Top 40 Short Degrees that Pay Well

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We know how tedious and time-consuming major degrees can be that is why we put together some short degrees that pay well which you would love to venture into if you are not a fan of long hours at school not to mention the years needed to acquire a degree.

Sure, some people have no problems getting great jobs with high pay after getting their degree, but others end up with short degrees that pay well.

This perception is largely based on the belief that choosing a vocational or trade school over college can result in low-paying, unstable jobs. But also, we should not underrate trade schools, as they provide high-skilled jobs and sometimes they even pay more than some college graduates jobs. So it’s not always true that a college degree equals success, or even that trade school is less worthwhile.

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Reasons for Choosing a Short Degree that Pays Well

Conventional college degrees look great on resumes. It serves as proof that you invested time and money to acquire the necessary skills to enter the workforce and have ample knowledge of the industry you want to work in. However, when you look at U.S. college statistics, earning a college degree is not a cakewalk.

Attending a university requires you to study for 4 to 6 years, depending on the major you choose. In addition, you may need to balance schooling and a part-time job to cover living costs or offset fees for school requirements.

While many students feel this is a challenge they can tackle, there are others who may not have the time and money to afford a conventional degree.

As such, they would prefer to enroll in short degrees that pay well and start earning income sooner in life to avoid massive student debt. For instance, students can find online jobs to boost their education budgets while dealing with the requisites of quick degrees, say, cosmetologist education requirements.

This is where associate degrees and professional certifications come in handy. Compensation packages in some job positions available for such credentials may rival those for jobs associated with popular college majors that are typically thought of to guarantee a high salary.

The reasons why students option for these degrees are as follows:

1. Associate degrees and certification programs are cheaper.

The cost of earning a bachelor’s degree has become more expensive in the past few years, with 47.9 million students incurring an average student loan debt of $35,453 each.

On the other side, tuition and fees for associate degrees and certification programs cost substantially less and also take less time to complete. 1 year degrees that pay well have also emerged. These allow students to circumvent this problem.

2. These degrees are quick to complete.

Associate degrees are one of the fastest degrees that pay well, requiring only 60 credit hours which is half the time required for bachelor’s degrees. Also professional certifications can take only anywhere between three and six months depending on the program you choose.

3. The curriculum is built to make you workforce-ready.

2 year degrees and 6 month certifications are often centered on the technical and practical aspects of a specific job role due to the time constraint of the program. As a result, they have the easiest majors in college and may require less training time and can immediately apply their acquired skills as soon as they start working.

4. Plenty of job opportunities in different industries are available.

With nearly 100 occupations requiring only an associate’s degree or a postsecondary non-degree award, one can surely find cheap degrees that pay well.

Associate degrees and six-month certificate programs are fast degrees to get and are not that hard to find. These are also some of the degrees you can get online that pay well. There are options that will prepare you for work in different industries.

List of the Best 40 Short Degrees That Pay Well

Below is a list of the best 40 short degrees that pay well:

40 Short Degrees That Pay Well

Below, we have compiled some of the short degrees that pay well and that are fast to complete using data sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

1. Air Traffic Control

  • Median Annual Salary: $95,266
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 4%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 2,500

This comes first in our list of short degrees that pay well. An associate degree program in air traffic control focuses on the principles of air transport as well as the use of flight control software.

This is a 30 to 60 credits coursework, and after it’s completion students then take on internships in the field or take certification courses from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Academy before they can formally work as air traffic controllers.

Air traffic controllers often work in airport control towers and communicate with pilots throughout a flight. They are in charge of informing pilots of nearby aircraft as well as weather hazards like hail, lightning, or updrafts. They also provide landing and take-off instructions and chart flight path changes if needed.

2. Software Development

  • Median Annual Salary: $114,631
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 22%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 189,200

An associate degree program in software development is one of the short degrees that pay well. It equips students with knowledge of the software development life cycle, web development practices, and programming languages.

This program also requires students to complete 30 general education credits as well as 30 – 40 credits of coursework that focuses on software development. After which, students may choose to take up certifications to specialize in a particular aspect of the field.

Software developers often work with companies or individuals to design computer applications, analyze software for quality assurance, fix bugs in software, or run system maintenance for applications.

3. Electrical Engineering Technology

  • Median Annual Salary: $71,029
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 7%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 22,700

An associate degree program in electrical engineering technology involves coursework in mathematics, physics, electronics, and engineering principles.

The Students also participate in lab work and hands-on projects to be equipped about the process of designing and manufacturing electrical equipment, components, and the like. After finishing the two-year program, students can decide to specialize in automation, power generation, microsystems, and more.

Electrical and electronics engineers are often employed in industries like research and development, manufacturing, and engineering, they are expected to man computer-assisted design software, prepare technical specifications, and create topographical maps for installations.

4. Construction Project Management

  • Average salary: $82,823 per year
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 8%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 38,700

A 2-year associate degree program in construction project management educates students on building practices, management principles, and safety protocols, as well as laws and legal codes involved in the construction industry.

This is one of short degrees that pay well. The students will gain knowledge of job costing techniques, bid preparation, as well as structural and mechanical systems.

Construction project managers are in charge of planning, budgeting, and supervising projects. They must coordinate with vendors, construction staff, and stakeholders to ensure the smooth execution of construction plans.

Aside from being managers, graduates of this program can also continue to become construction estimators and general contractors, depending on the skills that they hone.

5. Computer Programming

  • Median Average Salary: $68,684 per year
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 11%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 6,700

Computer programming is often offered as a bachelor’s degree program but some schools offer an associate degree program for this field and because of this, it is one of the short degrees that pay well. It involves foundational courses on computer science and information technology as well as programming languages, web design, and similar technical courses.

It has a 60 to 90 credits, which can be completed within 18 to 24 months. Thereafter, students can choose to take up concentrations in different areas of the field, such as information security and computer information systems.

Computer programmers are expected to apply their computer know-how and technical expertise to maintain the performance of computer programs and software applications. Their tasks include writing and testing codes, performing repairs and expansions of existing applications, and retrieving data.

6. Radiation Therapy

  • Median Annual Salary: $77,649
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 9%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 1,100

The next on our list of short degrees that pay well is Radiation Therapy. An associate degree program in radiation therapy equips students with foundational knowledge in medicine and medical practices.

They will be familiarized with the symptoms and treatment of different illnesses, the properties of drugs used in treatment, as well as healthcare measures for disease prevention.

Upon completing the two-year degree, students will need to take the national certification exam of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) to start their radiology careers as certified and registered professionals.

Radiation therapists have the responsibility of assisting physicians to administer the prescribed doses of radiation to treat cancer and other diseases in patients.

They must review prescriptions, conduct treatments, control the machines needed for the therapy, as well as transcribe and document all pertinent patient information. In addition, they have to assist in preparing any radioactive materials that are needed for treatments.

7. Nuclear Science Technology

  • Median Annual Salary: $110,200
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: -12%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 700

An associate degree program in nuclear science technology often focuses on subjects, such as fluid mechanics, nuclear physics, and thermodynamics.

In addition, students are also taught radiation safety practices and protocols. Upon completing this 60-credit program, the students will need to receive professional training through internships before being able to work as nuclear technicians

Nuclear technicians work hand in hand with engineers, physicists, and nuclear researchers to operate or maintain equipment used for nuclear testing and research.

Among their tasks are following operational policies and regularly monitoring nuclear equipment for environmental safety, assess materials used in nuclear plants, and document information needed for research or any operation.

8. Web Development

  • Median Annual Salary: $61,766
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 13%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 17,900

An associate degree program in web development is one of the short degrees that pay well and it aims to help students understand operating systems, network fundamentals, database management, and website design principles. After this 60-credit program, students can go on to become full-stack developers, computer systems analysts, or user experience designers.

Web developers are tasked with designing, developing, and testing websites for businesses, organizations, and individuals. Working with companies or independently as freelance workers, they ensure that a website is easily navigable, properly structured, and meets industry standards. They also evaluate codes to optimize the performance of websites.

9. Dental Hygiene

  • Median Annual Salary: $63,596
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 11%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 15,600

An associate degree program in dental hygiene gives students with knowledge of dental science as well as technical oral care protocols. This also includes courses on how to utilize the different tools and equipment needed for dental treatments.

Often requiring the completion of 60 credits, this program is enough to prepare a student to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination so one can earn certification as a dental hygienist.

Dental hygienists are teeth care experts that focus primarily on preventive treatments, such as cleaning the teeth and gums, sealing cracks in teeth, and checking the patient’s mouth for signs of oral diseases. It also among the short degrees that pay well.

10. Accounting

  • Median Annual Salary: $53,901
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 7%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 135,000

Associate degrees in accounting are perhaps among the short degrees that pay well for students with an aptitude for dealing with numbers. These programs involve coursework in economics, business, math, accounting, administration, and taxation.

After the completion, students can apply for internships to gain hands-on experience. After which, they can choose to take up an accelerated bachelor’s degree program and take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure exam. Students can also enroll in certificate programs or accounting to reinforce their credentials.

Accountants are responsible for documenting transactions, analyzing inconsistencies in financial data, performing audits, as well as computing taxes. As an employee of a company, they may be asked to execute financial forecasting and help businesses get an accurate idea of the status of their operations. Meanwhile, as a freelancer working with individuals, they may be expected to advise on tax filing and day-to-day income and expense tracking.

Depending on their specialization, accounting professionals can be hired as bookkeepers, payroll clerks, accounts payable clerks, or accounting assistants.

11. Diagnostic Medical Sonography

  • Median Annual Salary: $67,108
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 14%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 12,000

An associate degree program in diagnostic medical sonography involves courses that tackle anatomy, physiology, and ultrasound physics.

The curriculum of this program also includes the study of medical terminologies and laws on allied health. Before students can earn their degree, they must also complete a practicum to help them gain the practical experience necessary for the field.

Diagnostic medical sonographers are in charge of operating specialized imaging equipment for conducting medical tests.

Their expertise allows them to choose the right equipment settings to record images of a patient’s bodily masses, organs, and tissues. They are also tasked with providing summaries of technical findings that physicians need to provide a diagnosis and course of treatment.

12. Aerospace Engineering Technology

  • Median Annual Salary: $88,961
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 9%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 1,200

Associate degree programs in aerospace engineering technology are focused on air and spacecraft maintenance and manufacturing. This program is one of the short degrees that pay well. By delving into topics such as computer-aided design (CAD), welding, and electronics assembly, this program give students an overview of how to assemble, repair, as well as maintain these vehicles.

Upon completing the two-year program, students can choose to take certifications to further improve employment prospects. These include the Certified Aerospace Technician certification and the OSHA Safety Certificate.

Aerospace engineering technicians are professionals who operate and maintain equipment used in spacecraft and aircraft development, testing, and production. Often working closely with engineers, they simulate operational conditions, calibrate instruments, and perform pre- and post-operational tests to ensure the safety of each piece of equipment.

13. Law Enforcement

  • Median Annual Salary: $67,290
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 7%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 67,100

Law enforcement is not only one of the short degrees that pay well, it also offers some of the most stable jobs today. Associate degree programs in this field tackle criminal justice, investigation practices, and local laws to equip students for the workforce.

While entry-level jobs in this industry technically do not require an applicant to have a degree, having at least an associate degree may give you a competitive edge. It may also help you land higher positions within the field.

Police officers are tasked with maintaining peace and order within a community by enforcing local, state, and federal laws as well as ordinances. Among their common tasks are directing traffic, patrolling areas, apprehending suspects, as well as investigating suspicious activities. In addition, they report any documented incidents for further investigation.

14. Aircraft Mechanic Technology

  • Average Salary: $58,204
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 11%
    Estimated Openings Per Year: 14,400

An associate degree in aircraft mechanic technology is created to help students make sense of concepts such as electrical circuitry and mechanical systems used in aviation. Students are also taught how to use different equipment needed for aircraft repair and maintenance.

Once students complete the two-year program, they may then take certifications, such as the Federal Aviation Administration’s airframe and powerplant certification before applying for jobs in the industry.

Aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics are responsible for evaluating, maintaining, and repairing aircraft. They need to diagnose engines and assemblies as well as repair and adjust them to ensure their safety.

15. Radiologic Technology

  • Median Annual Salary: $50,000
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 9%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 20,800

An associate degree in radiologic technology involves coursework in diagnostic concepts, radiography, clinical imaging, biochemistry, and anatomy. It also covers studies on radiation safety protocols as well as medical terminologies.

After completing the program, students must take on internships as well as take a licensure or certification exam, depending on state requirements, before they apply for jobs in the industry.

Radiologic technologists are in charge of operating equipment such as X-ray machines, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, computed tomography (CT) scanners, and similar technologies to run diagnostic imaging exams on patients.

They determine the proper positioning of patients during scans based on the request of physicians, process exposed radiographs, and provide an initial interpretation of scan results.

16. Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Studies

  • Median Annual Salary: $47,066
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 34%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 8,800

Occupational therapy assistant (OTA) studies often come in the form of two-year programs. Among the core courses offered in these programs are the principles of therapy and counseling, psychological research, and physiological concepts.

Students are also expected to complete a practicum in their second year of study. After earning their degree, students must take a licensure exam to be able to practice professionally.

Occupational therapy assistants work closely with therapists and physicians in developing and implementing treatment plans for patients. They help patients recover and improve the skills they need for day-to-day activities through a range of physical and mental exercises.

Graduates in this field must also monitor the progress of their patients as well as perform administrative duties such as filing a patient’s records, coordinating with physicians, and the like.

17. Court Reporting

  • Median Annual Salary: $63,323
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 3%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 2,100

Court reporting is often taught through programs that take only six months to complete, making it among the short degrees that pay well. These programs use a combination of classroom instruction, coursework, and hands-on experience to equip students for the workforce.

It aims to teach students how to use computer-aided transcription systems as well as familiarize them with the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) Code of Professional Ethics.

Court reporters, also known as court clerks or stenographers, are tasked with recording word-for-word transcriptions of legal proceedings using computerized recording equipment. Post-documentation, they are also expected to proofread transcripts, file shorthand notes of the session, and prepare copies of the transcript upon the request of legal professionals.

While stenographers are often hired for courtroom proceedings, they may also be asked to document committee meetings and legislative assemblies. There are also simultaneous captioners working for closed captioning companies and private corporations to prepare transcriptions for television shows, press conferences, etc.

18. Flight Attendant

  • Median Annual Salary: $49,638
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 30%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 17,600

Becoming a flight attendant in the United States usually only requires a high school diploma and on-the-job training from your employer. However, taking up a certification program and gaining a license can help boost your employability and increase your chances of promotion later on.

These programs help students gain practical skills needed on the job, including computer skills, first aid, customer service, and communication. The credits earned in these programs may even be acknowledged by other schools should you decide to pursue further studies like hospitality and tourism degrees.

Flight attendants primarily monitor the safety conditions within the aircraft cabin during flights. They are in charge of verifying that all emergency equipment and first aid kits are in working order before a flight and ensuring that airline passengers are following safety procedures during takeoffs and landings. They also need to monitor the behavior of passengers to identify any threats to the crew and other passengers.

19. Funeral Service Management

  • Median Annual Salary: $55,753
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 4%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 4,000

An associate degree in funeral service management involves coursework that tackles theoretical and practical applications. These often cover subjects such as funeral service practices, embalming processes, and mortuary law.

Upon completing an associate degree, students must complete an internship in a funeral home and, depending on which state they intend to work, take a licensure exam before formally applying for a job.

Funeral service staff and managers bear the duty of assisting families of the deceased with the preparations for funeral rites. These include obituary notice preparation, casket selection, and burial or cremation scheduling.

In addition, they must supervise and coordinate the work of funeral attendants, embalmers, and funerary cosmetologists. In many cases, they must also carry out administrative tasks like reviewing financial statements, managing administrative work, and ensuring that all funeral service operations are compliant with local regulations and laws. It is also among the short degrees that pay well.

20. Culinary Arts

  • Median Annual Salary: $59,000
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 25%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 18,800

Culinary arts is perhaps one of the easiest majors to take if you love food and it’s also among the short degrees that pay well. An associate degree in culinary arts prepares students to handle various processes involved in the food service industry.

The curriculum often focuses on fundamental culinary skills, however, other core courses, such as menu planning, basic nutrition, and food safety and sanitation are also covered. Upon graduation, students can go on to become cooks, chefs, bakers, catering managers, or food production supervisors.

Professionals in the culinary arts industry are tasked with overseeing daily food preparation in their respective workplaces. Among their tasks are inspecting the quality and quantity of ingredients delivered to them, determining production schedules, coordinating the activities of all food service staff, as well as monitoring sanitation practices during operations.

Depending on one’s specialization and job role, culinary arts professionals may also be tasked with creating menus, developing recipes, calculating food costs, and procuring ingredients.

21. Paralegal Studies

  • Median Annual Salary: $52,920
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 12%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 43,000

Associate degrees in paralegal studies can be completed in 2 years but some certifications can be finished in 14 weeks making it one of the short degrees that pay well.

The curriculum often focuses on legal research and writing, legal ethics, contract administration, and legal analysis. However, students also have the option of taking up law courses such as torts, family law, criminal law, real estate law, medical malpractice, and the like to build a specialization. This comes in handy if one is aiming to apply to law firms with specific clientele.

Paralegals primarily assist lawyers with legal investigations and preparing documents for legal proceedings and correspondence. As such, they often spend their workdays drafting or reviewing pleadings, wills, contracts, and appeals.

In addition, they spend a considerable amount of time sifting through case files and public records to help lawyers formulate arguments for trials.

22. Real Estate

  • Median Annual Salary: $71,220
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 4%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 47,500

Real estate professionals need to complete a six-month certificate program that will brief them on real estate laws, business principles, and marketing strategies. Some programs may also tackle strategic management, accounting, and economics.

Upon completion, the students will need to get a license before they can start selling properties. Alternatively, they can choose to complete additional training programs and licensing requirements to become a real estate broker or a realtor.

Real estate professionals help customers sell, rent, or buy properties. They advise clients on market conditions and prices to develop a competitive price for their properties, sift through property listings to help clients find the real estate they require, as well as facilitate negotiations between sellers and buyers.

They must also draft contracts, handle purchase agreements, and other documents for each real estate transaction.

23. Heating, Air Condition, and Refrigeration (HVAC) Technology

  • Median Annual Salary: $50,952
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 5%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 38,500

Certificate programs in Heating, Air Condition, and Refrigeration (HVAC) Technology are often completed within six months making it among the short degrees that pay well.

These equip students with theoretical and practical knowledge of basic electrical repair and maintenance as well as the fundamentals of domestic and commercial HVARC technologies. Students will also be briefed on HVARC codes and ordinances as well as industry best practices.

HVARC technicians install, diagnose, repair, and maintain heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems. Their tasks include testing electrical circuits and components, replacing defective equipment, and ensuring that all HVARC equipment is up to code.

In some cases, they may also be asked to study building blueprints and HVARC specifications to ensure that all equipment will be installed properly.

24. Nursing Science

  • Median Annual Salary: $91,000
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 9%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 60,700

This is also among the short degrees that pay well. Acquiring an associate degree program in nursing science often entails 60 to 70 hours of coursework that can be completed within 24 months. Among the core courses covered by this program are medical terminologies, human anatomy, nursing fundamentals, and industry ethics.

Opportunities for hands-on experience are also involved in some programs. Upon completion of the required coursework, students must also take a licensure exam before they can enter the workforce.

Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) provide basic care to patients in a hospital or clinic. They take care of tasks such as observing the condition of patients, recording patients’ vital signs, documenting patients’ food and fluid intake and output, and administering prescribed medications.

They also assist in dressing wounds, performing catheterizations, treating bedsores, as well as sterilizing all equipment and supplies in the medical facility. In some cases, they may be asked to perform an inventory of supplies and prepare equipment or medical treatment.

25. Medical Records and Health Information Management

  • Median Annual Salary: $43,438
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 9%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 34,300

Postsecondary non-degree programs in medical records and health information management take approximately six months to finish. It often tackles medical terminologies as well as the use of different health information systems.

These programs also cover legal codes related to medical record management as well as the principles governing the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Once they earn their certification, they can become medical records and health information specialists, medical coders, medical dosimetrists, or medical registrars.

Medical records and health information specialists are tasked with collecting, organizing, and managing all health information data of patients.

Working closely with healthcare practitioners, these professionals maintain computerized databases by compiling and classifying patient data for easier data retrieval and analysis.

They often operate various healthcare indexes and storage systems, making sure that all patient information is protected and stored according to compliance regulations.

26. Logistics Manager

  • Median Annual Salary:$60,538 per year
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 18%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 21,800

A logistics manager spearheads activities in a supply chain. Primarily working in warehouses, logistics managers ensure the inventory is correct and employees distribute merchandise promptly. They also track the routes of the associates transporting the products from the warehouse.

27. Agricultural Manager

  • Median Annual Salary: $68,090 per year
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 7%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 88,800

An agricultural manager supervises farming activities. To ensure the harvest runs smoothly, agricultural managers purchase supplies and decide the best conditions to plant new crops. They also consider how the weather and market prices might influence their work.

28. Nuclear Power Reactor Operator

  • Median Average Salary: $61,952 per year
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 4%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 3,200

Having an associate degree in this course enlists it as one of the shirt degrees that pay well.

A nuclear power reactor operator controls the electrical and technical functions within a nuclear plant. Using equipment, operators oversee the radiation levels and tweak the controls of turbines. They also build emergency response protocols.

29. Massage Therapist

  • Median Average salary: $65,042 per year
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 18%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 22,000

An associate’s degree program in massage therapy can open the door to employment as a massage therapist in hospitals, spas, and nursing homes. It is also among the short degrees that pay well

A massage therapist is a licensed professional who performs relaxing exercises on the body to release tension and reduce pain. Following a client’s treatment plan, massage therapists suggest ways to improve posture. They also help the body recover from injuries.

30. Diagnostic medical sonographer

  • Median Average Salary: $70,380 per year
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 10%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 9,600

A diagnostic medical sonographer is a health care professional who uses ultrasounds to diagnose patients. Applying gel to the patient’s skin, the sonographer directs the equipment to emit sound waves into the body to retrieve images internally. Next, the sonographer interprets the images to help determine the state of the patient’s physical well-being.

31. Electrical Power Line Operator

  • Median Average Salary:$68,030 per year
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 3%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 3,500

An electrical power line operator is a technician who ensures the electrical lines in a city function properly. Working for energy companies, power line operators may work underground to maintain cables, and they fix the lines that extend above buildings.

32. Surgical Technician

  • Median Average Salary:$69,650 per year
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 5%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 7,000

A surgical technician helps medical staff members operate on patients during surgery. Before the operation begins, technicians disinfect the surgical tools and organize them for easy access. They also track the progress of the surgery.

33. Network Systems Administrator

  • Median Average Salary:$69,731 per year
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 2%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 8,320

A network systems administrator develops and maintains the security of networks for organizations. The goal is to safeguard sensitive company information while enhancing data flow. Administrators detect the root causes of data issues and prevent them from reoccurring.

34. Diagnostic Imaging Manager

  • Median Average Salary:$70,245 per year
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 6%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 15,400

A diagnostic imaging manager leads a department of imaging specialists in a health care facility. They assess the quality of imaging services, and they train employees on using the imaging equipment safely and efficiently.

35. Construction manager

  • Median Average salary: $78,938 per year
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 5%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 38,700

A construction manager is the supervisor of a building site. When spearheading a project, construction managers establish budgets for the building process and expectations for employees. They also update clients about their progress.

36. Dental hygienist

  • Median Average salary: $79,174 per year
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 9%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 16,400

An associate degree is the minimum requirement for individuals who want to become licensed dental hygienists. The associate degree prepares them for a career in clinical practice, should they choose, as well as other jobs in the dental field.

A dental hygienist performs routine dental procedures on patients, including teeth cleanings and screenings. As licensed professionals, dental hygienists recommend consistent brushing and flossing for patients to maintain oral health. They work in dentist’s offices and explain treatment plans to patients.

37. MRI Technologist

  • Median Average salary: $80,362 per year
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 6%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 15,700

The associate’s degree programs require six semesters to complete, including didactic classes in radiology, magnetic resonance imaging, and in-person clinical experience. This makes it one of the short degrees that pay well. Graduates from the associate’s degree programs are prepared to take the ARRT certification exam.

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologist operates the MRI machine to help diagnose patients with medical conditions. The scanning may require technologists to inject patients with contrast, which enables the machine to evaluate their internal organs. Technologists consult with radiologists to interpret MRI results.

38. Ship Engineer

  • Median Average Salary: $81,110 per year
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 4%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 3,200

A ship engineer maintains the major parts of a ship, such as the engine, pumps and generator. Engineers inspect the functioning of the refrigeration and ventilation aboard the vessel. They also make sure the sewage plant and purifier decompose the sewage normally.

39. Transportation Inspector

  • Median Average Salary: 81,320 per year
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 1%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 3,530

A high school diploma is required, and an undergraduate degree is required for this profession. A transportation inspector examines the operation of transportation modes. Prioritizing safety and efficiency, inspectors check the communication equipment so operators can contact someone at all times, and they repair the functions of brakes to avoid accidents.

Also, the transportation inspector inspects goods and equipment associated with transporting people or cargo to ensure safety. They typically work for federal, state, and local governments or private companies.

There are a few different types of transportation inspectors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are aviation, freight and cargo, and vehicle equipment and systems transportation inspectors.

40. Criminal Investigator

  • Median Average Salary: $82,927 per year
  • Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 3%
  • Estimated Openings Per Year: 8,720

 A criminal investigator works in law enforcement and aims to solve crimes. Responsible for gathering evidence, investigators visit the crime scene and interview eyewitnesses to gain insight into the situation that occurred.

To get employed as one, one needs a postsecondary degree or an associate degree. Acquiring this degree makes it one off the short degrees that pay well.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are there Short Degrees That Pay Well?

Yes, they are. You don’t need to study for a degree for 5 to 6 years to get a well-paying job. There are associate degrees where you can study for two years and acquire a job that pays well.

2. Why should I earn a certification?

Earning a certification is a way of showing the world and your employers that you have undergone the necessary training and acquired the experience needed for the job. It is also a proof of your professionalism.

3. How can a short certificate program lead to a lucrative salary?

Short degree programs enable you to take a smarter approach and move ahead faster than your peers. It is a quick ladder that will help you reach a high salary package by becoming more skillful and well-experienced. People without certifications have fewer chances of being promoted to higher-level positions.

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In as much as the degrees above are all short degrees that pay well, one needs to note that in order to practice them and start earning, you will need to obtain certification and a license.

Also, there is need for honing of the skills acquired during the course of learning to be able to earn more than what is stated above.

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