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How to Forge a Career Path With Only an Associate Degree

With the average student loan debt reaching over $30,000, many students are beginning to question the wisdom of the traditional education and career path. There’s got to be a better way to earn a living, right? You don’t have to spend years and years and tens of thousands of dollars just to land a decent career. There are plenty of career paths you can pursue with just an associate’s degree.

Tech Careers

The technology industry has lots of opportunities for those who choose to pursue an associate’s degree. If you want your job to involve the internet, becoming a computer network support specialist or a web developer could be a good option for you. These careers have a median wage of $62,770 and $69,430, respectively. If you have an interest in drafting, becoming an electrical and electronics drafter can get you an average salary of $60,070 a year. This job gives you a chance to draft wiring diagrams for electrical equipment. For those who like working with their hands, a job as a radio, cellular, and tower equipment installer and repairer gives you a chance to play an integral part in maintaining communications systems.

Medical Careers

Medical careers are great options for people who want to have a positive impact on the lives of others. There are a lot of career paths available to those who elect to earn an associate’s degree. An associate’s degree will give you the training needed to be a medical assistant. You can also pursue a career as a physical therapist assistant, occupational therapy assistant, radiation therapist, respiratory therapist, MRI technologist, or as a dental hygienist. The median salary for these careers range from $58,040 to $82,330. While you can start your career with an associate’s degree, many medical careers require you to pass specific exams. These exams help you to obtain licenses that will allow you to practice. It also may be worthwhile to consider pursuing additional education down the road. This can open up opportunities for advancement and increased pay.

Engineering Careers

When you think about career paths that open up with just an associate’s degree, odds are that engineering isn’t an industry that comes to mind. There are plenty of opportunities within the engineering field for those with associate’s degrees, however. Most of these are technician positions. You could be a mechanical engineering technician, environmental engineering technician, civil engineering technician, or an aerospace engineering and operations technician. These jobs often provide support and assistance to engineers . They may involve performing maintenance, designing, and manufacturing tasks.

The traditional higher education path isn’t for everyone. There are career options in the technology, medical, and engineering industries that only require an associate’s degree to get started. Better still, they allow you to earn a decent living. Take a closer look at some of these careers and see if they might be a good fit for you.

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