Exploring Career Paths: What Can I Do with an Associate of Science Degree?


An Associate of Science degree continues to evoke great interest in students. It’s one of those programs that can be completed within two years – unlike a bachelor’s degree – yet offer endless opportunities for development. But have you ever wondered, “What can I do with an Associate of Science degree?”. Then this article will help you. 

Read on to discover what this degree is and what jobs you can seek as an AS graduate.

What Is an Associate of Science Degree?

An Associate of Science (AS) degree is a level above high school and one under a bachelor’s degree. It is essentially a degree offered mainly by community colleges in the United States, and it focuses on STEM, computer science, or business-related subjects. Contrary to undergraduate studies, an AS degree only takes a maximum of two years to complete and typically requires 60 credits.

Successfully completing this degree can lead to two scenarios: immediate labor market entry or opportunity for further studies. What does that mean? After graduating, you can either start looking for a job in a relevant field or transfer those two years of AS studies to a bachelor’s degree. As such, you’ll jump the scale to half the job of obtaining a bachelor’s since undergraduate studies usually take up to four years to complete. 

What Can I Do With an Associate of Science Degree?

An Associate of Science degree offers vast career opportunities. You’ll get to explore careers like nursing assistant, pharmacy technician, and medical biller, with each providing competitive salaries and an enjoyable working environment.

1. Nursing Assistant

One of the jobs you can pursue is becoming a nursing assistant. Nursing assistants help patients who need help with their daily activities, especially in places like hospitals or nursing homes. Their main job is to assist patients with things they might struggle with, such as eating, bathing, and getting dressed. The annual pay for a nursing assistant reaches $35,700.

Nursing assistants are important because they spend a lot of time with patients, providing not only physical support but also companionship and emotional support, making the patient’s care experience better and more personalized.

2. Phlebotomist 

A phlebotomist is trained to draw blood from patients for medical testing, donations, or research. Their duties include making sure the patient feels comfortable, finding the best vein to draw blood from, and taking the blood safely and cleanly. They also label the blood samples correctly and send them to the lab for analysis. Phlebotomists are paid $38,530 yearly.

Good people skills, working carefully and calmly, and attention to detail are important for this job because it’s crucial to make patients feel at ease and ensure samples are handled correctly.

3. Medical Assistant

A medical assistant is a person who works in a healthcare setting, like a doctor’s office or clinic, helping with both medical and administrative tasks. Their responsibilities include greeting patients, filling out and managing patient records, scheduling appointments, and handling billing and insurance. The annual salary for medical assistants in the U.S. is $38,270.

This role is important because it helps the healthcare facility run smoothly, ensures patients feel cared for and supported, and assists doctors so they can focus more on diagnosing and treating patients.

4. Medical Transcriptionist or Scribe

Medical transcriptionists with an AS degree are also available. These professionals listen to medical recordings made by doctors and type them into written reports. This job requires excellent listening skills, fast and accurate typing, and a good understanding of medical terminology. It is a job that pays well, with an estimated annual salary of $34,730.

This role is demanding but highly valued because it ensures patient records are accurate and up-to-date, which is essential for effective patient care and for keeping the healthcare system organized and efficient.

5. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

An Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) responds to emergency calls to provide immediate care to the injured or ill and transport them to medical facilities. They perform medical services like CPR, oxygen administration, and bleeding management to stabilize patients during transport. EMTs must be quick thinkers, remain calm under pressure, and have good physical stamina. Their annual salary revolves around $36,680.

To become an EMT, one must complete a training program that includes both classroom learning and practical experience and then pass a national certification exam. Good communication skills and the ability to work well in a team are also important for this role.

6. Laboratory Assistant


A laboratory assistant with an Associate of Science degree helps scientists and researchers conduct experiments and tests in a lab. Their responsibilities include setting up lab equipment, preparing solutions and samples for testing, collecting data, and sometimes analyzing results. They also ensure the lab stays clean and organized. As a laboratory assistant, you can make up to $57,380 yearly. 

Being detail-oriented, good at following instructions, and able to work well with others are important skills for this job. This role is essential for supporting scientific research and maintaining the smooth operation of the lab.

7. Pharmacy Technician

With an AS degree, you can work in pharmacies as a technician. The duties include organizing medication inventory, preparing prescription orders by counting pills or measuring liquids, labeling bottles, and handling customer transactions and insurance claims. They also assist customers by answering questions about their medications under the supervision of a pharmacist. The annual wage for pharmacy technicians is $37,790.

This job requires attention to detail, strong organizational skills, and the ability to communicate clearly. Pharmacy technicians play a crucial role in helping pharmacies run smoothly and ensuring patients receive their medications correctly and safely.

8. Medical Biller

A medical biller handles billing for healthcare services. They ensure doctors and hospitals get paid by insurance companies and patients. Their job involves understanding health insurance plans, coding medical services, and following up on payments. They must be organized to keep track of many bills and patient information, and they need to be patient and persistent, especially when dealing with insurance companies and following up on unpaid bills.

Important skills for a medical biller include attention to detail, understanding of medical terms and insurance policies, knowledge of billing software, and good communication skills. 

9. Administrative Assistant

Another opportunity you can explore is becoming an administrative assistant. These professionals keep an office running smoothly by answering phones, scheduling meetings, organizing files, and helping with paperwork. They might also manage emails and help with projects. To be good at this job, you need to be organized so you can handle many tasks at once. Administrative assistants get paid $44,080 per year.

It is key to be good at using computers, especially for writing documents and managing schedules. Administrative assistants also need to be flexible, solving problems and adapting to different tasks as needed.

10. Engineering Technician

Last but not least, engineering technician. This is a role that requires being good at math and science, as you are tasked with helping engineers design and develop products, tools, and machines such as electronics, computers, and medical devices. Their responsibilities include setting up experiments, collecting data, and helping to make prototypes or early models of new products. They also test and check products to make sure they work right.

Technical skills, such as knowing how to use special software or equipment, are also needed. Their salaries are competitive, going up to $61,990 annually. 

Job Outlook

People with an Associate of Science degree have good job prospects across diverse fields. Besides the jobs already mentioned, careers in health care like dental hygienists and nurses, technical roles like MRI technologists, and support positions such as computer specialists and legal assistants are other notable options to consider. These jobs offer solid wages and are in demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, out of 800 jobs they list, 99 of them usually only require an associate degree, not a bachelor’s or master’s. Furthermore, the employment rate among individuals with an associate degree is projected to grow 11 percent by 2026. This variety suggests a strong job outlook for associate degree holders, providing both stability and opportunities for growth in their chosen careers.

Challenges and Other Considerations

Studying for an Associate of Science degree involves challenges like managing time between work and study, covering tuition and fees, and choosing the right program. These factors, along with personal and professional goals, must be considered. 

Balancing academic demands with personal responsibilities can also be challenging, especially for those who need to work while studying. Financial considerations, such as tuition costs and potential debt, are also significant. Additionally, selecting a program that aligns with career aspirations and market demand is vital for future job prospects.


An Associate of Science degree equips you for various jobs in healthcare, tech, and administration. It offers a mix of direct employment and further study options. This degree leads to numerous job opportunities in high-demand areas, promising stability and growth. Yet, students should weigh challenges like work-study balance, tuition fees, and choosing a program aligned with career goals.

If you’re seeking a two-year degree in science, make sure to check out our AS In Health Sciences. Start contributing to your future prospects today!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What is an Associate of Science degree good for?

An Associate of Science degree prepares you for various technical and healthcare careers or further study toward a bachelor’s degree.

Is an Associate of Science degree worth it?

Yes, it offers a cost-effective way to gain specialized knowledge and enter the workforce quickly.

What is better: an AS or AAS degree?

AS degrees are typically aimed at students planning to transfer to a four-year university, while AAS degrees are more focused on entering the workforce directly.

What is the highest-paying job with an Associate in Science degree?

Engineering technicians and laboratory assistants are among the highest-paying jobs with an associate’s degree.

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