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administrative assistant

What does an Administrative Assistant do?

While specific responsibilities vary according to the needs of the employer, an Administrative Assistant is a person who provides various kinds of support to individuals or groups, particularly in a business setting. Most often, the term Administrative Assistant is a formal title, although it can also simply be a designation for the role that person plays in the organization.

Administrative Assistants can be found in many industries, including government agencies, corporations, legal and medical offices, hospitals, schools and universities.  They are often critical to ensuring that everything runs smoothly within an organization.

Some of the duties an Administrative Assistant might perform include:

  • Coordination and communication between departments
  • Scheduling of meetings, interviews and events
  • Handling sensitive information and communications
  • Data entry and note taking
  • Resolving day-to-day operational issues in an administrative role
  • Assisting with various aspects of management, logistics, and inventory

Training & Education

While a formal education is not always necessary, a degree is sometimes required and will help an applicant in negotiating for a higher salary. For most entry-level Administrative Assistant positions, a high school diploma or GED along with some office skills are all that is necessary. Exceptionally strong communication and time management skills are required for most administrative assistants. Vocational programs exist that will help in training for administrative support positions, as they teach the specific skills required for such a role.

Employers hiring Executive Assistants are more likely to seek out candidates with a college degree, especially one closely related to the business or industry the executive works in.

Salary

While applicants with a formal education are usually at an advantage, experience and location will play a role in salary, as will the type of administrative assistants position. For example, office support positions usually pay significantly less than executive assistant roles.

aerospace engineer

What does an Aerospace Engineer do?

Every day millions of people all over the world take to the skies in a wide range of aircraft, from single engine planes to gigantic shuttles designed to carry hundreds of passengers. Each of these planes was once only a vision deep inside an aerospace engineer’s mind, one which came into existence through the skilled work and testing of its creator.

An aerospace engineer has been trained to design airplanes, spaceships, new forms of aircraft, and even satellites and missiles for use by the military. They also test all prototypes to ensure they work as designed. Because of the work they do, aerospace engineers have taken us to the moon, have designed the devices that have taken flight beyond our solar system, and allow us to reach our destinations easily and comfortably through the use of their creations.

The profession is challenging and enjoyable, and has direct applications that can benefit humankind. Today, aerospace engineers have come to realize that the sky is no longer the limit and are looking for new and exciting ways to apply their knowledge to take us beyond the limits of what we know, making this one of the most sought after careers.

What sort of training and education will prepare me to become an aerospace engineer?

When you are looking to become an aerospace engineer, you will need to place a large focus on subject such as math, physics, aerodynamics, computer science, and chemistry during high school. As you enter college you will have to major in engineering, which will advance your skills in this area to prepare you for an advanced degree in aeronautical engineering.

Once you have graduated, you will very likely enter the workforce as a junior engineer, but experience and continued training will allow you to step up the ranks until you earn a position that will allow you to research and work on original products, giving way to breakthroughs in all areas of aeronautics and design. Being an aerospace engineer will require great knowledge of current and new technology, which is why it is said that you will never stop learning new things, making it one of the most satisfying careers in existence today.

air traffic controller

What does an Air Traffic Controller do?

Air traffic controllers are tasked with ensuring that the skies are safe by guiding the myriad of aircraft that are airborne at any given time in the nation. An air traffic controller is basically responsible for directing private, commercial, and military aircraft from the time they take off until the time they return back to Terra Firma. Their work helps guarantee the safety of pilots, passengers, and cargo 24/7, 365-days-a-year.

Duties of an Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic controllers man the more than 350 control towers, communication facilities, and radar centers throughout the nation. In addition to clearing traffic for landing or taking off, they also issue weather advisories and monitoring the in-flight progress of the thousands of aircraft that are aloft at any given time. Air traffic controllers also play a role in national defense by identifying illegal aircraft that have violated national airspace.

With this much responsibility on their plate at any given time, air traffic controllers’ work under very stressful circumstances, and efforts are made to break up their schedule to maintain alertness. As such, they tend to work rotating shifts, which feature working “on position” for upwards of two hours followed by a thirty minute break. Research has proven that when controllers work longer than that their performance and efficacy rapidly drops.

Core Skills and Training Required of Air Traffic Controllers

Certain core skills typically accompany the successful aircraft controller to work. As a group, they are generally well-organized, quick with computations, demonstrate strong decision making skills, and exhibit excellent communication abilities. Moreover, since the position is largely deemed as one of the most mentally challenging careers available, trainees undergo thorough physical and psychological testing to ensure that they are up to the demanding physical and mental rigors of the job.

There are three major pathways to becoming an air traffic controller:

  • The military provides a steady reservoir of available candidates who have received specialized training from the FAA or the Department of Defense.
  • Four years of college, or combination of study and three years of related work experience.
  • Completion of a certified program in aviation at one of the FAA’s Air Traffic Training Initiative.

New employees must also complete a 12-week program at the FAA’s Oklahoma City academy prior to placement in one of the nation’s control towers. As one might expect, air traffic controllers are highly compensated for their skills, and competition is sharp whenever a position opens.