Do you want to pursue your studies but too cash-strapped to do so? What are your options? Well, the good news is there are actually lots of great careers out there that you can take with only an Associate’s degree. That means you no longer need to spend up to four years’ worth of your time and money in College. Associate’s degree programs are there to get you your diploma and have you equipped to work in just 24 months.

Some of the fastest growing jobs in the United States can be yours even when you’re armed only with an Associate’s degree. Below are five examples of professions that don’t require a college diploma. They have also been classified by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics as among the top 30 lucrative jobs for 2012 and are expected to remain so until 2018.

Veterinary Technician Careers

Often referred to as “pet nurses,” vet techs assist veterinarians in a variety of tasks. They help care for all animals brought to their clinics, be it a mistreated pit bull or an aging golden retriever. In addition, vet techs also perform major functions in administering pet care, processing test, helping with treatment, and diagnosing ailments.  This is a perfect career for people who are passionate about animal science and health care.

Pharmacy Technician Careers

A pharmacy technician plays a very crucial role in ensuring that people are given accurate medicine prescriptions. After all, just a few milligrams of one medication combined with another can be catastrophic. That is why pharmacy technicians work rigorously to educate patients about their medications and how to take them. Together with pharmacists, pharmacy technicians likewise prepare medications and fill prescriptions. With a two-year Associate’s program, a pharmacy technician can gain employment in pharmacies, assisted-living centers, or nursing homes.

Personal Trainer Careers

Wellness and preventive health care is becoming more popular than ever, hence widening the opportunities for personal trainers. Nowadays, more and more people turn to fitness as a way to fight off numerous afflictions, such as heart disease and obesity. Personal trainers develop appropriate fitness programs and motivate their clients to endure rigorous routines to achieve their fitness goals.

There are companies that only require a fitness training program certification from their fitness trainers. However, if you are aiming for career advancement and a higher salary, you would significantly increase your chances with and Associate’s degrees in exercise science or any related field.

Physical Therapist Assistant Careers

For a lot of people, the toughest part of coping with a medical condition isn’t the surgery or treatment but recovering from the debilitating effects of the illness. This is why the jobs of physical therapists and physical therapists assistants are very critical. They work with patients in rebuilding their bodies and claiming back their lives after various illnesses and injuries. Physical therapists assistants also perform ultrasound scans, analyze treatment progression, and assist patients during weight training; all of which are taught in an Associate’s program for Physical Therapist Assistants.

Dental Hygienist Careers

Yes, those gentle heroes you call on to help give you that perfect smile have pursued their careers with an Associate’s degree in Dental Hygiene. They enroll in accredited dental hygiene programs in order to fulfill this requirement.

You don’t really need to worry about not having enough money to sustain your studies. These degree programs, which guarantee you rewarding careers, are now within your financial reach. Pursue them and see yourself thriving in your dream job in just two years!

Trent is a career blogger who owns several sites that are dedicated to growing careers in the United States.  His site, Personal Trainer Data is a site dedicated to helping people become personal trainers.


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