Build Your Career in Construction Management

With the recent resurgence of the housing industry, the outlook for a building boom is rosier. Qualified, experienced builders and construction tradespeople will be in great demand. While apprenticing or becoming a journeyman is a time-honored way to develop construction skills, one route to success in today’s building industry is obtaining a degree in construction management. Whether you want to build on your real-world construction experience in the field or prepare for a new career, gaining the education and skills necessary to tackle commercial and residential construction is a smart move.

Overseeing construction at the work site is part of the construction manager’s job, but working in an office environment is also a component of the job’s function. Good supervisory and leadership skills are necessary as the construction manager interacts or manages personnel from many different specialty areas and must coordinate supply deliveries and project estimates with project contributors.

Some construction management candidates can find employment with a high-school diploma and work experience or an associate degree, but earning a bachelor’s degree in construction management is an option. You can do this through a bachelor’s in business with a concentration in construction or a bachelor of science in construction management through a technical school program or university.

Core classes will explore communication, behavioral science and management techniques. Included will be coursework in understanding contracts and building codes, project management, construction law and quality control. Industry specific courses might be civil engineering, cost estimating and analysis, computer-aided design (CAD), construction safety and OSHA standards.

Online construction management degree programs provide essentially the same curriculum as campus-based college or university programs. Students earning their degrees may opt to continue into a program in architecture or other building industry specialties. Some online degrees in construction management can be completed in less than two years.

Increased Responsibility with Higher Education Level

Those that wish to expand their construction industry experience and skills may opt to continue towards a master’s degree in construction management. This often makes sense for building industry company owners that want to handle the big challenges that come with tighter completion deadlines, changing building regulatory requirements and the evolution of the construction industry.

With an associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree in construction management, the building industry highly values (and sometimes requires) that you become certified. Two certification bodies, the Construction Management Association of America and the American Institute of Constructors award certificates for passing certain technical exams (and the former for also undertaking a self-study course).

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sees the job outlook for construction managers to grow 17% from 2010 to 2020 with median annual wages of $83,860 (in 2010). Related occupations such as architect will see a high job growth potential of 24% from 2010 to 2020 with median salary of $72,550 reported in 2010. Civil engineers projected job growth is 19% from 2010 to 2020 with a median annual salary in 2010 of $77,560.

Keep Them On Time with Aviation Maintenance Training

If the idea of working in the aviation industry in a profession that’s critical to the airlines running safely and on time sounds good, consider becoming an aviation maintenance technician. Staff that work in aircraft maintenance positions are responsible for making sure all types of aircraft are in perfect working condition. Aviation maintenance technicians complete routine inspections, make sure scheduled maintenance is completed and take care of any necessary repairs on aircraft engines, flight instruments, landing gear, brakes, valves, pumps and any working part that needs to be maintained. A very crucial component of aircraft safety and functioning, the aviation maintenance technician is an integral part of an airline.

Keeping meticulous and accurate records is a big part of the job. Other aircraft workers need to be able to easily access information about preventative maintenance or recent repairs. Good communication, diagnostic and trouble-shooting skills are also needed to do the aviation maintenance job well. If a pilot experiences a problem, often the technician must determine what is malfunctioning. A precise set of skills is required for working on each kind of aircraft – jet or propeller plane planes of all sizes and helicopters. Aviation maintenance technicians might choose to focus on a specific type of aircraft or only work on one type. Technicians also may specialize in one area of the aircraft system such as the electrical or hydraulic system.

The majority of aviation maintenance technicians get their training through a Federal Aviation Association (FFA)-approved maintenance technician school. Coursework usually is an 18-24 month program. Some of these programs are offered in a two-year or four-year aviation technology, avionics or aviation maintenance management format and curriculum. Classes might include math, chemical engineering, computer science, mechanical drawing and physics. Aviation focused coursework might include turbine engines, fuel metering systems, aviation science, engine electrical systems and airframe systems.

The FFA requires a certain amount of on-the-job time before candidates can earn certification. 18 months for an airframe, powerplant or avionic repair certificate and 30 month is the prerequisite for the Airframe and Powerplant certification (A&P Certificate). Graduates work in many different aviation settings – major airlines, commuter airlines, private jet companies, air freight operators, corporate flight departments, air taxi operators and others.

The job outlook for aviation maintenance technicians and mechanics is slower than average at 6% from 2010 to 2020 with median annual pay in 2010 of $53,420 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those holding the A&P certification and having a bachelor’s degree are more likely to be in demand as are those that keep up with industry advances.

With air travel increases and new technologies are available in the aviation industry, demand for aviation maintenance technicians and mechanics is expected to increase. Also, as older mechanics hit retirement age, entry-level positions should open up in the next decade, providing new employment opportunities.


Calling All Animal Lovers to the Veterinary Assistant Training Program

Caring for animals is rewarding for any animal lover, but veterinary assistants enjoy the added fortune of being paid for their passion.

Veterinary assistants work in private veterinary clinics, animal hospitals, research facilities and animal shelters to help care for domestic animals of all shapes and sizes. They are responsible for feeding and bathing animals, administering medication and providing surgical nursing care. A post-secondary education is not required to become a veterinary assistant, but many employers prefer job applicants who have completed training.

The Benefits of Veterinary Assistant Training

A veterinary assistant training program provides education and skills that are helpful in obtaining an entry-level position in the animal care industry. With veterinary assistant training, you will learn animal emergency medicine and lab procedures as well as nursing skills, which may include how to properly clean and disinfect work areas, sterilize lab equipment, provide post-operative animal care, and prepare samples for laboratory examination. Depending on where they are employed, veterinary assistants may work with veterinarians, scientists, or veterinary technologists and technicians.

On-campus and online training options are widely available and balance theory and practical instruction, including clinical and administrative training. A well-trained veterinary assistant performs the important tasks of caring for animals, assisting in veterinary procedures, answering pet owner questions and managing records and front desk operations. Optional certification can be obtained through state veterinary societies and generally consists of relevant education coursework, hands-on training, and a final written examination.

Candidates for veterinary assistant training programs should display compassion for both animals and their owners. Attention to detail is critical, as veterinary assistants follow precise instructions when sterilizing surgical equipment and giving medication. Physical strength and dexterity enable veterinary assistants to handle, move and restrain animals as needed.

Jobs in the Pet Industry are Strong and Growing

The veterinary services industry is expected to grow very quickly in the coming years and job opportunities for veterinary assistants are excellent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The fast growth – as much as 14 percent through 2020 – is the result of an increase in the pet population and advancements in veterinary medicine. Job turnover is high, so veterinary assistant positions open frequently. The median salary is $22,040 per year, or about $10.60 per hour.

National support for public food, health and animal safety, along with disease control programs and biomedical research, will likely contribute to the demand for veterinary assistants and other animal caretakers. Some veterinary practices, however, may increasingly replace veterinary assistants with higher skilled veterinary technicians and technologists. Training and experience in the veterinary assistant field is a great start for someone looking to enter veterinary technology programs.

CAD Training Builds an Exciting Career

Want to build bridges? Create buildings? Find solutions to complex mechanical problems? These are all things that those who learn how to use CAD can do.

Those who work in CAD jobs are problem solvers who use models to find solutions. Theirs is a job of helping, creating and imaging ways to create things better. It’s important for those interested in careers in CAD to have solid critical thinking skills so that they can locate potential issues with designs. This sort of detail-oriented work requires great technical accuracy.

It’s also important to have good people skills, as CAD jobs often involve working closely with others involved in design projects. They also need to be good time managers so that they ensure they are meeting necessary deadlines.

So, What is CAD?

CAD is short for computer-aided design or computer-aided drafting. It’s basically a specialized computer modeling software used in a variety of fields to create plans for building, creating and designing in fields like engineering, architecture and mechanical drafting.

Those trained in CAD work together with colleagues, adapting the plans of engineers or architects into technical plans that can be implemented in real-life situations.

A Career with CAD

CAD careers are full-time occupations that involve a lot of computer time. It’s important work that provides a much-needed element to many projects across infrastructure, building and more.

An education in CAD can begin in high school with technical drawing and CAD classes. Some schools offer CAD courses via STEM (Science, Technology, English, Math) curriculum that prepare students for challenging careers after graduation. However, in most cases students need to pursue a post-graduate degree. Technical schools and community colleges offer associate’s degree programs that prepare students for drafting careers.

For many careers in drafting, an associate’s degree from a technical institute or community college is sufficient to prepare students for work. However, more advanced careers in engineering and architecture students will likely need to get a bachelor’s degree or higher.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, drafters earned a median salary of $47,880 per year in 2010. The field is expected to grow by about six percent between 2010 and 2020 from 205,100 jobs. That’s a slower than average rate of growth.

Those who are trained in CAD may also pursue a career as an industrial designer, developing concepts for mechanical products from cars to appliances. A career in industrial design does require a bachelor’s degree to get started. However, the wages are higher and the potential for growth is greater too. About 29 percent of those in industrial design are employed by manufacturers, and some industrial design jobs

Give Your Career a Liftoff with Avionics

An avionics specialist is one of the most critical aviation staff positions responsible for getting your plane in the air and keeping it functioning. Avionics is a term for the combination of “aviation” and “electronics” and is the field that covers assembly, installation, maintenance and repair of the electronic systems of all planes and other airborne equipment. Not just limited to aircraft, avionics is a crucial component of satellites and other kinds of spacecraft.

To study the field of avionics involves learning the electronics of the communication, navigation and instrumentation systems of aircraft and related devices. Avionics degree programs usually start at the associate’s degree level and prepare students for a career as an avionics technician responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing the aircraft’s electrical components.

Training programs for avionics technicians are mostly available through community colleges and trade schools. Some programs require students to pass an assessment test or achieve a certain score on a placement test prior to enrollment. An associate degree program in avionics will include studying electrical theory in relation to navigation, radar, flight control and instrumentation on the aircraft. Specific coursework might be in the areas of electronic devices, learning technical diagrams, AC/DC circuitry, electronic communication, navigation systems, radar systems, instrument systems and learning Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

With today’s aircraft and satellite technology, there is more emphasis for avionics specialists, technicians and mechanics to study and maintain the technological functions of these complex machines. So there is now more focus on computer science and information technology in these training programs. Diagnostics is a big area in the avionics field and avionics equipment technicians and mechanics need to be able to accurately trouble-shoot problems in the avionics systems.

Graduates usually continue on to work towards getting their certification in order to be eligible for employment. The FAA requires that all maintenance on aircrafts be done by certified mechanics or under the supervision of a certified mechanic. But certification requirements for avionics technicians and specialists vary. Those with military training and/or avionics work experience do not need FAA certification. But often avionics technicians working on communications equipment need a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) restricted radio-telephone operator license. Be sure you research the specific type of certification needed for the area of avionics that interests you.

The job outlook for avionics technicians and specialists is good. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs for avionics technicians to grow at 7% from 2010 to 2020, but the total for all related occupations, including aircraft mechanics and service technicians, shows growth potential of 14% from 2010 to 2020. Avionics technicians’ median annual pay was $52,320 in 2010.

As aircraft and satellite technology continues to evolve, careers for talented avionics specialists will also grow. Especially as more and more concern and scrutiny is focused on safety issues in flight, industry employers will invest in the right skilled workers to keep their aircraft and passengers safe.