$100K Jobs With A Two-Year Degree

People often think that a four-year bachelor’s degree is the only way out of financial hardship. Each year, millions of Americans go deep into debt to finance a college degree which may not pay off in the long term. However, there are some well-known jobs that pay more than $100,000 annually, and they don’t require more than an associate’s degree.

It is true that some jobs require a four-year degree to qualify for the interview. Some companies often ask for advanced degrees before being willing to hire a potential employee. In this article, we talk about five jobs accessible with only a two-year degree where the top ten percent earn more than $100,000 annually.

Executive Pastry Chef

Executive Pastry Chef is not the first job that comes to mind when people look for annual earnings exceeding $100,000. However, contrary to popular belief, this profession can be quite profitable in the long term. According to data provided by PayScale.com, the top ten percent executive pastry chefs earn an average of $102,000 annually. The average chef does earn significantly less, with annual income of around $46,000. But with enough preparation and the right employer, earnings can easily go up.

Executive pastry chefs are usually hired to work at exotic restaurants and hotels, cruise ships, specialty patisseries, and more. The luckiest ones get to work on television or at globally known locations such as the White House. To become an executive pastry chef, people take a two-year degree at a community college or culinary school. Longer studies are also available for people who want to specialize further. However, many successful chefs have reached their position without a degree at all, relying on the knowledge and experience obtained while working at restaurants.

Master Plumber

Every home and business owner has hired a plumber at least once. Plumbers have existed for hundreds of years, and their job is to install and maintain systems used for potable water, sewage and drainage. Due to how often these installations need to be repaired, replaced or maintained, it is no surprise that plumbers are always in demand. This also makes them one of the best paid maintenance professionals in the market. The average plumber earns no less than $60,000 annually.

Most plumbers get their training through apprenticeships, though in recent years community colleges and technical schools have incorporated plumbing into their programs. Master plumbers are the most experienced plumbers in the business. Although a two-year degree is enough in most states to work as a plumber, becoming a master plumber often takes more time and experience.
However, once a person becomes a master plumber, they have a guaranteed annual income of at least $102,000.

Radiation Therapist

Healthcare has always been regarded as one of the most profitable businesses with long-term potential. Most people believe that working in healthcare requires many years of studies and several advanced degrees. However, this is often not the case, as there are jobs accessible to people with only a two-year degree. Radiation therapy is one example, where a radiography associate’s degree and a radiation therapy certificate are enough to obtain a good-paying position.

Radiation therapists are professionals who work within a radiation oncology team. Their job is to administer radiation treatment to cancer patients, although they often serve as liaisons with physicians and care providers in general. Most healthcare facilities which offer cancer treatment have at least a few radiation therapists on board to make sure operations run as smoothly as possible. According to data from PayScale.com, the top 10 percent earners in the field make around $104,000 annually. The rest of radiation therapists make no less than $77,000 a year.

Intensive-Care Unit Nurse

Most nursing specialties require at least a four-year degree. However, some nursing jobs are accessible to healthcare professionals who only have an associate’s degree in nursing. Such is the case for nurses working within an Intensive-Care Unit (ICU), who deliver critical-care attention to critically ill or severely injured patients. Their job is overseen by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), and their annual salary often exceeds $72,000.

According to PayScale.com, the top ten percent earners in the field make around $107,000 annually. However, Intensive-Care Unit nurses who continue their studies have the potential to earn as much as $200,000 each year while working within the private sector. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has predicted positive growth for the nursing industry, which means that anyone looking to work in Intensive-Care Unit facilities should be optimistic about finding a good paying job.

Sheet-Metal Worker

Working in sheet-metal manufacturing will hardly come to mind when people talk about careers with $100,000 salaries. However, these professionals can make up to $122,000 each year according to data provided by PayScale.com. On Average, the majority of sheet-metal workers earn around $63,000 annually. However, with years of experience and good credentials, a sheet-metal worker can go beyond $100,000 with ease.

Sheet-Metal workers make, install and maintain a long list of products derived from metal sheets, including roofs, restaurant equipment, railroad cars, heating systems and much more. It is a risky job that involves both construction work and mass production of sheet-metal products. To become a sheet-metal worker, people need to be in good physical condition, have above average mathematical skills, and good hand-eye coordination. Good healthcare and life insurance are also recommended due to the high level of risk involved in the manufacturing of metal sheet products.

Most sheet metal workers learn the profession through apprenticeships and on-the-job training programs. Manufacturing facilities often run their own training sessions to familiarize newcomers with production standards and safety measures. There is no associate’s degree that specializes in sheet-metal manufacturing. However, an engineering-related associate’s degree is always a plus when looking for a high-paying position.

Good paying jobs available to people with associate’s degrees exist around the country. However, they tend to be snatched up quickly due to how many Americans have the education required to be hired. People looking for a good paying job should research the job availability in their area before making the decision to invest in a two-year degree. However, once they have the tools at hand, reaching $100,000 is just a matter of time.