Your career is your most valuable financial asset, offering you many financial benefits. You can make the most of it by getting a college degree and managing your career to its full potential. Doing this well can earn you millions of dollars in extra income throughout your lifetime.
One key to maximizing your lifetime earning ability is to get a good first job -- one that pays well and has opportunity for advancement. That way, you start off well and keep going!
Here's a list that will help you do this. It's from CareerBuilder and includes the 10 best-paying jobs for associate degrees:
1. Computer specialist -- $59,480
2. Nuclear technician -- $59,200
3. Dental hygienist -- $58,350
4. Radiation therapist -- $57,700
5. Nuclear medicine technologist -- $55,840
6. Fashion designer -- $55,840
7. Aerospace engineering and operations technician -- $52,500
8. Diagnostic medical sonographer -- $52,490
9. Registered nurse -- $52,330
10. Engineering technician -- $49,440
Honestly, I was shocked to see this list. Shocked on a couple different fronts.
First, the salaries are so high. If this information is true, and you can get these jobs for the levels of pay listed, that's pretty good. That said, some of these don't look like there's much room for advancement, so maybe you start at $50,000, but 10 years later you may be at $52,500.
Second, I'm surprised that a nuclear technician only needs an associate's degree. I thought that they needed a Phd. or something close to it. Then again, maybe they "only" turn dials. That and oversee a ba-zillion tons of radioactive material!!!!
Seriously, I'm never really thought of an associate's degree having much potential. If you look at my post on Maximize Your Career Earnings: Get a Degree and Manage Your Career, you'll see that there's some positive financial advantage to an associate's degree, but not nearly as much as a bachelor's or master's degree. But for those who don't want more than a couple extra years of schooling, want to be in a specific area where a bachelor's degree isn't needed, can't afford four years of school, or only want to work a handful of years before starting a family, it seems like an associate's degree may be a good alternative.
Anyone out there have some thoughts on this? Or maybe practical experience in the pro's and con's of an associate's degree? I'd love to hear what you have to say. Just leave a comment below.