20 great-paying jobs that only require a 2-year degree


Money expert Clark Howard has long said that continuing education is the key to finding a good job in a changing employment landscape — one that currently features the rise of artificial intelligence and the automation of many positions.

But let’s face it — traditional four-year college is not for everybody.

RELATED: These sites can help save you money on textbooks

Overeducated and unemployed? Not in these jobs!

Too much education can certainly break the bank. College costs were up more than 3% last year, which is well above the 2.1% rate of inflation in 2017.

Unfortunately, that’s pretty much been a wash, rinse and repeat scenario as college costs routinely skyrocket year after year well above the pace of other consumer expenditures — except for health care.

It’s gotten to the point that it now typically costs $47,000 a year for a private college or $20,090 annually for a public institution!

Meanwhile, MoneyTalkNews.com reports that a year of community college will run you less than $4,000! And the great news is community colleges offer associate’s degrees in a wide range of fields that can land you a high-paying job.

If you’re not keen on borrowing yourself in student loan debt oblivion, consider these careers below. They all require a two-year degree or equivalent experience such as an apprenticeship or trade school.

Salaries and growth projections are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Median income (2016) Projected job growth through 2026
Air traffic controller $122,410 3%
Radiation therapists $80,160 13%
Nuclear medicine technologists $74,350 10%
Dental hygienist $72,910 20%
Diagnostic medical sonographers $69,650 23%
MRI technologists $68,420 14%
Web developer $66,130 15%
Computer network support specialist $62,670 8%
Avionics technician $60,760 5%
Occupational therapy assistants $59,010 29%
Respiratory therapists $58,670 23%
Radiologic technologists $57,450 12%
Physical therapist assistants $56,610 31%
Geological and petroleum technicians $56,470 16%
Fire inspectors and investigators $56,130 10%
Cardiovascular technologists and technicians $55,570 10%
Funeral service workers $54,830 5%
Drafters $53,480 7%
Paralegals and legal assistants $49,500 15%
Chemical technicians $44,480 4%

So if you’re in a dead-end job, know that it is possible to switch things up without going back to school for another traditional degree.


Four years of traditional college is no longer a necessity if you want to bring home a hefty paycheck!

RELATED: Need a job? Employers desperately seek applicants for these 10 positions

  • Show Comments Hide Comments