Best Community Colleges in Illinois by Salary Potential

Thinking about going for that associate degree? Check out Illinois’ top community colleges based on graduate earning potential.

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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
1AssociatesPublic$46,800$71,50068%2%

1Prairie State College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$46,800
Mid-Career Pay$71,500
% High Meaning68%
% STEM Degrees2%
2AssociatesPublic$44,600$70,50051%2%

2William Rainey Harper College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$44,600
Mid-Career Pay$70,500
% High Meaning51%
% STEM Degrees2%
3AssociatesPublic$44,800$69,50062%3%

3Morton College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$44,800
Mid-Career Pay$69,500
% High Meaning62%
% STEM Degrees3%
4AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$46,500$68,900N/A14%

4Lewis University
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$46,500
Mid-Career Pay$68,900
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees14%
5AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$44,700$68,200N/A29%

5Morrison Institute of Technology
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$44,700
Mid-Career Pay$68,200
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees29%
6AssociatesPublic$45,800$67,70045%7%

6Oakton Community College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$45,800
Mid-Career Pay$67,700
% High Meaning45%
% STEM Degrees7%
7AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$46,400$67,000N/A0%

7Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$46,400
Mid-Career Pay$67,000
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
8AssociatesPublic$44,800$65,30056%17%

8Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$44,800
Mid-Career Pay$65,300
% High Meaning56%
% STEM Degrees17%
9AssociatesPublic$42,400$64,60051%8%

9College of DuPage
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$42,400
Mid-Career Pay$64,600
% High Meaning51%
% STEM Degrees8%
10AssociatesPublic$42,000$64,50058%2%

10Elgin Community College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$42,000
Mid-Career Pay$64,500
% High Meaning58%
% STEM Degrees2%
11AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$44,300$64,200N/A6%

11Benedictine University
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$44,300
Mid-Career Pay$64,200
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees6%
12AssociatesPublic$43,200$64,10057%1%

12Triton College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$43,200
Mid-Career Pay$64,100
% High Meaning57%
% STEM Degrees1%
13AssociatesPublic$40,700$63,30050%6%

13Moraine Valley Community College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$40,700
Mid-Career Pay$63,300
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees6%
14AssociatesPublic$43,600$62,90069%2%

14City Colleges of Chicago-Harry S Truman College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$43,600
Mid-Career Pay$62,900
% High Meaning69%
% STEM Degrees2%
15AssociatesPublic$46,600$62,70061%3%

15South Suburban College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$46,600
Mid-Career Pay$62,700
% High Meaning61%
% STEM Degrees3%
16AssociatesPublic$41,100$62,60053%2%

16Joliet Junior College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$41,100
Mid-Career Pay$62,600
% High Meaning53%
% STEM Degrees2%
16AssociatesPublic$43,500$62,60063%3%

16City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J Daley College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$43,500
Mid-Career Pay$62,600
% High Meaning63%
% STEM Degrees3%
18AssociatesPublic$41,500$61,50071%4%

18Sauk Valley Community College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$41,500
Mid-Career Pay$61,500
% High Meaning71%
% STEM Degrees4%
19AssociatesPublic$38,600$61,40056%4%

19Rock Valley College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$38,600
Mid-Career Pay$61,400
% High Meaning56%
% STEM Degrees4%
20AssociatesPublic$42,100$60,90056%2%

20College of Lake County
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$42,100
Mid-Career Pay$60,900
% High Meaning56%
% STEM Degrees2%
21AssociatesPrivate not-for-profit$40,400$60,700N/A0%

21MacCormac College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$40,400
Mid-Career Pay$60,700
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
22AssociatesPublic$42,500$60,50074%0%

22City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$42,500
Mid-Career Pay$60,500
% High Meaning74%
% STEM Degrees0%
23AssociatesPublic$38,600$60,40063%1%

23Lincoln Land Community College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$38,600
Mid-Career Pay$60,400
% High Meaning63%
% STEM Degrees1%
24AssociatesPublic$41,300$60,20067%4%

24Lewis and Clark Community College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$41,300
Mid-Career Pay$60,200
% High Meaning67%
% STEM Degrees4%
25AssociatesPublic$41,000$60,10047%1%

25Waubonsee Community College
Degree TypeAssociates
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$41,000
Mid-Career Pay$60,100
% High Meaning47%
% STEM Degrees1%
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An associate degree can kickstart your career with a smaller time and money investment than attending four-year college. If you are looking for a school to pursue an associate degree in Illinois, make sure to look at how much alumni from that college earn as you consider your decision.

Of the 2-year colleges in the PayScale database, the College of DuPage is the largest. Two colleges have under 5,000 undergraduates: Robert Morris University and Danville Area Community College. Only one college has a strong STEM focus, DeVry University, which grants about 58 percent STEM degrees. The next highest in STEM degrees is Robert Morris University, with only about 10 percent. Interestingly, both Jim Belushi and Paul Spicer graduated from the College of DuPage.

With the largest concentration of land, air and water transportation facilities in the world, Illinois acts as a national hub. Top job industries include machinery, food processing, electric equipment, chemical products and coal and transportation equipment.


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