Top Jobs in Demand for Associate’s Degrees


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 an average a growth 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.

Top Jobs Requiring an Associate’s by Growth Rate

 Top Jobs Requiring an Associate’s by Median Pay

The majority of the jobs listed are within the healthcare field.   This fact is due to the aging baby boomer population.  According to the US. Census Bureau, by 2020, many 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 push for 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 is no surprise that these occupations all fall within the healthcare category.

Registered Nurse

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 Sonographer

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 Hygienist

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


Read More:

A New Career for a New Year: NerdWallet’s Jobs In Demand Study

Infographic: Achieving Success with an Associate’s Degree