Best Community & Career Colleges 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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Rank 
School Name 
School Type
Degree Type 
School Sector
Early Career Pay
 
Median salary for alumni with 0-5 years experience
Mid-Career Pay
 
Median salary for alumni with 10+ years experience
% High Meaning
 
% alumni who say their work makes the world a better place
% STEM Degrees
 
% degrees awarded in science, technology, engineering or math subjects
1AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$68,100$90,500N/A0%

1Helene Fuld College of Nursing
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$68,100
Mid-Career Pay$90,500
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
2AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$65,500$89,800N/A9%

2Pacific Union College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$65,500
Mid-Career Pay$89,800
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees9%
3AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$63,200$84,800N/A0%

3Cochran School of Nursing
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$63,200
Mid-Career Pay$84,800
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
4AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$61,600$83,500N/A0%

4Laboure College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$61,600
Mid-Career Pay$83,500
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
5AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$59,300$82,100N/A0%

5Phillips School of Nursing at Mount Sinai Beth Israel
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$59,300
Mid-Career Pay$82,100
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
6AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$56,500$80,200N/A0%

6Belanger School of Nursing
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$56,500
Mid-Career Pay$80,200
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
7AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$55,400$79,800N/A0%

7Lawrence Memorial Hospital School of Nursing
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$55,400
Mid-Career Pay$79,800
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
8AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$57,700$78,600N/A3%

8Loma Linda University
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$57,700
Mid-Career Pay$78,600
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees3%
9AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$48,600$78,400N/A7%

9St John's University-New York
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$48,600
Mid-Career Pay$78,400
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees7%
9AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$56,600$78,400N/A4%

9Mount Saint Mary's University
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$56,600
Mid-Career Pay$78,400
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees4%
11AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$57,900$77,600N/A41%

11Rivier University
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$57,900
Mid-Career Pay$77,600
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees41%
12AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$55,000$77,100N/A0%

12The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$55,000
Mid-Career Pay$77,100
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
13AssociatesPublic$55,600$76,60073%0%

13Colorado Northwestern Community College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$55,600
Mid-Career Pay$76,600
% High Meaning73%
% STEM Degrees0%
14AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$56,100$76,500N/A0%

14St Vincent's College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$56,100
Mid-Career Pay$76,500
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
15AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$51,300$76,200N/A1%

15Regent University
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$51,300
Mid-Career Pay$76,200
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees1%
16AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$54,000$76,00097%0%

16Kettering College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$54,000
Mid-Career Pay$76,000
% High Meaning97%
% STEM Degrees0%
17AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$52,000$75,900N/A0%

17Perry Technical Institute
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$52,000
Mid-Career Pay$75,900
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
18AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$52,800$75,300N/A23%

18Villanova University
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$52,800
Mid-Career Pay$75,300
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees23%
19AssociatesPublic$48,200$75,00067%8%

19Evergreen Valley College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$48,200
Mid-Career Pay$75,000
% High Meaning67%
% STEM Degrees8%
20AssociatesPublic$47,500$74,90055%14%

20Bellevue College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$47,500
Mid-Career Pay$74,900
% High Meaning55%
% STEM Degrees14%
20AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$49,300$74,90040%80%

20Coleman University
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$49,300
Mid-Career Pay$74,900
% High Meaning40%
% STEM Degrees80%
22AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$53,500$74,80063%18%

22New York University
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$53,500
Mid-Career Pay$74,800
% High Meaning63%
% STEM Degrees18%
23AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$50,300$74,70069%3%

23Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$50,300
Mid-Career Pay$74,700
% High Meaning69%
% STEM Degrees3%
24AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$52,500$74,500N/A0%

24Casa Loma College-Van Nuys
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$52,500
Mid-Career Pay$74,500
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
25AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$52,900$74,400N/A0%

25Aultman College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$52,900
Mid-Career Pay$74,400
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
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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.


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