Highest paying jobs that require a 2 year degree in Charleston, West Virginia

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June 7, 2021
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Highest paying jobs that require a 2 year degree in Charleston

The American economy is increasingly becoming one in which a high school education is simply not enough. Of the 55 million job openings expected from 2010 to 2020, only 36% will require a high school education or less, 30% will require some college or an associate degree, while 35% will require at least a bachelor's degree, according Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workplace.

Attaining an associate degree or better for 25- to 29-year-olds increased from 38% to 46% between 2000 to 2017, while bachelors degree attainment or better increased from 29% to 36%, and attainment of master's degrees or higher grew grown from 5% to 9%, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. While the largest percentage of U.S. workers only hold a high school diploma-with the second-highest percentage belonging to those with baccalaureate degrees-the number of holders of an associate or technical degree is rising.

Fortunately, the number of associate degree-friendly positions is growing. Stacker compiled a list of the highest and lowest paying jobs that require a 2-year degree in Charleston using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by 2020 annual mean wage. Job descriptions are from O*NET.

With many people finding the cost of a four-year education too high, given the rising cost of tuition and stagnant wage growth, it's encouraging to know that there are obtainable, well-paying professions for those with a two-year degree. While a bachelor's degree holder can be expected to make about $500,000 more in lifetime earnings compared with an associate degree holder, the jobs we have listed show the exceptions.

Keep reading to learn about some well-paying gigs you can land with an associate degree.

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Lighthunter // Shutterstock

#18. Medical equipment repairers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $32,600
- #168 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $55,090
- Employment: 48,510
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($89,250)
--- Modesto, CA ($83,280)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($74,310)
- Job description: Test, adjust, or repair biomedical or electromedical equipment.
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Maria Sbytova // Shutterstock

#17. Veterinary technologists and technicians

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $34,630
- #166 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $37,860
- Employment: 109,490
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA ($56,020)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($53,580)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($53,440)
- Job description: Perform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals. Prepare vaccines and serums for prevention of diseases. Prepare tissue samples, take blood samples, and execute laboratory tests, such as urinalysis and blood counts. Clean and sterilize instruments and materials and maintain equipment and machines. May assist a veterinarian during surgery.
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Rawpixel.com //Shutterstock

#16. Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $37,250
- #260 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 150

National
- Annual mean salary: $44,170
- Employment: 108,470
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($55,950)
--- Ithaca, NY ($55,450)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($55,410)
- Job description: Compile and keep personnel records. Record data for each employee, such as address, weekly earnings, absences, amount of sales or production, supervisory reports, and date of and reason for termination. May prepare reports for employment records, file employment records, or search employee files and furnish information to authorized persons.
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CHRISTOF STACHE // Getty Images

#15. Preschool teachers, except special education

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $41,670
- #43 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 180

National
- Annual mean salary: $36,550
- Employment: 370,940
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Midland, TX ($58,080)
--- Odessa, TX ($54,120)
--- Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV ($52,350)
- Job description: Instruct preschool-aged students, following curricula or lesson plans, in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth.
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photodiem // Shutterstock

#14. Environmental science and protection technicians, including health

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $48,110
- #72 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 160

National
- Annual mean salary: $50,960
- Employment: 31,860
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($74,530)
--- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ($72,010)
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($70,850)
- Job description: Perform laboratory and field tests to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution, including those that affect health, under the direction of an environmental scientist, engineer, or other specialist. May collect samples of gases, soil, water, and other materials for testing.

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Dmytro Zinkevych // Shutterstock

#13. Respiratory therapists

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $49,640
- #250 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 230

National
- Annual mean salary: $65,640
- Employment: 131,890
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($104,200)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($100,710)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($100,080)
- Job description: Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, check, and operate equipment.
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U.S. Geological Survey // Flickr

#12. Geological and hydrologic technicians

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $50,460
- #39 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,130
- Employment: 15,580
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($117,170)
--- Tulsa, OK ($89,180)
--- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO ($80,250)
- Job description: Assist scientists or engineers in the use of electronic, sonic, or nuclear measuring instruments in laboratory, exploration, and production activities to obtain data indicating resources such as metallic ore, minerals, gas, coal, or petroleum. Analyze mud and drill cuttings. Chart pressure, temperature, and other characteristics of wells or bore holes.
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lenetstan // Shutterstock

#11. Radiologic technologists and technicians

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $52,310
- #292 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 230

National
- Annual mean salary: $64,840
- Employment: 206,720
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($120,270)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($116,250)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($114,850)
- Job description: Take x-rays and CAT scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's bloodstream for diagnostic or research purposes. Includes radiologic technologists and technicians who specialize in other scanning modalities.
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#10. Civil engineering technologists and technicians

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $52,470
- #134 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 220

National
- Annual mean salary: $56,590
- Employment: 67,270
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($87,120)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($76,230)
--- Warner Robins, GA ($75,840)
- Job description: Apply theory and principles of civil engineering in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of structures and facilities under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
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Rawpixel.com //Shutterstock

#9. Web developers and digital interface designers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $55,730
- #198 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $85,490
- Employment: 156,220
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($138,070)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($113,910)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($112,440)
- Job description: Develop and implement websites, web applications, application databases, and interactive web interfaces. Evaluate code to ensure that it is properly structured, meets industry standards, and is compatible with browsers and devices. Optimize website performance, scalability, and server-side code and processes. May develop website infrastructure and integrate websites with other computer applications.

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GaudiLab // Shutterstock

#8. Paralegals and legal assistants

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $59,410
- #44 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 510

National
- Annual mean salary: $56,610
- Employment: 332,720
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Napa, CA ($93,110)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($90,280)
--- Trenton, NJ ($77,970)
- Job description: Assist lawyers by investigating facts, preparing legal documents, or researching legal precedent. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.
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#7. Physical therapist assistants

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $60,560
- #120 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $59,440
- Employment: 92,740
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($81,510)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($78,370)
--- Visalia-Porterville, CA ($78,240)
- Job description: Assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with state laws, assist in the development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist. Generally requires formal training.
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Hitdelight // Shutterstock

#6. Architectural and civil drafters

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $62,170
- #41 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 100

National
- Annual mean salary: $59,120
- Employment: 99,180
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Anchorage, AK ($74,170)
--- Danbury, CT ($72,760)
--- Evansville, IN-KY ($72,370)
- Job description: Prepare detailed drawings of architectural and structural features of buildings or drawings and topographical relief maps used in civil engineering projects, such as highways, bridges, and public works. Use knowledge of building materials, engineering practices, and mathematics to complete drawings.
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#5. Dental hygienists

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $62,300
- #317 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 210

National
- Annual mean salary: $78,050
- Employment: 194,830
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($133,730)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($120,340)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($118,980)
- Job description: Administer oral hygiene care to patients. Assess patient oral hygiene problems or needs and maintain health records. Advise patients on oral health maintenance and disease prevention. May provide advanced care such as providing fluoride treatment or administering topical anesthesia.
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Arjuna Kodisinghe // Shutterstock

#4. Computer network support specialists

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $62,910
- #151 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 140

National
- Annual mean salary: $71,040
- Employment: 184,220
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($92,550)
--- Greeley, CO ($92,240)
--- Barnstable Town, MA ($90,600)
- Job description: Analyze, test, troubleshoot, and evaluate existing network systems, such as local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), cloud networks, servers, and other data communications networks. Perform network maintenance to ensure networks operate correctly with minimal interruption.

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SofikoS // Shutterstock

#3. Diagnostic medical sonographers

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $64,690
- #188 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $77,790
- Employment: 73,920
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($138,130)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($126,610)
--- Stockton-Lodi, CA ($121,710)
- Job description: Produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians. Includes vascular technologists.
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anyaivanova // Shutterstock

#2. Electrical and electronic engineering technologists and technicians

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $64,960
- #121 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $68,310
- Employment: 115,270
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bakersfield, CA ($90,130)
--- Salinas, CA ($87,550)
--- Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA ($85,190)
- Job description: Apply electrical and electronic theory and related knowledge, usually under the direction of engineering staff, to design, build, repair, adjust, and modify electrical components, circuitry, controls, and machinery for subsequent evaluation and use by engineering staff in making engineering design decisions.
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Dragon Images // Shutterstock

#1. Chemical technicians

Charleston, WV
- Annual mean salary: $69,590
- #6 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 190

National
- Annual mean salary: $53,700
- Employment: 63,490
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Billings, MT ($85,460)
--- Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX ($75,430)
--- Baton Rouge, LA ($74,780)
- Job description: Conduct chemical and physical laboratory tests to assist scientists in making qualitative and quantitative analyses of solids, liquids, and gaseous materials for research and development of new products or processes, quality control, maintenance of environmental standards, and other work involving experimental, theoretical, or practical application of chemistry and related sciences.

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