual wage: $69,430

Today’s websites evolve constantly. These properties require highly skilled workers to ensure digital properties look sharp and offer the technical performance and traffic capacity needed. While a technical degree is not required for this job, many in the field have at least an associate degree in web design.

Funeral Service Directors/Managers

2018 Median annual wage: $78,180

Overseeing the operations of a funeral home is a highly rewarding career. Funeral directors need to be skilled in business management and science and offer personal support to grieving families. Typically, an associate degree in funeral service is all that’s required; however, on-the-job training is also important as is passing the state and/or national board exam.

Consider all your college options, including these high-earning two-year paths, before committing to a bachelor’s degree.

Contact your local community college to take your first steps toward the high-paying career of your dreams!