Associate degrees can qualify job seekers for careers as air traffic controllers, funeral service managers, computer network support specialists, geological and petroleum technicians, and registered nurses. As of 2015, many of these jobs are among the highest paying careers a person can get with an associate degree.
Air traffic controllers regulate plane traffic and issue instructions concerning take-off and landing times. As of 2013, $121,280 was the median wage for air traffic controllers. The Federal Aviation Administration offers an Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative Program in conjunction with colleges that offer associate degrees in aviation.
Funeral service managers had a 2013 median wage of $68,420. The job entails oversight and management of funerals and wakes, and it includes tasks such as filing death certificates, comforting families of the deceased and helping to prepare the bodies.
Computer network support specialists work with IT employees on computer software and equipment. Specific duties may include troubleshooting network problems and network maintenance.
Geological and petroleum technicians work in finding and harvesting gas, oil, minerals and other natural resources in conjunction with scientists and engineers.
An associate degree in nursing can land a student with a high-paying job as a registered nurse. Registered nurses work with patients in clinics and hospitals.