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What does an Automotive Technician do?

Transportation is the life-blood of the American economy and Automotive Technicians are an important resource in keeping people moving and able to work, attend school and complete their daily activities. Automotive Technicians may be employed in an independent shop or work for a dealership that also repairs vehicles. Technicians may have interaction with customers on a daily basis and often build relationships with loyal customers that may frequent their shop for years or even decades.

auto technician

Automotive Technicians are responsible for completing general maintenance on vehicles brought in by customers. This may include tire rotation, oil changes, air filter replacement, coolant flushes, and engine tune-ups. Automotive Technicians are also required to troubleshoot a variety of vehicle problems and offer a solution. This may require significant diagnostic work and requires critical thinking skills. Some business specialize in certain repairs, such as transmissions or body work, allowing Automotive Technicians to hone their skills in a specific field, these positions generally offer higher salaries than standard positions.

As automotive technology increases, Automotive Technicians are required to be increasingly tech savvy. The use of computerized diagnostic equipment is now the norm in vehicle repair and many shops utilize electronic record keeping and computerized troubleshooting equipment. Online databases are used to search for and procure replacement parts and standardized computer based billing is common, requiring Automotive Technicians to translate their diagnosis to a written communication.

Automotive Technician careers are a high demand field that tend to have frequent turnover. While this position requires no formal education beyond a high school degree, many states require special licensing as evidence of skills and knowledge. This reduces poor customer impact and allows for the state to better regulate automotive repairs. This position generally does not have irregular or late hours, which also makes it attractive, however Automotive Technicians work substantially with their hands in physical labor positions and expect to get dirty in their line of work. Work related injuries are also a very real possibility in this field, though these are rare and generally minor.

What does a Biomedical Engineer do?

Biomedical Engineers are vitally important to advancing medical technology. Many Biomedical Engineers are involved in ground breaking research and medical testing. Biomedical Engineers may work in research and development designing new medication delivery methods, they may design new prosthetics, engineer and conduct experiments with diagnostic testing devices and are often involved in the creation and testing of surgical equipment. Some Biomedical Engineers work to install or repair medical equipment and others may work in more theoretical fields which require computer drafting and 3-D designing skills.

biomedical engineer

New technologies involving stem cells and lab created organs and tissues often are created and cultured under the watchful eye of a Biomedical Engineer. These positions are on the forefront of new medical technologies and offer significant opportunity to be involved in important advances in medicine.

Biomedicine remains a generally small field with little competition within medicine, however many specialized skills are necessary to succeed as a Biomedical Engineer. The ability to work long periods on a single project with intensive focus is a benefit, as Biomedical Engineers often must succeed through much trial and error. Intensive knowledge of chemistry, physics and anatomy is necessary to understand how medical equipment will function on a day to day basis. People skills are also beneficial, as Biomedical Engineers may be tasked to train others on the equipment they create.

Education requirements for Biomedical Engineers are high, with most of the scientists at the forefront of their fields obtaining a Ph.D. Entry level positions are available for individuals with a Bachelors Degree, though specialized training is often necessary and hands on experience is valued. A highly varied curriculum with advanced education in chemistry, engineering, mathematics, and anatomy is required and many students find their university years challenging. Often students take on substantial student loan debt to earn a degree in this field. However, students who perform well in school can command high salaries and significant perks after graduation, as this field has grown in demand in recent years.

What does a Business Analyst do?

Business Analysts provide the much needed logistical core of many technological and service related industries. Business Analysts often are responsible for the collection and analysis of data. This can include information on customers, potential and established markets, products and services, financial regulations and products, and training or business needs. A Business Analyst will then review the data for trends, opportunities, advantages, and areas for improvement and translate this information into a readable format, often for the upper level management of a corporation. This information allows business leaders to make educated and informed business decisions.

business analyst

The recent economic climate has greatly increased the demand for Business Analysts, as companies often utilize consultants or employees in this role to analyze business processes for areas where technology may allow for a streamlining of a process or a cost savings. As demand increases for businesses to operate more “lean”, complex analysis is required to determine areas of a businesses supply chain, production, or delivery methods that may show potential for reduction.

Business Analysts must have excellent communication skills and must be able to concisely deliver complex information both verbally and written in a method laypeople can understand. Leadership skills are needed, as this position may require the questioning of established procedure and necessitates a personality able to pursue the answers to difficult questions. Experience in cost-benefit analysis and computer modeling are often an asset in this position. IT departments are the most common focus for Business Analysts, so knowledge of networking, communication, and software is often required. The ability to work within a team is also helpful, as many businesses are now choosing to utilize project teams to analyze production and supply concerns.

Most Business Analysts obtain an MBA (Masters of Business Administration). This is the most common credential sought by employers. However, some analysts may hold degrees in specific areas of study and specialize in those areas. Finance and International Business are two other common areas of study for Business Analysts. Masters degrees are preferred by hiring organizations, though individuals with four year degrees that have applicable experience and a background of success may also be considered for hire.