Learn more about the Associate of Applied Science degree


Are you looking to join the workforce in just a couple of years? This degree is for you! Today, let’s explore the Associate of Applied Science degree.

“Associate in Applied Science degrees are designed for students looking to be qualified for the workforce,” said Zak McNitt, registrar. An associate degree represents the completion of approximately two years of full-time study, at least 60 credit hours.

The degree prepares students for entry into a technical or skilled occupational career immediately following graduation from their program. Consequently, most AAS degree programs require students to choose an area of emphasis or specialty early on in the program. This allows them to be adequately prepared for entry-level career positions upon graduation. Fields such as nursing, radiography, business administration, agriculture technology, manufacturing and computer technology, among others, allow students to become qualified in their fields of study to gain employment.

Designed for career, not transfer

AAS degrees were designed for students looking to enter the workforce, not necessarily for transfer to a university. While some students may transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue a bachelor’s degree, it’s important to note that some courses are not granted transfer credit, nor will they fulfill the general education requirements of a bachelor’s degree program. If a four-year college degree is in your future, it may be more advantageous to earn an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree. Always speak with a student success navigator about career goals to be sure you are taking the best courses to reach your goal.

Completing an associate degree shows commitment and persistence, in addition to the acquisition of skills. As the workplace changes rapidly, more workers will need to become lifelong learners, enrolling in college to boost their job skills. Community colleges are a great option with flexible schedules and class lengths, knowledgeable faculty and support staff and affordable tuition.

A sample of opportunities

Potential earnings with AAS degrees:

  • Registered Nurses: $52,080 – $111,000 annually
  • Radiographers: $51,150 – $89,700 annually
  • Business: Earnings vary greatly by area and experience; some business positions, such as sales, offer high earning potential and bonuses
  • Agriculture: Earnings vary, $37,350 – $132,000 annually
  • Manufacturing: assemblers and fabricators, $33,710 – $54,600; machinists and tool and die makers, $33,820 – $77,900 annually
  • Computer Technology: Networking specialist, $35,000 – $95,000 annually