A graduation cap hanging on a pile of pencils-Two year college degrees that pay well

Two Year College Degrees That Pay Well

Here's what we'll cover

When you hear the word “college,” what comes to your mind? You’ll most likely be
thinking about a four-year degree program. You need to know that some colleges
offer two-year programs referred to as associate degrees. These degrees have
become very popular, and they are a lucrative alternative to four-year degrees. So, what are some of the best two-year college degrees that pay well?

Let’s find out.

One concern you may raise is whether these degrees lead to good jobs, and if so, in
which fields? Fortunately, the answer is a resounding, “yes.” You can step right from
high school, get your associate degree in two years, then join the labor market.
If you are lucky, you’ll land a job that pays six figures. Of course, the job and the
salary will depend on the course you’ve studied.
Here are the top two-year college degrees with good salaries.

Computer Programming

This is among the best short college degrees that pay well. Computer software and applications need programming for them to function. As a
computer programmer, it will be your duty to create codes to make computers work.
If you are hired with an associate degree in programming, you’ll make about $82,240
per year. Currently, there are over 300,000 job openings in this field. While many
programmers hold a bachelor’s degree, many employers accept associate degree

Air Traffic Controller

As expected, any job at the airport pays well. An air traffic controller earns an annual
salary of about $124,540, and your duty will be to control airplanes at the nation’s
You’ll be in charge of maintaining effectiveness, efficiency, and safety at the airport
by controlling the takeoff and landing of planes. You’ll also monitor the movement of
planes both in the air and on the ground.

Nuclear Technician

Nuclear technicians work in energy production or nuclear research centers. If you get
a chance to work as a nuclear technician, you’ll be operating nuclear equipment
assisting nuclear engineers.

You’ll also monitor radiation levels or work with physicists and other scientists to
create reliable and safe nuclear energy. You’ll need a nuclear science associate
degree to qualify for this job, and you’ll earn pay of about $80,370 per year.
There are currently many openings for nuclear technicians because a lot of research
is going on in this field so it definitely ranks among short college degrees that pay well.

Radiation Therapist

Also known as a radiotherapist or a therapeutic radiographer, a radiation therapist is
a health professional who administers radiation to cancer patients (radiation
As a radiation therapist, you can work in a hospital, outpatient centers, or in a
physician’s office. It is easy to advance in your career when working as a
radiotherapist, and you’ll be earning about $80,570 annually.

Dental Hygienist

A dental hygienist or oral hygienist helps people to take care of their teeth. You’ll
clean people’s teeth and advise them on dental hygiene. You’ll also assist dentists as
they go about offering their services.
The salary for a dental hygienist is about $74,070 per year. To work as an oral
hygienist, you must be registered and licensed by a professional body within your

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

If you are interested in computer technology and the health sciences and are looking
for a career centered on human beings, this major is for you. To qualify for the
course, you must be good at mathematics, chemistry, and physics. therefore, it ranks among the best college degrees that pay well.

Nuclear medicine technology combines these science subjects with computers and
nuclear technology to treat diseases. The same technology is used to diagnose
diseases using radioactivity to get information about body organs’ functions and

As a nuclear medicine technologist, you’ll prepare then administer
radiopharmaceuticals, perform imaging using radiation-detecting instrumentation,
analyze specimens in the lab, use computers to process images, and provide data
analysis, images, and patient information to physicians for interpretation. The
the average salary of a nuclear medicine technologist is about $75,660 per year.

Web Developer

The use of the internet has been growing exponentially since its advent towards the
last century’s end.
Today, many people use the internet, particularly websites, for a variety of reasons.
For this reason, web design has become one of the most well-paying and attractive
career choices. If you have a passion for computers and are good at complex coding,
this career line can suit you best.

You only need a two-year degree course to become a web developer, and you’ll start
earning an average of 5700 per month. The greatest advantage of being a web
developer is that you can become self-employed.

Registered Nurse

Registered nurses with college degrees pay well in a range of about $5800 per month. In most cases, this
career requires a bachelor’s degree. However, you can start with a two-year nursing
course, get a job, then work for some years to gain experience before advancing in
this field.

Registered nurses administer medications and monitor their side effects or reactions
on patients. They also keep patient medical records, including their vital signs.
Nurses also coordinate with other healthcare providers to plan, evaluate, and
implement medical care plans. They also educate patients and their family members
on matters of medication. Nurses mainly work with doctors or surgeons.

Aerospace Engineering Technician

Aerospace engineering technicians work in the aviation industry. They use computers-
based automation, robotics, and modeling to maintain equipment used in spacecraft
and air.

They work alongside operators and aerospace engineers to help implement test
procedures. An aerospace engineering technician can also participate in the
construction or design of aerospace equipment and test facilities. The average salary
of an aerospace engineering technician is $67240 per year.

Other college degrees that pay well include:

  • Medical Sonographer
  • Electronic Engineering Technician
  • Police Officer
  • Avionics Technician
  • Radiologic & MRI Technologist
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Electro-Mechanical Technician
  • Occupational Assistant
  • Mechanical Engineering Technicians
  • Telecom Installer
  • Funeral Service Worker
  • Drafter
  • Computer Network Specialist
  • Paralegal
  • HVAC Installer


As you can see, 2-year college degrees pay well and are an alternative to full 4-year degree
courses. These courses are spread across all the fields you might be interested in.

They’ll offer you the flexibility of joining the labor market as you continue advancing
your career.
Many people opt for associate degrees because they take a shorter time and are
generally cheaper than 4-year degrees. Another advantage of these courses is that
they are offered by community colleges and can be done online. This means these
courses will not bar you from other activities, like taking care of your family.

Scroll to Top