How to Become a Graphic Designer

how to become a graphic designer
how to become a graphic designer

In our digitally advanced world, graphic designers are becoming more necessary than ever before. Think about all the logos, packaging, and branding you come across on a daily basis. Modern businesses truly depend on graphic designers to help them make a good impression in the marketplace. If you’re a creative person with an eye for design, becoming a graphic designer might be the right path for you. For those who are interested, here’s how to become a graphic designer.

What Does a Graphic Designer Do?

Graphic designers are responsible for taking ideas and turning them into visual concepts via computer software. They create a range of content in various materials – from brochures to advertisements to magazines to billboards and everything in between – striving to captivate their audience into buying a product or service. Graphic designers tend to be employed in marketing agencies, publishing firms, companies that offer virtual assistant services, and specialized design service companies. However, many graphics designers are self-employed.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Graphics Designer

While graphic designers spend a lot of time using computer software to create graphics, they have a lot of roles and responsibilities beyond the actual art itself. A typical day in the life of a graphic designer includes:

• Discussing budget, requirements, and timelines for any given project from a client.
• Determining the proper size and arrangement of illustrative material for designs.
• Managing proposals from the very beginning design phase all the way to print and production.
• Reviewing rough drafts and revising with edits and/or changes as requested from clients.
• Working with third-party vendors, such as printers, to ensure material is printed in a quality manner.

How to Become a Graphic Designer

Like any career, becoming a graphic designer takes some hard work and determination. If you’re seriously considering becoming a graphic designer, here’s a few steps to take:

1. Start with Your High School Diploma

While you’re attending high school, make sure you’re taking classes related to graphic design, such as art history, graphic arts, and various other art-related classes. You should also try to join extracurricular activities, such as producing the school yearbook, that will help prepare you for your career in graphic design. Naturally, you’ll want to make sure you achieve your high school diploma.

2. Earn a Degree

As graphic design becomes more competitive, it’s helpful to have a degree in the field. Sure, you’re able to find freelancing work without a degree, but having one will certainly give you a competitive edge. Typical coursework will cover:

• Web design
• Photography
• Principles of design
• Marketing and/or advertising

You can earn your degree online or at a school that offers graphic design courses. Be prepared to spend at a minimum, a few months, at a maximum, four years working towards your degree. Here are your options when it comes to earning a degree:

• An online certificate will often take a few months to a year to complete. This will be helpful if you are looking to freelance or start your own graphic design business.
• An associate’s degree will often require a two-year program, and if combined with an excellent, well-maintained portfolio, you will be able to find a career in graphic design.
• A bachelor’s degree will often require a four-year program with 120-180 credit hours of classes. You will have an advantage over those with an associate’s degree.
• A master’s degree will often require a two to three-year program to complete. Those who complete a master’s degree will have more opportunities for advancement in their career field.

3. Create a Portfolio

A portfolio, which is essentially a collection of previous work, is vital for any aspiring graphic designer. Make sure you’re collecting all your best work, and aside from having a physical copy, carry a digital copy on a flash drive or CD as well. Consider taking part in any internships offered through your college program. This will give you practical experience, work for your portfolio, and some professional relationships.

4. Gain Work Experience

Work experience is a crucial part of becoming a graphic designer, especially if you’ve decided not to pursue a degree of some sort. Look for entry-level artist or assistant positions that give you experience. You can also volunteer for local non-profit businesses or small organizations. Ask for letters of recommendation as payment.

Conclusion

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designers earn a median annual wage of $48,700 (based on 2017 data). Graphic design employment is expected to grow 4% between now and 2026. It’s a great career, especially if you’re artistic and you enjoy being challenged with new tasks every day. Now that you know how to become a graphic designer, you can start taking the necessary steps to enter and be successful in this field.

15 High Paying Jobs That Don’t Require a Four-Year College Degree

high paying jobs that don't require a college degree
high paying jobs that don't require a college degree

Having a four-year bachelor’s degree is the best way to get a high paying job. Yet, it’s undeniable that the high cost of a college education may be out of reach for some people. So what are your options? There are many high-paying jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree. You only need to have a high school diploma or a two-year associate’s degree to be eligible for the following jobs:

High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require a College Degree

15. Brick Masons

Average Annual Salary: $51,750
Requirement: High school diploma

Brick masons lay and bind building materials, especially brick, as well as concrete blocks, cinder blocks, and mortar. They can work for construction firms or start their own business.

14. Costume Attendants

Average Annual Salary: $52,870
Requirement: High school diploma

Costume attendants enjoy the glamor of stage and screen while earning good money. They are in high demand in urban areas such as New York and Los Angeles. The job involves selecting costumes and fitting cast members before and during a performance.

13. Catering Managers

Average Annual Salary: 53,640
Requirement: High school diploma

A career in the food services sector is fast-paced and fun. This job involves planning and directing catered food occasions. Be prepared to work weekends.

12. Gas Station Operators

Average Annual Salary: $57,000
Requirement: High school diploma

As of 2017, there are about 150,000 gas stations operating in the United States, so there’s still a considerable demand for gas station operators. This job requires familiarity with various fuel products. Knowledge of basic car repair is a big plus.

11. Real Estate Agents

Average Annual Salary: $58,000
Requirement: High school diploma

There are 1.3 million real estate agents in the US as of 2017. If you want this type of job, you should be familiar with home designs, real estate contracts, and sales. The more you know, the more houses you will sell.

10. Web Developers

Average Annual Salary: $66,130
Requirement: High school diploma

Creating and designing websites remain in high demand. High school education is enough to enter this field, although an associate’s degree would be helpful. You can either work for a company as a web developer, or become a freelancer and find clients online.

9. Casino Managers

Average Annual Salary: $69,000
Requirement: High school diploma

Working as a casino manager can be a pressure-packed job, as you will be dealing with money. You will start as a casino dealer and work your way up to a higher position.

8. Transportation Vehicle Inspectors

Average Annual Salary: $72,140
Requirement: High school diploma

Transportation inspectors check and monitor vehicle performance (sedans, vans, and trucks). While only a high education is required, you must have a background in vehicle repair and construction.

7. Dental Hygienists

Average Annual Salary: $74,070
Requirement: Associate’s degree

Working in this field is stable, thanks to the steady supply of patients who need dental treatments. This job involves cleaning teeth, taking x-rays, and assisting a dentist.

6. Postmasters and Mail Superintendents

Average Annual Salary: $74,840
Requirement: High school diploma

Postmasters plan, direct, and coordinate operational, administrative, management, and support services of a post office. They also coordinate the activities of workers engaged in postal services and related work.

5. Commercial Pilots

Average Annual Salary: $78,740
Requirement: High school diploma

Commercial pilots must have at least a high school diploma. If you want to fly an airplane, you must undergo flight school training and earn a commercial pilot’s license from the US Federal Aviation Administration.

4. Elevator Installers and Repair Technicians

Average Annual Salary: $79,480
Requirement: High school education

There is a high demand for elevator installers and repair technicians, while there are only 22,000 professionals in this industry as of 2017. It is expected to grow at a rate of 12.1% through 2026, thanks to the increasing number of residential, commercial, and office buildings.

3. Detectives and Criminal Investigators

Average Annual Salary: $79,970
Requirement: High school diploma

This is a specialized line of work that requires patience, diligence, and keen intuition. The growth rate for this industry is 4.5%, meaning the demand is strong for detectives and criminal investigators.

2. Nuclear Power Reactor Operators

Average Annual Salary: $93,370
Requirement: High school diploma

A career in this field is easier to obtain than you might think. Obviously, you need to undergo training, but you don’t need to have a college degree to qualify. This job involves starting/stopping reactor equipment, monitoring/adjusting controls, and implementing emergency procedures if needed. Although this job pays well, it has a low demand since the use of nuclear power is not that widespread.

1. Air Traffic Controllers

Average Annual Salary: $96,980
Requirement: Associate’s degree

Air traffic controllers guide aircraft safely through the air and help them land on the ground with no mishaps. Training is necessary.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many high-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree. Even if you’re only armed with a high school diploma or an associate’s degree, you can still land a job that will pay the bills and earn you a decent living. All that’s needed is a bit of training, perseverance, and most important of all, passion for your chosen career.

How to Become a Nurse in the United States

how to become a nurse
how to become a nurse

How to become a nurse is one of the most asked questions by individuals who want to work in the healthcare sector. If you love helping others and have an interest in the medical field, nursing may be a good career option for you. If you’d like to know how to become a nurse, nursing careers and specialties, and salary for nurses in the US, better read this post.

What Does a Nurse Do?

Nurses provide preventive, curative or palliative care to improve, maintain and restore health. Nurses have an important collaborative role with the healthcare team. They work as a group to ensure care, comfort, privacy, hygiene, education, and safety of the patient.

Duties and Responsibilities of a Nurse

1. Identify patient’s care requirements by establishing rapport with patients and their family.
2. Provide psychological, emotional and spiritual support to patients and their loved ones.
3. Educate patient and family to understand condition and medications.
4. Document patient’s care by charting.
5. Collaborate with other healthcare professionals in the patient’s treatment plan.
6. Maintain privacy, confidentiality, and dignity of patients.
7. Carry out requisite treatments and medications
8. Provide necessary guidance on disease prevention, health maintenance, and health promotion
9. Maintain a hygienic and safe environment.
10. Prepare patients for examinations or surgery.
11. Assist doctors during examination or surgery.
12. Attend educational workshops to enhance professional and technical knowledge.
13. Assess, observe, monitor and record patient’s behavior and treatment.
14. Diagnose patient’s disease by analyzing symptoms and take required action for his/her recovery.
15. Operate medical equipment.

How to Become a Nurse

1. Get a high school diploma.

Admission to a nursing school requires a high school diploma. If you want to become a nurse you should pay attention to your skills, performance, and interest in courses like chemistry, physiology, and biology throughout high school. The knowledge from these subjects will be a good foundation to understand how the human body works.

2. Complete an accredited nursing education.

To become a nurse, you must complete any of the following: a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a diploma program in nursing. You must also pass the nursing licensure exam for registered nurses (NCLEX-RN) if you want to become a registered nurse (RN).

• Bachelor’s Degree

To become a nurse, you must take up Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a four-year course that is offered in a college or university. It requires students to complete a set of core nursing education and elective courses. Most employers hire nurses with a bachelor’s degree.

Advantages

– Some nursing careers only open to BSN holders
– It teaches more clinical skills
– BSN holders offer better patient care according to studies
– BSN holders are qualified for many posted jobs
– A step closer to earning a master’s
– Most supervisory and administrative positions require a BSN
– Positioned for a wide range of specialized nursing jobs.
– Offers training that goes beyond fundamental practice
– Provides job security as a member of the healthcare team

Disadvantages

– Takes four years to finish the course
– The tuition fee is expensive

• Associate’s Degree

An Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or sometimes called the Associate Science in Nursing (ASN) is a well-known training for nurses because it qualifies them to sit for NCLEX-RN or National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. This course normally requires 2-3 years of full-time study.

Advantages

– Entry level requirement to become a registered nurse and qualifies you to take NCLEX
– Allows you to practice your profession without committing to a 4-year program.
– You can save money since the duration of the program is shorter than a bachelor’s degree.
– A step closer to BSN
– Takes less time to finish

Disadvantages

– Less competitive compared to more trained and educated candidates
– Does not include the necessary training to pursue a nursing specialty.

• Diploma Program

This is a hospital-based program providing intensive education and hands-on training to students. It is a two to three-year program. Students will receive a diploma and not a college degree.

Advantages

– Students are more engaged in clinical work in the hospital setting
– Students will have a clinical rotation in different areas of the hospital while studying
– Can qualify you to sit for NCLEX
– Allows you to practice your profession without spending 4 years
– Graduate early

Disadvantages

– Salary options will be limited
– Does not include the necessary training to pursue a nursing specialty
– Less competitive compared to more trained and educated candidates

3. Pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

After graduation from the accredited program, you will take your licensing exam. This test is the nationally required and recognized licensing exam for nurse graduates. You will have to pay the fee for the exam and may differ between states. To learn more about the NCLEX, click here.

Requirements are the following:

– U.S. social security number
– A recent passport size photograph
– Official Transcript of Records

4. Obtain employment as a registered nurse.

A newly licensed nurse should consider working in a specialty unit such as pediatrics, orthopedics, obstetrics, etc.

5. Pursue additional training and education.

Registered nurses are required to undergo continuing education, usually every two years. If you decide to specialize in a specific area of nursing, you should take into account earning professional certification. This binds your commitment to the field and proves your skill set to employers.

What Is a Registered Nurse?

A registered nurse is a person who has graduated from either Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) or Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN) program and passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). He or she focuses on individuals, families, and communities to help them attain an optimal level of health and quality of life.

How Much is the Salary of a Nurse in the US?

Salaries for nurses vary depending on experience, level of training, and location. According to the BLS, the mean wage for registered nurses in the United States is $73,550 per year (based on May 2017 data). The top 10 states with the highest annual mean wage for nurses are the following:

1. California – $102,700
2. Hawaii – $96,990
3. District of Columbia – $90,110
4. Massachusetts – $89,330
5. Oregon – $88,770
6. Alaska – $87,510
7. Nevada – $84,980
8. New York – $83,450
9. New Jersey – $82,010
10. Connecticut – $80,200

Nursing Careers and Specialties

Specializing in a particular area can boost your career by increasing your professional growth, competency, credibility and earning potential. Choose a specialization based on your interests, personality traits, and qualities. The following are the various nursing career specialties:

1. Pediatric Nurse – A nurse who works exclusively with infants, children, and adolescents. They provide care to children while working with the family to address health concerns, problems and treatment options. They work in clinics and hospitals.

2. Geriatric Nurse – Nursing professionals are trained to work with the elderly to manage the challenges that these patients have.

3. Critical Care Nurse – A critical care nurse often works in the intensive care unit (ICU). They provide clinical care to critically sick individuals who are in the process of recovery.

4. Nurse Midwife – They usually work in birthing centers, hospitals, and other health departments to assist before, during and after delivery to guarantee the health of mother and child.

5. Clinical Nurse – A nurse who provides direct patient’s care in a clinical setting. They are responsible for assessing and monitoring the patient’s condition, administration of medications, updating patient’s medical records, providing emotional support and educating patients on disease management.

6. Dialysis Nurse – A nurse who specializes in working with individuals who are suffering from a kidney disease and in need of medical treatment that filters the wastes from the body when the kidneys can no longer function well.

7. Nurse Anesthetist – A nurse who works closely with physicians to administer and monitor the patient before, during and after anesthesia administration for medical procedure purposes.

8. Nurse Educator – They are experienced and have earned at least a master’s degree in nursing (although some universities may require a doctorate degree). They work in areas of nursing education like nursing schools or nursing colleges and perform the same duties as a school faculty.

9. Psychiatric Nurse – A nurse who cares for patients who need psychiatric treatment in conjunction with medical care. They are responsible for improving patient’s mental health.

10. Oncology Nurse – A nurse who is trained and knowledgeable in providing support and care for patients who are suffering from cancer. They work in the hospital, care centers and even at home. Their main responsibility is to help patients with chemotherapy procedures, patient’s education about treatment options and pain management.

11. Neonatal Nurse – A nurse who usually work in the neonatal unit and with other healthcare professionals to render a good quality of care for mothers and newborn babies. They provide specialized care for premature infants who have a variety of health issues. They also educate parents on how to care for a newborn baby.

12. Trauma Nurse – A nurse who works in the Emergency Room (ER) and other trauma facilities and considered the first line of defense of healthcare professionals to attend to critically ill or seriously injured individuals. The primary responsibility of a trauma nurse is to assess, stabilize and monitor the patient’s condition, and provide different forms of emergency medical procedures such as intubation, IV insertion, drug administration and many more.

13. Public Health Nurse – A nurse who works to improve the health of the community. They educate the public about the prevention of illnesses and the promotion of health

14. Nurse Researcher – A nurse who conduct scientific research into different aspects of health and work with various medical research organizations. They design, gather and implement scientific studies, analyze data and report the result to doctors, other nurses and medical researchers. They help in the development of new life saving medical practices or treatments.

Work Settings for Nurses

• Hospitals
• Doctor’s office
• Clinics
• Home healthcare
• Nursing care
• Schools
• Correctional facilities
• Military

Qualities of a Good Nurse

1. Great communication Skills

A great nurse has excellent communication skills, which includes both speaking and listening. He or she is able to follow directions and can easily communicate with patients and family members to understand their needs and explain treatments.

2. Emotional Resiliency

A great nurse should be stable emotionally. Nursing is a very stressful profession and most of the time, nurses may encounter many traumatic situations, sufferings, and deaths. An emotionally stable nurse can work without letting stress affect her/him in completing her assigned tasks

3. Empathetic attitude

A nurse should have empathy to better understand the needs of his or her patients and to be able to accurately predict and implement the actions needed to improve the health of patients.

4. Flexible

A nurse is flexible with her work schedule and responsibilities. Nurses often have to work overtime, take turns late at night, or work on weekends and holidays.

5. Detail oriented

A good nurse understands that every action in the practice of medicine can have significant consequences. A nurse should pay attention to details and be careful not to skip steps or make mistakes.

6. Effective interpersonal skills

A nurse has an excellent ability to relate to other people and works well in a variety of situations in which he or she interacts with different people. They work well with other nurses, doctors, other staff members, patients, and the patient’s families or relatives.

7. Physical endurance

Nursing is a demanding job that requires physical and mental strength. A nurse should have a high energy level and healthy lifestyle to endure standing for long hours, lifting heavy objects or patients, and perform numerous stressful tasks on a daily basis.

8. Problem-solving abilities and a quick thinker

A nurse must think fast and solve problems as they arise. They should analyze the situation and come up with a solution. They must respond quickly to emergencies and use critical thinking to help in decision making that can impact patient outcomes.

9. Respect for people and rules.

Nurses should treat all the members of the healthcare team, patients and patient’s loved ones with dignity, respect, kindness, and compassion. Also, they should adhere to the rules and regulations of the health institution where they work.

Conclusion

A nurse is more than just an advocate for a patient’s health and well-being. He or she is also a counselor, an educator, and a friend. Above all, nursing is not just a profession but a passion. Now that you know how to become a nurse, you can decide whether you want to enter this field. Currently, there’s a high demand and lots of job opportunities for nurses in the United States.

7 Tips You Should Know Before Starting a Food Business

tips for starting a food business
tips for starting a food business

Starting a food business is challenging. This is because many would-be entrepreneurs who want to enter this field don’t know how to start, what the requirements are, the costs associated with setting up the business, and so forth. Studies indicate that many food businesses fail within the first year of being on the market. To prevent that from happening to you, it is better to know some tips before starting a food business.

Tips for Starting a Food Business

1. Define the concept

Worldwide, there are several food businesses focused on different sectors. For example, one of the most popular in recent years is fast food, thanks to the variety of dishes that it offers (chicken, burger, French fries etc.) Decide what type of food you want to offer.

how to start a food business

You do not have to limit yourself to a single dish. If you love Italian food, you can offer the main dish (pizza for example), but you can also make available to the customer other options such as spaghetti, macaroni, lasagna, fettuccini, etc.

2. Investigate the market

As in any business, you must investigate the market before opening a restaurant or anything related to food. This means trying to know what are the preferences and tastes of consumers, and making sure that there is enough demand for the product.

One way to do this is to survey people who frequent the area where you intend to open the food business. Determine their preferences, if they would go to a new food establishment or restaurant such as the one you are planning to put up, and how much they would be willing to spend on each visit.

3. Determine your target market

Another important point is to clearly define who your target market will be. This way, you can analyze and decide which strategies to use for this type of customers. For example, you must determine whether people are in a hurry to eat or if they enjoy taking their time, if they are willing to travel a certain distance to go to a good restaurant, if they are willing to pay a good price for a good dish, etc.

4. Consider starting small

You should opt to test your idea before you go all out with a pop-up location. It will provide you with an opportunity to run through your concept without all of the risks involved. Many people started their food business in the comfort of their own homes. They immersed themselves in something they enjoy and made a living or a career out of it. Once they outgrew the space, they moved on to a larger area.

Starting a business after meticulous planning is a big step, but remember starting small is always a good idea. You can try to have your own food cart or rent a food truck for a few months just to see how the business will go. If this becomes successful, then you can consider moving to a permanent location and scale up.

5. Find a good location

A determining factor in the success of your food business is its location, which is why you should take your time when choosing where to set up your food stall or restaurant. You can choose a central place where you will have the advantage of being seen by a greater number of customers. However, you may have to deal with higher rent costs and fierce competition.

restaurant

On the other hand, if you choose a less than ideal place, the rent will be lower and there will be less competition. The obvious disadvantage is that fewer people will be able to see you. One way to address this is by advertising or promoting your food business and making sure you have a great product. Also, when choosing a location for a restaurant or food establishment, make sure that it has enough parking for the number of customers you estimate will come in their own vehicles.

6. Set costs

One thing that you should know is how much does it cost to open a food business or a restaurant. In the case of restaurants, there are usually many hidden costs in setting up your business. It includes the cost of registration, licenses, permits, taxes, food handling certificates, food supplies, appliances, equipment, furniture, and workers compensation. When computing your investment budget, take your time and consider all costs (including rent), and if possible, try to reserve a small budget in case you end up lacking money.

7. Food safety and crew training

This is one important element of any food business. There are food safety guidelines that you must follow in order to protect your employees, your business and most especially your customers. If you follow food laws and regulations, this will help your business grow and earn a positive reputation. Training your employees is also essential so they can provide good quality products and services as well as observe total workplace hygiene in all areas of your business.

Conclusion

Starting a food business and managing it is not a simple task. It requires patience, dedication, perseverance to overcome difficulties that may arise, and discipline to cope with all the work involved in managing a food business. To become successful, you must be a good leader and work with your team closely. Hopefully, after you’ve read these tips, you can achieve success in this challenging (yet rewarding) field.

Deciding What Your Next Job Should Be

career path
career path

Recently, I was coaching a client that was really struggling with her next career move. She had decided that she didn’t want to continue in her current job and industry but couldn’t figure out how to take a next step.

She had talked to friends, scoured the internet but hadn’t come to any conclusions. You may find yourself in a similar situation.

I need a change but I don’t know what I want!

It’s important to know what you’re good at, so take the aptitude test. It will provide you interesting data but it’s not the WHOLE story. In order to find that next best thing, it’s critical to investigate what you like, love and want. This might sound mushy but it’s not.

Back to my client. Let’s call her Charlotte. As Charlotte spoke about trying to solve the mystery of what to do next, her face showed her concern. Brows furrowed. Eyes searching. She looked lost.

So, we refocused the conversation to what she knows, rather than what she doesn’t.

• What does she like about her current role?
• What are her favorite things to do in her current role?
• If she were designing a new role, what characteristics would be important to her?
• In general, what does she love to do; that time disappears when she does it?
• What does she value in life?

This conversation provided a wealth of information about what she needs to consider in her next role.

• She likes being in a position to help others achieve their goals.
• She likes to be challenged. She likes goals and drives to achieve them.
• She likes to be active and finds time disappears when she’s physically active.
• She values developing close relationships.
• She loves to be creative.
• She’s highly motivated by learning.
• She wants to maintain financial stability.

She can use this information to ask the right questions in job interviews to understand whether the role will be something she likes in addition to something she will be good at.

BUT we discovered more. Charlotte’s been tinkering around with candle-making and lotion recipes. You should have seen her face change as she talked about what’s she’s been up to. She was a different person. Her face exuded energy. She smiled. She talked more quickly.

This hobby also “ticked” a lot of the things we discovered she wanted in a future role: helping others, challenges, goals, learning, creativity, relationships. But, exploring it was scary because she couldn’t see how this would provide financial stability right now.

This is what we discovered:

• Charlotte’s job would feel more tolerable if she were pursuing candle-making on the side, so we wouldn’t feel so desperate about escaping it.
• She doesn’t have to have all the answers right now. She can “baby-step” her way to the future.
• She doesn’t have to risk stability to explore something new.

So, Charlotte left the session with a new checklist of things to look for in new roles and some assignments related to her future candle-making empire.

• Create a concrete goal related to candle-making
• Do one thing every day to future her candle-making empire
• Find an accountability partner that will help her stay accountable for her goals

If you would like to figure out your next step:

• Take the aptitude test
• Order and complete the Guide to Knowingness Workbook
• Schedule a coaching session

How to Become a Meteorologist

How to Become a Meteorologist
How to Become a Meteorologist

If you’re interested in weather, you may want to consider having a career in meteorology. Meteorology is the study of the atmosphere, focusing on weather processes and forecasting. The first requirement is passion and enthusiasm. After that, it gets harder. When you want to look at how to become a meteorologist, there are a few things you need to decide right from the start to enable you to study the correct courses and so forth.

Types of Meteorologists

There are various types of meteorologists. The meteorologists who forecast the weather are known as operational meteorologists while climatologists look at seasonal changes over long periods of time. A synoptic meteorologist works on tools and software as well as mathematical models for weather forecasting purposes while a physical meteorologist researches the physical properties of the atmosphere and weather.

An environmental meteorologist focuses on environmental issues such as pollution that have an impact on the Earth’s atmosphere and may also influence weather conditions. Once you know what type of meteorologist you want to become, you can move on to the next step.

How to Become a Meteorologist

High School Studies

During the high school phase, you should take science and mathematics courses. If possible, try and take AP courses that can transfer into credits for college. Subjects such as physics, earth science, chemistry, and calculus will help towards this career.

It is also important that you focus on your English writing skills as well as your communication skills. This will help you with your research writing, presenting your papers or being able to communicate effectively should you become a radio or television meteorologist. It is also important that you spend time honing your computer skills as well as staying up to date on the latest technology in the field. If you can get hold of meteorological software to practice on, this will also help you with your career goals.

Tertiary Education

After high school, the next step is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in science. The BA required is one in atmospheric sciences or meteorology. Classes will include physics, calculus, synoptics, dynamics, computer programming, and other science and mathematics classes. You can look at combining the meteorology degree with other sciences such as oceanography, chemistry, statistics, physics, and geology.

Computer science is another useful field of study for a career as a meteorologist. For those students who aim to do meteorology on air, classes in speech, journalism or media may also be a good option to include. Those who want to work for the government after graduation should check the specific course guidelines laid out before they decide on the classes to study.

Further Tertiary Education

For some meteorologists, it may be important to obtain a graduate degree. This will also be important for fields in which you hope to advance at a later stage. For those students who wish to eventually work in research, you will need to obtain a Ph.D. You can look at doing a dual master’s degree in various related sciences and include mathematics or computer science as well. There are many different graduate programs for meteorology and it is important to look at the aspects you wish to pursue in your career goals before deciding on the programs that best suit your agenda.

Obtain Your Certification

The American Meteorological Society does specialized programs related to different fields of meteorology such as consulting and broadcasting. These certificates require you to have a bachelor’s degree and you would need to pass an examination as well as submit samples of your work to be accepted into the programs. These certificates can be added to your credentials when applying for positions.

Get Work Experience

If possible, try and get an internship while you are studying, whether at high school or during your tertiary education. Working as an intern affords you valuable insights as well as allowing you to indicate some experience on your CV when looking for employment.

Career Training on Site

Certain organizations will require you to undergo specific training before taking up a position. The National Weather Service, for example, requires 200 hours of on-the-job training per annum for the first two years. The government also requires completion of your degree as per their specifications and thereafter to work as an intern in various positions to learn all the aspects required. Thereafter you would be assigned to a duty station once your internship has been completed. Other organizations will have their own requirements and you should make a point of finding out what these are before taking up a position.

Conclusion

So now you know how to become a meteorologist based on the studies required, but there is more to it than that. This is not an easy career and will require hard work, excellent communication skills, and even having to work in harsh environments and adverse weather conditions. Meteorologists working for broadcasters may find themselves reporting on blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes and other hazardous weather phenomena, and this can be quite dangerous as well. You need to ensure that you are flexible and willing to work long hours if you plan to follow a rewarding career in the field of meteorology.

How to Be a Flight Attendant

How to Be a Flight Attendant
How to Be a Flight Attendant

Being a flight attendant means you need to be flexible and good at multitasking. You will be traveling around the world or locally, depending on your airline and may do double shifts fairly often if required. The hours on long haul flights can be extensive, and you would need to be able to endure being on your feet for long periods of time. So, you want to know how to be a flight attendant?

What Is a Flight Attendant?

A flight attendant (also referred to as cabin crew) is a person who is employed by an airline specifically to attend to the needs and safety of passengers during flight. They usually prepare the interior of the plane prior to the arrival of passengers, greet passengers, and assist with them coming on board and getting settled.

How to Be a Flight Attendant

They ensure all carry-on luggage is safely stowed away prior to take off and that all passengers are seated and seat belts are on. They also demonstrate safety procedures to all passengers and introduce the flight crew. They may also serve food and drinks and provide other comforts such as blankets and so forth for passengers during flight. They are usually trained in first aid and may also have to deal with problem passengers.

What Is the Training Needed for This Career?

Flight attendants have to be trained in a number of aspects pertaining to this career. These include customer service, boarding and pre-flight procedures, security and safety protocols and procedures, as well as first aid. They will have to know how to deal with problem passengers as well as what to do in case of various emergency situations that could arise.

They may also have to learn different aspects of the various planes that they may be working on. Some of this training may be given after being hired by an airline but there are 8-week training programs that would stand you in good stead for this career. The training can also help you achieve supervision status earlier and help you command better pay. If you want to learn how to be a flight attendant, taking a course prior to applying to an airline would be a good first step.

Do You Need a Certificate to Be a Flight Attendant?

On small aircraft, this may not be necessary, but to work on any aircraft that can hold 20 plus seats, you would need a Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This is issued when you complete a training program which has been approved by the FAA.

If you are hired and trained through an airline, they will provide this training to enable you to earn the certificate. The training usually centers around safety and handling of emergency situations including fires, evacuation, and even survival skills in the event of a crash landing.

When Can You Apply and How Much Can You Earn?

While some positions require a GED and being over 18, most flight attendants start working after the age of 21 and having done a number of weeks of ground training and simulated flight training. The salaries for flight attendants depend a lot on the airline and level of experience.

A newly qualified flight attendant can earn from $16,500 up to around $28,000 per year, while a flight attendant with years of experience can be earning in excess of $55,000 per year at some airlines. There are added benefits, such as being able to see different parts of the country or the world depending on your assignment. Some airlines also offer free flights as part of the incentives.

What Are the Career Prospects for a Flight Attendant?

Becoming a flight attendant may be difficult at the beginning as there are many people capable of doing the work and not that many positions open each year. So usually, those with some college or training will have an edge on other applicants. You can look at taking extra courses such as studying a foreign language, management skills, customer service training and more to improve your resume.

How to Be a Flight Attendant

The more you can offer the airline, the better your chances of getting a job. Once you have worked and qualified with an airline, you have much better long term prospects. Qualified flight attendants are more in demand and you may eventually be able to choose the airline that can offer you the prospects and incentives you are looking for long term.

Where Can I Learn More About Becoming a Flight Attendant?

Research can be done on the websites of various airlines such as American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and so forth. You can also gain information from the various unions such as the Association of Professional Flight Attendants. This will also give you some insight in to the daily workings of being a flight attendant and the types of issues you may experience in this type of career.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to be a flight attendant and have some information on the career choice, you need to decide if this is the career for you. There is a lot more to it than the glitz and glamour of flying all around the world, and it requires hard work, dedication and remaining upbeat and smiling even when you’ve had a bad day. This is a customer service oriented position.

9 Things to Consider Before Starting Your Own Business

Things to Consider When Starting a Business
Things to Consider When Starting a Business

For many people, the idea of starting their own business is appealing. You might think it’s easy. But it takes more than just hard work and determination for a business to succeed. You also have to do your own due diligence. Here are a few things to consider before starting your own business.

Things to Consider Before Starting Your Own Business

1. Do your research.

Before you can start your own business, you need to understand your market, look at the niche that you could fit into, look at the strengths and weaknesses of your competition as well as your own, and the potential to grow and develop your business. A stagnant business that has no growth potential has little chance of surviving in a constantly changing market.

2. Develop a business plan.

Start with a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis and build from there. Lay out your ideas, categorize your potential market, identify the need in the current market for your service or product, and plan exactly how you will go about running and growing your business.

3. Financial planning.

When starting your own business, you need to first look at how much you need to get started, and where you are going to get your start-up capital from. Your business will also need some cash flow to keep going until you start making some profits. You have to have the buffer in place or a plan to obtain the necessary cash to keep going. As well as being able to pay your monthly bills, you also need to decide on how to invest profits in order to grow your business over time as well.

4. Learn from the best.

It is difficult to work in a vacuum, and when you get stuck, it helps to have someone to talk to for a different perspective and some ideas of how to get back on track. This could be a personal mentor, a partner or even a group of people that you can speak to and discuss ideas with in order to improve your business.

5. What’s in a name?

Do the research so that you do not duplicate an existing name, as this could become a problem later on especially if you plan to build a brand or register the name. Try and stay away from trendy names, as the name may no longer be relevant in a few years if you choose something that relates to the present day only. A timeless name will stand you in better stead, especially when building a brand to last a lifetime.

6. Know the risks.

This is the point which can be the downfall for many start-ups. When starting your own business, you need to also look at what can possibly go wrong and what you are going to do to ensure that the worst case scenario does not destroy all that you have built. Build the risk strategy in to your business plan to alleviate stress should things go belly up at some point.

7. Network.

Your business can only grow if people get to know you and you get to know people. Social media, networking events and meeting with people in your industry will help you grow and improve your business.

8. Never stop learning.

Learn from your mistakes, learn from your mentors, learn from your staff, and learn from your customers. When starting your own business, do not be afraid to ask questions to grow your own knowledge base and hopefully allow you to improve your planning and business strategy.

9. Get going.

Once you have done your homework when it comes to starting your own business, the next step is to get going. Procrastination for an extended period of time may negate all of your hard work to date and you may have to start from scratch. Once you have made your plans and everything is in place, all that remains is for you to get started.

2018 Scholarship Winner

Vanessa Ramsaroop is our 2018 Scholarship winner.

One Word: Passion

We asked Vanessa a couple of questions so our readers could get to know her.

Tell us about yourself?

I’m a 24 year old with a heart of an adventurer.  I love and am open and receptive to new adventures and experiences to learn, innovate and grow.  Currently I’m a Customer Representative at a local brewery and I love my Job!  I get to meet people, hear stories and use them as inspiration and learn new perspectives, understand the psychology of people and just have fun.  Plus since I work in service, it helps my intuition as an aspirational author.

What do you plan to do with the $500 prize?

I plan to go on a trip with my best friend for inspiration and some much needed me time…plus donate $50 to church as God is my life.

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Thanks to all of our entrants and congratulations to Venessa!

5 Things to Know if You Want to Become a Real Estate Agent

How to Become a Real Estate Agent
How to Become a Real Estate Agent

A career in real estate can be challenging yet rewarding. Some real estate agents earn a six-figure income per year; others, only a few thousand. It’s important to note that while this career can be exciting, it is not for everyone. To help you decide whether this field suits you, we will discuss five things you should know if you want to become a real estate agent.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent

1. Have a cash reserve.

Real estate agents can’t expect successful deals with prospective buyers all the time. Expect slow periods where clients are few or you will not be able to close any sale at all. For this reason, you should set up a cash reserve to cover 3 to 6 months of living expenses. It is important to be prepared for all kinds of scenarios. This way, you won’t find yourself in a situation where you don’t have anything to spend for your basic needs.

2. Put in time and effort.

Some people think that being a real estate professional is an easy job, but in reality, it’s not. Only a fraction can be called successful. In fact, it is estimated that only 20% of new real estate agents will make it in this field. In addition, only a small proportion will get the “lion’s share” of the business.

Those who are not as lucky go back to their previous jobs. So what do you need to become a successful real estate agent? You need perseverance, hard work, dedication, and of course, a little bit of luck. Treat it as a business and put in extra hours if necessary.

3. Take real estate courses, get a license, and find an employing broker

Aspiring agents should take real estate courses so they can know more about the real estate industry. These courses can come in the form of traditional or online classes. Cost vary from $200 to $900, including the learning materials.

After completing the courses, you need to take the state licensure exam and pass it. Requirements may vary from state to state. Inquire with your state’s Department of Real Estate or local Board of Realtors to know the requirements for obtaining a license.

After you pass the licensure exam, you need to find a broker. Real estate agents usually work as independent contractors under a broker’s supervision. Do your own due diligence and look for a broker who will provide the necessary knowledge, skills, and training to help you succeed in this field.

4. Undergo continuing education.

To be up to date with the latest development and trends in the industry, real estate agents have to undergo continuing education (professional development). These courses are meant to enhance your knowledge and skills, but more importantly, you need it to keep your license active.

5. Develop a business plan

It is important that you view real estate as a business, not just a job. And one thing successful business people do is to have a business plan.

• Set up goals that are both achievable and measurable.
• Select a segment to specialize in: horizontal (house and lots) or vertical (condominiums). You can also decide to concentrate on a particular geographic area.
• Choose a target market (affordable, middle income, high end) and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
• Set a budget and determine how to achieve it.
• Make plans to promote yourself as a real estate agent. You need to build your network. Join groups, clubs, or organizations in your local community. Who knows, the person you’ll bump into may just be your next client.

Conclusion

The tips mentioned above will help aspiring real estate agents get off to a strong start. If you don’t close your first sale right away, don’t be discouraged. The more interactions you have with leads and clients, the more experienced you’ll become. As they say, experience is the best teacher, and real estate is no exception. If you put in time, effort, and the right approach, chances are, you’ll soon have a place in this industry.