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Of course, entry-level jobs that don't require additional education also don't pay very much. Home health aides, for example, aren't required to have high school diplomas -- but their pay also averages about $9.84 an hour.
"The biggest point here is the fact that with some education beyond high school, you can find yourself in a position where you really like what you're doing," David Twitchell, an expert panelist with the Society for Human Resource Management and medical HR professional, tells Time.
Here a few jobs that require an associate's degree -- or sometimes, just on-the-job training:
1. Physical Therapy Aide: $11/hour, median.
PT aides help physical therapists by setting up equipment and cleaning up after sessions. They need a high school diploma and short on-the-job training to get started. They also have a high level of job satisfaction.
2. Occupational Therapy Assistant: $23/hour, median.
After short on-the-job training, occupational therapy assistants can help therapists implement home programs and document patients' progress. This is another occupation with high job satisfaction and a strong occupational outlook.
3. Veterinary Technician: $13/hour, median.
Animals need healthcare, too, and vet techs provide that by collecting samples, performing laboratory tests, and administering first aid and vaccines.
4. Dental Hygienist: $31/hour, median.
A rare, high-paying job that requires only an associate's degree, dental hygienists work with dentists to clean teeth, take X-rays, and teach patients how to care for their teeth.
5. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer: $27/hour, median.
This occupation has a projected 39 percent growth rate over the next 10 years, and requires only an associate's degree -- and the ability to maintain a calm, professional demeanor while administering, but not revealing the results of medical tests.
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