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.

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.

Keeping Current with Occupation Information

CareerLocker Update: Salaries & Outlook

School may be almost out, but the latest occupation information is hot off the presses or hot off the hard drive and into the internet! During the spring, two essential updates to occupation information were made available. These updates are from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) and the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS). Here is a summary of what has been updated.

  • The most recent wage and salary information from BLS has been integrated into CareerLocker. New information is now available for metropolitan statistical areas (larger cities), states, and the nation.
  • A feature, only available on CareerLocker, uses data from WTCS on their graduation placement rates. Over 66%, almost 17,000 of their graduating students, responded to this survey. This data highlights the number of WTCS graduates in the labor force. A more detailed report on the survey is available on the WTCS website.
  • To explore how the data has been refreshed, check out the improved website. For an example of the updated wage and outlook data, view plumbers via the side navigation under outlook and salary.

CareerLocker: Still a Slam Dunk to help you Select a College or University

Basketball HoopThe National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) annually oversees March Madness Division I men’s and women’s basketball championships. The students, who participate in these tournaments, reflect excellence both on the court and in the classroom. CareerLocker is a valuable resource to teach you about the 132 colleges and universities represented by these college student athletes.

Pick your Teams

Every year NCAA releases a list of brackets for the tournament. Again this year, UW-Madison professor of industrial and systems engineering, Laura Albert McLay, uses data analytic techniques to try to accurately predict NCAA winners. Dr. McLay has been on several news shows talking about “bracketology.” In addition, UW-Madison library is conducting a book bracket, where students select the winning book. Matilda, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings are among previous winners.

Selecting your Winning School

The extensive CareerLocker website lists over 6,000 colleges and universities. Use CareerLocker’s compare colleges and schools to create side-by-side comparisons of your contenders for schools to attend. The website lists general information, student body, costs, financial aid, admissions, sports, majors and degrees, and ROTC information. Wherever you decide to attend school, CareerLocker is a slam dunk, supporting you through your decision-making process!

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%.


Amy Rivera from WISCareersHello Everyone,

It’s Amy Rivera, your sales and training representative for WISCareers. Welcome to our new blog — written and designed to spread news, advice, announcements and more, about WISCareers, CareerLocker, and the Center on Education and Work.

You may have received the WISCareers and CareerLocker newsletters in the past. To keep up with modern technology and social networking, we’ve moved to this new format: blog posting. In addition to providing the latest WISCareers tidbits, news and pointers, I’ll also be including advice and general information on career development, education, and even self-management — all intended to help you make the most of today’s tools and trends so you can be most effective on the job.

That broad focus is reflected in the name and tagline of the blog: Careers Forward: Resources, information, and ideas for career development professionals.

Here are some things you can expect to see on our new blog:

  • WISCareers/CareerLocker updates and news
  • Did you Know’s about WISCareers/CareerLocker (for example, did you know that if you purchase the elementary site, you can choose which version between the middle school site and elementary site you want your students to see?)
  • Career development pointers, advice and tools
  • Updates on the Center on Education and Work and our professional development conferences and workshops
  • Information about our Career Development Facilitator Training
  • Surveys for you to give your opinions and feedback

We also hope to have guest writers and exciting announcements.

If you want to have our posts sent directly to your in-box, enter your email under “follow blog via email” in the right hand lower corner of this page.Or, you can choose to follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

I look forward to spreading my good career development karma with you. Thanks for reading!