Wednesday, May 27, 2015

9 Highest Paying 2-Year Degree Jobs Ranked with Openings And Growth

What's uppers everybody?  Last Thursday I shared some well-received information on the top 25 paying jobs with the most openings and I fancied it with charts and ranks.  I'm bringing another useful enhancement of an article I caught today: 9 Highest Paying Jobs With A 2 Year Degree.  Articles like these are perfect to string people along, one click at a time, wasting everyone's time.  And they're always so wordy, aren't they?  I looked for two things when I clicked on each page, 1) The job title and 2) The salary amount, skipping all the other stuff.  It wasn't career day in my brain so I didn't much care about the job descriptions, though this may be useful to others, especially after reading this post here.

Five Careers that Only Require an Associate's Degree | The Touro ...

I took the liberty once again as I did last Thursday of gathering the most salient input from the 9 pages and creating something visual that's easy to comprehend: A chart!  I started by ranking the 9 jobs by median salary.  Here you go:

RankJobMedian Salary $
1Air Traffic Controller122,000
2Radiation Therapist77,000
3Nuclear Technician73,000
4Dental Hygienist72,000
5Funeral Service Director66,000
6Registered Nurse65,000
6Magnetic Resonance Imaging Tech65,000
7Web Developer62,500
8Electronics Drafter56,000

Air Traffic Controller tops the chart at a whopping $122K!  That is incredible pay…so much that it makes you ask, Why are employers willing to pay so much to Air Traffic Controllers?  Is it simple economics, i.e., not enough supply out there to keep airport control towers staffed, resulting in jacked-up pay to force create a market?  This Yahoo answer string starts to shed some light: Why do air traffic controllers make bank?

Taking a page out of's article, I wanted to find out how many openings there are for each job.  I used the job search site, Indeed, to look for current job openings (nationwide) as if I were seeking employment today.  I also refined my searches so that the exact title of the job came up each time.  When searches weren't clear enough, I clicked on the employer ad and made sure the offering was for the job type I was looking for, not some other one lumped in the category.  Here are the 9 jobs ranked by openings found today:

RankJobOpenings as of 5/26/15
9Air Traffic Controller23
8Magnetic Resonance Imaging Tech98
7Radiation Therapist134
6Funeral Service Director148
5Electronics Drafter440**
4Nuclear Technician940*
3Web Developer1,677
2Dental Hygienist2,799
1Registered Nurse10,725
* = The job did not come up in search as titled at or other top job search sites.  This is a best guess from a query at  **Search was inconclusive at, used

The highest paying job, Air Traffic Controller, has the fewest job openings nationwide.  There were so few of them, I clicked on the listings and found that most of them were being offered out of Houston, TX.  This wouldn't bode well for someone acquiring an associates degree in air traffic controlling who didn't live in Texas, and wanted no part of the Lone Star state.  "All my Ex's live in Texas!"  Speaking of Houston…let's pray that raining stops and people are okay.

I wanted to depict one last data point: Growth outlook for these careers.  Not everyone is going to be done with a two-year degree in these fields come this month.  Some people may just be starting out.  For this data, I went back to the BLS site.  According to the BLS, the average growth rate for ALL occupations is +11%.  In "Job Outlook, 2012-22," the BLS projects the percent change in employment for ten years.  Here are the results:

RankJobJob Outlook, 2012-22
9Air Traffic Controller1%
8Electronics Drafter2%*
7Funeral Service Director12%
6Nuclear Technician15%
5Registered Nurse19%
4Web Developer20%
3Magnetic Resonance Imaging Tech21%
2Radiation Therapist24%
1Dental Hygienist33%
*Was N/A at the BLS site.  Used: Drafter.

The job outlook for air traffic controller for the next seven years looks dismal.  Meanwhile, if you want to be in a career that will boom, Dental Hygiene is the path to take.  Now let's consolidate.  I will show you one last chart where I average the ranks of each career to give you the pound-for-pound best highest paying two year degree job.  Here you go:

1Dental Hygienist42170.26
2Radiation Therapist272110.41
3Registered Nurse615120.44
4Nuclear Technician346130.48
5Web Developer734140.52
6Funeral Service Director566170.63
7Magnetic Resonance Imaging Tech683170.63
8Air Traffic Controller199190.7
9Electronics Drafter858210.78

The clear winner, and decisively at that, is Dental Hygienist.  If you don't mind the single most disgusting thing in the world, the human mouth, then being a DH is for you!  You'll be cleaning teeth all day, but at least you won't be debt ridden from having undertaken a full Bachelor's degree course.  You'll make excellent pay, and you will find jobs easily for the next decade almost.  Teeth aren't going anywhere.

And with that…I'm off.  I hope you have enjoyed dissecting the best two-year careers currently available just as much as I have.  To continuously get great informative financial literacy posts, please subscribe to my blog (top left sidebar).  Thanks for reading! Peace out!  Carlos.

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