Despite what you might think, you don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree to work in the business industry. This field is home to a number of jobs that you can get with just an associate’s degree that still pay well. The best thing about getting an associate’s degree is that you can attend a community college and graduate in just two years instead of four years or more. Community colleges are often much more affordable than traditional colleges too. Look over the 10 highest paying business jobs for associate’s degree grads to get a good look at the top jobs and how much you can make.
1. Operations Manager
Companies need operations managers to handle the daily operations of a facility. These professionals handle tasks such as ensuring that the business does not exceed its annual budget, that workers follow all occupational laws and safety standards and that those workers meet any of the goals put in place at the corporate level. They usually work standard 40-hour weeks, though some companies may pay overtime. Many positions are entry level and offer bonuses for those who meet certain goals. The average salary for an operations manager is around $61,000 a year, but you have the opportunity to make more.
2. Application Support Specialist
With an associate’s degree and strong computer skills, you can seek employment as an application support specialist. Specialists work in the IT departments of companies and are responsible for ensuring that all workers use the apps developed by or used by that company. This may include showing new employees how to use those apps, downloading the programs on shared computers and offering courses designed to teach workers on how to use new apps. The average salary for an application support specialist is around $54,000 a year, but some specialists earn up to $80,000 a year.
3. Executive Assistant
As an executive assistant, you will serve as the right hand man or woman to an executive. Assistants generally work for larger corporations and are responsible for tasks like scheduling an employer’s appointments, informing that individual of any upcoming appointments, filing paperwork, answering phone calls and taking notes during meetings. Some executives even bring their assistants with them when traveling for work. The median salary for these workers is more than $53,000 a year, but the number of these jobs will decrease in the coming years as companies hire assistants who will work for less.
4. Community Association Manager
Community association managers work for a specific community and are responsible for the safety of all residents and other daily tasks. They typically work in apartment complexes and condo associations that either rent units or sell units to others. An on-site manager will live in that complex and be on hand 24/7, while a portfolio manager might handle several associations or complexes at the same time. Managers are the ones who hire new leasing and selling agents, meet with prospective tenants and handle issues relating to complaints from residents such as a leaky roof or loud neighbors.
5. Administrative Assistant
Though similar to an executive assistant, an administrative assistant usually has fewer job duties and does not make as much. Administrative assistants handle tasks relating to a larger group of people such as an entire department in an office or a group of workers. They may send faxes, respond to emails, answer phone calls, file documents and maintain an online database. In addition to an associate’s degree, you’ll need good customer service skills and be highly organized to work as an administrative assistant.
6. Office Administrator
The human resources department in an office consists of multiple jobs including office administrators. An office administrator performs tasks that ensure the office runs smoothly. They usually check over the hours that employees report and compare those reports to company records before handing out paychecks, but they also do budgeting and billing. Some even do collections for a company. This position is usually an hourly position rather than a salaried position, but you can earn well over $15 or even $20 an hour working as an office administrator.
7. Office Manager
Office managers are similar to other types of managers except that they work in offices. As an office manager, you are the one who greets prospective clients or customers who come through the doors, answer any questions they might have and help them set up appointments. You’ll also contact vendors to order new supplies as needed, including smaller items like pens and paper as well as larger items like printers and computers. Office managers can earn more than $90,000 a year.
8. Payroll Clerk
Payroll clerks often work in or for the HR department in a company and handle issues relating to the paychecks that workers receive. They calculate the size of each check based on how many hours an employee worked and any deductions taken from that check. Clerks will also ensure that employers take out money for state and federal taxes and answer any questions that workers might have about their checks. Those interested in working as payroll clerks should take some accounting classes in college.
If you want to work as an accountant but dislike the idea of spending so much time in school, you might consider working as a bookkeeper instead. Bookkeepers handle many of the same job duties but can go to work after just a few years in college. They can work for organizations, companies and even individuals. As a bookkeeper, you keep track of financial records like previous tax fillings and receipts. You’ll create profit and loss statements and other types of financial documents.
10. Accounts Payable Clerk
Accounts payable clerks are similar to payroll clerks, but these professionals work with accounts instead of checks. They keep track of the payments that one company makes, verifies that all the information is correct, processes payments and checks over invoices. Clerks can send out invoices to clients as well. As an accounts payable clerk, you can make $30,000 or more a year.
Related Resource: 10 Highest-paying Jobs for Accounting Majors
These jobs represent just some of those that you might qualify for after finishing an associate’s degree in business. You can often work the required classes you must take around your already busy schedule. The 10 highest paying business jobs for associate’s degree grads let you make more money than you might expect.