Author Topic: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?  (Read 3952 times)

kc27

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« on: March 07, 2018, 08:53:58 PM »
The Money Talk News website recently posted an article titled "20 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree" Has a two year degree translated into a good paying job for any of you? I showed the article to soon to be high school graduate, but he was somewhat skeptical - and I think leery of attending a 2-year school. In his mind, there is a stigma associated with a two year school vs a four year school.

But anyway, if anyone has gone down the 2-year degree route for their career, or knows of people who have, and it has translated into good compensation, please share your experiences.

Thanks

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4001
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2018, 09:05:55 PM »
Depends what "good paying" is.

In a MCOL city, I've got lots of co-worker who slowly worked there way up to ~60k. Not bad for no college, but not spectacular. It is a manufacturing and lab environment.

My H has a co-worker who got a two year degree in Cisco network stuff. She is high up, but she went back to school later for a bachelor's. I don't know how high she could have gone without later getting the bachelor's.

When I did the first year of that degree, they were saying 50k to start and up to 100k. But. That was 2001 so things may have changed.

Executive admins make 50-60k at my company. It has become a weird job to recruit for. No one has regular admins anymore, only VP and above. So how do you get someone with any experience? We tend to hire anyone with general.office experience who can show they are organized and can do stuff in Excel and PP.

I don't know of any 100k a year jobs that don't require either college, tons of niche experience, danger, or a really crappy schedule/long hours.


2Cent

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 649
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2018, 05:18:16 AM »
This one I suppose: https://www.geteducated.com/careers/highest-paying-associate-degree-jobs

I think for air traffic controller you have to be selected, so it's not something you can just do. There are a few radiation/nuclear related ones. I guess those jobs require something extra to your degree as well. Programmer/Web developer is high because of the huge demand and the fact that it is quite possible to teach yourself. If you have good communication skills and some work to showcase you can go up high there even without a degree.

What I see is that people with higher degrees are prefered for promotions and people with lower degrees really have to prove themselves to get ahead. They tend to get stuck as the expert of a certain product or procedure. Also, a Bachelor or Masters degree is worth something even if you change your field, while an associate degree is pretty much worthless outside its field.

LifeHappens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6758
  • Location: SnowBirdLand
  • Downshifting from 5th to 3rd Gear
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2018, 05:33:17 AM »
My dad had a good career in tool & die. It is a 2 year degree in conjunction with an apprenticeship. You work while attending classes. The first 4 years of work don't pay very well, but you quickly move up the pay scale. Toward the end of his career (he retired 5 years ago) he was making $30+ per hour and getting several hours of overtime every week.

The field is becoming more tech intensive. He learned coding for a couple types of machines his shop purchased. He found that intellectually satisfying. It's also math heavy, which is fun for the right type of person.

jlcnuke

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 882
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2018, 05:35:47 AM »
I made 6-figures with only military training and 1 year of college. Getting my 4-year degree didn't really do anything to my career so far (mostly because I haven't been willing to switch employers/job locations though).

MonkeyJenga

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8359
  • Location: the woods
  • resting up for 2020
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2018, 06:02:10 AM »
I didn't finish my 4-year undergrad degree, and I was making six figures when I FIRE'd last year. It's possible in a typical corporate-y environment, but I had to fight past a lot of assumptions to get there. Every non-temp job I had required a bachelor's degree, but I finagled my way in. I also lived in NYC, which pumped up my salary compared to most other places.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2018, 07:11:37 AM by MonkeyJenga »

lizzzi

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2092
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2018, 06:55:30 AM »
A two-year associate's degree in nursing is the quickest, easiest way to be able to take your boards and become an RN. Of course, you should think along the lines of getting your bachelor's at some point, as it will open many more doors. An RN salary is a living wage--a first income job--you should be able to afford a good car and a small house.

dcozad999

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 621
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2018, 07:36:22 AM »
This one I suppose: https://www.geteducated.com/careers/highest-paying-associate-degree-jobs

I think for air traffic controller you have to be selected, so it's not something you can just do. There are a few radiation/nuclear related ones. I guess those jobs require something extra to your degree as well. Programmer/Web developer is high because of the huge demand and the fact that it is quite possible to teach yourself. If you have good communication skills and some work to showcase you can go up high there even without a degree.

What I see is that people with higher degrees are prefered for promotions and people with lower degrees really have to prove themselves to get ahead. They tend to get stuck as the expert of a certain product or procedure. Also, a Bachelor or Masters degree is worth something even if you change your field, while an associate degree is pretty much worthless outside its field.


A lot of those medical tech (radiation, mri, etc) pay well, but you can't really hold down a job while going to school. At least at the university I went to, those students were working unpaid internships pretty much full time.

If you can stand looking in other peoples' mouths all day, I've heard that dental hygienists do very well. And many only work 4 days a week.

catccc

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1681
  • Location: SE PA
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2018, 07:53:52 AM »
I know an electrician that made over $100K last year and he has a high school degree for a vocational school.  He did work a lot of overtime, but I think in a normal year without the overtime it is probably around $75K.

I know a programmer that doesn't have any degree, but some coursework in computer science.  I think he was close to getting his degree but never finished it.  He makes bank.  Probably at least $150K a year.

It is totally possible to have a well paying job w/o a 4 year degree.  I feel like the sentiment lately is that 4 year college isn't the be-all-end-all of prep options for a sustainable life in adulthood.  It could just be the people I know, but there's a lot less elitism around education level these days than I perceived was there in the early 2000s.

Louisville

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 498
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2018, 08:01:17 AM »
I got computer infosystems A.S. in 1996. First job paid 35k (which bought more back then, of course), now I'm at 108k. I've always had great benefits. All this in a LCOL town - think median home price about 160k.

Linea_Norway

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5447
  • Location: Norway
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2018, 08:06:02 AM »
I did a type of university (the lower level kind of university), with 2 years full time study and 3 years working 4 days a week and studying 1 day a week. I quit about 6 month before the end and do not have a degree. Although I am pretty intelligent.

I registered at a temp-office to get any kind of administrative work. I ended up working at the helpdesk of a software company. Some time later, the software company hired a bunch of new, young programmers and was about to give them a 6 week programming course in the correct programming language. I was asked if I wanted to join the course. Of course I did, so I had the 6 week course. After this I was put on a project, developing a new application with a mixed team of experienced and inexperienced programmers. I was made responsible of specifying the functionality for the customer.

Then I decided to emigrate to another country. I made contact with the user group of that programming language in Norway and got in touch with 2 companies that were looking for programmers. I got an offer from both and went for the highest paying offer, which was quite low, as I was only 24.

I found out after maybe 2,5 years or so that this company was not so interesting to work at. Eventually I was the only programmer. At programming conferences I got in touch with a software company with a bigge group of programmers. I worked there for 12 years. Somewhere down the line I learned another programming language, but not so well. I did a course for test manager (paid by company) and switched to that profession. At some point I decided to work somewhere else. I became a test manager consultant. That consultancy company sponsored my course on "advanced" level. A few years ago I switched to my current company.

I have always been honest about not having a degree. I my CV I note the years that I entered and left my university, but I don't write anything about the missing degree. Then somewhere during the interview, I tell them that I don't have the degree, because I had to quit for important personal reasons (I exaggerate a personal event). They don't seem to mind.

When I was working as a consultant I had a pretty good income. When I accepted my current job I accepted a lower income, because it is half-government and the company cannot pay as much as in the private sector. Currently I am at approximately 100.000 USD at the today's currency rate. That is a small step up from where I was 3 years ago. My age is 44. I think in my situation, employers look much more at my experience than at my schooling.

2Birds1Stone

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5528
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Earth
  • K Thnx Bye
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2018, 08:40:07 AM »
I don't have a degree and I managed to work my way up into B2B sales. Started in retail, got into management, and then applied for entry level software sales position.

If you can get your foot in the door doing inside sales for a SaaS company, you could get into the $150-200k/yr range after a few years and one promotion.

poetdereves

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 103
  • Location: Ridgeland, MS
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2018, 09:27:23 AM »
It seems like itís more about self marketing, hard work, and taking time to get better than it is about the degree you have. My FIL is a high school drop out (sophomore year) and makes 250k+. My MIL finished 1 year of community college and now makes 350k+. On the flip side I have friends with masterís degrees and phds that cant seem to crack the 40-50k mark after 5+ years in their jobs.

Counting_Down

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 73
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2018, 10:58:14 AM »
My BIL took an intensive coding course focusing on web development (24 weeks) and got a job offer right after for just over 100K/yr as a Software Engineer.  We're not in Silicon Valley either.  Granted he worked his ass off and the distribution of job offers for his class was wide with just the top few getting crazy offers, and the bottom performers getting no job offers at all.  Most were in the middle with offers around 50-60K.

Partner and I were (jokingly) miffed he could get an engineer title in 24 weeks where we had to suffer the long route with a 4 year degree.  Many engineers I know from our school with a 4 yr degree in different types of engineering started at a much lower salary than BIL.  Shows the demand of tech, I guess.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10633
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2018, 10:59:31 AM »
I have an AA. I went to work after that, with the intention of saving, declaring myself emancipated so I didn't have to report any income but my own, and completing a bachelor's degree. Less than six months into the new job, I was diagnosed with cancer. When I went back to work, my merchandising job eventually became a sales job. I was hesitant, but discovered I was good at sales. My goals and priorities shifted post-cancer. I wanted other things more than a 4 year degree, so I pursued different goals. As MJ mentioned, sometimes it meant talking my way into a job, but in sales, results are what matter. I'm FIRE now, in a HCOLA, and really happy with the arc of my life thus far.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5601
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2018, 12:03:06 PM »
I have an AA and earn low 6-figures in IT with 5 years experience (career change in my late 20's).

TheWifeHalf

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 496
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2018, 06:24:35 PM »
My 3 children all make 80-90,000:
Registered nurse - 2 yr degree
Network guy in the IT dept of a hospital
Though he lives in a higher COL area (we are in low), my third son makes that with no college degree, though he was in the Navy nuclear propulsion rate (not sure if that's the right word) 2 years Navy schooling, 4 yrs on the ship. The guy that hired him was a Navy nuke dropout, so I guess the interview was fun!

MicroRN

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1022
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2018, 07:13:28 PM »
A two-year associate's degree in nursing is the quickest, easiest way to be able to take your boards and become an RN. Of course, you should think along the lines of getting your bachelor's at some point, as it will open many more doors. An RN salary is a living wage--a first income job--you should be able to afford a good car and a small house.

Absolutely agree.  While I need a BSN for my current job , my last nursing job just required an RN and I started it with an Associates in nursing that took less than 2 years.  My base pay was $27/hr, with night shift/weekend/holiday differentials, and frequent opportunities to pick up overtime or call shifts.  New full time (three 12s) night shift nurses made ~$60,000/year.  One of my co-workers managed $75K by picking up extra weekends/holidays/overtime shifts.  The hospital was Union, so the pay increased every year.  Not dramatically, but it was steady and guaranteed.     

sparkytheop

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 832
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2018, 03:20:21 AM »
I have an associates, so only a two year degree.  I did do an apprenticeship though, so that adds some time.  Worked as an electrician for several years making good money, especially for my area.  I took a paycut to do my current job, which is still "in the field" and related, but different.  Base pay is over $90k, and I make over $100k if I work a little OT, so pretty much every year I break six figures.  If I wanted the "promotion job", which I'm well qualified for, I'd have a base pay of about $115k, but I don't want the job.  It pretty much becomes a desk job where you become trapped in a single room with a lot of stress, and I hate, hate the idea of a desk job.  I hate the idea of not being able to go outside (almost) whenever I want, especially when the weather is nice.  It would be a huge pay raise, but the money is just not worth it to me.  I feel really balanced and content now, so why mess with a good thing?

matchewed

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4325
  • Location: CT
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2018, 05:48:16 AM »
I have an associates but am working towards my bachelors. I'm a Manufacturing Engineer making good money. I have the advantage that I worked manufacturing for several years before getting the degree but things are possible for bright hard working people.

dycker1978

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 768
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2018, 06:54:42 AM »
I have a 2 year Electronics Engineering Technology degree.  I will make aprox 100k this year in a mcol city

Aunt Petunia

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 895
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2018, 07:18:12 AM »
A two-year associate's degree in nursing is the quickest, easiest way to be able to take your boards and become an RN. Of course, you should think along the lines of getting your bachelor's at some point, as it will open many more doors. An RN salary is a living wage--a first income job--you should be able to afford a good car and a small house.

Absolutely agree.  While I need a BSN for my current job , my last nursing job just required an RN and I started it with an Associates in nursing that took less than 2 years.  My base pay was $27/hr, with night shift/weekend/holiday differentials, and frequent opportunities to pick up overtime or call shifts.  New full time (three 12s) night shift nurses made ~$60,000/year.  One of my co-workers managed $75K by picking up extra weekends/holidays/overtime shifts.  The hospital was Union, so the pay increased every year.  Not dramatically, but it was steady and guaranteed.     
Where I work starting is $32/hr now for AD nurses, with the requirement that they get the Bachelor's within 6 years of start. My work has gone through phases of only hiring BSN or higher but then went back to hiring the ADs due to shortages. The pay difference is only 1.05/hr per degree, so with a Master's I only get 2.10 more than someone with an Associate and equal experience.

In my area the AD programs take about as long as the BSN because the students have to complete certain pre-requisites before they can even apply to the program, and some of those classes have pre requisites too. Students are also encouraged to have all co-requisites done before starting, and are more likely to get in the more classes they have done. There is also a high failure rate. (Maybe my area is different than others because nursing jobs are so  plentiful?))I don't know anyone who has recently graduated with an AD in less than 4 years.

Fishindude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2109
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2018, 08:12:04 AM »
When I sold the business I had several high school educated supervisors making in excess of $100K. 
This is not uncommon in skilled trades.

TheWifeHalf

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 496
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2018, 07:20:00 PM »
A two-year associate's degree in nursing is the quickest, easiest way to be able to take your boards and become an RN. Of course, you should think along the lines of getting your bachelor's at some point, as it will open many more doors. An RN salary is a living wage--a first income job--you should be able to afford a good car and a small house.

Absolutely agree.  While I need a BSN for my current job , my last nursing job just required an RN and I started it with an Associates in nursing that took less than 2 years.  My base pay was $27/hr, with night shift/weekend/holiday differentials, and frequent opportunities to pick up overtime or call shifts.  New full time (three 12s) night shift nurses made ~$60,000/year.  One of my co-workers managed $75K by picking up extra weekends/holidays/overtime shifts.  The hospital was Union, so the pay increased every year.  Not dramatically, but it was steady and guaranteed.     

While my RN daughter worked, the hospital paid for her schooling to get her bachelor's. In fact, my sister did the same many years ago.

Trifele

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2369
  • Location: US
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2018, 04:37:26 AM »
A two-year associate's degree in nursing is the quickest, easiest way to be able to take your boards and become an RN. Of course, you should think along the lines of getting your bachelor's at some point, as it will open many more doors. An RN salary is a living wage--a first income job--you should be able to afford a good car and a small house.

Absolutely agree.  While I need a BSN for my current job , my last nursing job just required an RN and I started it with an Associates in nursing that took less than 2 years.  My base pay was $27/hr, with night shift/weekend/holiday differentials, and frequent opportunities to pick up overtime or call shifts.  New full time (three 12s) night shift nurses made ~$60,000/year.  One of my co-workers managed $75K by picking up extra weekends/holidays/overtime shifts.  The hospital was Union, so the pay increased every year.  Not dramatically, but it was steady and guaranteed.     

While my RN daughter worked, the hospital paid for her schooling to get her bachelor's. In fact, my sister did the same many years ago.

This is what is currently happening in my area (nursing shortage).  The hospital employers are hiring Associates=prepared nurses, and then requiring them to get their BSN in 4 or 6 years.  But the employers are paying for the employees to bridge up to the BSN. 

kc27

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2019, 05:34:57 PM »
I just wanted to circle back and thank everyone who shared their experiences. It is encouraging people found so many paths to well paying careers. I fest there there were two common threads in the responses: 1.  was personal ambition, drive, desire, whatever you want to call it;  and 2. a satisfaction or joy in the chosen careers.

Thanks again.

Unique User

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 647
  • Location: NC
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2019, 06:43:28 AM »
+1 to sales jobs.  DH is in a lower paying field for sales (CPGs), but still makes $90k plus awesome benefits - home office when not on the road, 9% 401k match, ESPP, company car, very inexpensive healthcare plans, home internet reimbursement, etc. 

thesis

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 175
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2019, 08:45:08 AM »
I have a friend who got his associate's in Automotive Technology. He's been a mechanic for the past decade and has his master tech certifications through a dealership. I think he's making around $70k, though he could up this if he switched to a better employer. Downside is he's near the top of his pay scale, up-side is he could always owe $50k on a bachelor's degree and be making $10/hour in retail/service (nothing wrong if you enjoy that, though). Other up side is that he doesn't have to pay anyone to work on his car :D . It doesn't scratch the pay some professions receive, but it's still pretty good money, IMO

use2betrix

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1723
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2019, 09:44:25 AM »
I have my associates degree in a construction technology field. Iím 30 years old.

Iíve had at least 6-7 years making $100k+, 3? At $200k+, and this year I should crest $300k. On a 5 day week Iíd be at around $270k this year, but Iíll be working more and should be closer to $320k. Over $50k of my income is via tax free per diem.

Iím not the norm. This salary is working for multiple different companies, so itís not like I landed ď1 lucky job.Ē What I mean with me ďnot being the normĒ is that it isnít just my salary, but my personal traits that make me successful seem to be the large deciding factor over any degree or certifications I have.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2019, 10:26:17 AM by use2betrix »

kc27

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: Anyone Have A Good Paying Job With A Two Year Degree?
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2019, 10:17:58 AM »
Wow, these experiences are really eye opening. I originally asked the question as a way to get real world examples to help advise my kids as they transitioned out of high school. Now, due to my long-term employer closing, I am at a career crossroads myself, so I really appreciate all the answers.