Category Archives: Career Descriptions

Stay motivated and continue with your education

Adult Education Courses

There is no doubt that continuing education and returning to school can benefits any employee in many ways. Continuing with your education can help any employee to become more proficient in their current job role, as well prepare them for better opportunities and increase your chances of promotions. Not only does continuing education benefits employees, acquiring more skills also benefits employers in may ways.

Over the upcoming holiday season, take the time to think about your current work and job status, and what would drive your career to the next level. According to Pew Research Center, there are huge financial benefits and payoffs with continuing education. Research has shown that college graduates who work full-time earn far more annual when compared with those who only hold a high school diploma. Additionally, continuing education is good for your health and wellness and can help you grow intellectually based on 74% of graduate students interviewed by Pew Research Center

Make you career about doing what you love – For some people work is just a job and helps to pay the monthly bills, but you have to enjoy what you do. Before you rush to sign up for a course, it is important to take the time to do some soul-searching and think about your passions and what excites you. If you are creative, then you might be the perfect fit for marketing. Or if you enjoy a particular sport, consider sport management. A good start is to scan what degrees are out there and try match them to your inner passion.

Technology can provide you freedom to study – Today, there are many online education intuitions that offer online degrees and courses that can help you stay on top of your studies by putting the classroom, school library, teacher communications, grades—almost everything—at your fingertips, anywhere. For those of you that have a busy schedule and family life, this might be the perfect way to continue with your education.

Online degrees still have a social scene – Online degrees and study groups provide a number of benefits ranging from sharing notes, working in groups on projects, and getting the support from fellow students. Just like being in a campus environment. Both in-person and online study groups have the same rules: set up goals, guidelines, and schedules, and you’ll get maximum rewards. One difference with online groups is that you can connect socially with people from around the country or even globally.

Improved networking opportunities – An important lesson for any student is the importance of networking. Don’t wait until you have completed your studies and degree to think about career opportunities. While you are studying you should take advantage of your school community and teachers, especially if it is an online degree. It is most likely that you will find different experiences and perspectives, not to mention the number of contacts you will make which come in handy when you have to start sending out this resumes. Another important thing to do is to take the time and make the effort to attend some local networking events.


Pest Control Workers

Significant Points

* A high school diploma generally is the minimum educational requirement.
* Pest control workers are required to be licensed through training and examination.
* Job prospects are expected to be very good.

Nature of the Work

Unwanted creatures that infest buildings or surrounding areas can pose serious risks to health and safety. Pest control workers remove these creatures from households, apartment buildings, places of businesses, and other structures, to protect people and maintain structural integrity.

Common pests include roaches, rats, mice, spiders, termites, ants, and bedbugs. Using information about pests’ biology and habits, along with an arsenal of pest management techniques, pest control workers locate, identify, and remove pests. They set traps, apply pesticides, and even modify structures at the discretion of the customer.

Many pest problems require pesticide application. Pest control workers use two different types of pesticides—general use and restricted use. General use pesticides are the most widely used and are available in diluted concentrations to the public. Restricted use pesticides are used for the most severe infestations and are available only to licensed professionals. Because of their potential harm to pest control workers, customers, and the environment, restricted-use pesticides are heavily regulated by  law.

For some jobs, pest control workers use a combination of pest management techniques, a practice known as integrated pest management. One method involves using proper sanitation and creating physical barriers. Pests cannot survive without food and will not infest a building if they cannot enter it. Another method involves using baits that either destroy the pests or prevent them from reproducing. Yet another method involves using mechanical devices, such as traps, that remove pests from the immediate environment.

Some workers use pest-management technology to make home inspections more efficient. This technology, which uses microchips to identify areas of pest activity, is used most frequently for termites. The chips, which are placed in baiting stations, emit signals that can tell pest control workers if is termites are present. Workers pick up the signals using a device similar to a metal detector, allowing them to quickly evaluate an entire building.

Pest control workers generally can be divided into three categories: technicians, applicators, and supervisors. Position titles and job duties vary by province, however.

Pest control technicians are usually entry-level workers who identify potential pest problems, conduct inspections, and design control strategies. They work directly with the customer and are permitted to apply a limited range of pesticides.

Applicators perform more complex tasks, are able to use a wider range of pesticides, and may specialize in a certain area of pest control. Those that specialize in controlling termites are called termite control technicians. They use chemicals and modify structures to eliminate termites and prevent future infestation. To treat infested areas, termite control technicians drill holes and cut openings into buildings to access infestations and install physical barriers or bait systems around the structure. Some termite control technicians even repair structural damage caused by termites.

Applicators that specialize in fumigation are called Fumigators. These workers use poisonous gases, called fumigants, to treat serious infestations. Fumigators pre-treat infested buildings by examining, measuring, and sealing the buildings. Then, using cylinders, hoses, and valves, they fill structures with the proper amount and concentration of fumigant. To prevent accidental fumigant exposure, fumigators padlock doors, post warning signs, and monitor buildings closely to detect and stop leaks.

Pest control supervisors, also known as operators, direct technicians and applicators. Supervisors are licensed to apply pesticides, but they usually are more involved in running the business. Many supervisors own their own business. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that employees obey rules regarding pesticide use and resolving any problems that arise with regulatory officials or customers. Most States require each pest control establishment to have a supervisor.

Work environment

Because work must be done on site, pest control workers travel to visit clients. Pest control workers must kneel, bend, reach, and crawl to inspect and treat structures. They work both indoors and out, in all weather conditions. Applicators must wear heavy protective gear, including respirators, gloves, and goggles, when working with pesticides.

There are health risks associated with pesticide use. Various pest control chemicals are toxic and could be harmful, if not used properly. Health risks are limited by the extensive training required for licensure and the use of recommended protective equipment. However, pest control workers still experience injuries more frequently than workers in many other occupations.

Most pest control workers work around 40 hours per week, but about 16 percent worked more than 50 hours per week. Pest control workers often work evenings and weekends, but many work consistent shifts.



Nursing and Psychiatric Aides

Significant Points

* Numerous job openings and excellent job opportunities are expected.
* Most jobs are in nursing and residential care facilities and in hospitals.
* A high school diploma is required for many jobs; specific qualifications vary by occupation, State laws, and work setting.
* This occupation is characterized by modest entry requirements, low pay, high physical and emotional demands, and limited advancement opportunities.

Nature of the Work

Nursing and psychiatric aides help care for physically or mentally ill, injured, disabled, or infirm individuals in hospitals, nursing care facilities, and mental health settings. Nursing aides and home health aides are among the occupations commonly referred to as direct care workers, due to their role in working with patients who need long-term care. The specific care they give depends on their specialty.

Nursing aides, also known as nurse aides, nursing assistants, certified nursing assistants, geriatric aides, orderlies, or hospital attendants, provide hands-on care and perform routine tasks under the supervision of nursing and medical staff. Specific tasks vary, with aides handling many aspects of a patient’s care. They often help patients to eat, dress, and bathe. They also answer calls for help, deliver messages, serve meals, make beds, and tidy up rooms. Aides sometimes are responsible for taking a patient’s temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate, or blood pressure. They also may help provide care to patients by helping them get out of bed and walk, escorting them to operating and examining rooms, or providing skin care. Some aides help other medical staff by setting up equipment, storing and moving supplies, and assisting with some procedures. Aides also observe patients’ physical, mental, and emotional conditions and report any change to the nursing or medical staff.

Nursing aides employed in nursing care facilities often are the principal caregivers and have more contact with residents than do other members of the staff. Because some residents may stay in a nursing care facility for months or even years, aides develop positive, caring relationships with their patients.

Psychiatric aides, also known as mental health assistants or psychiatric nursing assistants, care for mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed individuals. They work under a team that may include psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social workers, and therapists. In addition to helping patients to dress, bathe, groom themselves, and eat, psychiatric aides socialize with them and lead them in educational and recreational activities. Psychiatric aides may play card games or other games with patients, watch television with them, or participate in group activities, such as playing sports or going on field trips. They observe patients and report any physical or behavioral signs that might be important for the professional staff to know. They accompany patients to and from therapy and treatment. Because they have such close contact with patients, psychiatric aides can have a great deal of influence on their outlook and treatment.

Work environment

Work as an aide can be physically demanding. Aides spend many hours standing and walking, and they often face heavy workloads. Aides must guard against back injury, because they may have to move patients into and out of bed or help them stand or walk. It is important for aides to be trained in and to follow the proper procedures for lifting and moving patients. Aides also may face hazards from minor infections and major diseases, such as hepatitis, but can avoid infections by following proper procedures. Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants and psychiatric aides have some of the highest non-fatal injuries and illness rates for all occupations, in the 98th and 99th percentiles in 2007.

Aides also perform tasks that some may consider unpleasant, such as emptying bedpans and changing soiled bed linens. The patients they care for may be disoriented, irritable, or uncooperative. Psychiatric aides must be prepared to care for patients whose illnesses may cause violent behavior. Although their work can be emotionally demanding, many aides gain satisfaction from assisting those in need.

Most full-time aides work about 40 hours per week, but because patients need care 24 hours a day, some aides work evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays. In 2008 about 24 percent of nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants and psychiatric aides worked part-time.



Social Workers

Significant Points

* Employment is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations.
* About 54 percent of jobs were in healthcare and social assistance industries, and 31 percent work for government.
* While a bachelor’s degree is necessary for entry-level positions, a master’s degree in social work or a related field is necessary for some positions.
* Job prospects are expected to be favorable, particularly for social workers who specialize in the aging population or work in rural areas.

Nature of the Work

Social work is a profession for those with a strong desire to help improve people’s lives. Social workers assist people by helping them cope with and solve issues in their everyday lives, such as family and personal problems and dealing with relationships. Some social workers help clients who face a disability, life-threatening disease, social problem, such as inadequate housing, unemployment, or substance abuse. Social workers also assist families that have serious domestic conflicts, sometimes involving child or spousal abuse. Additionally, they may conduct research, advocate for improved services, or become involved in planning or policy development. Many social workers specialize in serving a particular population or working in a specific setting. In all settings, these workers may also be called licensed clinical social workers, if they hold the appropriate State mandated license.

Child, family, and school social workers provide social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families. Workers in this field assess their client’s needs and offer assistance to improve their situation. This often includes coordinating available services to assist a child or family. They may assist single parents in finding day care, arrange adoptions, or help find foster homes for neglected, abandoned, or abused children. These workers may specialize in working with a particular problem, population or setting, such as child protective services, adoption, homelessness, domestic violence, or foster care.

In schools, social workers often serve as the link between students’ families and the school, working with parents, guardians, teachers, and other school officials to ensure that students reach their academic and personal potential. They also assist students in dealing with stress or emotional problems. Many school social workers work directly with children with disabilities and their families. In addition, they address problems such as misbehavior, truancy, teenage pregnancy, and drug and alcohol problems and advise teachers on how to cope with difficult students. School social workers may teach workshops to entire classes on topics like conflict resolution.

Child, family, and school social workers may be known as child welfare social workers, family services social workers, or child protective services social workers. These workers often work for individual and family services agencies, schools, or State or local governments.

Medical and public health social workers provide psychosocial support to individuals, families, or vulnerable populations so they can cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, or AIDS. They also advise family caregivers, counsel patients, and help plan for patients’ needs after discharge from hospitals. They may arrange for at-home services, such as meals-on-wheels or home care. Some work on interdisciplinary teams that evaluate certain kinds of patients, such as geriatric or organ transplant patients.

Some specialize in services for senior citizens and their families. These social workers may run support groups for the adult children of aging parents. Also, they may assess, coordinate, and monitor services such as housing, transportation, and long-term care. These workers may be known as gerontological social workers.

Medical and public health social workers may work for hospitals, nursing and personal care facilities, individual and family services agencies, or local governments.

Mental health and substance abuse social workers assess and treat individuals with mental illness or substance abuse problems. Such services include individual and group therapy, outreach, crisis intervention, social rehabilitation, and teaching skills needed for everyday living. They also may help plan for supportive services to ease clients’ return to the community when leaving in-patient facilities. They may provide services to assist family members of those who suffer from addiction or other mental health issues. These workers may work in outpatient facilities, where clients come in for treatment and then leave, or in inpatient programs, where patients reside at the facility. Some mental health and substance social workers may work in employee-assistance programs. In this setting, they may help people cope with job-related pressures or with personal problems that affect the quality of their work. Other social workers work in private practice, where they are employed directly by the client. These social workers may be known as clinical social workers, occupational social workers, or substance abuse social workers.

Other types of social workers include social work administrators, researchers, planners and policymakers, who develop and implement programs to address issues such as child abuse, homelessness, substance abuse, poverty, and violence. These workers research and analyze policies, programs, and regulations. They identify social problems and suggest legislative and other solutions. They may help raise funds or write grants to support these programs.

Work environment

Social workers usually spend most of their time in an office or residential facility, but they also may travel locally to visit clients, meet with service providers, or attend meetings. Some may meet with clients in one of several offices within a local area. Social work, while satisfying, can be challenging. Understaffing and large caseloads add to the pressure in some agencies. Full-time social workers usually work a standard 40-hour week, but some occasionally work evenings and weekends to meet with clients, attend community meetings, and handle emergencies. Some work part time, particularly in voluntary nonprofit agencies.




Significant Points

* Most roofers learn their skills on the job; some train through 3-year apprenticeships.
* Demand for roofers is less vulnerable to downturns in the economy than demand for other construction trades because most roofing work consists of repair and reroofing.
* Most job openings will occur from the need to replace those who leave the occupation because the work can be hot, strenuous, and dirty, causing many people to switch to jobs in other construction trades.

Nature of the Work

Roofers repair and install roofs made from a combination of some of the following: tar, asphalt, gravel, rubber, thermoplastic, metal, and shingles—all of which protect buildings and their contents from water damage. A leaky roof can damage ceilings, walls, and furnishings. Repair and reroofing—replacing old roofs on existing buildings—make up the majority of work for roofers.

There are two types of roofs—low-slope and steep-slope. Low-slope roofs rise 4 inches or less per horizontal foot and are installed in layers. Steep-slope roofs rise more than 4 inches per horizontal foot and are usually covered in shingles. Most commercial, industrial, and apartment buildings contain low-slope roofs, while the majority of residential houses have steep-slope roofs. Some roofers work on both types; others specialize.

Most low-slope roofs are covered with several layers of materials. Roofers begin by installing a layer of insulation on the roof deck, followed by applying a tarlike substance called molten bitumen on top of it. Next, they install overlapping layers of roofing felt—a fabric soaked in bitumen—over the surface. Roofers use a mop to spread hot bitumen over the felt before adding another layer of felt. This seals the seams and makes the surface waterproof. Roofers repeat these steps to build up the desired number of layers, called “plies.” The top layer is then glazed to make a smooth finish or has gravel embedded in the hot bitumen to create a rough surface.

An increasing number of low-slope roofs are covered with single-ply membranes of waterproof rubber or thermoplastic compounds. Roofers roll these sheets over the roof’s insulation and seal the seams. Adhesive, mechanical fasteners, or stone ballast hold the sheets in place. Roofers must make sure the building is strong enough to hold the stone ballast.

A small but increasing number of buildings now have “green” roofs that incorporate landscape roofing systems. A landscape roofing system begins with a single or multiply waterproof layer. After it is proven to be leak free, roofers put a root barrier over it, and then layers of soil, in which trees and grass are planted. Roofers are responsible for making sure the roof is watertight and can endure the weight and water needs of the plants.

Most residential steep-slope roofs are covered with shingles. To apply shingles, roofers first lay, cut, and tack 3-foot strips of roofing felt over the entire roof. Starting from the bottom edge, roofers then nail overlapping rows of shingles to the roof. Roofers measure and cut the felt and shingles to fit intersecting roof surfaces and to fit around vent pipes and chimneys. Wherever two sections of the roof meet each other at an angle or where shingles reach a vent pipe or chimney, roofers cement or nail flashing-strips of metal or shingle over the joints to make them watertight. Finally, roofers cover exposed nail-heads with roofing cement or caulking to prevent water leakage. A similar process is used when installing tile, metal shingles, or shakes (rough wooden shingles).

Some roofers specialize in waterproofing or dampproofing masonry and concrete walls, floors, and foundations. To prepare surfaces for waterproofing, they hammer and chisel away rough spots or remove them with a rubbing brick before applying a coat of liquid waterproofing compound. They also may paint or spray surfaces with a waterproofing material or attach waterproofing membrane to surfaces. Roofers usually spray a bitumen-based coating on interior or exterior surfaces when dampproofing.

Work environment.

Roofing work is strenuous. It involves heavy lifting, as well as climbing, bending, and kneeling. Roofers work outdoors in all types of weather, particularly when making repairs. However, they rarely work when it rains or in very cold weather because ice can be dangerous. In northern States, roofing work is generally not performed during winter months. During the summer, roofers may work overtime to complete jobs quickly, especially before forecasted rainfall.

Workers risk slips or falls from scaffolds, ladders, or roofs, and burns from hot bitumen, but safety precautions can prevent most accidents. In addition, roofs can become extremely hot during the summer, causing heat-related illnesses. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that full-time roofers experienced a work-related injury and illness rate that was much higher than the national average.