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:51School Name:Moorpark CollegeSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$45,500Mid-Career Pay:$72,200% High Meaning:52%% STEM Degrees:6%
Rank:52School Name:Pennsylvania State University-Penn State BerksSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$49,000Mid-Career Pay:$72,100% High Meaning:42%% STEM Degrees:39%
Rank:52School Name:GateWay Community CollegeSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$50,500Mid-Career Pay:$72,100% High Meaning:74%% STEM Degrees:2%
Rank:52School Name:University of Maryland Global CampusSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$46,900Mid-Career Pay:$72,100% High Meaning:68%% STEM Degrees:27%
Rank:55School Name:Lake Washington Institute of TechnologySchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$49,100Mid-Career Pay:$72,000% High Meaning:62%% STEM Degrees:15%
Rank:55School Name:Bakersfield CollegeSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$47,300Mid-Career Pay:$72,000% High Meaning:65%% STEM Degrees:6%
Rank:57School Name:Good Samaritan College of Nursing and Health ScienceSchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$50,500Mid-Career Pay:$71,800% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:57School Name:St Joseph School of NursingSchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$52,600Mid-Career Pay:$71,800% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:57School Name:Ohlone CollegeSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$48,400Mid-Career Pay:$71,800% High Meaning:60%% STEM Degrees:27%
Rank:57School Name:Mercy College of Health SciencesSchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$51,200Mid-Career Pay:$71,800% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:61School Name:Chabot CollegeSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$47,100Mid-Career Pay:$71,700% High Meaning:60%% STEM Degrees:7%
Rank:62School Name:Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell CampusSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$46,000Mid-Career Pay:$71,600% High Meaning:75%% STEM Degrees:2%
Rank:62School Name:University of BridgeportSchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$47,700Mid-Career Pay:$71,600% High Meaning:56%% STEM Degrees:31%
Rank:62School Name:Ranken Technical CollegeSchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$48,700Mid-Career Pay:$71,600% High Meaning:50%% STEM Degrees:3%
Rank:65School Name:County College of MorrisSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$46,700Mid-Career Pay:$71,500% High Meaning:58%% STEM Degrees:5%
Rank:65School Name:Marymount California UniversitySchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$50,100Mid-Career Pay:$71,500% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:0%
Rank:67School Name:University of South DakotaSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$51,900Mid-Career Pay:$71,400% High Meaning:69%% STEM Degrees:8%
Rank:67School Name:Pennsylvania State University-Main CampusSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$45,800Mid-Career Pay:$71,400% High Meaning:63%% STEM Degrees:37%
Rank:69School Name:Sacramento City CollegeSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$47,100Mid-Career Pay:$71,300% High Meaning:71%% STEM Degrees:10%
Rank:70School Name:New York Institute of TechnologySchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$49,400Mid-Career Pay:$71,200% High Meaning:65%% STEM Degrees:35%
Rank:70School Name:Shoreline Community CollegeSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$49,000Mid-Career Pay:$71,200% High Meaning:57%% STEM Degrees:5%
Rank:70School Name:Pennsylvania State University-Penn State YorkSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$45,000Mid-Career Pay:$71,200% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:25%
Rank:73School Name:Xavier UniversitySchool Sector:Private not-for-profitEarly Career Pay:$48,400Mid-Career Pay:$71,100% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:7%
Rank:73School Name:Skyline CollegeSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$47,500Mid-Career Pay:$71,100% High Meaning:60%% STEM Degrees:4%
Rank:73School Name:Indiana University-KokomoSchool Sector:PublicEarly Career Pay:$49,700Mid-Career Pay:$71,100% High Meaning:-% STEM Degrees:4%

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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.