Associate degree jobs that pay well
Break in with a high school diploma or associate degree in criminal justice. Walk out with a higher salary than those who paid for pricey private four-year colleges.
"Police, detectives, (criminal) identification and records officers, criminal investigators and special agents -- they all pay around $60,000 and they're growing fast with a lot of job openings," says Shatkin.
After taking 12 to 14 weeks of academy training, law enforcement personnel ages 21 and up are rewarded with a decent salary, a great benefits package that frequently includes tuition reimbursement perks and the ability to move into a wide array of federal, local and private agencies. According to the BLS, police and sheriff's patrol officers earn a median salary of $51,410. Those who move up the ranks to a supervisor position earn a median salary of $75,490.