North Carolina is home to a robust public school system where students can earn associate degrees to prepare them for a variety of careers. Well-known 2-year schools, such as Davidson County Community College, Wake Technical Community College, and Central Piedmont Community College are included on this list, as well as one four-year college that grants both associate and bachelor's degrees. (This list only includes salary data for alumni who graduated with an associate degree.) In total, North Carolina's community college system has 58 campuses within half an hour of 99 percent of the state's residents, and is nationally recognized for its career-oriented programs. Manufacturing, aerospace and aviation, IT, and agribusiness are some of the top industries in the state.
A healthy percent of Southwestern Community College alumni find their jobs to be highly meaningful, making them the most fulfilled workers in North Carolina.
2,242 students make Southwestern Community College the smallest community college in North Carolina in PayScale's rankings. Central Piedmont Community College is the largest community college with over 20,000 students attending. Racecar driver Dan Shaver graduated from Central Piedmont.
Every community college in North Carolina in our rankings has a majority of female students. North Carolina State University is the only associate degree-granting school with a majority of male students on PayScale's list this year.