25 Quick Degrees that Pay Well & Their Job Outlook

25 Quick Degrees that Pay Well & Their Job Outlook
Imed Bouchrika, Phd by Imed Bouchrika, Phd
Chief Data Scientist & Head of Content

It’s pretty much a given that getting a college degree is supposed to guarantee a good job and a solid income. But is that really the case? Sure, some people have no problems getting great jobs with high pay after getting their degree, but others end up in jobs that don’t even require one. 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, they are providing 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.

When you take a look at the labor market, you will find that 33.8% of college-educated professionals have jobs that do not require a college degree (Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 2021). Moreover, many graduates are still in debt. In 2021, roughly 44 million Americans have over $1.7 trillion in student debt (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 2021). With this in consideration, some students are motivated to take up quick degrees that pay well so they can start their careers earlier and avoid incurring debt.

Luckily, there is an extensive selection of associate degrees and professional certificate programs that can open up job opportunities for you. To help you start your search, this guide enumerates these programs, outlining the prospective salary for each degree, the job outlook for graduates, as well as the nature of work involved in each degree.

Quick Degrees That Pay Well Table of Contents

  1. Air Traffic Control
  2. Software Development
  3. Electrical Engineering
  4. Construction Project Management
  5. Computer Programming
  6. Radiation Therapy
  7. Nuclear Science Technology
  8. Web Development
  9. Dental Hygiene
  10. Accounting
  11. Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  12. Aerospace Engineering Technology
  13. Law Enforcement
  14. Aircraft Mechanic Technology
  15. Radiologic Technology
  16. Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Studies
  17. Court Reporting
  18. Flight Attendant
  19. Funeral Service Management
  20. Culinary Arts
  21. Paralegal Studies
  22. Real Estate
  23. Heating, Air Condition, and Refrigeration (HVARC) Technology
  24. Nursing Science
  25. Medical Records and Health Information Management

Reasons for Choosing a Quick Degree

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 no cakewalk. Attending a university requires you to study for four to six years, depending on your major. 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 those who may not have the time and money to afford a conventional degree. As such, they would prefer to start earning income sooner in life to avoid massive student debt. This is where associate degrees and professional certifications come in handy. In fact, 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.

Among the reasons why students opt 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 (Hanson, 2021). On the flip side, tuition and fees for associate degrees and certification programs cost substantially less and also take less time to complete, allowing students to circumvent this problem.

2. These degrees are quick to complete.

Associate degrees require only 60 credit hours—half the time required for bachelor’s degrees—and 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.

A four-year college degree focuses on theoretical and academic aspects of a field of study, allowing students to gain the foundational knowledge needed in a particular industry. However, this does not automatically translate to being workforce-ready.

In fact, in a study titled “Student Perceptions of the Development of Work Readiness in Australian Undergraduate Programs,” published in the Journal of College Student Development, Denise Jackson observed that “students appeared reasonably confident in their program’s development of required current and future skills yet were less positive in perceived effectiveness of their degree program in helping to prepare them for the workforce. This may reflect the broader elements of employability beyond skills, such as their ability to navigate career pathways or professional identity formation (Jackson, 2019).”

On the other hand, two-year degrees and six-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 nondegree award (Torpey, 2020), one can surely find quick degrees that pay well.

Quick Degrees that Pay Well 1

25 Quick Degrees That Pay Well

Associate degrees and six-month certificate programs that pay well are not that hard to find. There are options that will prepare you for work in different industries. Below, we have compiled some of these programs 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

An associate degree program in air traffic control focuses on the principles of air transport as well as the use of flight control software. Students will learn how to coordinate the movement of aircraft in and out of airports to ensure the safety of pilots and passengers alike. After 30 to 60 credits of coursework, 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. Moreover, they must 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 equips students with knowledge of the software development life cycle, web development practices, and programming languages. This program often requires students to complete 30 general education credits as well as 30 to 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. Due to the nature of this program, it is perhaps among the best quick online degrees that pay well today as it is in high demand in different industries (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021).

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. They are expected to use different database management software, object- or component-oriented development software, and similar tools to carry out their responsibilities. In some cases, they may need to collaborate with systems engineers, project managers, and other stakeholders during the development process.

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. Students also participate in lab work and hands-on projects to learn more 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 professionals that design, develop, test, and maintain electrical facilities and components for domestic, commercial, or industrial purposes. 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

Median Annual Salary: $82,823
Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: 11%
Estimated Openings Per Year: 38,900

An 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. Students will also gain knowledge of job costing techniques, bid preparation, as well as structural and mechanical systems. After completing this two-year program, students will need to undergo internships or take certification courses to enter the workforce.

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. Part of their job also entails preparing contractual agreements, budget estimates, progress reports, and cost-tracking reports. Aside from being managers, graduates of this program can also go on to become construction estimators and general contractors, depending on the skills that they hone.

5. Computer Programming

Median Annual Salary: $68,684
Projected Job Growth from 2020 to 2030: -10%
Estimated Openings Per Year: 9,700

Computer programming is often offered as a bachelor’s degree program but some schools offer an associate degree program for this field. Its curriculum involves foundational courses on computer science and information technology as well as programming languages, web design, and similar technical courses. After 60 to 90 credits, which can be completed within 18 to 24 months, 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. Aside from becoming computer programmers, graduates with specializations may also become software developers, database administrators, and business intelligence analysts.

Source: ZipRecruiter

6. Radiation Therapy

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

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 working with 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. Moreover, 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, 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 operations. They must also keep tabs on any equipment that is due for maintenance or repairs and make sure that they are serviced in a timely manner.

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 aims to help students understand operating systems, network fundamentals, database management, and website design principles. They also involve coursework in programming languages. After this 60-credit program, students can go on to become full-stack developers, computer systems analysts, or user experience designers. Alternatively, they may choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in web development or decide to take up a concentration to further widen their job opportunities.

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. Perhaps most importantly, they are expected to develop sites in line with the needs and preferences of a client.

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 equips 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. They are also tasked with assisting dentists in more complicated dental treatments by keeping all tools clean and by keeping a record of each patient’s dental care history.

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 best easy 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 60 to 65 credits of coursework, 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 graduates can be hired as bookkeepers, payroll clerks, accounts payable clerks, or accounting assistants.

Source: Data USA

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, such as cardiovascular technologists and ultrasound technicians, 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. By delving into topics such as computer-aided design (CAD), welding, and electronics assembly, these programs 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. They are also expected to monitor processes and document important information about the vehicles that they work on.

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 quick college 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. They also report any documented incidents for further investigation.

14. Aircraft Mechanic Technology

Median Annual 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 designed 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. Moreover, it is also their job to read and interpret service bulletins and other specifications to ensure that all components are repaired and replaced as efficiently as possible.

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. To date, general radiologic technologists and technicians can earn $61,900 annually. However, should students decide to specialize in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), they can make up to $74,690 per year (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021).

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. In some cases, they may also need to perform administrative duties like scheduling patient appointments or filing films.

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. Professionals 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.

Quick Degrees that Pay Well 2

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 best quick certifications 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, and the like.

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. These aside, flight attendants also provide customer service to passengers, making sure that they are comfortable throughout the flight.

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.

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 the one of the easiest majors to take if you love food. An associate degree in culinary arts prepares students to handle various processes involved in the foodservice 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 graduating, 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. Public in-state associate culinary degree program costs around $3,372 to $3,570.

Quick Degrees that Pay Well 3

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 two years but there are also certifications that can be finished in 14 weeks. 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 in formulating arguments for trials. Paralegals also handle administrative tasks such as monitoring law libraries, filing documents, and meeting with clients.

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, students will need to secure 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. This allows them to open more employment opportunities as well as help them yield a higher annual wage of up to $60,370.

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 (HVARC) 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 (HVARC) Technology are often completed within six months. 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

Associate degree programs in nursing science often entail 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 as well as 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 nondegree 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, students 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.

Source: Zippia

Fast-Track Your Professional Career With Quick Degrees

A bachelor’s degree carries a certain prestige, especially as many companies pay a premium for graduates of elite universities. However, a traditional four-year degree is not your only option if you want to land a job that provides good compensation straight out of your post-secondary studies.

As evidenced by this list of quick degrees that pay well, there are available programs that take only six months to two years that you can explore. These can equip you with skills that make you employable in your target industry. Moreover, they are enough to help you kickstart your professional career. Perhaps most importantly, they will not cost you an arm and a leg to achieve.

Aside from the above-mentioned, what makes quick degrees advantageous is that you can always reinforce them later by pursuing further studies. As you are already earning money, the costs of a college education can be easier to cover. Once you earn a bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degrees, or advanced certifications, you can then have access to some of the highest-paying college majors.



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  2. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (2021). Student Loans Owned and Securitized. FRED. Retrieved from https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/SLOAS
  3. Hanson, M. (2021, September). Student Loan Debt Statistics. Education Data Initiative. Retrieved from https://educationdata.org/student-loan-debt-statistics
  4. Jackson, D. (2019, January). Student Perceptions of the Development of Work Readiness in Australian Undergraduate Programs. Journal of College Student Development 60(2), 219-239. DOI:10.1353/csd.2019.0020
  5. Torpey, E. (2020, October). Education level and projected openings, 2019–29. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2020/article/education-level-and-openings.htm
  6. Torpey, E. (2021, June). Education pays, 2020. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2021/data-on-display/education-pays.htm
  7. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021). Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm
  8. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021). Radiologic and MRI Technologists. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm

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