A STEM career doesn’t always mean a lot of schooling is involved. There are many positions that are integral pieces of the STEM field that require more experience than schooling.
With about 20% of American careers being STEM related, there are a variety of positions open to individuals who don’t hold a four-year degree. On average, these STEM careers pay around $55,000 annually. If you’re in the market for a rewarding STEM related career, here are some positions that only require an Associate’s Degree.
1. Lab technician: This STEM career is a great choice for people who are interested in the healthcare field. Lab technicians examine samples through microscopes, cell counters, and testing systems to help identify illnesses and aid in heath maintenance.
Median salary: $50,550
2. Radiologic Technologist: This diagnostic related STEM position is great for individuals who want a technology based career in healthcare. As a radiologic technician, you prep patients for testing, work with doctors to evaluate images, and determine diagnoses using technology like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans. These professionals are a crucial part of diagnosing, monitoring, and aiding in treatment of patients.
Median salary: $56,670
3. Registered Nurses: This high demand STEM career is an integral part of the healthcare field. Working with patients, these professionals manage care regiments, vitals, advise on treatments, and administer medication. They also work with patient families to ensure everyone is informed properly.
Median salary: $67,490
4: Dental Hygienist: Only requiring an Associate’s degree, this STEM career offers flexible hours and great salary options. Dental hygienists work with patients to ensure proper dental health.
Median salary: $72,330
5: Nuclear Technician: This Associate’s degree based STEM career focuses around monitoring sensitive systems. This field requires a lot of on-the-job training to oversee nuclear waster management and plant operations.
Median salary: $80,260
For individuals who want to pursue a career in STEM, there are plenty of positions that don’t require years of schooling or a lot of student loan debt. While the careers above require an Associate’s degree, there are other STEM careers that only need vocational school or certificates.