The 5 highest-paying associate degrees in technology
You don’t need a four-year degree to land a lucrative tech job.
According to estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer and information technology jobs are projected to grow by 12% from 2018 to 2028—much faster than the average for all occupations. Moreover, the median annual wage for these jobs was $86,320 in May 2018, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $38,640. Surprisingly, you don’t need to have a four-year degree to succeed in this lucrative field. The highest-paying associate degree jobs in technology can earn you around $80,000 per year.
Salary will be affected by your level of experience, specialty, and employment location. For example, a senior data scientist salary in Allen, Texas, is 2% higher than the national average; an electronics technician salary in Gurnee, Illinois, is 20% higher than the national average; and a front-end developer salary in Bedford, Massachusetts, is 7% higher than the national average.
According to PayScale data, these are among the best associate degree jobs you can get in technology.
Computer science or computer engineering
Computer science students design, develop, test, and produce computers and their subsystems. Computer engineering students study software, hardware, networking, and security.
The average salary for early-career workers with an associate degree in computer science or computer engineering is $40,600 per year, with a projected mid-career salary of $83,700 annually.
Computer-science or computer-engineering degree holders typically pursue one of these jobs:
- Computer programmer
- Computer support specialist
- Systems analyst
- Software engineer
- Software developer
- Mobile application developer
- Data engineer
- Data scientist
- Machine learning engineer
Instrumentation technology students learn how to install, test, calibrate, and maintain highly complex devices or equipment that are used in the automation of industrial processes in medicine, communications, navigation, power generation, oil refineries, chemical plants, food processing, cosmetics, building environmental control, and other fields.
Early-career professionals with an associate degree in instrumentation technology earn an average salary of $46,700 per year, with a projected mid-career salary of $81,700 annually.
Instrumentation-technology degree holders typically pursue jobs in one of the following:
- Electrical instrumentation technician
- Electronics technician
- Electronics repairer
- Engineering technician
- Electrical engineer
Find more instrumentation technology jobs on Monster.
Biomedical engineering technology
Biomedical engineering technology students study the application of engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology in order to advance health care treatment by improving or building machines that solve medical problems.
The average salary for early-career professionals with an associate degree in biomedical engineering technology is $47,400 annually, with a projected mid-career salary of $80,700 per year.
Typically, biomedical engineering-technology degree holders pursue one of these occupations:
- Biomedical equipment technician
- Biomedical engineer
- Rehabilitation engineer
- Radiology equipment specialist
- Laboratory equipment specialist
- Medical equipment manufacturing technician
- Medical equipment repair technician
Find more biomedical engineering technology jobs on Monster.
Network engineering students learn how to design, implement, and troubleshoot networking technologies, such as routing, cryptographic tunneling, firewalls, and others. In addition, they study how to maintain the connectivity of a network’s data, voice, calls, videos, and wireless network services.
Early-career professionals with an associate degree in network engineering earn an average starting salary of $49,200 per year, with mid-career professionals earning an average of $79,500 annually.
Network-engineering degree holders typically pursue one of these occupations:
- Network technician
- Network engineer
- Network analyst
- Wireless network engineer
- Network security engineer
- Network systems administrator
- Network manager
Find more network engineering jobs on Monster.
Early-career professionals with an associate degree in web development earn an average annual starting salary of $46,600, with mid-career professionals taking home an average of $77,200 per year.
Web-development degree holders typically enter one of these occupations:
- Web designer
- Front-end developer
- Back-end developer
- Full-stack developer
- Software developer
- Computer programmer
- Database administrator
- UX/UI designer
- Digital marketer
- SEO specialist
Find more web developer jobs on Monster.
Upgrade your tech job search
A two-year degree takes you far in this field, but the real challenge is getting your talents in front of hiring managers. Want some help with that? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to the types of tech jobs that interest you. Additionally, you can get job alerts sent directly to your inbox to cut down on time spent looking through ads. Tech recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Let us help you kick-start a high-speed job search today.