Career Opportunities With An Associate Of Science Degree
Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities With An Associate Of Science Degree

Key Takeaways

  • An Associate of Science (A.S.) degree is versatile and opens doors to a variety of careers, especially in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).[1]

  • Graduates with an A.S. degree have opportunities in several sectors, including medical technology, engineering, computer programming, health care, environmental science, nursing, dental hygiene, radiologic technology, respiratory therapy, and occupational therapy.

  • Careers pursued with an A.S. degree offer competitive salaries. For instance, dental hygienists earn an average annual salary of around $100,930, and computer programmers earn about $82,170.[2]

  • The A.S. degree is typically a two-year program, often available at community colleges and some four-year institutions. Online programs offer additional flexibility.

  • An A.S. degree can be a stepping stone to further education, such as bachelor’s degrees, and opens up more specialized career opportunities.

  • A.S. degree holders play crucial roles in healthcare and technology, contributing significantly to areas like patient care, medical research, technological development, and environmental sustainability.

Are you considering an Associate of Science degree but unsure about the career opportunities it offers? From the dynamic world of engineering to the critical fields of healthcare and environmental science, an A.S. degree opens doors to numerous rewarding and in-demand professions

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of pursuing an A.S. degree, and the specific career options, their roles, salary expectations, and educational requirements.

What Is An Associate Of Science?

An Associate of Science (A.S.) degree is a two-year undergraduate degree that focuses on scientific and technical subjects. It is a versatile degree that can prepare students for a variety of careers, including those in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).[1] A.S. degrees are typically offered by community colleges, but they may also be available at some four-year colleges and universities. 

Fast Fact

“Graduates with an A.S. degree often have opportunities for career advancement through additional certifications, specialized training, or further education. ”

Career Opportunities With An AS Degree

There are many different types of jobs and careers available to people with an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree. Some of the most common include:

Medical Laboratory Technician

Medical laboratory technicians collect and analyze samples of body fluids and tissues to help diagnose diseases and monitor medical conditions.

Average National Annual Salary: $51,100

Education Requirements: An Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in medical laboratory technology or a related field is typically required. Some employers may also require or prefer candidates to have certification from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

Engineering Technician

Engineering technicians work with engineers to design, develop, and test products and systems.

Average National Annual Salary: $60,800

Education Requirements: An Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in engineering technology or a related field is typically required. Some employers may also require or prefer candidates to have certification from the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

Computer Programmer

Computer programmers write computer programs that instruct computers how to perform tasks.

Average National Annual Salary: $82,170 

Education Requirements: A Bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field is typically required. Some employers may also require or prefer candidates to have certification from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) or the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Health Technician

Health technicians provide a variety of care services to patients in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings.

Average National Annual Salary: $36,240

Education Requirements: An Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in health technology or a related field is typically required. Some employers may also require or prefer candidates to have certification from the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Environmental Scientist

Environmental scientists study the environment and work to protect it from pollution and other threats.

Average National Annual Salary: $69,090

Education Requirements: A Bachelor’s degree in environmental science or a related field is typically required. Some employers may also require or prefer candidates to have certification from the Environmental Science Institute (ESI).

Registered Nurse

Registered nurses (RNs) provide direct care to patients in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings.

Average National Annual Salary: $73,300

Education Requirements: A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from an accredited nursing program is required. Nurses must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists provide preventive dental care to patients, including cleaning teeth, taking X-rays, and applying sealants.

Average National Annual Salary: $100,930[2]

Education Requirements: An Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in dental hygiene from an accredited dental hygiene program is required. Dental hygienists must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE).

Radiologic Technologist

Radiologic technologists take X-rays, CT scans, and other medical images to help diagnose diseases and injuries.

Average National Annual Salary: $64,360

Education Requirements: An Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in radiologic technology from an accredited radiologic technology program is required. Radiologic technologists must also pass the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam.

Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory therapists provide care to patients with breathing problems, such as asthma and emphysema.

Average National Annual Salary: $61,300

Education Requirements: An Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in respiratory therapy from an accredited respiratory therapy program is required. Respiratory therapists must also pass the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) certification exam.

Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists help people with disabilities regain their independence and improve their quality of life.

Average National Annual Salary: $82,360

Education Requirements: A Master’s degree in occupational therapy from an accredited occupational therapy program is required. Occupational therapists must also pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification exam.

Fast Fact

“Associate of Science programs typically welcome students from a wide range of educational backgrounds, including those changing careers or returning to school after a gap.”

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve answered some of the most common questions about career opportunities with an Associate Of Science Degree to help you gain a clearer understanding of this.

What is the scope of salaries for careers with an Associate of Science degree?

Salaries vary widely based on the field, location, and experience level. For instance, dental hygienists can earn around $100,930 annually, while health technicians might earn around $36,240.

Can I pursue further education after completing an A.S. degree?

Absolutely. An A.S. degree can be a stepping stone to a bachelor’s degree and beyond. Many careers, like registered nursing or environmental science, offer advanced roles with further education.

How long does it typically take to complete an A.S. degree?

An Associate of Science degree usually takes two years of full-time study to complete.

Are online A.S. degree programs credible and effective?

Yes, many accredited institutions offer online A.S. degree programs that are both credible and flexible, catering to diverse learning needs.

Is work experience required for careers with an A.S. degree?

While some careers may require or prefer some level of experience, many roles are entry-level, offering on-the-job training.

Are there opportunities for specialization within these career paths?

Yes, many of these careers offer opportunities for specialization, particularly with additional certifications or advanced degrees.

Choosing A Career Path With An Associate Of Science Degree 

Choosing a career path with an Associate of Science degree opens a world of possibilities. Whether your interest lies in healthcare, technology, engineering, or environmental science, an A.S. degree provides a solid foundation for a fulfilling and prosperous career. Each career path offers its unique blend of challenges, rewards, and opportunities for growth and specialization. As industries continue to evolve, the demand for skilled professionals with an A.S. degree remains strong, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a stable and rewarding professional journey.

Our detailed guide explains how to research and choose a college major. Learn more by visiting Go Degree and exploring our comprehensive resources.