Best Community Colleges & 2-Year Degree Programs by Salary Potential

PayScale has ranked hundreds of two-year colleges by how much their alumni go on to earn. Find out which schools produce the highest-paid graduates.

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RankSchool NameSchool SectorEarly Career Pay
Mid-Career Pay
% High Meaning
% STEM Degrees
Rank:1School Name:Helene Fuld College of NursingSchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$69,400Mid-Career Pay:$90,600% High Meaning:83%% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:2School Name:Pacific Union CollegeSchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$66,900Mid-Career Pay:$90,400% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:9%
Rank:3School Name:Laboure CollegeSchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$63,500Mid-Career Pay:$85,400% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:4School Name:Phillips School of Nursing at Mount Sinai Beth IsraelSchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$61,000Mid-Career Pay:$82,800% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:5School Name:Lawrence Memorial Hospital School of NursingSchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$57,300Mid-Career Pay:$80,900% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:6School Name:Mount Saint Mary's UniversitySchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$60,200Mid-Career Pay:$80,400% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:4%
Rank:6School Name:Loma Linda UniversitySchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$59,700Mid-Career Pay:$80,400% High Meaning:74%% STEM Degrees:3%
Rank:8School Name:Belanger School of NursingSchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$56,800Mid-Career Pay:$79,600% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:9School Name:Rivier UniversitySchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$58,800Mid-Career Pay:$78,600% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:41%
Rank:10School Name:Colorado Northwestern Community CollegeSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$56,600Mid-Career Pay:$78,400% High Meaning:70%% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:11School Name:St Vincent's CollegeSchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$57,300Mid-Career Pay:$77,900% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:12School Name:New York UniversitySchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$56,000Mid-Career Pay:$77,400% High Meaning:63%% STEM Degrees:18%
Rank:13School Name:Kettering CollegeSchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$55,100Mid-Career Pay:$77,300% High Meaning:97%% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:14School Name:Pace University-New YorkSchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$50,500Mid-Career Pay:$77,100% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:14%
Rank:15School Name:Villanova UniversitySchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$54,500Mid-Career Pay:$76,900% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:23%
Rank:16School Name:Bellevue CollegeSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$48,400Mid-Career Pay:$76,700% High Meaning:57%% STEM Degrees:14%
Rank:17School Name:Coleman UniversitySchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$51,300Mid-Career Pay:$76,600% High Meaning:42%% STEM Degrees:80%
Rank:18School Name:St John's University-New YorkSchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$47,700Mid-Career Pay:$76,500% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:7%
Rank:19School Name:Fashion Institute of TechnologySchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$45,300Mid-Career Pay:$76,400% High Meaning:36%% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:19School Name:Evergreen Valley CollegeSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$49,700Mid-Career Pay:$76,400% High Meaning:63%% STEM Degrees:8%
Rank:21School Name:The New SchoolSchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$52,000Mid-Career Pay:$76,000% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:6%
Rank:22School Name:Regis CollegeSchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$53,900Mid-Career Pay:$75,800% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:2%
Rank:23School Name:Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-WorldwideSchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$51,600Mid-Career Pay:$75,700% High Meaning:69%% STEM Degrees:3%
Rank:24School Name:College of Staten Island CUNYSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$53,900Mid-Career Pay:$75,600% High Meaning:47%% STEM Degrees:11%
Rank:25School Name:Drexel UniversitySchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$51,900Mid-Career Pay:$75,500% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:28%

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College Student

You don’t have to get a bachelor’s degree to have a successful career. In fact, there are lots of high-paying, meaningful jobs that you can land with an associate degree. To help you make a smart choice about where you should earn an associate degree, PayScale has ranked schools that grant associate degrees in this year’s College Salary Report. You can compare the salaries for workers with zero-to-five and 10-or-more years of experience who graduated from a wide variety of schools, including public community colleges, private career colleges, for-profit schools, not-for-profit schools, and colleges and universities that offer associate degrees in addition to bachelor’s degree programs.

In general, public community colleges produce the highest earners. If you are looking for an affordable education, that’s a good thing – community colleges are usually the most affordable way to get a college education whether you want an AA or want to transfer to a four-year school.