Three careers that only require an associate's degree

Lucrative careers are available for learners with an associate's degree

You don't need to go to school for a decade to have a lucrative and rewarding career. With only two years of higher education, adult learners can go on to pursue professions in a number of fields, ranging from law to healthcare. If you're enrolling at a nearby community college this fall and still don't know what to pursue, here are some suggestions for potential careers:

Hospitality management

If you have a few years of restaurant experience under your belt, or maybe you just enjoy cooking for groups of friends every weekend, you might want to consider going back to college to major in hospitality. Whether you see your future self managing a restaurant or working as a hotel concierge, you can move anywhere around the world because tourism is, after all, a major economic stimulus in many countries. If you have impeccable people skills and never fail to have a smile on your face even when you're stressed, this is the career for you. Additionally, you could earn as much as $65,000 a year depending on which path you choose.


Before you decide to become a lawyer, which takes an additional four years of schooling after earning a bachelor's degree, you might want to consider getting a two-year degree as a paralegal. These assistants help lawyers conduct interviews with clients and witnesses, write up legal documents and summarize testimonies. You could choose a number of specific areas to study, including environmental and criminal law. Every day is different in a law office, and if you're in the market for an exhilarating career, then you're just two years away from becoming a paralegal.

Dental hygienist

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental hygienists make about $30 an hour, depending on which state they work in and how long they've been employed. Along with providing preventive care such as fluoride treatments, deep cleans and tooth sealants, hygienists are like the nurses of the dental office, providing one-on-one consultations for proper maintenance and oral health. After taking hands-on courses for two years, graduates are required to partake in clinical experience before taking a National Board and Regional Clinical Board examination. After getting licensed, you'll be well on your way to a promising profession in oral health.