If you have recently completed an associate’s degree and are feeling confused about your next steps, don’t worry – there is a wide range of options for what to do with this type of education. From seeking further study in the same field or another discipline to starting work directly in the job market, there are many potential paths available.
In this article, we will look at some of the best options for people with an associate’s degree – from entry-level positions to highly skilled roles in industry and business. Whether you want security or flexibility, finance or creativity, read on to find out more about how an associate’s degree can be put into practice.
- An associate’s degree can offer a more affordable and faster route to obtaining higher education qualifications than a full bachelor’s degree program.
- An associate’s degree is typically sufficient for many entry-level positions in the workforce, allowing you to get your foot in the door of your desired career path quickly and with minimal debt burden.
- Funneling resources into an associate’s degree rather than continuing onto a full bachelor’s may allow for more flexibility down the line if you decide to pursue further studies at a later date.
- Obtaining an associate’s degree often provides students with valuable workplace experience while they are still pursuing their academic credentials, which can help build their professional network and give them much needed real-world skills applicable to almost any job market setting.
- Many employers recognize that individuals who have obtained associate’s degree demonstrate commitment, dedication, knowledge, and technical proficiency – making them incredibly attractive candidates amongst potential employers.
20 Jobs You Can Do With An Associate’s Degree
1. Dental Hygienist
Dental Hygienists are essential healthcare professionals who help patients maintain their oral health with preventative treatments and regular checkups. To become a Dental Hygienist, an Associate’s degree in Dental Hygiene from an accredited program is required.
With this degree, you will be able to assess the patient’s oral hygiene status and provide preventive dental care such as professional cleaning, polishing teeth, taking X-rays of teeth and gums, and providing instruction on proper brushing techniques.
Dental Hygienist Job Responsibilities
- Cleaning teeth and providing preventive dental care, including polishing and scaling.
- Educating patients on oral hygiene techniques to maintain proper oral health.
- Taking X-rays and impressions of the teeth for diagnosis or treatment planning.
Dental Hygienist Median Salary$90,551 Annual
Nursing is an excellent job to pursue with an Associate’s Degree. This job requires a caring and compassionate individual as they are responsible for providing care that primarily focuses on patient health and comfort.
Nurses provide physical, mental, and emotional support to patients, families, colleagues, and communities in various healthcare settings including hospitals, clinics, private practices, and more. With this degree, you can be certified as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Nurse (RN).
Nurse Job Responsibilities
- Administering medications and treatments as prescribed by a physician.
- Monitoring the patient’s vital signs, such as temperature, pulse, respiration rate, and blood pressure.
- Providing emotional support and comfort to patients and their families.
Nurse Median Salary$82,750 Annual
3. Computer Programmer
Computer Programmers are responsible for developing and maintaining software applications by coding instructions, testing programs, and debugging problems. A great degree to pursue in order to become a Computer Programmer is an Associate’s degree in Software Engineering or Computer Science.
With this type of degree, you will get the necessary education and skills required to be successful in this job field. This includes learning programming languages like Java or C++ as well as gaining experience with database systems like Microsoft SQL Server or MySQL.
Computer Programmer Job Responsibilities
- Develop, debug, and maintain software programs using a variety of languages.
- Design databases to store data efficiently.
- Troubleshoot and resolve technical issues related to computer systems and networks.
Computer Programmer Median Salary$70,110 Annual
A Paralegal is a career option that can be pursued with an Associate’s Degree. This job combines the legal knowledge of lawyers and other legal professionals with administrative skills to assist in day-to-day operations at a law firm or similar organization.
Those who pursue this field are responsible for researching and preparing documents, conducting interviews, filing paperwork, organizing evidence, keeping records, interpreting laws, and more. With the right educational background and training, individuals can become proficient in these areas and enjoy successful careers as Paralegals.
Paralegal Job Responsibilities
- Research legal documents, such as statutes and court opinions, to support a lawyer’s case.
- Draft legal documents, including motions and pleadings for use in trials or hearings.
- Assist lawyers with trial preparation by organizing and summarizing relevant materials.
Paralegal Median Salary$54,090 Annual
5. Real estate agent
Real estate agents are professionals who help people find and buy property. This job requires knowledge of the real estate market, economics, finance, construction, and an understanding of local laws. With an associate’s degree in a related field such as marketing or business administration, individuals can become certified real estate agents and make this career their own.
Real estate agents work with clients to ensure they get the best deal on properties that meet their needs. They also provide guidance on financing options that may be available to buyers.
Real estate agent Job Responsibilities
- Guide buyers and sellers through the process of buying and selling property.
- Provide market information to help clients make informed decisions about their investments.
- Negotiate contracts, coordinate inspections, arrange financing, and oversee closings.
Real estate agent Median Salary$111,316 Annual
6. Radiation Therapist
Radiation therapists utilize radiation treatments to treat patients suffering from cancer. With an associate’s degree in radiologic technology, you can become a certified radiation therapist and provide vital care to your patients.
Radiation therapy requires extensive knowledge of human anatomy, so candidates with strong biology backgrounds are especially sought after for these positions. As a radiation therapist, you will be responsible for administering precise doses of radiation to targeted areas while monitoring the patient’s health during treatment.
Radiation Therapist Job Responsibilities
- Plan and administer radiation treatments to patients, based on their individual diagnosis and prognosis.
- Monitor patient’s response to treatment, making necessary adjustments as needed.
- Educate patients about the effects of radiation therapy, potential side effects and safety measures.
Radiation Therapist Median Salary$84,981 Annual
7. Human Resources Assistant
A Human Resources Assistant is a great job that can be pursued with an associate’s degree. In this role, the assistant will assist human resources departments in tasks such as data entry, recruitment and selection processes, employee relations management, payroll processing and filing paperwork.
With an associate’s degree in business or related fields, they will have the necessary skills to help companies better manage their personnel needs.
Human Resources Assistant Job Responsibilities
- Handle administrative duties such as filing, employee onboarding and records management.
- Provide administrative support to the human resources department as needed.
- Assist with recruitment processes such as posting job descriptions online and scheduling interviews.
Human Resources Assistant Median Salary$43,903 Annual
8. Respiratory Therapist
Respiratory Therapists provide care to patients with breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders. They assess, treat and monitor respiratory illnesses, disease states, and injuries that affect the cardiopulmonary system. This can be done through an Associate’s Degree in Respiratory Therapy from a recognized school program.
Graduates of these programs are able to perform pulmonary function tests, prescribe oxygen therapy and assist physicians with patient assessments and treatments related to their field. They also have the ability to help educate patients on procedures as well as help them manage chronic conditions such as asthma or COPD.
Respiratory Therapist Job Responsibilities
- Administering respiratory therapies and treatments such as oxygen, aerosols, and pulmonary rehabilitation.
- Monitoring patients’ progress and keeping detailed records of patient’s health information.
- Educating patients on proper breathing techniques to improve their overall well-being and quality of life.
Respiratory Therapist Median Salary$100,263Annual
9. Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Nuclear Medicine Technologists use radioactive substances to diagnose and treat illnesses. They monitor a patient’s vital signs, administer the necessary drugs, and analyze images of organs and tissues for abnormalities. Becoming a Nuclear Medicine Technologist requires an Associate’s Degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology from an accredited college or university.
With this degree, you can develop expertise in radiation safety procedures, advanced imaging techniques, pharmaceutical knowledge, and computer skills to interpret medical data. This specialized field is in high demand with career opportunities expected to increase over the next decade.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Job Responsibilities
- Prepare and administer radiopharmaceuticals to patients, following safety guidelines.
- Operate imaging equipment such as single photon emission computer Tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) scanners.
- Monitor patient reactions during procedures to ensure safety.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Median Salary$102,730102,730 Annual
10. Telecommunications Technician
Telecommunications Technicians are responsible for the installation and maintenance of telecommunication systems. They must have a thorough understanding of computers, network systems, routers, fiber optics, and VoIP solutions.
With an associate’s degree in telecommunications technology or related field, you can find employment as a Telecommunications Technician installing and maintaining voice networks as well as IP-based data services. You will also be responsible for troubleshooting problems with these systems when they arise.
Telecommunications Technician Job Responsibilities
- Install, maintain and repair telecommunication equipment such as cable systems, switches and routers.
- Troubleshoot network malfunctions and implement necessary repairs or replacement parts.
- Monitor performance of telecommunications networks to ensure optimal connectivity for users.
Telecommunications Technician Median Salary$54,966 Annual
11. MRI Radiographer
MRI radiographers provide imaging services for diagnosing and treating medical conditions. To become a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) radiographer, you need to have an associate’s degree in Radiography or a related field such as Medical Imaging Technology. With this degree, the MRI technologist will be able to operate sophisticated imaging equipment safely and accurately while providing quality patient care.
They are responsible for ensuring that images are of optimal diagnostic quality while adhering to radiation safety guidelines. In addition, they must understand how different types of tissues interact with magnetism so accurate measurements can be taken that lead to correct diagnoses.
MRI Radiographer Job Responsibilities
- Preparing and positioning patients for MRI scans.
- Operating MRI equipment to capture images of internal organs, soft tissues, and bones.
- Processing the data received from the scanners to produce diagnostic quality images.
MRI Radiographer Median Salary$92,896 Annual
12. Police Officer
A Police Officer is a noble and rewarding job that can be done with an Associate’s degree. As a police officer, you would be responsible for enforcing laws, conducting investigations, patrolling neighborhoods to maintain order and responding to emergency calls.
You would also need excellent communication skills to communicate with the public as well as other officers on your team. With dedication and hard work, this career can open doors of opportunity while providing you with the satisfaction of serving your community.
Police Officer Job Responsibilities
- Enforce laws and investigate crimes.
- Respond to emergency calls for assistance.
- Patrol assigned areas to deter crime and preserve public safety.
Police Officer Median Salary$61,600 Annual
13. Physical Therapist Assistant
Physical Therapist Assistants are health care providers who support physical therapists in providing treatments and therapies that help restore patient’s strength, mobility, balance, coordination and overall quality of life. They perform activities under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist.
A Physical Therapist Assistant can work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, private practices or in home health settings with an Associate’s Degree. The job involves helping patients improve their abilities to move without pain through exercise programs designed by the physical therapist as well as implementing treatment plans tailored for each individual patient’s needs.
Physical Therapist Assistant Job Responsibilities
- Assist physical therapists in providing patient care.
- Provide instruction and guidance to patients on how to perform specific exercises.
- Set up and maintain equipment used for therapeutic activities.
Physical Therapist Assistant Median Salary$85,827 Annual
14. Web developer
Web developers typically need an associate’s degree in computer programming or related fields to pursue this career path. With the right combination of technical skills, creativity and communication abilities, individuals can have a successful career as a Web developer with just an associate’s degree.
Web developer Job Responsibilities
- Troubleshoot, debug and upgrade existing websites.
- Ensure cross-browser compatibility of websites across different web browsers.
Web developer Median Salary$77,590 Annual
15. Air traffic controller
An Air Traffic Controller is a great job that can be done with an Associate’s Degree. This career requires knowledge of aircraft operations and air traffic regulations, as well as excellent communication skills.
An Air Traffic Controller will monitor the flow of aircraft traffic in their assigned airspace, ensuring safe and efficient navigation for all flights. They must also provide information to pilots regarding weather conditions, altitude restrictions and other important notices.
Air traffic controller Job Responsibilities
- Monitor and direct aircraft on the ground and in the air.
- Communicate with pilots, air traffic control centers and other airport personnel via radio systems or phone.
- Coordinate take-off and landing times based on current weather conditions, available airspace and navigation routes.
Air traffic controller Median Salary$68,029 Annual
16. Computer Network Support
This job involves troubleshooting issues related to computer networks and ensuring that they are running smoothly. It also includes providing technical assistance to customers, maintaining network security and software updates, managing routers and switches, configuring firewalls, and more.
With an associate’s degree in computer science or a related field such as information systems or engineering technology, individuals will be able to qualify for this position.
Computer Network Support Job Responsibilities
- Install and configure computer networks and systems, including hardware, software and peripheral devices.
- Troubleshoot network problems and make repairs as needed.
- Monitor performance of networks to ensure they are running smoothly.
Computer Network Support Median Salary$56,777 Annual
17. Aerospace Engineering Technician
An Associate’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering Technology can open the door to a career as an Aerospace Engineering Technician. This job requires technical expertise and knowledge of aerospace engineering principles, materials, testing methods and tools.
The primary role of the technician is to inspect, construct and maintain aircrafts including their components such as engines or navigation systems. An associate’s degree provides training in physics, mathematics, computer programming and other specialized topics which prepare individuals for these tasks by teaching them how to analyze problems and apply problem-solving techniques.
Aerospace Engineering Technician Job Responsibilities
- Assemble and test aircraft components using a range of tools and measuring instruments.
- Troubleshoot aircraft systems to diagnose malfunctions, isolate faults and make repairs as required.
- Develop maintenance procedures for new aircraft designs or modifications to existing ones.
Aerospace Engineering Technician Median Salary$50,376 Annual
18. Executive Administrative Assistant
An Associate’s degree can be used to pursue a career as an Executive Administrative Assistant. This job involves providing administrative support for executive-level staff, such as managing schedules and calendar, preparing reports and correspondence, attending meetings and taking notes, making travel arrangements, and maintaining office supplies.
It also may include researching information from internal or external sources. With an associate’s degree in hand, you can enter this field of work that requires strong organizational skills, attention to detail and the ability to multitask.
Executive Administrative Assistant Job Responsibilities
- Manage daily operations, coordinate meetings and appointments.
- Maintain calendars and organize travel arrangements.
- Prepare correspondence, reports, and presentations for review by the executive.
Executive Administrative Assistant Median Salary$50,641 Annual
19. Medical Sonographer
A Medical Sonographer is a professional who uses specialized equipment to create images of the internal organs and tissue structures of patients. They help diagnose, treat, and monitor illnesses by producing high-definition ultrasound images. This job can be done with an Associate’s Degree in Ultrasound Technology or Diagnostic Medical Sonography from an accredited college or university.
After obtaining the degree and gaining hands-on experience through clinical practice, candidates must pass a national credentialing exam before becoming certified by their respective state licensing board.
Medical Sonographer Job Responsibilities
- Perform ultrasound tests to help diagnose medical conditions and guide treatments.
- Monitor patients’ condition as they undergo a procedure, ensuring the safety of the patient at all times.
- Communicate the results of scans to physicians or other healthcare professionals for further treatment planning.
Medical Sonographer Median Salary$79,100 Annual
20. Avionics Technician
Avionics Technicians are responsible for maintaining and repairing sophisticated electronic systems in aircraft such as navigation and communication equipment. With an Associate’s degree in this field, you will be able to start a career as an Avionics Technician.
In this job, you install and test new avionic systems, troubleshoot malfunctions with existing systems, conducting inspections on wiring and other components of the system. As an Avionics Technician, you can enjoy a challenging and rewarding career helping keep airplanes safe and running smoothly.
Avionics Technician Job Responsibilities
- Install, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair avionic systems in aircrafts.
- Inspect mechanical components for corrosion or wear and determine necessary repairs or replacements.
- Interpret technical manuals and electrical schematics to ensure proper installation of avionic systems.