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October 30, 2007
25 Highest-Paying Jobs Requiring Associate's Degree

Computer specialists top the list of the 25 highest-paying occupations requiring post-secondary training or an associate's degree, while technicians of various kinds dominate the list, according to a report by the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Twelve of the 25 highest-paying occupations have "technicians" or "technologists," in their titles, with nuclear technicians (3rd on the list) the highest paid among these. In fact, most of the occupations on the list require technical skills related to engineering, electronics, mathematics, mechanics, or science.

The balance of the list--with a few notable exceptions--consists of occupations in the health care and medical industries, such as dental hygienists (4th on the list), registered nurses (9), diagnostic medical sonographers (10), and respiratory therapists (18).

The few highest-paying occupations that don't fall into the above categories include fashion designers (5), funeral directors (15), and court reporters (24).

The chart below reflects the median hourly and annual wages in 2006 for the highest-paid occupations requiring post-secondary training or an associate's degree.

#
Occupation
Median Wages, 2006
Hourly
Annual
1 Computer Specialists, All Other $32.97    $68,600   
2 Radiation Therapists $31.81    $66,200   
3 Nuclear Technicians $31.49    $65,500   
4 Dental Hygienists $30.19    $62,800   
5 Fashion Designers $30.10    $62,600   
6 Nuclear Medicine Technologists $29.95    $62,300   
7 Commercial Pilots N/A    $57,500   
8 Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay $27.60    $57,400   
9 Registered Nurses $27.54    $57,300   
10 Diagnostic Medical Sonographers $27.48    $57,200   
11 Ship Engineers $26.36    $54,800   
12 Engineering Technicians, Except Drafters, All Other $26.08    $54,200   
13 Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians $25.62    $53,300   
14 Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians $24.35    $50,600   
15 Funeral Directors $23.86    $49,600   
16 Radiologic Technologists and Technicians $23.16    $48,200   
17 Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians $22.95    $47,700   
18 Respiratory Therapists $22.80    $47,400   
19 Avionics Technicians $22.57    $46,900   
20 Electrical and Electronics Drafters $22.51    $46,800   
21 Industrial Engineering Technicians $22.51    $46,800   
22 Geological and Petroleum Technicians $22.19    $46,200   
23 Mechanical Engineering Technicians $22.04    $45,800   
24 Court Reporters $21.93    $45,600   
25 Forensic Science Technicians $21.79    $45,300   
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