Although it all depends on what you make of it, choosing to further your education may lead to higher paying job opportunities. An associate’s degree takes just two years and offers more affordable tuition rates than a four-year school. As of April 2022, the average yearly salary for an individual with an associate’s degree comes out to $45,989.

Students have a plethora of specialties to choose from when obtaining a 2-year degree, from industry-specific roles in health care or IT or a more generalized education path. Salaries differ between areas of study, job type, experience, and, of course, location. A Georgetown University study that looked at job growth and education requirements through 2020 stated that 30% of job openings required “at least some college or an associate’s degree.” Students can choose to head right into the workforce after earning an associate’s, or continue their education toward earning a bachelor’s degree.

The unemployment rate for associate’s degree holders is only 2%, according to research from the Education Data Initiative. Having an associate’s degree under your belt is proven to increase one’s chance of holding a professional or management position in any number of industries, among them education and health, wholesale retail and trade, and professional and business services.

Stacker compiled a list of the highest and lowest paying jobs that require a 2-year degree in California-Lexington Park, MD using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by 2021 annual mean wage.

#15. Veterinary technologists and technicians

California-Lexington Park, MD
– Annual mean salary: $35,740
– #217 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 40

National
– Annual mean salary: $37,860
– Employment: 109,490
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($57,990)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($52,220)
— Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($51,340)

#14. Preschool teachers, except special education

California-Lexington Park, MD
– Annual mean salary: $43,370
– #28 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 80

National
– Annual mean salary: $36,550
– Employment: 370,940
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA ($49,990)
— Ocean City, NJ ($49,720)
— Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ ($49,560)

#13. Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping

California-Lexington Park, MD
– Annual mean salary: $46,520
– #54 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 60

National
– Annual mean salary: $44,170
– Employment: 108,470
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($60,080)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($55,410)
— Napa, CA ($54,120)

#12. Paralegals and legal assistants

California-Lexington Park, MD
– Annual mean salary: $56,220
– #89 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 60

National
– Annual mean salary: $56,610
– Employment: 332,720
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($90,640)
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($76,960)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($75,640)

#11. Mechanical drafters

California-Lexington Park, MD
– Annual mean salary: $61,830
– #86 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

National
– Annual mean salary: $61,490
– Employment: 51,620
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($104,540)
— Corpus Christi, TX ($90,720)
— New Orleans-Metairie, LA ($82,590)

#10. Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians

California-Lexington Park, MD
– Annual mean salary: $67,440
– #31 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 90

National
– Annual mean salary: $60,880
– Employment: 39,880
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Baton Rouge, LA ($112,580)
— North Texas Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area ($91,580)
— New Orleans-Metairie, LA ($91,550)

#9. Electro-mechanical and mechatronics technologists and technicians

California-Lexington Park, MD
– Annual mean salary: $71,100
– #8 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 60

National
– Annual mean salary: $62,800
– Employment: 13,160
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($99,720)
— West Texas Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area ($99,380)
— Midland, TX ($98,040)

#8. Diagnostic medical sonographers

California-Lexington Park, MD
– Annual mean salary: $76,320
– #134 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 40

National
– Annual mean salary: $77,790
– Employment: 73,920
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($138,110)
— Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($137,140)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($131,080)

#7. Radiologic technologists and technicians

California-Lexington Park, MD
– Annual mean salary: $76,350
– #48 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 40

National
– Annual mean salary: $64,840
– Employment: 206,720
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($127,890)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($118,480)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($118,100)

#6. Electrical and electronics drafters

California-Lexington Park, MD
– Annual mean salary: $77,360
– #11 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 30

National
– Annual mean salary: $65,720
– Employment: 23,020
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($98,380)
— Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX ($86,920)
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($83,760)

#5. Computer network support specialists

California-Lexington Park, MD
– Annual mean salary: $79,390
– #22 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 100

National
– Annual mean salary: $71,040
– Employment: 184,220
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($94,120)
— Barnstable Town, MA ($93,670)
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($92,190)

#4. Avionics technicians

California-Lexington Park, MD
– Annual mean salary: $83,930
– #3 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 140

National
– Annual mean salary: $69,180
– Employment: 21,390
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($92,470)
— Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($87,670)
— California-Lexington Park, MD ($83,930)

#3. Dental hygienists

California-Lexington Park, MD
– Annual mean salary: $86,970
– #69 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 80

National
– Annual mean salary: $78,050
– Employment: 194,830
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($125,750)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($122,660)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($119,320)

#2. Electrical and electronic engineering technologists and technicians

California-Lexington Park, MD
– Annual mean salary: $88,530
– #5 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 410

National
– Annual mean salary: $68,310
– Employment: 115,270
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Northeast Virginia nonmetropolitan area ($99,890)
— Fort Collins, CO ($91,980)
— Bakersfield, CA ($90,780)

#1. Aerospace engineering and operations technologists and technicians

California-Lexington Park, MD
– Annual mean salary: $88,710
– #4 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 30

National
– Annual mean salary: $70,680
– Employment: 11,900
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($106,970)
— Oklahoma City, OK ($93,540)
— Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL ($92,190)


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