Although it all depends on what you make of it, choosing to further your education may lead to higher-paying job opportunities. An associate’s degree takes just two years and offers more affordable tuition rates than a four-year school. As of April 2022, the average yearly salary for an individual with an associate’s degree comes out to $45,989.

Students have a plethora of specialties to choose from when obtaining a 2-year degree, from industry-specific roles in health care or IT or a more generalized education path. Salaries differ between areas of study, job type, experience, and, of course, location. A Georgetown University study that looked at job growth and education requirements through 2020 stated that 30% of job openings required “at least some college or an associate’s degree.” Students can choose to head right into the workforce after earning an associate’s, or continue their education toward earning a bachelor’s degree.

The unemployment rate for associate’s degree holders is only 2%, according to research from the Education Data Initiative. Having an associate’s degree under your belt is proven to increase one’s chance of holding a professional or management position in any number of industries, among them education and health, wholesale retail and trade, and professional and business services.

Stacker compiled a list of the highest and lowest paying jobs that require a 2-year degree in Columbus, OH using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by 2021 annual mean wage.

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#31. Preschool teachers, except special education

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $31,340
– #336 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 3,170

National
– Annual mean salary: $36,550
– Employment: 370,940
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA ($49,990)
— Ocean City, NJ ($49,720)
— Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ ($49,560)

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#30. Dietetic technicians

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $35,660
– #42 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 180

National
– Annual mean salary: $32,920
– Employment: 26,430
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($55,550)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($52,700)
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($48,370)

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#29. Veterinary technologists and technicians

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $36,760
– #163 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,100

National
– Annual mean salary: $37,860
– Employment: 109,490
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($57,990)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($52,220)
— Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($51,340)

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#28. Environmental science and protection technicians, including health

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $40,470
– #152 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 310

National
– Annual mean salary: $50,960
– Employment: 31,860
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Kennewick-Richland, WA ($79,780)
— Huntsville, AL ($78,320)
— Birmingham-Hoover, AL ($76,970)

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#27. Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $42,440
– #169 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 920

National
– Annual mean salary: $44,170
– Employment: 108,470
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($60,080)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($55,410)
— Napa, CA ($54,120)

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#26. Environmental engineering technologists and technicians

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $43,660
– #87 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 90

National
– Annual mean salary: $56,570
– Employment: 17,070
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($82,240)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($81,340)
— Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($74,280)

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#25. Broadcast technicians

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $48,620
– #33 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 100

National
– Annual mean salary: $49,250
– Employment: 25,960
– Metros with highest average pay:
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($75,430)
— Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY ($70,990)
— Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($69,950)

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#24. Chemical technicians

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $53,760
– #85 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 270

National
– Annual mean salary: $53,700
– Employment: 63,490
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Billings, MT ($86,340)
— Alaska nonmetropolitan area ($79,390)
— Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV ($78,000)

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#23. Paralegals and legal assistants

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $54,100
– #120 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,890

National
– Annual mean salary: $56,610
– Employment: 332,720
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($90,640)
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($76,960)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($75,640)

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#22. Electro-mechanical and mechatronics technologists and technicians

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $55,080
– #46 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 140

National
– Annual mean salary: $62,800
– Employment: 13,160
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($99,720)
— West Texas Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area ($99,380)
— Midland, TX ($98,040)

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#21. Radiologic technologists and technicians

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $58,450
– #265 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 2,430

National
– Annual mean salary: $64,840
– Employment: 206,720
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($127,890)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($118,480)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($118,100)

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#20. Industrial engineering technologists and technicians

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $58,690
– #115 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 370

National
– Annual mean salary: $59,920
– Employment: 62,980
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS ($94,360)
— Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX ($90,460)
— Baton Rouge, LA ($86,020)

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#19. Architectural and civil drafters

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $60,410
– #70 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 680

National
– Annual mean salary: $59,120
– Employment: 99,180
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC ($76,060)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($75,700)
— Anchorage, AK ($75,650)

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#18. Medical equipment repairers

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $61,170
– #36 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 390

National
– Annual mean salary: $55,090
– Employment: 48,510
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($84,820)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($84,030)
— Reno, NV ($83,450)

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#17. Cardiovascular technologists and technicians

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $61,440
– #85 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 380

National
– Annual mean salary: $60,940
– Employment: 55,980
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA ($99,130)
— Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($94,400)
— Santa Rosa, CA ($92,140)

16 / 31 Dmytro Zinkevych // Shutterstock

#16. Respiratory therapists

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $61,950
– #155 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 980

National
– Annual mean salary: $65,640
– Employment: 131,890
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($113,450)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($109,330)
— Santa Rosa, CA ($101,690)

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#15. Civil engineering technologists and technicians

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $62,360
– #73 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 470

National
– Annual mean salary: $56,590
– Employment: 67,270
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($92,190)
— Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($83,250)
— Baton Rouge, LA ($81,340)

18 / 31 Andrei Agape // Shutterstock

#14. Avionics technicians

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $63,430
– #36 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

National
– Annual mean salary: $69,180
– Employment: 21,390
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($92,470)
— Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($87,670)
— California-Lexington Park, MD ($83,930)

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#13. Physical therapist assistants

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $63,950
– #85 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,010

National
– Annual mean salary: $59,440
– Employment: 92,740
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($85,960)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($78,740)
— Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($76,390)

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#12. Mechanical drafters

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $64,030
– #60 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 270

National
– Annual mean salary: $61,490
– Employment: 51,620
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($104,540)
— Corpus Christi, TX ($90,720)
— New Orleans-Metairie, LA ($82,590)

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#11. Electrical and electronics drafters

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $64,460
– #49 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 60

National
– Annual mean salary: $65,720
– Employment: 23,020
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($98,380)
— Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX ($86,920)
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($83,760)

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#10. Occupational therapy assistants

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $64,920
– #76 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 550

National
– Annual mean salary: $63,420
– Employment: 42,750
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($85,570)
— Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV ($77,720)
— San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($77,650)

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#9. Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $65,930
– #39 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 240

National
– Annual mean salary: $60,880
– Employment: 39,880
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Baton Rouge, LA ($112,580)
— North Texas Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area ($91,580)
— New Orleans-Metairie, LA ($91,550)

24 / 31 Kitawit Jitaton // Shutterstock

#8. Radio, cellular, and tower equipment installers and repairers

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $66,590
– #17 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 170

National
– Annual mean salary: $60,790
– Employment: 13,210
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($95,360)
— Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ($82,470)
— Trenton, NJ ($80,110)

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#7. Electrical and electronic engineering technologists and technicians

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $67,280
– #128 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 420

National
– Annual mean salary: $68,310
– Employment: 115,270
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Northeast Virginia nonmetropolitan area ($99,890)
— Fort Collins, CO ($91,980)
— Bakersfield, CA ($90,780)

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#6. Diagnostic medical sonographers

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $70,250
– #211 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 410

National
– Annual mean salary: $77,790
– Employment: 73,920
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($138,110)
— Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($137,140)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($131,080)

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#5. Magnetic resonance imaging technologists

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $71,030
– #92 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 220

National
– Annual mean salary: $75,960
– Employment: 39,270
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($133,590)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($127,930)
— Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA ($120,550)

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#4. Dental hygienists

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $71,800
– #282 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,540

National
– Annual mean salary: $78,050
– Employment: 194,830
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($125,750)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($122,660)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($119,320)

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#3. Computer network support specialists

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $71,960
– #64 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 2,000

National
– Annual mean salary: $71,040
– Employment: 184,220
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($94,120)
— Barnstable Town, MA ($93,670)
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($92,190)

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#2. Nuclear medicine technologists

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $75,110
– #70 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 110

National
– Annual mean salary: $82,080
– Employment: 17,510
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($149,860)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($148,240)
— Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA ($135,080)

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#1. Radiation therapists

Columbus, OH
– Annual mean salary: $88,540
– #36 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

National
– Annual mean salary: $94,300
– Employment: 17,390
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($169,080)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($159,660)
— Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($131,960)