Top Jobs in Demand for Associate’s Degrees

jobs associate degree

Dreaming of a new career? Unfortunately, we all know education isn’t cheap, but with a little research, you can get the best bang for your buck. NerdWallet’s Jobs in Demand Study aggregated all high growth jobs and found that occupations requiring an associate’s degree had the highest average growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the average growth rate of all jobs in 2010-2020 to be 14.3%–with high growth jobs requiring an associate’s degree growing an average of 35%. To get a better idea of the best jobs in demand for associate’s degrees, we’ve listed the top occupations by salary and growth.

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Top Jobs Requiring an Associate’s Degree by Growth Rate

 Top Jobs Requiring an Associate’s Degree by Median Pay

The majority of the jobs listed are in healthcare. This is due to the aging baby boomer population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2020, much of the baby boomer population will have transitioned into the 65 and older demographic. By then, the 65 and older population will increase to 55 million, a 36% increase as compared to 2010. The aging population will necessitate more healthcare jobs. The extreme expansion in the healthcare field will open up jobs requiring specialization in aiding major functions in the health setting–such as the many healthcare jobs listed above.

Top Jobs Requiring an Associate’s Degree

Three high-demand jobs appeared on both the Top Salary and Top Growth lists. It’s no surprise that these occupations all fall within the healthcare category.


Registered Nursenurse_associate

Assesses, monitors, and records patient health, care and medication.

  • Annual Salary: $64,690
  • Growth Rate (2010-2020): 26%
  • Total Jobs Projected in 2020: 3,449,300

Medical Sonographersonographer1

Performs ultrasounds to generate images for patient diagnosis

  • Annual Salary: $64,380
  • Growth Rate (2010-2020): 44%
  • Total Jobs Projected in 2020: 77,100

Dental Hygienistdentalhygenist

Shines and polishes teeth, examines gums and takes x-rays.

  • Annual Salary: $68,250
  • Growth Rate (2010-2020): 38%
  • Total Jobs Projected in 2020: 250,300