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How Much Money Can I Earn With an Associate Degree in Business?

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An associate degree in business gives you skills and knowledge about different aspects of how the business world works. It also provides an opportunity to meet new people in your industry and grow your professional network through professors, students and guest speakers. An associate degree in business does not guarantee that you will succeed or make lots of money, however. The degree can help you get your foot in the door to some companies and looks good on your resume, though a bachelor's or master's degree is more impressive in most cases. There are a variety of salary ranges for people with business associate degrees.

Different Degrees

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The category of your associate degree in business often plays a part in what your salary after school will be. For example, people with an associate degree in business management are likely to get management roles at a company, which often pays more than entry-level positions. Choose a specific field of business to study, like marketing or finance, as opposed to just a general business degree, to help you key in on a particular career track.

Average Salaries

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According to the PayScale website, the average salary for people with associate degrees is around $38,000 for most office jobs. However, your salary can vary greatly in either direction from this number, based on how successful the company is, where you live, how much experience you have and a variety of other factors. You might make significantly less than this, especially as an entry-level employee working your first job out of college. If your salary is lower than you hoped for, you might be able to work your way through a few promotions over a few years to reach the salary goal you have for yourself.

Continuing Education

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Continuing your education past your associate degree is a great way to boost your salary. According to the Earn My Degree website, people with bachelor's degrees make about 27 percent more than people with associate degrees, while people with master's degrees make almost 40 percent more. So, while an associate degree can definitely earn you more money than someone with just a high school diploma, continuing your education after an associate degree is often a good career move. Continuing your education is also a good way to spend your time if the job market is down and you are not finding the employment you want.

The Sky Is the Limit

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Entrepreneurship is truly the wild card when it comes to business salaries. If you start a successful company, your salary can be exponentially higher than working for someone else, regardless of your degree. In fact, some of the most successful entrepreneurs are college dropouts with no degree at all. It takes a person dedicated to her work and willing to work long hours at many roles to get your business off the ground. But if your business takes off, you can earn a high salary for a long time or sell the company for a large profit. Associate degrees in entrepreneurship are available from a number of business colleges.


Chris Newton has worked as a professional writer since 2001. He spent two years writing software specifications then spent three years as a technical writer for Microsoft before turning to copywriting for software and e-commerce companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of Colorado.

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Chad Baker/Jason Reed/Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images