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When you are trying to decide between an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree, one of the factors to consider is the types of jobs you are interested in pursuing. While an associate degree means going to school for less time overall, it could have an impact on your available career options. However, there are several jobs you could look into pursuing they may accept applicants with a minimum of an associate degree.

Associate Degree by Numbers

Getting a bachelor’s degree has been a common goal for college students for years, but associate’s degrees still make up a large population of degree holders. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, around one million students earned an associate degree in 2020 – 2021, while two million earned bachelor’s degrees.

The top three fields for associate degree programs were in liberal arts and sciences (including general studies and humanities) at 39%, health professions and related programs at 17%, and business programs, at 11%. These top three fields accounted for almost 80% of associate degrees earned.

Careers You Could Pursue with an Associate Degree

What can you do with an associate degree? With a wide range of options to consider, you should think about your skills, interests, and other factors that can help you narrow down career paths. The following are some of the jobs that may accept a minimum of an associate degree among the required qualifications. Keep in mind that pay and job availability for these careers vary by location and previous experience. Also, many of these careers require certificates or licensure, so be sure to review your state’s requirements.

Dental Hygienists

Dental hygienists play a crucial role in making sure that patients have clean and healthy teeth and gums. They assist dentists during appointments by performing tasks such as taking X-rays, checking for signs of dental problems, removing plaque and tartar buildup, applying fluoride, and providing oral care advice to patients. How much can you expect to make as a dental hygienist? Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the most current salary data and job outlook.

Veterinary Technicians

Veterinary technicians are responsible for handling different kinds of tasks at veterinary offices. Some of these include assisting veterinarians during exams, preparing pets for surgical procedures, bathing and doing other grooming tasks, administering vaccines and medications, and taking X-rays. While some veterinary technicians work in small animal practices, others work with farm animals or zoo animals. For vet tech median pay and job outlook, check out the BLS.


Paralegals provide attorneys with help in several ways, such as gathering facts for cases, contacting witnesses and clients, drafting documents, and researching laws and regulations. Different types of paralegal careers are available, including litigation paralegals, corporate paralegals, personal injury paralegals, bankruptcy paralegals, family law paralegals, and immigration paralegals. For current information on paralegal salary and job outlook, please see the BLS.

HVAC Technician

HVAC technicians carry out tasks related to maintaining, repairing, and installing heating and cooling systems, such as furnaces and central air conditioners. These tasks often include inspecting HVAC equipment, replacing or repairing damaged parts, cleaning HVAC components, and installing brand new systems. Some HVAC technicians mainly handle residential HVAC systems while others specialize in commercial HVAC systems. Check out the BLS for more information on HVAC technician jobs, including salary and job outlook.

Ultrasound Technician

Ultrasound technicians, also referred to as diagnostic medical sonographers, produce images that are used to diagnose medical conditions or for other purposes, such as tracking a baby’s growth in the womb. These technicians use ultrasound imaging equipment to create these images. They also perform other tasks, such as reviewing images to search for abnormalities or areas of concern, recording their findings, and answering patients’ questions about these imaging procedures. Several types of ultrasound technician jobs are available in different areas of medicine, such as obstetrics and gynecology, pediatric medicine, and cardiac medicine. For more information on ultrasound technician salary and job outlook, please reference the BLS.

Court Reporter

Court reporters handle several tasks and duties in legal settings that involve creating transcriptions of proceedings. Some of these include using special equipment to record dialogue, reviewing notes for accuracy, asking those who are speaking to clarify statements, and providing transcript copies to courts. Some court reporters work as broadcast captioners, which involves transcribing dialogue for TV monitors. Current data on court reporter average salary and job outlook can be found on the BLS.

Human Resources Assistant

Human resources assistants are responsible for helping HR managers with everyday tasks. These usually include recruiting new employees, maintaining employee records, supporting employees with administrative tasks, and maintaining HR calendars. These assistants might also process payroll or handle payroll errors in some cases. Other tasks might include coordinating training seminars and sessions, doing exit interviews, and interacting with benefit vendors. The median salary and job outlook for human resources assistants can be found on the BLS.

Medical Assistant

Medical assistants perform a variety of tasks in medical offices, hospitals, and other types of healthcare facilities. Some of the tasks these assistants handle include keeping records of patients’ medical history, measuring blood pressure and other vital signs, assisting doctors with exams, and administering medications or vaccinations. Medical assistants might also prepare lab samples for testing and schedule appointments for patients. Check out the BLS for more information on salary and job outlook.

Physical Therapy Assistant

Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) provide physical therapists with help in caring for patients. Their day might be filled with tasks such as observing patients throughout the therapy session, helping patients perform certain activities or exercises, and using equipment to assist patients. PTAs might also provide patients and their loved ones with information on what they should do following a therapy session. If you’d like to see the average salary and job outlook for physical therapy assistants, head on over to the BLS for the most current information.

Preschool Teacher

Preschool teachers are responsible for educating children who are typically under 5 years old. These teachers help prepare children for kindergarten and teach a variety of skills, including social skills and language skills. Some of the tasks preschool teachers perform include planning curriculum, teaching basic learning skills with numbers, colors, letters, and shapes, and keeping track of the progress each student makes. Preschool teachers usually also identify problems children face while learning so that these can be addressed early. Current data on preschool teacher salary and job outlook can be found at the BLS.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologists

Among the top jobs you can get with an associate degree is that of an MRI technologist. These technologists use MRI scanners to produce images that doctors use for diagnostic purposes. MRI technologists are also responsible for maintaining MRI equipment, assisting doctors in evaluating MRI images, maintaining patient records, preparing patients for MRI scans, and using computerized equipment for taking these images. How much can you make as an MRI technologist? Head on over to the BLS to view salary, job outlook, and additional information about this career.

Web Developer

Web developers spend their workday designing and building websites. They perform several tasks in order to accomplish this, including designing a site’s appearance, checking website speed, and determining how much traffic a site is able to handle. Web developers might also meet with existing and new clients to go over their website needs, create applications for websites, monitor traffic on websites they’ve created, and write code for websites. In some cases, web developers produce content for websites, as well. Web developer salary and job outlook information is available at the BLS.

Computer-Network-Support Specialists

Computer-network-support specialists are responsible for analyzing and troubleshooting network systems, such as servers, local area networks (LAN), and cloud networks. These specialists also test existing networks and do routine maintenance on them, such as backing up files, to make sure that they continue to work properly. They generally report to network and computer systems administrators. How healthy is the job outlook for these specialists? Check out the BLS to find that, salary statistics, and more!

Air Traffic Controllers

Air traffic controllers have an important role in ensuring that aircraft are able to fly and land safely. They handle multiple tasks, such as monitoring aircraft movement both in the air and on runways. They also provide pilots with instructions for taking off and landing, handle transferring control to other controllers for departing flights and accepting control for flights that are arriving. Air traffic controllers also provide pilots with information on local weather conditions, runway problems or closures, and other issues. For air traffic controller salary and job outlook, head over to the BLS to see the latest data.

Respiratory Therapists

Respiratory therapists provide care for those who have breathing difficulties due to chronic diseases or other medical conditions. In addition to making sure patients are able to breathe properly, these therapists monitor patients’ progress, educate them on using ventilators or other breathing equipment, and run diagnostic tests related to respiratory conditions, such as lung capacity. Depending on where they work, they might care for different age groups, from premature infants to elderly patients. Learn more about this job, including salary and job outlook information, at the BLS.

Executive Administrative Assistant

Executive administrative assistants handle multiple administrative tasks, as well as clerical tasks, for a company’s executives. These tasks typically include answering calls, setting up staff or client meetings, scheduling appointments, managing an executive’s calendar, maintaining files or databases, and handling mail. Executive administrative assistants might also be responsible for preparing documents, such as invoices. Check out the BLS for more information on executive administration assistant jobs, salary, and job outlook.

Food Service Manager

Food service managers oversee day-to-day operations for dining establishments and other places that serve food. Some of the tasks that food service managers perform include hiring and training employees, inspecting equipment and supplies used for food preparation and dining, handling customer complaints, setting customer service standards, managing payroll and budgets, and coming up with employee schedules. How much do food service managers make? Head over to the BLS to see salary and job outlook data.

Health Information Technician

Health information technicians are responsible for managing healthcare data and keeping it organized. These technicians handle a number of tasks on a regular basis, such as checking patient records for accuracy, organizing data, keeping patient records confidential, and using classification software to analyze data or for insurance purposes. Health information technicians can focus on one area of health information, such as working as a medical coder. To learn about health information technician salaries and job outlook, check out the BLS.

Radiation Therapists

Radiation therapists provide radiation treatment to patients who have cancer or certain other diseases. These therapists perform tasks such as explaining radiation treatment to patients and addressing any concerns they have, taking steps to protect patients during treatment, and monitoring patients for adverse reactions to radiation treatment. These therapists are also responsible for calibrating and properly using radiation equipment and keeping records of patients’ treatments. How much does a radiation therapist with an associate degree usually make? This can vary, so check out the latest data from the BLS, and learn about job outlook too.

Avionics Technician

Avionics technicians handle tasks related to avionics equipment, such as navigational components and radar for aircraft. Some of these technicians focus on installing, testing, and repairing space vehicles. Visit the BLS for more information on avionics technician jobs, including salary and job outlook.

If you’re ready to explore associate degrees, Post University offers a wide range of these degree programs to put you on the path toward the education you seek.


Thank you for reading! The views and information provided in this post do not reflect Post University programs and/or outcomes directly. If you are interested in learning more about our programs, you can find a full list of degrees we offer on our website or reach out directly!

Please note jobs, career outcomes, and/or salaries highlighted in this blog do not reflect jobs, career outcomes, and/or salaries expected from any Post University program. To learn more about Post University’s program and their outcomes from Post University programs please fill out a form to speak with an admissions representative. 

Related: 6 Benefits of an Associate Degree