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• Heavy Equipment Maintenance – Average Starting Salary: $34,800 – Average Earnings in 5 Years: $42,600
• Industrial Production – Average Starting Salary: $41,400 – Average Earnings in 5 Years: $46,200
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• Electrical Engineering – Average Starting Salary: $42,000 – Average Earnings in 5 Years: $61,500 AOL Jobs also published some high-paying associate degree jobs with salary figures that are quite high: • Nuclear Technician – Median annual salary: $68,037
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• Dental Hygienist – Median annual salary: $70,408
• Radiation Therapist – Median annual salary: $76,627
• Air Traffic Controller – Median annual salary: $113,547
According to Casey Research, the median lifetime earnings for an Associate Degree holder equals $1.7 million in 2009 dollars. CollegeBoard reports that the average tuition and fees for the 2013 – 14 school year for two – year colleges is $3,264. And you don’t have to be majoring in electrical engineering to do that math. Students that attend community colleges graduate and are in the workplace faster, earn close to the salary of bachelor degree holders over their lifetime and have less student debt comparatively. So when it comes to community college majors, choose wisely. Also, don’t just assume that going to a community college won’t provide the same opportunities as a four-year college or university. If the major or career path you want is offered at a two-year school (and it pays after graduation), it may be the most fiscally-smart, time-efficient option. In the end, you will attend class for half the time, pay less than half the cost of a public in-state college and earn more over your lifetime than an individual with just a high school diploma.