Career Profile – Court Reporter

court reporting

Court reporters create transcripts of speeches, conversations, legal proceedings, meetings, and other events. They are responsible for ensuring a complete, accurate, written legal record.

In addition to preparing and protecting the legal record, many court reporters assist judges and trial attorneys in a variety of ways, such as organizing and searching for information in the official record or making suggestions to judges and attorneys regarding courtroom procedure.

Court reporters also provide closed-captioning and real-time translating services to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Common responsibilities include:

  • Preparing a written transcript of all spoken legal proceedings
  • Organizing and searching for information pertinent to the case
  • Making suggestions on procedure and administrative procedures
  • Provide close-captioning to the deaf and hard of hearing

Requirements to be a court reporter vary from state to state. A certification exam is usually required and good listening and typing skills are a must. One and two year courses are available at most universities.

Prospects for employment as a court reporter are excellent as the number of jobs currently outnumbers the number of job seekers. The average annual salary for a court reporter is $45,000 a year.

Related Pages:
College and School Programs – Legal Studies and Reporting

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

Career Profile – Travel Agent

travel agentBeing a Travel Agent can be interesting, exciting and fulfilling.

The job is to make arrangements for people who wish to travel. This can include booking hotels and airfares and having a working knowledge of the destination that your client is going to.

The minimum educational requirement for a travel agent is a high school diploma or equivalent, but most companies now look for college degrees and travel experience.

It has become more important now for agents to have intimate first hand knowledge of destinations because the travelers themselves are so much more well-informed.

Responsibilities include:

  • Understanding and operating a reservation system
  • Communicating with clients
  • Knowing details and information about prospective destinations
  • Customer service skills

Job prospects in the travel industry tend to fluctuate with changing economies and stability of countries and cultures around the world. This is an industry where the more you know about certain destinations the more valuable you will be as an employee.

Related Pages:
College and School Programs – Culinary, Hospitality, or Personal Services

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

Career Profile – Pharmacy Technician

pharmacy technicianPharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists provide medication and other health care products to patients.

Technicians usually help the pharmacist prepare prescribed medication by counting tablets and labeling bottles.

They also perform administrative duties, answer phones, stock shelves, and operate the cash register.

Technicians are not allowed to answer any questions regarding prescriptions, drug information, or health matters so they refer those to a pharmacist.

Common responsibilities include:

  • Counting tablets and labeling bottles
  • Answer phone inquiries
  • Stock shelves and/or operate the cash register
  • Follow the instructions of the pharmacist

The expansion of pharmacy chains and development of new pharmaceutical products make the job outlook for pharmacy technicians very good for the next decade. A formal education is not required but is recommended if you plan on staying in the field.

Most states regulate the number of pharmacy technicians that a pharmacist can carry so those with higher education levels and more experience will be better prospects for the job. Pharmacy technicians earn between $8 and $17.50 per hour.

Related Pages:
College and School Programs – Healthcare and Medical

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

Career Profile – Security Guard or Surveillance Officer

security guardSecurity guards patrol and inspect property to protect against fire, theft, vandalism, and illegal activity.

They use radio and telephone communications to call for assistance from police, fire, or emergency medical services as the situation dictates.

Security guards write comprehensive reports outlining their observations and activities during their assigned shift. Gaming surveillance officers act as security agents for casino managers and patrons.

Common responsibilities include:

  • Inspection of property to detect theft or vandalism
  • Patrolling an area to prevent criminal activity
  • Calling police, fire or emergency medical assistance if necessary
  • Writing detailed reports and witness statements in necessary
  • Testifying in court if necessary

Unarmed security guards usually are not required to have more than a high school diploma but may be required to pass a criminal record check and a drug test.

Gaming surveillance officers usually have a higher education level but a Bachelor’s degree is not required. Job prospects are good because the field is so large and positions range in pay from $18,000 a year to $46,000 a year.

Related Pages:
College and School Programs – Security and Law Enforcement

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

Career Profile – Graphic Designer

graphic designerGraphic designers plan and create images on paper or electronically to be used for publication in print or on the internet.

Some graphic designers also create moving images, or animation, for use on the internet or in movies. Graphic designers develop the overall layout and production design of magazines, newspapers, journals, corporate reports, and other publications.

They then submit these designs electronically to a printer who turns it into a finished publication. Common responsibilities include:

  • Conceiving an idea for a layout or animation presentation
  • Selecting the proper software and tools for design
  • Designing the layout and preparing it for production
  • Producing a final draft or sample for presentation
  • Backing up files and creating repository for future use or reference

A Bachelors degree or two or three year Associates degree is required for any entry level graphic design job. There are those who freelance without the education but rarely do well.

Job outlooks for graphic designers are good for those with the proper training and education. Positions in print are declining but opportunities to work in films and on the internet are increasing. Graphic designers make annual salaries of between $24,000 and $70,000 a year.

Related Pages:
College and School Programs – Design, Communication, and Arts

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

Career Profile – Pipelayer, Plumber, Pipefitter, and Steamfitter

plumbingThese professions, although different, are similar in many ways. They all involve working with pipes and water or steam systems of some kind.

A plumber would generally be the one you as an individual would have contact with for your needs at home, but the laying and fitting of water and steam pipes produce very common and very lucrative jobs also.

Plumbers are generally required to be licensed. Training to become licensed can be found at career or technical schools and community colleges but most receive it in apprenticeship programs with on the job training.

To be a plumber you must:

  • Have solid knowledge of proper tools and applications on the job
  • Be able to diagnose a problem at its source
  • Be able to work in confined spaces and underground if necessary
  • Have 144 hours of work on the job to be licensed

Growth in the plumbing industry usually matches the national average of 10%. These jobs are the most lucrative and sought after in the construction field and licensed individuals, particularly anyone with welding experience, should have no problem finding work.

Related Pages:
College and School Programs – Mechanics, Precision, and Construction

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

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Career Profile – Paralegal and Legal Assistant

legal studiesA paralegal’s most important task is helping lawyers prepare for closings, hearings, trials, and corporate meetings. Paralegals might investigate the facts of cases and ensure that all relevant information is considered.

They identify appropriate laws, judicial decisions, legal articles, and other materials that are relevant to assigned cases.

If attorneys decide to file lawsuits on behalf of clients, paralegals may help prepare the legal arguments, draft pleadings and motions to be filed with the court, obtain affidavits, and assist attorneys during trials.

Common responsibilities include:

  • Help the attorney prepare for closings, hearings, trials and corporate meetings
  • Investigate facts of a case
  • Identify appropriate laws that apply to a case
  • Prepare legal arguments and research precedents

The educational qualifications required to be a paralegal are an Associates degree or paralegal certificate from an accredited university and on the job training in the field.

Job outlooks for the next decade are good due to the rapidly growing population and their need for legal services. Competition will be intense though, so education and formal training will be determining factors in the selection process for employment.

Related Pages:
College and School Programs – Legal Studies and Reporting

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

Career Profile – Medical Assistant

medical assistantThe duties of medical assistants vary depending on the location and size of the practice and the practitioner’s specialty.

In small practices, medical assistants usually handle both administrative and clinical duties and report directly to an office manager or physician.

Those in large practices tend to specialize in a particular area under the supervision of department administrators.

Common responsibilities include:

  • Administrative duties such as answering phones and filing
  • Assisting the physician with sterilization and organization
  • Scheduling and confirming patient appointments
  • Filling out insurance forms
  • Arranging for hospital admissions and laboratory services

Formal training in medical assisting, while generally preferred, is not always required. Job prospects in the field, as with most medical jobs, are expected to increase in the next decade. Medical assistants earn between $18,000 and $36,000 per year based on education and experience.

Related Pages:
College and School Programs – Healthcare and Medical

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

Career Profile – Automotive Service Technician and Mechanic

auto mechanicsAutomotive service technicians inspect, maintain, and repair automobiles and light trucks. Automotive mechanics’ responsibilities have evolved from simple mechanical repairs to high-tech work.

The increased sophistication of automobiles requires workers who can use computerized shop equipment and work with electronic components in addition to utilizing their skills with traditional hand tools.

As a result, automotive service workers are now usually called technicians rather than mechanics. Common responsibilities include:

  • Inspection of vehicles to determine needs and problems that need addressing
  • Repair of any faulty parts and changing of fluids
  • Maintenance and recommendations for vehicle owners
  • Regular check-ups and training in new technology as it develops

Formal training and knowledge of advanced technology is now required to be employed as an automotive service technician. The projected outlook for job growth in the industry is higher than average and expected to increase in the next decade.

Currently, the average starting salary for an automotive technician ranges from $11.00 an hour to $19.00 an hour based on education and type of services required. This rate climbs to $27.00 per hour for specialists and those with prior experience.

Related Pages:
College and School Programs – Mechanics, Precision, and Construction

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor