Ten 2-year degree jobs in demand for 2024

Last updated: July 23, 2024
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Eleana Bowman
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Ten 2-year degree jobs in demand for 2024
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Did you know that having a 2-year degree provides access to a wide range of career opportunities? With the right qualifications, skills, and training, there are many in-demand jobs with competitive pay for those with 2-year degrees.

It can be hard to determine whether a 2-year degree is the right choice for you, but it doesn't have to be. In this article, we'll cover information on 2-year degrees and the top 2-year degree jobs in demand to help simplify your decision-making process.

What is a 2-year degree job?

A 2-year degree job is a career that requires the completion of an associate’s degree program, typically at a community college or university. An associate's degree is designed to equip graduates with the skills and knowledge needed for success in their chosen field. It can help open up opportunities for higher-level positions within an organization or industry.

Some 2-year degree jobs require completing a certificate program in addition to an associate’s degree, while others may involve completing specific courses or training. There are numerous 2-year degree job opportunities available in various industries, such as healthcare, finance, technology, and engineering.

Most of these degrees focus on specific topics related to a particular industry or profession, providing students with the basic knowledge they need to succeed in their chosen field. Students can choose from various associate's degree programs and select courses that match their interests, abilities, and career goals.

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2-year degree jobs often have minimal education requirements and can provide an excellent way for individuals to start their careers in certain industries. With the right qualifications and training, those with 2-year degrees can find rewarding and lucrative employment opportunities.

Most common 2-year degrees

While there are numerous areas of study one can pursue, four main types of 2-year degrees are the most widely available. These include Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), Associate of Applied Science (AAS), and Associate of Applied Arts (AAA).

Associate of Arts (AA)

These degrees are most commonly offered at community colleges and technical schools. These degrees usually cover liberal arts topics such as English, history, mathematics, language, and science. AA degrees focus on general education rather than providing specialized skills for a particular profession.

Students who pursue an AA degree often go on to complete a four-year degree program, though many have found success in the workforce after completing an AA degree. If you're looking to start a career right away, an AA degree can be a great choice.

Associate of Science (AS)

Pursuing this degree typically requires the completion of specific science-based courses, such as chemistry, physics, or biology. Most AS programs emphasize laboratory experience and demonstrate mastery in math and sciences. In addition to that, many AS degree programs also include classes in business, economics, and liberal arts.

An AS degree is an excellent choice for those looking for a career in the sciences, engineering, or technology. Those who complete an AS degree have a good foundation for continued education or job openings in these fields.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

These degrees are designed to equip students with the skills needed to start a career. AAS degrees focus on technical and hands-on skills rather than liberal arts subjects, with many courses focusing on specific job skills.

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The AAS degree is a good option for those with a specific goal or path. Those who complete an AAS degree can pursue a more advanced degree or start a career in their chosen field with the skills they have learned.

Associate of Applied Arts (AAA)

This type of degree is usually focused on creative and visual arts, such as graphic design, interior design, photography, and film. It is a good choice for those who want to pursue a career in the creative arts, as they will need to demonstrate their creativity and technical skills in order to be successful.

These are just a quick snapshot of the many options available for 2-year degrees. Depending on your career goals, you may find that one of these degrees is ideal for you or that another type of program is more suitable. Understanding the differences between these degrees can help you choose the right path for your future.

Top 2-year degree jobs

With the right qualifications, those with 2-year degrees can find rewarding and lucrative employment opportunities. Here are ten of the top 2-year degree jobs in demand:

Respiratory therapist

Respiratory therapists are responsible for providing care to those with breathing and cardiopulmonary disorders or diseases. They work with patients to assess their condition, develop a treatment plan, and provide appropriate care.

Respiratory therapists typically work in hospitals and hold an AAS degree. These medical professionals make an average annual salary of $61,830.

Radiation therapist

Radiation therapists are responsible for treating cancers and other conditions with radiation. They work with patients to develop and monitor treatment plans, as well as provide support for those undergoing treatment. It's a rewarding job, as radiation therapists are often able to witness the progress of their patients firsthand.

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They typically hold an AAS degree and work in hospitals or radiation therapy clinics. On average, radiation therapists have a yearly salary of $82,790.

Physical therapist assistants

Physical therapist assistants help physical therapists in providing treatment to those with physical or mobility problems. They assist patients in completing exercises and activities, as well as providing support and guidance.

There are a variety of settings in which physical therapist assistants can work, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, and nursing homes. Most physical therapist assistants pursue an AS degree and make an average annual salary of $29,200.

Medical assistant

Medical assistants are responsible for providing support to physicians and other medical staff. They take vital signs, manage patient records, and provide general administrative support. It's common for medical assistants to specialize in areas such as pediatrics, obstetrics, and geriatrics.

Medical assistants typically hold an AAS degree and have a median salary of $37,190.

Air traffic controller

Air traffic controllers are primarily responsible for the safe and efficient movement of air traffic in the skies. They use radar and other equipment to monitor aircraft, provide instructions to pilots, and ensure that everyone follows safety protocols.

These professionals typically hold an AAS degree and work in airports or air traffic control towers. Air traffic controllers make an average annual salary of $129,750.


Paralegals and legal assistants provide support to lawyers and the court system. They help investigate cases, prepare motions and other legal documents, and research laws and regulations. It's an important job, as paralegals play a vital role in ensuring the accuracy of legal documents and proceedings.

If you want to start a new job as a paralegal, you'll likely need an AS degree. The average paralegal’s salary is $56,230 per year.

Administrative services manager

Administrative services managers are responsible for overseeing and coordinating the day-to-day operations of an organization, such as a business or government agency. They may also be in charge of developing budgets, analyzing data, and creating reports.

This role typically calls for an AS degree and pays an average annual salary of $100,170.

Flight attendant

Flight attendants are responsible for the protection and comfort of passengers on airplanes. They provide assistance to passengers, serve food and drinks, answer questions and complaints, and assist in emergency situations. Flight attendants often travel to different cities on short notice and work long hours, so it's an exciting job with plenty of variety.

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Flight attendants typically hold an AS degree and make an average annual salary of $61,640.

Vet tech

Vet techs work in animal clinics and shelters to provide support to veterinarians. They are responsible for collecting samples, performing laboratory tests, administering medications, and providing general care to animals. It's a role that requires technical and interpersonal skills, as vet techs must have the knowledge to perform their duties and the empathy to comfort animals and their families.

Vet techs typically hold an AS degree and make an average annual salary of $36,850.


Phlebotomists' daily duties include drawing blood from patients for medical testing and other purposes. These medical professionals must have strong attention to detail and a thorough understanding of safety protocols. It can be a challenging job, as phlebotomists must be able to handle needles and other medical equipment safely and effectively.

Phlebotomists usually pursue an AS degree and make an average annual salary of $37,380.

No matter which 2-year degree job you pursue, it's crucial to do your research and find the role that best fits your interests and skills. With the right training and education, you'll be well on your way to a thriving career in 2023.

Salary and demand for 2-year degree jobs

There are numerous 2-year degree jobs in demand that offer excellent job security and an attractive salary. In fact, the average salary for associate degree holders is $59,000, with some occupations bringing in much higher wages.

Additionally, the job outlook for those with associate's degrees is strong, with numerous opportunities to climb the career ladder. For example, the unemployment rate for those with a 2-year degree was 4.9 in 2021, compared to 6.2 for those with a high school diploma. This indicates that those with an associate degree are more likely to secure a job than their high school-educated counterparts.

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Job outlook can be affected by a number of factors, including location and industry. There are some areas where the demand for 2-year degree jobs is exceptionally high, though this can vary from one region to the next.

Comparing 2-year and 4-year degrees

Costs and budget

One of the prominent differences between the two types of degrees is cost. Generally, a 4-year degree will be more expensive than a 2-year program due to additional tuition and fees associated with a longer program. However, there are employer tuition reimbursement options for those who are looking to pursue either degree.

Time commitment

The length of time it typically takes to complete a 4-year degree program is typically double that of a 2-year degree. This is important to consider if you’re looking to complete college in a shorter amount of time. Do you have the necessary time and dedication to commit to a 4-year program, or would you be better off with a 2-year program?

Career goals

Your career goals should also be taken into consideration when deciding between 2- and 4-year degrees. Many technical jobs require an associate degree, while other professions may need a bachelor’s or higher. Consider what type of career you want to pursue and if that requires any specific degree.

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Ultimately, taking the time to research both 2- and 4-year degrees can help you make an informed decision as to what type of degree will best serve your needs. With the proper education and training, you can secure the job of your dreams.

Find an in-demand 2-year degree job today.

If you want to change careers and enter the workforce with a 2-year degree, many jobs in demand offer a competitive salary and job security. There are many degree options available, so it’s important to research which one is best for your career goals and budget.

Comparing a 2-year degree to a 4-year degree is also important to determine which type of program is the best fit for you. Knowing the cost, time commitment, and career goals associated with each type of degree can help you make an informed decision. With the right experience, you can enter the workforce with a degree that will give you a competitive edge in your field.

Check out the Getting Hired Resource Center for more information and resources on pursuing a college degree, creating a resume, and applying for jobs. With the right tools and resources, you'll be well on your way to a new and exciting career in 2023.



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