(Stacker) — Although it all depends on what you make of it, choosing to further your education may lead to higher-paying job opportunities. An associate’s degree takes just two years and offers more affordable tuition rates than a four-year school. As of April 2022, the average yearly salary for an individual with an associate’s degree comes out to $45,989.

Students have a plethora of specialties to choose from when obtaining a 2-year degree, from industry-specific roles in health care or IT or a more generalized education path. Salaries differ between areas of study, job type, experience, and, of course, location. A Georgetown University study that looked at job growth and education requirements through 2020 stated that 30% of job openings required “at least some college or an associate’s degree.” Students can choose to head right into the workforce after earning an associate’s, or continue their education toward earning a bachelor’s degree.

The unemployment rate for associate’s degree holders is only 2%, according to research from the Education Data Initiative. Having an associate’s degree under your belt is proven to increase one’s chance of holding a professional or management position in any number of industries, among them education and health, wholesale retail and trade, and professional and business services.

Stacker compiled a list of the highest and lowest paying jobs that require a 2-year degree in Morgantown, WV using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by 2021 annual mean wage.

1 / 13CHRISTOF STACHE // Getty Images

#13. Preschool teachers, except special education

Morgantown, WV
– Annual mean salary: $27,970
– #452 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 200

National
– Annual mean salary: $36,550
– Employment: 370,940
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA ($49,990)
— Ocean City, NJ ($49,720)
— Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ ($49,560)

2 / 13Maria Sbytova // Shutterstock

#12. Veterinary technologists and technicians

Morgantown, WV
– Annual mean salary: $30,770
– #374 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

National
– Annual mean salary: $37,860
– Employment: 109,490
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($57,990)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($52,220)
— Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($51,340)

3 / 13Rawpixel.com //Shutterstock

#11. Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping

Morgantown, WV
– Annual mean salary: $36,260
– #368 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 70

National
– Annual mean salary: $44,170
– Employment: 108,470
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($60,080)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($55,410)
— Napa, CA ($54,120)

4 / 13GaudiLab // Shutterstock

#10. Paralegals and legal assistants

Morgantown, WV
– Annual mean salary: $49,230
– #222 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 140

National
– Annual mean salary: $56,610
– Employment: 332,720
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($90,640)
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($76,960)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($75,640)

5 / 13Hitdelight // Shutterstock

#9. Architectural and civil drafters

Morgantown, WV
– Annual mean salary: $52,960
– #250 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 30

National
– Annual mean salary: $59,120
– Employment: 99,180
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC ($76,060)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($75,700)
— Anchorage, AK ($75,650)

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6 / 13photodiem // Shutterstock

#8. Environmental science and protection technicians, including health

Morgantown, WV
– Annual mean salary: $53,800
– #38 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 40

National
– Annual mean salary: $50,960
– Employment: 31,860
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Kennewick-Richland, WA ($79,780)
— Huntsville, AL ($78,320)
— Birmingham-Hoover, AL ($76,970)

7 / 13Arjuna Kodisinghe // Shutterstock

#7. Computer network support specialists

Morgantown, WV
– Annual mean salary: $54,600
– #384 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 70

National
– Annual mean salary: $71,040
– Employment: 184,220
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($94,120)
— Barnstable Town, MA ($93,670)
— New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($92,190)

8 / 13Canva

#6. Physical therapist assistants

Morgantown, WV
– Annual mean salary: $54,700
– #328 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 90

National
– Annual mean salary: $59,440
– Employment: 92,740
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($85,960)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($78,740)
— Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($76,390)

9 / 13Dmytro Zinkevych // Shutterstock

#5. Respiratory therapists

Morgantown, WV
– Annual mean salary: $56,560
– #303 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 200

National
– Annual mean salary: $65,640
– Employment: 131,890
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($113,450)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($109,330)
— Santa Rosa, CA ($101,690)

10 / 13lenetstan // Shutterstock

#4. Radiologic technologists and technicians

Morgantown, WV
– Annual mean salary: $57,060
– #302 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 340

National
– Annual mean salary: $64,840
– Employment: 206,720
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($127,890)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($118,480)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($118,100)

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11 / 13Canva

#3. Dental hygienists

Morgantown, WV
– Annual mean salary: $59,650
– #478 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 80

National
– Annual mean salary: $78,050
– Employment: 194,830
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($125,750)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($122,660)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($119,320)

12 / 13SofikoS // Shutterstock

#2. Diagnostic medical sonographers

Morgantown, WV
– Annual mean salary: $65,310
– #296 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 90

National
– Annual mean salary: $77,790
– Employment: 73,920
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($138,110)
— Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($137,140)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($131,080)

13 / 13anyaivanova // Shutterstock

#1. Electrical and electronic engineering technologists and technicians

Morgantown, WV
– Annual mean salary: $72,140
– #71 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

National
– Annual mean salary: $68,310
– Employment: 115,270
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Northeast Virginia nonmetropolitan area ($99,890)
— Fort Collins, CO ($91,980)
— Bakersfield, CA ($90,780)

This article has been re-published pursuant to a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.