Automotive technology encompasses careers in the inspection, repair and maintenance of a vehicle's mechanical and electronic systems, including those found on cars, trucks, motorcycles, aircraft, marine and industrial vehicles. Common job titles include automobile service technician and mechanic. Workers in this field may also choose to specialize in a specific automotive area or equipment, such as tires, alternative fuel vehicles, diesel vehicles, emissions systems and specialty fabrications. Most automotive service technicians and mechanics work in well-ventilated and well-lit repair shops. Although mechanical problems can often be fixed with computers, technicians perform many tasks with parts and tools.
According to the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics is expected to grow 17 percent by 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job opportunities for qualified jobseekers should be very good.
Computer Maintenance & Service Technology
Computer maintenance careers include a wide range of jobs. While some computer maintenance workers such as computer maintenance technicians work on personal and individual computers, computer system administrators work predominantly on software for entire enterprises. However, as information and computing become more important every year, computer maintenance careers continue to be a good option.
Computer maintenance technicians or personal computer maintenance technicians adjust software settings, reinstall software or repair software malfunctions. These technicians also assemble, disassemble or reassemble computers depending on the type of repair work in which they specialize. Computer maintenance technicians work on site at a computer business or in their customers' homes, depending on their employer.
Computer support specialists are computer maintenance workers who provide support, technical assistance or advice about information technology. Computer support specialists usually work for hardware and software developers, vendors or distributors who offer technical support or assistance. They work in an office or a computer lab.
According to the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), employment of network and computer systems administrators is expected to grow 28 percent by 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for these workers is high and should continue to grow as firms invest in newer, faster technology and mobile networks.
Electrical Construction Technology/Electrical Technology/Electronics Technology
According to the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), by the year 2014, the national need for electrical workers will rise to more than 734,000 - a figure more than 70,000 beyond the number currently employed in the field. Those with a background in electrical construction may be prepared for a number of careers, including but not limited to: an apprentice for an electrical contractor, a design and engineering assistant for an engineering firm, a maintenance electrician for a manufacturing plant, a journeyman electrician, an industrial technician, a construction electrician, or electrical contractor.
Electricians work indoors and out, 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 some other construction occupations, there are some common risks (such as electrical shock) associated with the job.
Employment of electricians is projected to grow 23 percent by 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Homes and businesses require more wiring than ever before, and electricians will be needed to install the necessary components.
Welding is a career that offers more choices of industries to work in and advancement opportunities than just about any other career choice. Welders are needed in almost every industry and those who want to advance their career have the ability to do so with additional schooling. Welders can find career opportunities in fields such as inspection, engineering, robotics, education, project management, and sales. Because welding is done everywhere, there is no doubt that those who go into the welding field and advance their career would be exposed to opportunities to travel for work. For example, welders who work on industrial shut downs travel from place to place helping the industries that manufacture the products that the public purchases. Or, those welders who get into careers such as ship building and repair typically travel to ports where work needs to be done.
Welders often work in inclement weather, or indoors, sometimes in a confined area. They may work on a scaffold high off the ground, and they occasionally must lift heavy objects and work in awkward positions. Most work full time and overtime is common in this occupation.
According to the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), employment of welders is expected to grow 15 percent by 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Properly skilled welders with up-to-date training should have the best job prospects.