Focus on Occupations

Graphic of with a Creative LensOctober is Inktober Month and November is National Novel Writing Month. Here at CareerLocker, we are focusing on people that make our world more beautiful and thoughtful through visual arts and written word. The Arts, Audio/Video Technology, and Communications Career ClusterTM  includes occupations where people create. Several pathways within the cluster are reflected in the occupations selected for this installment of Focus on Occupations. Pathways involve the following: audio and video technology and film, journalism and broadcasting, performing arts, telecommunications, and visual arts. Choreographers, photographers, medical and scientific illustrators, technical writers, and video game designers are occupations where people use their artistic, technological and communication skills.

Choreographerscreate dances that are set to music and express emotion or enhance a story. They develop original dances and interpretations of traditional dances for ballet, musical, or theatrical revues. They create dance routines that correlate with different styles of music from classical to ethnic, pop, rock, and jazz. Choreographers explain the emotions they tried to express within each routine to the dancers. They also write scores, diagrams with notations, which show the position(s) of each dancer and his or her movements in each dance. They hold rehearsals where they work with the dancers until they learn and perfect each dance routine. They may audition dancers to select those they think will best interpret and perform their dances. They may also direct stage productions in musicals and theater revues. This is a hot occupation. Over the next 10 years, job openings in this occupation are projected to increase by at least 27%.

Medical and scientific illustratorscreate drawings, paintings, diagrams, and three-dimensional models of body parts and organs. These are used in medical publications, exhibits, research, and teaching activities. They use a variety of mediums including pen and ink, watercolors, plaster, wax, plastics, and photographic equipment. They are increasingly utilizing computer graphic software packages to create illustrations. Some illustrators specialize in creating materials for a particular medical field such as pathology, cardiology, or embryology.

Photographerstake pictures of people, places, objects, and events. They select various camera filters and lenses, build sets, and work with props to create the desired effects. Many photographers specialize in such fields as portrait, news, or commercial photography. Portrait photographers capture and record special moments in people’s lives. They must have the ability to accommodate and direct large groups of people because many of their clients are wedding parties. Press photographers capture the actions and feelings of people making the headlines or affected by news events. Commercial photographers select film, lighting, and settings to convey expressions and emotions that market products.

Technical writers–prepare reports, manuals, bulletins, and articles for a wide variety of applications. They must write about complex matters in simple, easy-to-understand language. They study technical subjects until they understand the concepts involved. They then use their communications skills to write about these subjects. Some create policy and procedural manuals, user manuals for small appliances, and assembly instructions for items such as toys. Others write about more technical or scientific subjects such as computer science, engineering, and biological sciences. They also write reports for scientists and researchers who understand scientific and technical terms.

Video game designerswrite the blueprints for computer games. They decide the mission, theme, and rules of play. They write a document which fully explains what will happen in the game. Video games are big business. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t just kids who are playing them. According to some studies, the average age of video game players is now 33. Game sales have risen steadily since the mid 1980s. In 2004, for the first time ever, the video game industry made more money than the entire movie industry in the United States.

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Focus on Occupations: Educators Build Communities of Learners

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Labor Day marks the end of summer, kicks off fall, and back-to-school. Schools are comprised of caring professionals who serve their communities by bringing their knowledge of best learning and teaching practices, supporting the development of the entire child. They help students expand their academic, physical, socio-emotional, vocational, and cognitive development. Here at CareerLocker, we recognize the hard work of these amazing professionals. From the teacher to the principal to the school maintenance worker, so many work together to enhance the welfare of children, adolescents, and adults. These children grow into adults who contribute to our community, country, and ultimately the world. Some of the education-related professions include education administrators, elementary and secondary school teachers, physical education teachers, school counselors, and speech-language pathologists.

  • Education Administrators–manage educational institutions or departments within them. Some direct the activities of preschools, while others supervise instruction in primary and secondary schools. Educational administrators select and supervise staff, prepare budgets, and evaluate programs. They preside over meetings and advise on matters related to their programs. They also attend school functions and promote good public relations.
  • Elementary school teachers–usually teach children in grades one through eight. They plan and teach lessons. They design learning activities for students each day. They also test and record the progress of each student. They discuss these records with parents. Some elementary teachers specialize in areas such as art, music, or physical education. In some schools, two or three teachers work together to teach classes. This is called team teaching.
  • Secondary school teachers–teach middle school or high school students. They teach specific subjects such as English, math, social studies, and science. Teachers usually teach five or six classes per day. They prepare lesson plans, conduct class discussions, give homework assignments, and tests. They also correct homework and grade tests. They monitor the progress of their students and discuss it with their students’ parents. Some coach athletic teams or serves as advisors to clubs.
  • Physical Education Teachers–teach sports and exercises to children and young adults in grades one through twelve. They plan games and exercises that improve fitness and develop students’ motor and coordination skills. These games and exercises are suited to the ages and abilities of their students. Physical education teachers may teach general fitness courses that provide regular exercise or teach the use of sports special equipment such as trampolines or weights. They teach the rules and techniques of indoor and outdoor sports, such as volleyball, basketball, or football.
  • School Counselors–work with all students to help them develop the skills they will need to learn, communicate, and work effectively. They help students identify their interests, skills, aptitudes, and educational goals. They help students plan their academic programs so they graduate from high school prepared for work or postsecondary education. Counselors give standardized tests to students to measure their achievement in school. They have students complete interest inventories or other questionnaires to help them identify their strengths, recognize problem areas, and explore career options. Counselors interpret these test results for students, their parents, and teachers.
  • Speech-Language Pathologists–work with people who have speech or language impairments. They evaluate the impairment of each individual and develop a therapy program to help each of them communicate more effectively. In early intervention programs, they work with infants and toddlers who have a variety of physical and/or developmental challenges. They work with families identifying their concerns, priorities, and preferences for their children. A comprehensive plan of care is developed for each individual that includes speech and language. Speech-language pathologists try to prevent communication problems from occurring. They test children to see if they speak as well as other children of the same age.

High Demand Occupations

High Demand Occupations GraphicThere are many ways to explore what occupations are and will be in high demand. One way is through data projections, such as those conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Another method is tallying the number of job postings within an occupation. The occupations with the most job openings are considered the highest in demand. For instance, nursing assistants, the top high demand job in Wisconsin, had over 1,473 job postings so far in 2017. Last year, 3,336 nursing assistant job posting were listed across the state throughout the entire year.

This month, CareerLocker focuses on high demand occupations requiring a technical college education. Some top high demand jobs requiring a technical degree or certificate in the state of Wisconsin include nursing assistant, administrative professionals, marketing (digital marketing, marketing management), electromechnical technology (manufacturing), early childhood education, and accounting. For more information on jobs in demand, Wisconsin Technical College Systems provided a table outlining jobs in demand.

Nursing assistant–Certified nursing aides/assistants (CNAs) assist medical patients under the supervision of registered nurses. They work in a variety of settings from hospital nurseries to skilled nursing facilities. CNAs take and record body temperatures, pulses, and breathing rates. They report any changes in patients’ appearance, behavior, or physical ability to their nursing supervisor. They bathe, dress, and feed patients.

Marketing professionals–Marketing managers develop plans for making goods or services that are attractive to consumers. Their goal is to learn what kinds of products certain people are most likely to buy and then develop products that can meet their needs. To do this, marketing managers study reports that tell the ages, incomes, buying habits, and lifestyles of the people who buy similar products. This demographic information, along with information on consumer preferences such as color, food, fashion, styles of art and furniture, or taste in music, help marketing managers target the kind of consumers who would be most interested in purchasing new products.

Electromechnical technology–Electromechanical technicians assist engineers in designing new robotics equipment or operate and maintain existing robotic equipment. They read blueprints, schematics, and technical notes from engineering staff to ascertain the steps involved in constructing the robotic prototype. They construct metal housings called assemblies that contain the electrical and/or electronic parts. They measure clearances and dimensions as they proceed with the assembly to verify that it meets the specifications outlined by the engineering team. They operate the robotic equipment and perform routine tests, recording all test results and keeping operational logs of each prototype that they share with the engineering staff.

Early childhood education–Child care assistants work with other assistants, teachers, and supervisors to plan and guide preschool age children in developmentally appropriate activities. These activities are designed to support, guide, and nurture children as they interact with others and their environment. They plan play and learning activities that help children learn how to relate to the world around them. They teach children how to communicate effectively, resolve conflicts, and develop skills that allow them to become more self-sufficient. In order to accomplish these goals, they provide large and small group activities such as singing, games, crafts, and stories. They plan field trips to broaden children’s exposure to the world around them and introduce them to new experiences. They also help children develop responsibility by teaching them to put toys away, care for small animals, or care for their personal clothing items that are stored in their individual cubicles

Accounting–Bookkeeping clerks maintain records of the financial transactions of businesses. They record profits and expenditures. They also write reports on how businesses use their money. Some work with company payroll, which is a list of all the employees at the company and the amount of money that each employee is paid. They may be responsible for submitting all tax reports to the appropriate government agencies. In some firms, they prepare bills and record all accounts receivable, which are records of money that customers owe the company.

Summertime Builds It FORWARD in Wisconsin: Architecture and Construction Occupations

Architecture and Construction Occupations GraphicHere in Wisconsin the seasons are Winter and Construction, Construction, Construction. At the Center on Education and Work, we highlight occupations that involve architecture, building and construction. Whether they are designing or building, architects or electricians, people in these occupations help to create beautiful and practical works of art, the buildings we dwell in and the roads we travel on.

  • Architects design homes, schools, churches, office buildings, apartment complexes, and shopping centers. Architects meet with their clients to determine the function and size of the building they want designed. They often work with engineers, city planners, and landscape architects to create safe, functional, and attractive structures. They design the structures and estimate the construction costs. They may also recommend contractors to actually build the structures.
  • Building Contractors build homes, commercial buildings, and other structures by a specified date for a predetermined cost. They usually hire subcontractors such as plumbers, bricklayers, and electricians to perform specialized construction tasks. Building contractors estimate the cost of labor and materials to complete construction projects based on the blueprints of the proposed structures. They determine the materials needed and purchase them once they are awarded contracts.
  • Electricians install and maintain electrical systems in residential, commercial, industrial, and public buildings. Their work responsibilities range from installing conduit in the structural walls of high rise buildings to installing outlets and lighting fixtures in new home construction or remodeling projects. This is a Hot Occupation. Over the next 10 years, job openings in this occupation are projected to increase by at least 20%.
  • Sheet metal duct installers place heating and air ducts in homes, commercial buildings, and factories. They read blueprints, measure fittings, and install the ducts using hand, welding, and power tools. They check for air leaks that would allow heat or cool air to escape. They correct or replace parts that have leaks.
  • Construction workers do many jobs on building, repairing, or wrecking projects. They also work on construction crews that build roads, bridges, buildings, dams, and sewers. They load and unload trucks, moving materials between work areas. They sort and stack lumber and other construction materials. Construction workers clean tools and machines. They remove rubble from work areas.

Focus on Occupations: Math-Related Occupations Add Up to Great Opportunities

Focus on Occupations, Math-Related Occupations Banner

March 14th or 3.14 is known as Pi Day. Pi is an irrational number and the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.  Almost every job requires people to have knowledge of math. In honor of Pi Day, CareerLocker focuses on occupations where people rely heavily on math to complete job tasks. Occupations include climate change analysts, computer programmers, construction materials estimators, mathematicians, and mathematical statisticians. Many of these occupations are hot occupations and projected to grow by at least 27% over the next 10 years. This adds up to great opportunities!

  • Climate Change Analysts–Climate change analysts study weather patterns to see how and why our modern climate is different from the climate of the past. They spend their time analyzing data and writing papers and speeches. They specifically study atmospheric temperature, ocean conditions, ice masses, and greenhouse gases. They are concerned with determining how these changes impact natural resources, animals, and people. Climate change analysts attempt to create mathematical models of climate change.
  • Computer Programmers–Computer programmers write instructions that tell computers to perform a variety of different tasks.Programmers use computer languages to write programs. They may write programs that will perform accounting or billing functions. Other programs may operate robots or computer-aided design (CAD) machine tool operations. Some programs allow people to create artwork or graphics, while others coordinate space flight operations.
  • Construction Material Estimators— Cost estimators determine the cost of manufacturing products or providing services to prospective customers. They must arrive at costs that meet customer expectations, are lower than their competitors, and are profitable to the organization. They calculate the cost of all the necessary parts, raw materials, and equipment. Estimators arrive at labor costs based on hourly rates and the time they think it will take to produce the product or provide the service desired. They prepare itemized cost estimates and/or present total project costs.
  • Mathematicians–Mathematicians specialize in either theoretical mathematics or applied mathematics. Most mathematicians work in applied mathematics. They solve problems using many different kinds of math and math-related areas. These include computer science, engineering, physics, and business management.
  • Mathematical StatisticiansStatisticians use math to design, interpret, and evaluate the results of experiments, surveys, and opinion polls. They also use math to predict future events. They often apply their mathematical knowledge to specific subject areas, such as economics, human behavior, natural science, or engineering.

Construction material estimators, mathematicians, and mathematical statisticians are Hot Occupations. Over the next 10 years, job openings in this occupation are projected to increase by at least 27%.

Focus on Occupations: Helping Others through Health-Related Occupations

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The winter months bring snow globe wonderlands, hot chocolate and unfortunately cold and flu season. Many professionals support keeping us healthy during this time of year and all year through. CareerLocker acknowledges those that help us stay healthy by conducting research, administering at health care facilities, attending to our health, and communicating our health care needs. CareerLocker highlights five exciting occupations in health care: geneticists, health care administrators, nurse practitioners, translators and interpreters, and ultrasound technologists.

  • Geneticists-use scientific methods to research genes found in the cells of plants and animals. These genes contain the inherent traits and characteristics that differentiate one plant variety from another and one human from another. Geneticists research human genes, trying to identify the ones that contain the individual’s natural response to different diseases. By identifying these genes, they may be able to identify individuals most susceptible to certain diseases and develop pharmaceutics to retard, cure, or even prevent these diseases.
  • Health Care Administrators-direct activities at health care facilities to ensure that patients medical needs are meet. In large hospitals, health care administrators supervise the managers of several departments such as public relations, accounting, and personnel. They also develop the operating budget for the health care facility.
  • Nurse Practitioners and specialists — are registered nurses who have become expert in a specific area of nursing. They have earned either a master’s degree or doctorate in nursing. They have also completed supervised practice in their area of specialization, and have been certified by a national professional nursing organization.
  • Translators and Interpreters— communicate information from one language to another. Translators read text in one language and write it in another language. Interpreters listen to words spoken in one language and recount what was said in another language to another person.
  • Ultrasound Technologists — use special sound waves (called diagnostic medical sonographers) to produce images of people’s organs and tissues. They carefully position their patients to ensure that the shadowy images created by the ultrasound will bounce off of the tissues or organs that physicians have specified. These images are then recorded on a screen or film. Physicians study these images to diagnose and treat illnesses and diseases.

Feeling cold this winter?  These occupations will warm you up!  Health Care Administrators, Translators and Interpreters, and Ultrasound Technologists are Hot Occupations. Over the next 10 years, job openings in these occupation are projected to increase by at least 27%.

Learn more about these and other occupations on CareerLocker.

Focus on Occupations: Animal-Related Occupations

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In October and November, our four-legged friends and wildlife are in the spotlight. CareerLocker acknowledges National Animal Safety and Protection Month, Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, Squirrel Awareness Month, and Wishbones for Pets Month.  People who support the safety, protection, adoption, awareness, or well-being of pets and wildlife serve animals and the animal lovers in us all.  A great way to remember and honor the value of wildlife, animals and pets is by recognizing those who work with animals in various capacities. This month CareerLocker highlights animal chiropractors, animal trainers, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and wildlife biologists.

  • Animal Chiropractors–provide an alternative form of health care for cats, dogs, and horses using the same principles as applied by human chiropractors. Using their hands, they manipulate the spinal cord and joints to relieve pressure on nerves that affect feeling and control of the surrounding muscles. Pet owners are referred to animal chiropractors by veterinarians when x-rays confirm that surgery is not warranted for pets that have slipped or fallen, been injured due to strenuous activity, or that have survived automobile accidents. The animal chiropractor also instructs the pet owners on the acceptable level of activity and may make diet recommendations for the animals under their care.
  • Animal Trainers–train animals for riding, security, performance, obedience, or assisting persons with disabilities. Animal trainers do this by accustoming the animal to human voice and contact, and conditioning the animal to respond to commands. Animal trainers may train animals to prescribed standards for show or competition. Animal training takes place in small steps, and often takes months and even years of repetition. During the conditioning process, trainers provide animals with mental stimulation, physical exercise, and husbandry care. In addition to their hands-on work with the animals, trainers often oversee other aspects of the animal’s care, such as diet preparation.
  • Veterinarians–protect animal health through medicine, surgery, and providing information about animal health to pet owners and animal caregivers. Veterinarians practice medicine and surgery with companion pets, animals raised for human consumption, horses, animals in zoos, animals for military use, or in a combination of fields. Veterinarians oversee and inspect every aspect of the animal food supply, ensuring that the United States has one of the safest in the world. Veterinarians usually work with either small animals (such as dogs or cats) or large animals (such as horses or cows). They may specialize in specific medical fields such as oncology or neurology. Other veterinarians may do research, teach, or work in the animal industry.
  • Veterinary Technicians–assist veterinarians as they examine and treat animals. They often administer anesthetics to animals and assist veterinarians as they perform surgical procedures. They also sterilize instruments and clean operating and examining rooms. They lift and handle animals and give them medication as prescribed by the veterinarian. They clean the animal cages and prepare food for each animal as instructed. They note the condition and behavior of the animals and report these observations to the veterinarian. They may do laboratory tests to identify diseases or parasites. Some specialize in caring for small animals and work in veterinary clinics that care for dogs and/or cats. Others assist veterinarians who care for large animals such as cattle or endangered species housed in zoos.
    • This is a Hot Occupation. Over the next 10 years, job openings in this occupation are projected to increase by at least 27%.
  • Wildlife Biologists–study the populations, habitats, and conservation of wildlife and fish. Wildlife biologists usually specialize in subtopics within the field of wildlife biology. For example, some may study the relationship between predators and prey within an ecosystem. Others may study the routes of migratory birds. Wildlife biologists may research the impact that humans or environmental changes have had on wildlife, or they may coordinate programs to control the outbreak of wildlife diseases. Yet other wildlife biologists may specialize in the conservation and management of wild game, such as pheasants or deer, and the restoration of habitat. Wildlife biologists explain what they have discovered through their research by writing reports, publishing scientific papers or journal articles, and making presentations. Additionally, wildlife biologists may visit schools, clubs, interest groups, and park interpretive programs to teach people about wildlife.

Learn more about these and other occupations on CareerLocker.