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Archives for Careers in the USA

Careers in the USA: Computer Systems Analysts

Computer Systems Analysts
Computer systems analysts help organizations rethink their computer system needs.

Quick Facts: Computer Systems Analysts

2012 Median Pay
$79,680 per year
$38.31 per hour

Entry-Level Education
Bachelor’s degree

Work Experience in a Related Occupation
None

On-the-job Training
None

Number of Jobs, 2012
520,600

Job Outlook, 2012-22
25% (Much faster than average)

Employment Change, 2012-22
127,700

What Computer Systems Analysts Do
Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and design information systems solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.

Work Environment
Most systems analysts work full time. About a quarter worked more than 40 hours per week in 2012.

How to Become a Computer Systems Analyst
A bachelor’s degree in a computer or information science field is common, although not always a requirement. Some firms hire analysts with business or liberal arts degrees who have skills in information technology or computer programming.

Pay
The median annual wage for computer systems analysts was $79,680 in May 2012.

Job Outlook
Employment of computer systems analysts is projected to grow 25 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth in cloud computing, cybersecurity, and mobile networks will increase demand for these workers.

Careers in the USA: Web Developers

Web Developers
Web developers are responsible for both the look of a website and its technical aspects.

Quick Facts: Web Developers

2012 Median Pay
$62,500 per year
$30.05 per hour

Entry-Level Education
Associate’s degree

Work Experience in a Related Occupation
None

On-the-job Training
None

Number of Jobs, 2012
141,400

Job Outlook, 2012-22
20% (Faster than average)

Employment Change, 2012-22
28,500

What Web Developers Do
Web developers design and create websites. They are responsible for the look of the site. They are also responsible for the site’s technical aspects, such as performance and capacity, which are measures of a website’s speed and how much traffic the site can handle. They also may create content for the site.

Work Environment
About a quarter of web developers were self-employed in 2012. Non-self-employed developers work primarily in the computer systems design and related services industry.

How to Become a Web Developer
The typical education needed to become a web developer is an associate’s degree in web design or related field. Web developers need knowledge of both programming and graphic design.

Pay
The median annual wage for web developers was $62,500 in May 2012.

Job Outlook
Employment of web developers is projected to grow 20 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Demand will be driven by the growing popularity of mobile devices and ecommerce.

Careers in the USA: Software Developers

Software Developers
Software developers design computer programs.

Quick Facts: Software Developers

2012 Median Pay
$93,350 per year
$44.88 per hour

Entry-Level Education
Bachelor’s degree

Work Experience in a Related Occupation
None

On-the-job Training
None

Number of Jobs, 2012
1,018,000

Job Outlook, 2012-22
22% (Much faster than average)

Employment Change, 2012-22
222,600

What Software Developers Do

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or other device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks.

Work Environment

Many software developers work for computer systems design and related services firms or software publishers.

How to Become a Software Developer

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and strong computer programming skills.

Pay
In May 2012, the median annual wage for applications software developers was $90,060. The median annual wage for systems software developers was $99,000 in May 2012.

Job Outlook
Employment of software developers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. The main reason for the rapid growth is a large increase in the demand for computer software.

Careers in the USA: Computer Hardware Engineers

Computer Hardware Engineers
Computer hardware engineers solve problems that arise in computer hardware.

Quick Facts: Computer Hardware Engineers

2012 Median Pay
$100,920 per year
$48.52 per hour

Entry-Level Education
Bachelor’s degree

Work Experience in a Related Occupation
None

On-the-job Training
None

Number of Jobs, 2012
83,300

Job Outlook, 2012-22
7% (Slower than average)

Employment Change, 2012-22
6,200

What Computer Hardware Engineers Do
Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers. By creating new directions in computer hardware, these engineers create rapid advances in computer technology.

Work Environment
Computer hardware engineers usually work in research laboratories that build and test various types of computer models. Most work in high-tech manufacturing firms.

How to Become a Computer Hardware Engineer
Most computer hardware engineers need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program.

Pay
The median annual wage for computer hardware engineers was $100,920 in May 2012.

Job Outlook
Employment of computer hardware engineers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2012 to 2022, slower than the average for all occupations. A limited number of engineers will be needed to meet the demand for new computer hardware because more of the technology innovation takes place with software than with hardware.

Careers in the USA: Computer Support Specialists

Computer Support Specialists
Some computer support specialists, called help-desk technicians, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems.

Quick Facts: Computer Support Specialists

2012 Median Pay
$48,900 per year
$23.51 per hour

Entry-Level Education
See How to Become One

Work Experience in a Related Occupation
None

On-the-job Training
See How to Become One

Number of Jobs, 2012
722,400

Job Outlook, 2012-22
17% (Faster than average)

Employment Change, 2012-22
123,000

What Computer Support Specialists Do

Computer support specialists provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software or equipment. Some, called computer network support specialists, support information technology (IT) employees within their organization. Others, called computer user support specialists, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems.

Work Environment
Most computer support specialists have full-time work schedules; however, many do not work typical 9-to-5 jobs. Because computer support is important for businesses, many support specialists must be available 24 hours a day.

How to Become a Computer Support Specialist

Because of the wide range of skills used in different computer support jobs, there are many paths into the occupation. A bachelor’s degree is required for some computer support specialist positions, but an associate’s degree or postsecondary classes may be enough for others.

Pay
In May 2012, the median annual wage for computer network support specialists was $59,090. The median annual wage for computer user support specialists was $46,420 in May 2012.

Job Outlook
Employment of computer support specialists is projected to grow 17 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. More support services will be needed as organizations upgrade their computer equipment and software.

Careers in the USA: Database Administrators

Database Administrators
Database administrators ensure that data are available to many different users.

Quick Facts: Database Administrators

2012 Median Pay
$77,080 per year
$37.06 per hour

Entry-Level Education
Bachelor’s degree

Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Less than 5 years

On-the-job Training
None

Number of Jobs, 2012
118,700

Job Outlook, 2012-22
15% (Faster than average)

Employment Change, 2012-22
17,900

What Database Administrators Do
Database administrators (DBAs) use specialized software to store and organize data, such as financial information and customer shipping records. They make sure that data are available to users and are secure from unauthorized access.

Work Environment
Almost all database administrators work full time. About a quarter worked more than 40 hours per week in 2012.

How to Become a Database Administrator
Database administrators usually have a bachelor’s degree in an information- or computer- related subject. Before becoming an administrator, these workers typically get work experience in a related field.

Pay
The median annual wage for database administrators was $77,080 in May 2012.

Job Outlook
Employment of database administrators is projected to grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth in this occupation will be driven by the increased data needs of companies across the economy.

Careers in the USA: Electricians

Electricians
Electricians inspect electrical components, such as transformers and circuit breakers.

Quick Facts: Electricians

2012 Median Pay
$49,840 per year
$23.96 per hour

Entry-Level Education
High school diploma or equivalent

Work Experience in a Related Occupation
None

On-the-job Training
Apprenticeship

Number of Jobs, 2012
583,500

Job Outlook, 2012-22
20% (Faster than average)

Employment Change, 2012-22
114,700

What Electricians Do
Electricians install and maintain electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems in homes, businesses, and factories.

Work Environment

Electricians work indoors and outdoors, in nearly every type of facility. Almost all electricians work full time, which may include evenings and weekends. Although the work is not as dangerous as other construction occupations, potential injuries include electrical shocks and burns, cuts, and falls.

How to Become an Electrician
Although most electricians learn through an apprenticeship, some start out by attending a technical school. Most states require electricians to be licensed.

Pay
The median annual wage for electricians was $49,840 in May 2012.

Job Outlook
Employment of electricians is projected to grow 20 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. As homes and businesses require more wiring, electricians will be needed to install the necessary components. Electricians with the widest variety of skills should have the best job opportunities.

Careers in the USA: Civil Engineers

Civil Engineers
Civil engineers design and supervise large construction projects.

Quick Facts: Civil Engineers

2012 Median Pay
$79,340 per year
$38.14 per hour

Entry-Level Education
Bachelor’s degree

Work Experience in a Related Occupation
None

On-the-job Training
None

Number of Jobs, 2012
272,900

Job Outlook, 2012-22
20% (Faster than average)

Employment Change, 2012-22
53,700

What Civil Engineers Do

Civil engineers design, construct, supervise, operate, and maintain large construction projects and systems, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment.

Work Environment
Civil engineers generally work indoors in offices. However, many spend time outdoors at construction sites so they can monitor operations or solve problems onsite. Most work full time.

How to Become a Civil Engineer
Civil engineers need a bachelor’s degree, either in civil engineering or civil engineering technology. They typically need a graduate degree and licensure for promotion to senior positions. Though licensure requirements vary within the U.S., civil engineers must usually be licensed in the locations where they provide services publicly.

Pay
The median annual wage for civil engineers was $79,340 in May 2012.

Job Outlook
Employment of civil engineers is projected to grow 20 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. As infrastructure continues to age, civil engineers will be needed to manage projects to rebuild bridges, repair roads, and upgrade levees and dams.

Careers in the USA: Architects

Architects
Architects plan and design houses, office buildings, and other structures.

Quick Facts: Architects

2012 Median Pay
$73,090 per year
$35.14 per hour

Entry-Level Education
Bachelor’s degree

Work Experience in a Related Occupation
None

On-the-job Training
Internship/residency

Number of Jobs, 2012
107,400

Job Outlook, 2012-22
17% (Faster than average)

Employment Change, 2012-22
18,600

What Architects Do
Architects plan and design houses, office buildings, and other structures.

Work Environment
Architects spend much of their time in offices, where they meet with clients, and consult with engineers and other architects. They also visit construction sites to review the progress of projects. About 1 in 5 were self-employed in 2012.

How to Become an Architect
There are typically three main steps to becoming a licensed architect: completing a professional degree in architecture, gaining relevant experience through a paid internship, and passing the Architect Registration Exam.

Pay
The median annual wage for architects was $73,090 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of architects is projected to grow 17 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Competition for jobs will be strong as the number of applicants continues to outnumber available positions.

Careers in the USA: Drafters

Drafters
Drafters take designs from engineers and architects and convert them into plans needed for construction.

Quick Facts: Drafters

2012 Median Pay
$49,630 per year
$23.86 per hour

Entry-Level Education
Associate’s degree

Work Experience in a Related Occupation
None

On-the-job Training
None

Number of Jobs, 2012
199,800

Job Outlook, 2012-22
1% (Little or no change)

Employment Change, 2012-22
2,200

What Drafters Do
Drafters use software to convert the designs of engineers and architects into technical drawings and plans. Workers specialize in architectural, civil, electrical, or mechanical drafting and use technical drawings to help design everything from microchips to skyscrapers.

Work Environment
Although drafters spend much of their time working on computers in an office, some must visit job sites in order to collaborate with architects and engineers. Most drafters work full time.

How to Become a Drafter
Drafters typically need specialized training, which can be accomplished through a technical program that leads to a certificate or an associate’s degree in drafting.

Pay
The median annual wage for drafters was $49,630 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of drafters is projected to show little or no change from 2012 to 2022. Although drafters will continue to work on technical drawings and documents related to the design of buildings, machines, and tools, new software programs are making the work more efficient, thus requiring fewer workers. Competition for jobs is expected to be strong.

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