New Salary Surfer Website Shows Saddleback College Students More Than Double Salaries after Earning Associate Degrees, Certificates

A new website released by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office shows that students at Saddleback College and the 111 other community colleges in the state earn higher wages after they’ve completed an associate degree or certificate.  The new Salary Surfer website provides aggregated median earnings of those who complete a certificate or degree in a specific community college discipline and then enter the workforce.  The Salary Surfer website can be viewed at

Salary Surfer displays median annual incomes for those who complete 179 popular programs of study including architecture, allied health, social sciences, engineering, and more.  The website shows the median earnings for community college graduates two years prior to earning the award, then two years and five years after earning either a certificate or degree.

An analysis of the data provided on Salary Surfer shows the following:

• Students who complete an associate degree more than double their annual pre-degree earnings after two years in the workforce and nearly triple their pre-degree earnings after five years in the workforce.
• Five years after getting their degree, nearly 45 percent of those with an associate degree and did not transfer earned more than $54,000 annually, which is median wage of someone with a bachelor’s degree living in California, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
• Another 25 percent of those with an associate degree earned more than $77,000 five years after getting their degree.   This is higher than the median income for those in California who’s highest degree was a Master’s Degree ($72,000).
• Median wages for those who earn associate degrees in vocational disciplines was $61,600 compared to $39,300 for those with non-vocational associate degrees.

For students who would like to speak with a counselor about their program of study, earning potential, and the Salary Surfer website can make an appointment at For information on Saddleback College’s Career Center visit

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