How long does it take to get an associate degree?

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Associate degrees are most popular among students who interest in an engaging job and earning a degree as soon as possible.

If you are wondering on how long does it take to get an associate degree? While there may be some variations of duration according to the field, most associate degrees are a two-year college degrees, which offers in most technical colleges, vocational schools, community colleges, and some four-year universities.

Some students are engaging in degrees while working part-time or full-time jobs on the side. So they have to follow the degree only part-time, and it will take a bit longer duration.


Even though associate degree has a lesser period than a bachelor’s degree, you can find rewarding associate degree jobs in a wide range of industries. Since associate degree jobs short payback time frame of two years due to a high median salary and lower associate degree cost, you can make more money than workers with a bachelor’s degree.

Associate degrees holders earn about more than 18% salary with compare to high school graduates. You can find more details on associate degree requirements, credit hours of an associate degree, online associate degree programs, and average cost of associate’s degree online, from this article.

What is an Associate Degree?

Associate degrees definition is, and academic program taken at the undergraduate level lasting two or three years.

Associated level meaning is qualification level between high school diploma and a bachelor’s degree. When are we considering associate degrees main problem that comes into your mind is, how many credit hours for an associate degrees?


Usually, a student must obtain 60 semester credit hours or 90 quarter credit hours. Typically, one course is around three credits, and this requirement is equivalent to approximately 20 college courses. For someone who doesn’t want to commit for a four-year degree, an associate degree might be a smart choice. Accordingly, The average cost for a two-year degree is lesser than a four-year degree.

Usually, the annual cost for a bachelor’s degree in-state university will cost around $9000 and in private school $30,000. But for a degree, it will only cost half of that.

Associate’s Degree requirements

Anyone who fulfills basic academic requirements can enter into the associate degree program. Students who supposed to enter into an degree should hold a high school diploma or pass the General Educational Development (GED) test. Some colleges accept the High School Equivalency Test (HISET) too.


Earning credits early helps to minimize the duration of the degree. Community colleges have concurrent enrollment options for 11th and 12th grades to take 18 credits before graduation.

How long does it take to get an associate degree according to Associate degree types.

There are several types of degree programs to study. The question, how long does it take to get an associate degrees?

This question doesn’t have the right answer due to these types. The quickest degree type is Associate of General Studies (AGS), and duration is short as 12 months with previous credits and accelerated online courses. This is the most generalized degree. Duration of several healthcare careers like dental hygienists and occupational therapy assistants extend more than 24 months. Because they need 70+associate’s credits. Some of the applied trades may take three years. When there are internships duration of the degree naturally gets longer.
There are some other common types of degrees. such as:

  • Associate of Arts (AA)
  • Ass… of Science (AS)
  • Ass… of Applied Science (AAS)
  • Asso… of Business (AB)
  • Ass… of Fine Arts (AFA)
  • Ass… Degree in Nursing (ADN)

Online Associate Degree Programs

Most students pursue online associate degrees due to various reasons. The main reason is they can access course materials and participate for class discussions from anywhere. Getting online education will make it easier for you to learn. such as:

Most affordable online associate degrees in 2020 are as follows:

  • Southwestern Community College – Sylva, NC
  • Frontier Community College – Fairfield. IL
  • Richmond Community College – Hamlet, NC
  • James Sprunt Community College – Kenansville, NC
  • Niagara Country Community College – Sanborn, NY

The average cost of Associate’s Degree online is lesser than on-campus degree since students don’t need to bare travelling, housing and other on-campus expenses. But some online degrees programs which have laboratory activities require students have to spend a portion-time on campus.

Usually, degree coat depends on the school and the subjects.

If an associate degrees right for you, contact a local community college and start your career.


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