SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — 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 Sioux Falls, SD using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by 2021 annual mean wage.

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#21. Preschool teachers, except special education

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $31,660
– #319 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 600

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)

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#20. Veterinary technologists and technicians

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $36,150
– #193 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 80

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)

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#19. Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $39,120
– #290 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 90

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)

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#18. Physical therapist assistants

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $47,410
– #442 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 60

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)

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#17. Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $48,660
– #173 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

National
– Annual mean salary: $60,880
– Employment: 39,880
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Baton Rouge, LA ($112,580)
— North Texas Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area ($91,580)
— New Orleans-Metairie, LA ($91,550)

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#16. Computer network support specialists

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $48,950
– #424 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 370

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)

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#15. Architectural and civil drafters

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $48,980
– #323 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 120

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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#14. Mechanical drafters

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $49,210
– #233 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 60

National
– Annual mean salary: $61,490
– Employment: 51,620
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($104,540)
— Corpus Christi, TX ($90,720)
— New Orleans-Metairie, LA ($82,590)

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#13. Industrial engineering technologists and technicians

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $49,480
– #249 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

National
– Annual mean salary: $59,920
– Employment: 62,980
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS ($94,360)
— Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX ($90,460)
— Baton Rouge, LA ($86,020)

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#12. Forest and conservation technicians

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $49,510
– #17 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 40

National
– Annual mean salary: $42,780
– Employment: 30,150
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA ($68,370)
— Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($66,570)
— Corvallis, OR ($62,260)

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#11. Paralegals and legal assistants

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $51,580
– #168 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 230

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)

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#10. Respiratory therapists

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $52,390
– #360 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 230

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)

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#9. Civil engineering technologists and technicians

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $54,540
– #166 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 120

National
– Annual mean salary: $56,590
– Employment: 67,270
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($92,190)
— Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($83,250)
— Baton Rouge, LA ($81,340)

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#8. Cardiovascular technologists and technicians

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $55,700
– #129 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 100

National
– Annual mean salary: $60,940
– Employment: 55,980
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA ($99,130)
— Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($94,400)
— Santa Rosa, CA ($92,140)

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#7. Radiologic technologists and technicians

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $56,030
– #333 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 480

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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#6. Electrical and electronic engineering technologists and technicians

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $57,210
– #272 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 40

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)

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#5. Magnetic resonance imaging technologists

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $59,160
– #185 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 100

National
– Annual mean salary: $75,960
– Employment: 39,270
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($133,590)
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($127,930)
— Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA ($120,550)

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#4. Morticians, undertakers, and funeral arrangers

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $59,530
– #44 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 30

National
– Annual mean salary: $59,000
– Employment: 24,560
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Southwest Minnesota nonmetropolitan area ($82,420)
— Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ($79,240)
— Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($73,940)

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#3. Diagnostic medical sonographers

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $60,360
– #343 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 180

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)

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#2. Medical equipment repairers

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $61,720
– #33 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 130

National
– Annual mean salary: $55,090
– Employment: 48,510
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($84,820)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($84,030)
— Reno, NV ($83,450)

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#1. Dental hygienists

Sioux Falls, SD
– Annual mean salary: $75,940
– #181 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 230

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)