Full-time workers in the U.S. earn an average of about $20.90 an hour. To increase your pay by $10 an hour, consider one of these jobs that require only a two-year degree.
Â Loan officer, Average hourly wage: $30.39
Loan officers work for banks and other lending firms. They help people borrow money for houses, cars, education, and other things. There are no formal education requirements for loan officers, but an associate’s degree in financing can help qualify you for these positions.
Â Diagnostic medical sonographer, Average hourly wage: $30.60
Sonography is used to see how babies are developing during a pregnancy and to help diagnose medical problems. An associate’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography can teach you how to use the medical equipment required during the diagnosis process. Job opportunities are expected to grow by 18 percent between 2008 and 2018.
Registered nurse, Average hourly wage: $31.99
Registered nursesÂ administer medications, monitor patients, assist doctors, provide medical care, and more. To prepare for a career in nursing, you can complete an associate’s degree in nursing, which will qualify you to take a state licensing exam–a prerequisite to becoming a registered nurse. Between 2008 and 2018, the number of jobs for registered nurses is expected to grow by 22 percent. Many states are offering grant- and loan-repayment programs for nursing education, and hospitals are also offering signing bonuses to new nurses.
Applied Science, Nuclear technician: Average hourly wage: $32.07
Nuclear technicians operate nuclear testing and research equipment and help with research. About half of them work for electric companies and other types of utilities. An associate’s degree in applied science or nuclear-science technology should qualify you for the job, which will also likely require on-the-job training. This industry is expected to see average growth as nuclear-energy technology develops.
Â Nuclear-medicine technologist, Average hourly wage: $32.91
Nuclear-medicine technologists use radioactive drugs and special cameras to diagnose diseases. An associate’s degree in nuclear-medicine technology teaches you radiation safety, imaging techniques, and how to use diagnostic computer applications. Around two-thirds of nuclear-medicine technologists work in hospitals, and the rest work in diagnostic imaging centers, laboratories, and physicians’ offices.
Â Fashion designer, Average hourly wage: $35.78
Fashion designers create clothing trends. The job requires planning and research skills, plus being able to make predictions of the type of clothes people will want in the future. Fashion designers also create and sketch designs, select fabrics and colors, and manage the production of clothing, purses, shoes, sunglasses, and more. An associate’s degree in fashion design, artistic talent, and a good eye can qualify you for careers in fashion design.
Computer Programming, Average hourly wage: $35.91
Though computer-programming jobs don’t necessarily require formal education, they do require you to know how to create code and understand programming languages. The specific languages depend on the job. If you need to become a programmer, an associate’s degree in computer programming, computer science, information systems, or math can qualify you for some positions.