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Jun 26, 2017 06:51 AM EDT

Going to college is no joke, especially the money needed to finish a four-year course. However, there are associate degrees that yield a good ROI after graduation. Here are 5 high-paying jobs that only require an associate degree.

Air Traffic Controllers

Air traffic controllers have an annual median salary of $122,950. It only takes two years to complete an air traffic controller's training Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative under the guidelines of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Alaska, Kansas, Hawaii, and New Mexico are some of the states that have a high demand for air traffic controllers.

Dental Hygienists

Dental hygienists provide education and preventive dental care to patients. A lot of community colleges, universities, and technical schools offer dental hygiene programs which typically takes 3 years to finish. Dental hygienists have an annual median salary of $73,330.

Radiation Therapists

Radiation therapists provide radiation treatments to patients. To become a licensed radiation therapist, students need to complete a radiation therapy program from an accredited institution and pass the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists certification exam. States where there is a high demand for radiation therapists are Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Alaska. A licensed radiation therapist can have an average annual salary of $80,220.

Nuclear Technicians

Also on the list of high paying jobs that require an associate degree are nuclear technicians whose annual median salary is around $80,260. Those who want to pursue the career need an associate's degree in nuclear science.

The main responsibility of nuclear technicians includes assisting physicists and engineers by monitoring levels of radiation.

Nuclear Medicine Technologists

Nuclear medicine technologists work in hospitals and laboratories. They take x-ray images of the patient's body and interpret the results. Aside from taking an associate degree program on nuclear medicine technology, requirements to become a licensed nuclear medicine technologist vary by state.

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