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Careers 101

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Career Categories

 

Criminal Justice

 

The work of a crime scene investigator starts immediately after a crime. Their job includes photographing, collating and preserving pieces of evidences and documenting the crime scene. After investigating the crime scene, evidences are then turned over to a crime laboratory to be analyzed by a forensic expert with the hope of being able to determine the nature and cause of the crime. Duties of a CSI include;

 

  • Documenting crime scene data includes taking photos
  •  

  • Gathering of fingerprints, hand & footprints, footwear
    impressions, hair & fibers, biological fluid, and other physical evidences
  •  

  • Performing blood spatter pattern analysis, and discovering DNA
  •  

  • Complying to protocol and properly packaging and securing any and
    all evidence collected from the crime scene
  •  

  • Assisting the pathologist with collection of physical evidence from the
    body at autopsies
  •  

  • Taking thorough notes, to be used in constructing a comprehensive
    written report
  •  

  • Provide an accurate and complete testimony in court
  •  

CSI’s are usually individuals who trained in crime scene techniques most often to be detectives or promoted local police officers.

 

Generally, most police departments choose investigators with a policing background although some also hire civilians. Minimum requirement to be a CSI is at least a bachelor’s degree in one of these major courses namely, Criminal Justice, Criminology, Crime Scene Investigation & Forensics. It also goes to show that the more college education and experience in law enforcement you have, the more appealing you are to hiring police departments.

 

In 2008, median annual wages for crime scene investigators were $60,910, whereas the middle 50 percent earned between $45,930 and $81,490. The highest salaries reported were more than $97,870. The geographical location of the job, education, and level of training and experience all help determine salaries.

 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–2011 Editional.

Security Officer

Security Officer

 

Generally, most police departments choose investigators with a policing background although some also hire civilians. Minimum requirement to be a CSI is at least a bachelor’s degree in one of these major courses namely, Criminal Justice, Criminology, Crime Scene Investigation & Forensics. It also goes to show that the more college education and experience in law enforcement you have, the more appealing you are to hiring police departments.

 

In 2008, median annual wages for crime scene investigators were $60,910, whereas the middle 50 percent earned between $45,930 and $81,490. The highest salaries reported were more than $97,870. The geographical location of the job, education, and level of training and experience all help determine salaries.

 

Operations Manager

Operations Manager

 

Generally, most police departments choose investigators with a policing background although some also hire civilians. Minimum requirement to be a CSI is at least a bachelor’s degree in one of these major courses namely, Criminal Justice, Criminology, Crime Scene Investigation & Forensics. It also goes to show that the more college education and experience in law enforcement you have, the more appealing you are to hiring police departments.

 

In 2008, median annual wages for crime scene investigators were $60,910, whereas the middle 50 percent earned between $45,930 and $81,490. The highest salaries reported were more than $97,870. The geographical location of the job, education, and level of training and experience all help determine salaries.

 

Police or Patrol Officer

Police or Patrol Officer

 

Generally, most police departments choose investigators with a policing background although some also hire civilians. Minimum requirement to be a CSI is at least a bachelor’s degree in one of these major courses namely, Criminal Justice, Criminology, Crime Scene Investigation & Forensics. It also goes to show that the more college education and experience in law enforcement you have, the more appealing you are to hiring police departments.

 

In 2008, median annual wages for crime scene investigators were $60,910, whereas the middle 50 percent earned between $45,930 and $81,490. The highest salaries reported were more than $97,870. The geographical location of the job, education, and level of training and experience all help determine salaries.

 

 
 

Teaching

 

Teachers play a big role in our society being the first mentors of our young ones. They are responsible for fostering intellectual and social development as well as instilling values and morals to children during their formative years to help them become responsible adults.

 

Teachers guide and facilitate students to help them apply concepts to subjects and even in real life. Through the years, they have been continuously improving and creating new methods of assessment.

 

There are many ways to becoming a teacher. The basic qualification is a bachelor’s degree, completion of an approved teacher training program or practice teaching. Once you have a bachelor’s degree in the field or subject that you wish to teach, a bachelor’s program in education can provide you expertise in different subjects such as math, English and science. Expertise can also be achieved through a master in education program or PhD programs.

 

As for teaching in public schools, all teachers must have a license. For private school teachers, some require competency in testing basic skills on subject matter.

 

Teachers whose expertise is mathematics, Science or bilingual education have an edge in landing prospective jobs. Those who obtain licensure in more than one subject will also have an advantage in finding a job.

 

There are a couple of ways to boost teacher’s earnings. One can coach in sports, work with students in extra–curricular activities and counseling or mentoring during summer. Getting a master’s degree can also result to a raise in pay. Consequently, private school teachers often get subsidized housing.

 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–2011 Editional.

High School or Elementary Teacher

High School or Elementary Teacher

 

High school and Elementary school teachers spend more time with a given student on a school day than anyone else in that student’s life. They are in a unique position to improve children’s lives by providing a positive atmosphere for self–expression and self–worth, and fostering their students’ talents, strengths and positive characteristics.

 

According to the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, there were over 98,793 public elementary schools in the U.S. in 2007. Regardless of your teaching degree or skill level, if you have a passion to help children learn, there is elementary teacher training that will give you the qualifications to find the right elementary teaching job for you.

 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average elementary salary in 2009 was $53,150. That’s almost $10,000 more annually than the average full–time worker. And with some beginning teachers earning $33,830 and experienced ones sometimes earning more than $78,000, your income opportunities are great regardless of your teaching experience and where you live.

 

In addition, elementary teachers have been making more money every year. What follows are the average teaching salaries across the U.S. by year:

 

Average Elementary Salary in 2005: $46,990
Average Elementary Salary in 2006: $48,700
Average Elementary Salary in 2007: $50,040
Average Elementary Salary in 2008: $52,240
Average Elementary Salary in 2009: $53,150
Guidance Counselor

Guidance Counselor

 

School counselors help students make decisions that affect their personal and academic development. Sometimes they provide drug– and alcohol–abuse rehabilitation or conflict–resolution sessions.

 

Often called guidance counselors, they can be found in both public and private schools, working with classroom teachers, school psychologists, school nurses, parents, and community groups. They meet with students individually or in group sessions.

 

Counselors who work in junior and senior high schools help students choose courses that will affect their later careers. Those who plan to learn trades, for instance, may need technical classes. If students wish to attend college, counselors advise them on both their academic and extracurricular activities. They also provide students with scholarship information, training manuals, and college catalogs.

 

 Counselors in elementary schools work mainly with students who disrupt classrooms or have physical handicaps. They also counsel students who get into trouble in the community. In 2004 the median salary for school counselors was $45,570 per year, with experienced counselors earning more than $72,390 per year. The median salary for elementary and secondary school counselors was $51,160 per year. Benefits include paid holidays and vacations, sick leave, health insurance, and retirement plans.

 

Curriculum Coordinator

Curriculum Coordinator

 

High school and Elementary school teachers spend more time with a given student on a school day than anyone else in that student’s life. They are in a unique position to improve children’s lives by providing a positive atmosphere for self–expression and self–worth, and fostering their students’ talents, strengths and positive characteristics.

 

According to the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, there were over 98,793 public elementary schools in the U.S. in 2007. Regardless of your teaching degree or skill level, if you have a passion to help children learn, there is elementary teacher training that will give you the qualifications to find the right elementary teaching job for you.

 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average elementary salary in 2009 was $53,150. That’s almost $10,000 more annually than the average full–time worker. And with some beginning teachers earning $33,830 and experienced ones sometimes earning more than $78,000, your income opportunities are great regardless of your teaching experience and where you live.

 

In addition, elementary teachers have been making more money every year. What follows are the average teaching salaries across the U.S. by year:

 

Average Elementary Salary in 2005: $46,990
Average Elementary Salary in 2006: $48,700
Average Elementary Salary in 2007: $50,040
Average Elementary Salary in 2008: $52,240
Average Elementary Salary in 2009: $53,150
 
 

HealthCare

Every time a patient receives medical care, a medical biller submits claims to the insurance companies to receive payment for the treatment s that doctors provide their clients. They use medical codes for specific treatments to get the corresponding amount of reimbursement for a treatment.

 

Medical billers and coders work for various medical practitioners so they have to be knowledgeable in medical terms, anatomy, physiology, health data and health care. The minimum requirement to be a medical biller is to have an associate degree. The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), the Board of Medical Specialty Coding (BMSC), and the Professional Association of Health care Coding Specialists all offer coding credentials.

 

Medical billers who are computer proficient will most likely to have an advantage as medical practitioners transition into using electronic health records. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical records and health information technicians (including medical billers and coders) is expected to increase by 20 percent between 2008 and 2018. The median annual wage of medical records and health information technicians (which includes medical billers and coders), was $30,610 in 2008, where the middle 50 percent earned between $24,290 and $39,490.

 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–2011 Editional.

Medical Billing

Medical Biller & Coder

 

Every time a patient receives medical care, a medical biller submits claims to the insurance companies to receive payment for the treatment s that doctors provide their clients. They use medical codes for specific treatments to get the corresponding amount of reimbursement for a treatment.

 

Medical billers and coders work for various medical practitioners so they have to be knowledgeable in medical terms, anatomy, physiology, health data and health care. The minimum requirement to be a medical biller is to have an associate degree. The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), the Board of Medical Specialty Coding (BMSC), and the Professional Association of Health care Coding Specialists all offer coding credentials.

 

Medical billers who are computer proficient will most likely to have an advantage as medical practitioners transition into using electronic health records. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical records and health information technicians (including medical billers and coders) is expected to increase by 20 percent between 2008 and 2018. The median annual wage of medical records and health information technicians (which includes medical billers and coders), was $30,610 in 2008, where the middle 50 percent earned between $24,290 and $39,490.

 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–2011 Editional.

Nursing

Nursing

 

Nursing is the largest health care occupation, with 2.4 million Registered Nurses (RNs) in the nation’s workforce. RNs provide a variety of essential care services that include treating patients, educating patients and the public about various medical conditions, and providing advice and emotional support to patients’ family members. RNs record patients’ medical histories and symptoms help to perform diagnostic tests and analyze results, operate medical machinery, administer treatment and medications, and help with patient follow–up and rehabilitation. RNs teach patients and their families how to manage illness or injury, including post–treatment home care needs, diet and exercise programs, and self–administration of medication and physical therapy. Some RNs also are educated to provide grief counseling to family members of critically ill patients. RNs work to promote general health by educating the public on various warning signs and symptoms of disease and where to go for help. RNs also might run health screening or immunization clinics, blood drives, and public seminars on various conditions.

 

RNs can specialize in one or more patient care specialties. The most common specialties can be divided into roughly four categories; by work setting or type of treatment; disease, ailment, or condition; organ or body system type; or population. RNs may combine specialties from more than one area; for example, pediatric oncology or cardiac emergency; depending on personal interest and employer needs.

 

RNs also may work as health care consultants, public policy advisors, pharmaceutical and medical supply researchers and salespersons, and medical writers and editors.

Medical Assistants

Medical Assistants

 

Medical assistants perform routine administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices and clinics of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and optometrists running smoothly. They should not be confused with physician assistants who examine, diagnose, and treat patients under the direct supervision of a physician.

 

The duties of medical assistants vary from office to office, depending on office location, size, and specialty. In small practices, medical assistants are usually – generalists,s, handling both administrative and clinical duties and reporting directly to an office manager, physician, or other health practitioner. Those in large practices tend to specialize in a particular area under the supervision of department administrators.

 

Medical assistants perform many administrative duties. They answer telephones, greet patients, update and file patient medical records, fill out insurance forms, handle correspondence, schedule appointments, arrange for hospital admission and laboratory services, and handle billing and bookkeeping. Clinical duties vary according to state law and include taking medical histories and recording vital signs, explaining treatment procedures to patients, preparing patients for examination, and assisting the physician during the examination. Medical assistants collect and prepare laboratory specimens or perform basic laboratory tests on the premises, dispose of contaminated supplies, and sterilize medical instruments. They instruct patients about medication and special diets, prepare and administer medications as directed by a physician, authorize drug refills as directed, telephone prescriptions to a pharmacy, draw blood, prepare patients for X–rays, take electrocardiograms, remove sutures, and change dressings.

 

Earnings
The earnings of medical assistants vary, depending on experience, skill level, and location. The median annual income for medical assistants was $28,650 in May 2009. The middle 50 percent earned between $24,060 and $33,760 a year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,750, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $39,970 a year. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest number of medical assistants in May 2009 were as follows:

 

General medical and surgical hospitals .......................... $30,830
Outpatient care centers ......................................... $29,830
Offices of physicians ........................................... $29,810
Offices of other healthpractitioners ............................ $26,490
Employment services.............................................. $30,850

 

Excerpted and adapted from Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2009. US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 
 

Computers & Technology

 

Computers are widely used today with an estimate of 1 billion users. This means there is a huge demand for support and maintenance. According to census, IT workers who have associates degree in computers are paid an average of $3,760.00 a month but those with a vocational certificate in engineering can earn even higher.

 

Various knowledge in IT which includes digital graphics, networks and databases, programming and operating systems can be used in different businesses, healthcare, security and project management. CompTIA, Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, and Linux all offer computer and technology certifications.

 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–2011 Editional.

Computer Networking & Security (Information Technology)

Computer Networking & Security (Information Technology)

 

To keep up with the sophisticated world surrounded by computers, there is a great need to learn how to secure computer networks and to keep your computer systems up. Upgrading, maintaining and repairing of local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), internet and intranet networks are among the things that you will learn in a computer networking degree program. It will also include troubleshooting and diagnosing of network problems.

 

Aside from getting networking degrees through diploma, certificate or associate programs, vendors like CISCO also offers certificate programs. They offer you knowledge in how to configure, install, maintain and operate microcomputers.

 

There are many different job opportunities for graduates of a Computer Networking degree program. These include:

 

  • Network support technician
  • Database Administrator
  • Network Administrator
  • Network Security Technician
  •  

Common employers of Computer Networking degree holders include:

 

  • Computer systems design firms
  • Colleges and universities
  • Telecommunications companies
  • The Postal Service
  • The Postal Service
  •  

Overall employment of computer network, systems, and database administrators is expected to increase by 30 percent from 2008 to 2018, and will add 286,600 new jobs to the field.

 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–2011 Editional.

Video Game Development

Video Game Development

 

A video game programmer is essentially a software programmer who writes codes for video games. They are responsible for making the game work properly. Video game designers may design a road and a bunch of cars to race on it, but it is the programmer’s job to decide how fast the cars would run, how far those would bounce over an obstacle, and so on. It is also the programmers’ job to make sure that the games run smoothly, without crashing. Video game programmers may have to develop games for PCs, as well as consoles like PlayStation, Gameboy and Xbox. So, they need to have good knowledge about the internal mechanisms of these platforms.

 

Skills Needed
Enthusiasm and Knowledge :The thousands of hours you’ve spent playing video games are about to pay off. Just by playing video games, you’ve probably already absorbed more than you think about good game design. You’ve experienced first–hand which things frustrate users and which excite them. You know how players think, because you are one. Experience and enthusiasm are definite assets for a game designer. You’ll need both as you embark on a video game design career; which can require long hours and a commitment to staying on top of new developments in the game industry.

 

Computer Skills:Technology is an integral part of the computer game design industry. Whether you’re writing code or creating graphics, you’ll definitely need technical knowledge and an aptitude for learning new software.

 

Artistic Ability:Graphics and animation are a crucial component of computer game design. They can make or break a user experience. Video game characters and virtual environments are more complex than ever, which means that artistic people are in demand in the video game industry.

 

Teamwork:In a computer game design job, the odds that you’ll work in isolation are extremely slim. There are a lot of moving parts in a game design project. You’ll be cooperating with many people to meet goals and deadlines, and you’ll need to communicate your ideas clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing.

Web Development

Web Development

 

A 2 year associate’s degree in web development will provide students with general education and technical skills as well as writing computer programs and applications that enable site visitors to make online purchases, play multi–user games, connect with friends and research for information. Students will take courses in Visual Basic, HTML multimedia technologies and JAVA.

 

A 4–yr bachelor’s degree will teach students to use graphics navigation and multimedia to develop web solutions for e–commerce and networking.

 

Job opportunities for web developers are increasing in a rapid pace. Staying current and updated with the latest tools and technology development will help you succeed.

 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–2011 Edition.

 
 

Business & Management

 

In pursuing marketing and sales whether associate, bachelor and master’s degree, you can expect to learn to identify potential customers, distribute and develop products, set prices to maximize profits and use promotion techniques to increase sales.

 

2 years of studying associate degree program will prepare graduates to fill entry level marketing positions such as retail sales associate and customer service representative while 4 years of studying a bachelor’s degree program may open windows in marketing retail merchandising, marketing research and promotions. An MBA in marketing will land you a job in the field of marketing, advertising and public relations.

 

Employment in marketing and sales is expected to increase through 2018, but competition for job positions will be fierce.

 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–2011 Edition.

Accounting & Finance

Accounting & Finance

 

Alongside with the business people, degree holders of Accounting & finance can contribute greatly in any organization to succeed in the business field. Accounting & finance degree programs are offered at the certificate, associate, bachelor and master’s degree levels.

 

2 years of studying associate degree programs will prepare graduates to fill entry level accounting positions such as a bookkeeper and accounting assistant. On the other hand, graduates of 4–yr bachelor’s degree programs may find work as public accountants, management accountants, government accountants and internal auditors.

 

Bachelor’s degree in Finance will prepare graduates for a career in a commercial bank, brokerage firm or other financial services. A master’s degree in accounting or finance is often done while a student is working towards earning their Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credentials. Certificate programs are also available for those who want to learn basic accounting principles or brush up on their skills.

 

Banks, insurance companies and investment firms provide an array of job opportunities in accounting and financial services. Though completion in this field is high, there is big enough room for work depending on your expertise. CPA’s may have an edge but support workers may also advance in companies which value experience and technical skills more than certifications and degrees.

 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–2011 Edition.

Business Administration & Operations

Business Administration & Operations

 

Business planning, global resourcing, procurement, distribution, production and supply chain management are among the things that you will learn in an operations management degree program and at the same time, you will gain knowledge of management theory, best practices, organization behavior, research and evaluation, critical thinking and problem solving skills when combine with a general business program. Those who hope to get promoted to an upper management position may opt to obtain an MBA.

 

Large organizations have high demand for business people, from support workers up to management positions

 

There are always opportunities for MBA graduates in our 21st–century knowledge economy. Opportunities in new MBA specializations such as green energy, green business, sustainability, and socially responsible financial management are on the rise.

 

Source: The Graduate Management Admissions Council, www.gmac.com

Marketing & Sales

Marketing & Sales

 

In pursuing marketing and sales whether associate, bachelor and master’s degree, you can expect to learn to identify potential customers, distribute and develop products, set prices to maximize profits and use promotion techniques to increase sales.

 

2 years of studying associate degree program will prepare graduates to fill entry level marketing positions such as retail sales associate and customer service representative while 4 years of studying a bachelor’s degree program may open windows in marketing retail merchandising, marketing research and promotions. An MBA in marketing will land you a job in the field of marketing, advertising and public relations.

 

Employment in marketing and sales is expected to increase through 2018, but competition for job positions will be fierce.

 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010–2011 Edition.

 
 

Art Programs

 

Art degrees feature a combination of creative, technology, and business sense to prepare you for an artistic career. Generally, it covers visual arts, such as fine arts, decorative arts, crafts, design, film, and photography; and performing arts, such as music, dance, and theater. Receiving a degree in Art will give knowledge and skills that is needed to keep up with the advancement in technology.

Graphic Designer

Graphic Designer

 

Graphic designers; or graphic artists; plan, analyze, and create visual solutions to communications problems. They find the most effective way to get messages across in print and electronic media using color, type, illustration, photography, animation, and various print and layout techniques. Graphic designers develop the overall layout and production design of magazines, newspapers, journals, corporate reports, and other publications. They also produce promotional displays, packaging, and marketing brochures for products and services, design distinctive logos for products and businesses, and develop signs and signage systems; called environmental graphics; for business and government. An increasing number of graphic designers also develop material for Internet Web pages, interactive media, and multimedia projects. Graphic designers also may produce the credits that appear before and after television programs and movies.

 

Median annual wages for graphic designers were $42,400 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $32,600 and $56,620. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,110, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $74,660. May 2008 median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of graphic designers were:

 

Computer systems design and related services $47,860
Specialized design services $45,870
Advertising, public relations and related services $43,540
Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers $36,910
Printing and related support activities $36,100
Production Artist

Production Artist

 

Graphic design can be broken down into design creation and production. While graphic designers work directly with clients and use their creative skills to create a desired product, production artists use their technical and computer skills to ensure that the result meets the client’s expectations.

 

Job details
Production artists – sometimes referred to as graphic production artists – use specialized computer software to upload and ensure the accuracy of design files in the latter stages of development. Production artists are typically the last people to touch the file before publication. Artists may work for the motion picture, advertising or computer systems design industries.

 

Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of graphic designers was estimated to increase by 13% (www.bls.gov). Mean annual wages for graphic designers were $47,820 in May 2009 per the BLS. The BLS also reported that the highest earning employees worked in the federal executive branch and received a mean salary of $74,030. A December 2010 report from Salary.com, reported that production artists earned a median salary of $57,882.

Photographer

Photographer

 

Photographers use the tools of their trade combined with strong artistic vision to present their unique perspective of the world; whether they’re taking portraits of people, documenting a special event, or taking product photographs that capture an unexpected angle.

 

Ideal skillsets in a Photography Job

Vision:To succeed in a photography job, you need vision; artistic vision. Clients will hire you for your personal perspective, your unique style and your ability to use those things to communicate their message. Your creativity and style can set you apart from the competition in this field.

 

Communication :Client relationships are very important in a photography career, especially for those who run their own business or freelance, so good communication skills are essential. You’ll need to work with clients to make sure you understand what they want and need. You’ll also need to be able to express your own ideas clearly and effectively, especially if your project requires you to direct others in order to get the perfect shot.

 

Technical Skills:Photography jobs have always required a certain level of technical skill in order to operate photography equipment to the best effect. As digital photography technology plays an increasingly important role (from picture–taking to the editing process), technical skill becomes even more crucial.

 

Business Skills:Whether you freelance or have your own photography business, you’ll need to be able to run the administrative end of the business. You’ll need to handle things like pricing, accounts payable and receivable, and marketing.

    

 
     
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