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Accountant

What does an Accountant do?

To be an accountant, you require a love of numbers, a fondness for reading reports, and an eye for details. While some accountants work on their own, the majority are part of a team. Working well with other people is equally important.

The role of an accountant

People who choose accounting as a career should possess the skill set for the following tasks:

  • Monitor the income and expenses of an organization.
  • Prepare profit and loss statements and reports to a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or clients to establish profitability.
  • Analyze and correct reports for discrepancies.
  • Supervise the accounting department.
  • Explain billing procedures or other basic bookkeeping procedures to other staff, if needed.
  • Provide statements and reports to the internal or external auditing team.
  • Comply with federal, state and local tax guidelines.

Accounting education

Initial training can be gained by taking a two-year course in bookkeeping or accounting, but to practise as an accountant, a Bachelor’s degree is required. This degree can be in arts or science or any other discipline. If you’ve set your sights higher than a mere entry level job, earning a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and auditing is recommended.

Other than training in financial management and tax laws, an accounting degree teaches research skills, problem solving, knowledge of accounting technology and software, and project management.

If you’re looking to get a high paying job, you will have to earn a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification. In 45 States, 150 semester hours are required after earning a Bachelor’s degree in order to apply for certification. With this certification you’ll have a distinct advantage in securing management jobs.

Job prospects

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects an increase of 22 percent in accounting and auditor positions. The best paying markets are identified as:

  • Tax preparation
  • Payroll services
  • Government (state and local)

Contrary to popular belief, not all accountants are geeks or nerds. Intelligence balanced with social skills allows many accountants to become partners in firms or executives such as a CFO or Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

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.