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
25AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$50,200$74,400N/A28%

25Drexel University
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$50,200
Mid-Career Pay$74,400
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees28%
25AssociatesPublic$44,400$74,40036%0%

25Fashion Institute of Technology
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$44,400
Mid-Career Pay$74,400
% High Meaning36%
% STEM Degrees0%
28AssociatesPublic$52,500$74,20044%11%

28College of Staten Island CUNY
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$52,500
Mid-Career Pay$74,200
% High Meaning44%
% STEM Degrees11%
29AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$50,100$74,100N/A6%

29The New School
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$50,100
Mid-Career Pay$74,100
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees6%
30AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$53,100$74,000N/A0%

30Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$53,100
Mid-Career Pay$74,000
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
30AssociatesPublic$51,100$74,00060%4%

30De Anza College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$51,100
Mid-Career Pay$74,000
% High Meaning60%
% STEM Degrees4%
32AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$52,100$73,700N/A2%

32Regis College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$52,100
Mid-Career Pay$73,700
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees2%
33AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$49,500$73,600N/A14%

33Pace University-New York
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$49,500
Mid-Career Pay$73,600
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees14%
33AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$58,200$73,60071%1%

33Excelsior College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$58,200
Mid-Career Pay$73,600
% High Meaning71%
% STEM Degrees1%
33AssociatesPublic$49,900$73,600N/A5%

33Louisiana State University-Alexandria
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$49,900
Mid-Career Pay$73,600
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees5%
36AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$53,900$73,500N/A5%

36Adventist University of Health Sciences
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$53,900
Mid-Career Pay$73,500
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees5%
37AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$48,300$73,400N/A4%

37Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$48,300
Mid-Career Pay$73,400
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees4%
37AssociatesPublic$47,100$73,40043%7%

37Glendale Community College (Arizona)
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$47,100
Mid-Career Pay$73,400
% High Meaning43%
% STEM Degrees7%
37AssociatesPublic$45,600$73,40053%4%

37Saddleback College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$45,600
Mid-Career Pay$73,400
% High Meaning53%
% STEM Degrees4%
40AssociatesPublic$45,100$73,30059%13%

40Diablo Valley College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$45,100
Mid-Career Pay$73,300
% High Meaning59%
% STEM Degrees13%
41AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$49,400$72,90053%31%

41University of Bridgeport
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$49,400
Mid-Career Pay$72,900
% High Meaning53%
% STEM Degrees31%
42AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$52,400$72,800N/A3%

42Molloy College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$52,400
Mid-Career Pay$72,800
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees3%
42AssociatesPublic$46,100$72,80063%5%

42West Valley College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$46,100
Mid-Career Pay$72,800
% High Meaning63%
% STEM Degrees5%
42AssociatesPublic$51,500$72,80057%35%

42University of Massachusetts-Lowell
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$51,500
Mid-Career Pay$72,800
% High Meaning57%
% STEM Degrees35%
45AssociatesPublic$46,100$72,60055%19%

45CUNY New York City College of Technology
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$46,100
Mid-Career Pay$72,600
% High Meaning55%
% STEM Degrees19%
45AssociatesPublic$47,900$72,60061%9%

45Cabrillo College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$47,900
Mid-Career Pay$72,600
% High Meaning61%
% STEM Degrees9%
47AssociatesPublic$50,300$72,50067%4%

47Foothill College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$50,300
Mid-Career Pay$72,500
% High Meaning67%
% STEM Degrees4%
47AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$49,500$72,50053%24%

47Dunwoody College of Technology
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$49,500
Mid-Career Pay$72,500
% High Meaning53%
% STEM Degrees24%
49AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$50,400$72,400N/A10%

49Walsh University
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$50,400
Mid-Career Pay$72,400
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees10%
50AssociatesPublic$50,600$72,30062%11%

50College of San Mateo
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$50,600
Mid-Career Pay$72,300
% High Meaning62%
% STEM Degrees11%
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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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