Community College Best Career Jobs

Median Salary: $57,870
Unemployment Rate: 0.6 percent
Expected Job Openings: 14,100

OTAs specialize in working with occupational therapists to help patients relearn daily tasks after an injury or illness. These professionals need an associate degree and will need to meet any certification and licensing requirements required by the state and employer.

Median Salary: $68,970
Unemployment Rate: 0.4 percent
Expected Job Openings: 16,000

These health care specialists use sonography equipment to capture images for a number of medical purposes, from finding out the gender of a baby to imaging tumors. Associate degrees in sonography are available to aspiring diagnostic medical sonographers.

Median Salary: $64,970
Unemployment Rate: 3.6 percent
Expected Job Openings: 39,500

Web developers build websites, working with software applications or writing code to finish the job. Employers may prefer candidates who’ve earned an associate degree in web design.

Median Salary: $72,330
Unemployment Rate: 1.2 percent
Expected Job Openings: 37,400

Dental hygienists typically work in dental offices, cleaning teeth and educating patients on how to brush and floss properly. These dental professionals typically have earned an associate degree in dental hygiene.

Median Salary: $57,790
Unemployment Rate: 0.6 percent
Expected Job Openings: 14,900

These medical professionals provide care and treatment for patients with heart and lung problems, including those with asthma, chronic bronchitis and sleep apnea. An associate degree is typically necessary for entry into the field while licensing and certification requirements vary by state and specialization.

Median Salary: $55,170
Unemployment Rate: 4 percent
Expected Job Openings: 31,900

PTAs work with physical therapists to help patients regain movement and mobility after an injury or illness. To enter the field, physical therapist assistants need an associate degree from an accredited program, plus licensing or certification.

Median Salary: $54,880
Unemployment Rate: 1.4 percent
Expected Job Openings: 11,500

Cardiovascular technologists conduct tests on patients to help diagnose heart-related conditions. One pathway to a job as a cardiovascular technologist is through an associate degree in cardiovascular technology.

Median Salary: $80,220
Unemployment Rate: 1.7 percent
Expected Job Openings: 2,300

These medical professionals may need a 12-month certificate or associate degree to get started in radiation therapy, which involves the use of radiation to treat cancer.

Median Salary: $38,970
Unemployment Rate: 1.9 percent
Expected Job Openings: 29,000

Working under the supervision of technologists, clinical laboratory technicians analyze lab work and perform other behind-the-scenes tasks. Technicians typically earn an associate degree in clinical laboratory science.

Median Salary: $67,720
Unemployment Rate: 1.4 percent
Expected Job Openings: 3,500

MRI technologists operate machines that use magnetic fields and radio waves to take images of patients’ organs and other internal parts. Most MRI technologists earn an associate degree in radiologic technology.

Median Salary: $67,720
Unemployment Rate: 1.4 percent
Expected Job Openings: 3,500

MRI technologists operate machines that use magnetic fields and radio waves to take images of patients’ organs and other internal parts. Most MRI technologists earn an associate degree in radiologic technology.

Median Salary: $31,800
Unemployment Rate: 1.8 percent
Expected Job Openings: 17,900

These animal aficionados work under the direction of a licensed veterinarian, handling lab work, assisting with surgeries and tackling other tasks related to animal health care. Veterinary technicians typically need to complete a two-year associate degree and may need to pass various credentialing and licensing hurdles, depending on the state.

Median Salary: $73,360
Unemployment Rate: 1.4 percent
Expected Job Openings: 300

Nuclear medicine technologists have mastered a process that involves injecting small amounts of radioactive material into patients to diagnose certain diseases and illnesses. These workers typically need to earn an associate degree from an accredited nuclear medicine technology program and may need certification and a license, depending on the employer and state.

Median Salary: $56,670
Unemployment Rate: 1.4 percent
Expected Job Openings: 17,200

These health care workers are trained to perform medical imaging exams and administer radiation therapy treatments to diagnose and treat medical conditions. Many get started by earning an associate degree, certification and state-specific licensing.

Median Salary: $46,340
Unemployment Rate: 4.3 percent
Expected Job Openings: 2,900

Medical equipment repairers set up, maintain and fix medical equipment, such as CAT scanners and MRI machines. To get started in the field, aspiring medical equipment repairers may earn an associate degree in biomedical technology or engineering.

Median Salary: $48,650
Unemployment Rate: 3.6 percent
Expected Job Openings: 1,900

These experts help carry out the plans that environmental engineers have developed. Their duties may include testing and operating equipment, collecting samples and other work. An associate degree in applied engineering technology, environmental engineering technology or a related field is typically required to become an environmental engineering technician.

Median Salary: $43,030
Unemployment Rate: 3.1 percent
Expected Job Openings: 3,400

These experts monitor the environment, including investigating and preventing pollution and contamination. Some environmental science and protection technicians can get started in the field with an associate degree in environmental health, environmental science, public health or a related course of study. Some jobs may require a bachelor’s degree.

Median Salary: $48,810
Unemployment Rate: 2.8 percent
Expected Job Openings: 21,200

These legal workers perform a variety of duties to support lawyers, including organizing files and conducting legal research. Paralegals typically have an associate degree in paralegal studies from a community college although some employers may prefer a bachelor’s degree.

Median Salary: $28,570
Unemployment Rate: 3.4 percent
Expected Job Openings: 29,600

Preschool teachers are trained to teach and care for children from infancy to age 5 – and sometimes older. Requirements to enter this career differ, depending on employer and state standards. Some preschool teachers can start with a high school diploma and coursework in early childhood education, but some employers may prefer further postsecondary schooling and continuing education credits.

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Best Jobs with Associate Degrees

• Paralegal
• Environmental Science and Protection Technician
• Medical Equipment Repairer
• Radiologic Technologist
• Nuclear Medicine Technologist 
• MRI Technologist 
• Computer Support Specialist 
• Clinical Laboratory Technician