Tag Archives: Teachers

Earth-friendly Careers for Earth Day 2018

Only 2 more years until we hit the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day! The first Earth Day occurred on April 22, 1970. Here at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, we track jobs, including jobs that take care of our planet. The Occupational Outlook Handbook provides career information for hundreds of occupations. The Handbook has been around for almost 70 years; the first paperback edition in 1949 cost $1.75!

In honor of Earth Day, here are six earth-friendly career paths to consider:

Environmental Science and Protection Technicians

What they do: Monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution and contamination, including those affecting public health.

  • 2017 median pay: $45,490 per year
  • Typical entry-level education: Associate’s degree
  • Number of jobs in 2017: 32,840
  • Projected growth 2016–26: 12% (Faster than average)

Conservation Scientists and Foresters

What they do: Manage the overall land quality of forests, parks, rangelands, and other natural resources.Conservation scientist

  • 2017 median pay: $60,970 per year
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Number of jobs in 2017: 30,340
  • Projected growth 2016–26: 6% (As fast as average)

 

 

 

Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

What they do: Study animals and other wildlife and how they interact with their ecosystems and the impact humans have on wildlife and natural habitats.

  • 2017 median pay: $62,290 per year
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Number of jobs in 2017: 17,710
  • Projected growth 2016–26: 8% (As fast as average)

Environmental Engineers

What they do: Use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems.

  • 2017 median pay: $86,800 per year
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Number of jobs in 2017: 52,640
  • Projected growth 2016–26: 8% (As fast as average)

Microbiologists

What they do: Study microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi, and some types of parasites to understand how these organisms live, grow, and interact with their environments.Microbiologists

  • 2017 median pay: $69,960 per year
  • Typical entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Number of jobs in 2017: 21,870
  • Projected growth 2016–26: 8% (As fast as average)

 

 

 

Urban and Regional Planners

What they do: Develop land use plans and programs that help create communities, accommodate population growth, and revitalize physical facilities in towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas.Urban planner

  • 2017 median pay: $71,490 per year
  • Typical entry-level education: Master’s degree
  • Number of jobs in 2017: 35,310
  • Projected growth 2016–26: 13% (Faster than average)

 

 

 

You can explore hundreds of occupations using our Occupational Outlook Handbook. For a larger list of new and emerging earth-friendly or “green” jobs, visit the Department of Labor’s O*Net Resource Center.

 

Shape the Future with a Teaching Career

Editor’s note: The following has been cross-posted from the U.S. Department of Labor blog. The writer is Allen Chen, an economist at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This blog post was adapted from a Career Outlook article by Dennis Vilorio, an economist formerly employed by BLS.

If you dream of inspiring the minds of the future, consider teaching. Teachers give students the knowledge and tools to succeed both in school and beyond the classroom. It’s a smart career choice, too: Most teaching jobs pay above the median for all occupations ($36,200), and BLS projects there will be more than 2 million job openings between 2014 and 2024 for teachers at all levels.

Types of teachers

  • Preschool and K-12 teachers: These teachers are often generalists in lower grades but specialize in certain subjects in higher grades.
  • Postsecondary teachers: Commonly referred to as professors or instructors, these teachers work in community colleges, universities, technical and trade schools, and other institutions of higher learning. Besides instructing students, they conduct research and publish academic papers and books.
  • Special education and other teachers: These teachers work with children and adult students who have special needs, who want remedial help, or who need literacy instruction.

A day in the life

Teachers might be envied for the summer and holiday breaks they get, but the data show that they put in long hours preparing for their students. Many work on the weekends and outside the classroom after school by sponsoring student clubs or chaperoning events.

Some teachers are with the same students all day; others have a few classes throughout the day with different students. Many teachers say that challenges with classroom management, workload, and bureaucratic oversight are the most frustrating elements of the job. But they say the most satisfying parts are watching students learn, the variety each day brings, and working with supportive colleagues.

A chart showing the percentage of teachers working at each hour of the average weekday and weekend day.

Editor’s note: A text-only version of the graphic is below. The data are restricted to days that people who described their main job as being a teacher and reported doing at least one minute of work for their main job. Holidays are excluded from the data.

By the numbers

BLS data show variation in employment, projected job openings, and wages among teaching occupations. Wages also vary based on grade level and geographic location, but nearly all teaching jobs had median annual wages that were higher than the $36,200 median annual wage for all occupations in May 2015.

A graphic showing employment and wages for different types of teaching careers, including preschool, K-12, postsecondary, and special education.

Editor’s note: A text-only version of the graphic is below. Job openings are from employment growth and the need to replace workers who leave the occupation. The “other” category includes adult basic and secondary education and literacy teachers and instructors, self-enrichment education teachers, and miscellaneous teachers and instructors.

Becoming a teacher

Before leading your own classroom, you’ll have to learn to be a teacher. The skills, education, and other qualifications to be eligible vary widely — one good resource for finding requirements in your state is teacher.org.

For example, preschool teachers typically must have an associate’s degree, kindergarten through secondary teachers usually require a bachelor’s degree, and postsecondary teachers generally need a doctoral degree or a master’s degree in their field. None of the occupations typically require work experience in a related occupation for entry-level employment, but an internship or residency may be necessary as part of on-the-job training. And teachers in public schools usually need certification or a license.

There are plenty of ways to help shape the future, one mind at a time. Which path will you choose?

Learn more: More information about teaching or teaching-related occupations is available in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, as well as from the U.S. Department of Education and professional teaching associations. You might also qualify for loan forgiveness or for taking an alternative route to becoming teacher if you commit to work in a low-income community.

Graphic 1: What Time Teachers Work

Percent of teachers working, by time of day on days they worked, 2011–15
 Time of day Weekday Weekend day
4-4:59 am 1.2 1.1
5-5:59 am 4.3 1.1
6-6:59 am 21.6 5.5
7-7:59 am 69.6 13.6
8-8:59 am 88.1 20.6
9-9:59 am 90.7 31.1
10-10:59 am 91.0 28.6
11-11:59am 91.2 29.7
12-12:59 pm 88.1 28.9
1-1:59 pm 89.1 33.2
2-2:59 pm 89.7 32.8
3-3:59 pm 80.0 32.4
4-4:59 pm 47.9 34.4
5-5:59 pm 30.1 30.8
6-6:59 pm 16.0 25.5
7-7:59 pm 15.0 22.9
8-8:59 pm 18.2 27.4
9-9:59 pm 14.3 23.4
10-10:59 pm 7.2 14.0
11-11:59 pm 3.6 8.0
12-12:59 am 2.0 2.5
1-1:59 am 0.4 1.1
2-2:59am 0.3 0.7
3-3:59 am 0.3 0.9

 

Graphic 2: Types of Teaching Occupations

Occupation Number employed in 2014 Projected job openings, 2014-24 2015 median wages Typical education needed for entry
Postsecondary teachers 1,869,400 550,600 $64,450 Master’s degree or higher
Others, such as self-enrichment and adult literacy teachers 1,408,700 391,000 $30,760 Variable
Elementary school teachers 1,358,000 378,700 $54,890 Bachelor’s degree
Secondary school teachers 961,600 284,000 $57,200 Bachelor’s degree
Middle school teachers 627,500 175,500 $55,860 Bachelor’s degree
Preschool teachers 441,000 158,700 $28,570 Associate degree
Special education teachers 491,100 123,500 $58,500 Bachelor’s degree
Kindergarten teachers 159,400 56,100 $51,640 Bachelor’s degree

 

How People Use the Occupational Outlook Handbook to Search for Careers

BLS released our 2016–17 edition of the Occupational Outlook Handbook on December 17. It is one of the nation’s most widely used sources of career information. It provides details on hundreds of occupations and is used by career counselors, students, parents, teachers, jobseekers, career changers, education and training officials, and researchers. I have asked guest bloggers from the National Association for College Admission Counseling to share how they and their members use this popular resource.

For Gail Grand’s students, the college search process is about more than just picking a campus.

Teens complete an aptitude and interest test and explore careers before ever submitting applications. The strategy is a smart one. Fewer than four in 10 college students graduate in four years, federal data show. And as tuition rates continue to grow, extra years in school can often mean additional debt.

OOH-blog

Tapping into resources like the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) helps teens make wise college choices, said Grand, an independent college counselor based in California’s Westlake Village. It also increases students’ likelihood of graduating on time, she noted.

An updated version of the OOH—an online resource that includes hundreds of occupations—was released today.

“It’s a great jumping off point,” said Grand, a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). “I use it to go more in depth with students. We look at what the career entails, and which fields really appeal to them.”

Every OOH occupation profile includes on-the-job duties and typical entry-level education requirements. Students can also see if the number of jobs in the profession is projected to grow or shrink over the next decade, and check out the median salary.

When teens have access to the data at the same time that they are making college decisions “they become more informed consumers,” said Dana Ponsky, co-director of college counseling at Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland.

The OOH can also help students learn more about careers they might have otherwise written off. Ponsky, also a NACAC member, recalls counseling a student at her previous school. The teen had completed an online career assessment that showed he would be well-suited as a florist.

“He was very clear about saying: This isn’t me,” Ponsky said.

But by using the OOH, Ponsky was able to get the student to reflect on other occupations that might be of interest.

“I asked him to think about the fact that the flower business in the United States is one of the biggest export/import businesses in world,” she recalled. “That shifted the conversation. He used the handbook to investigate options in international business. Ultimately, that was what he pursued for undergrad.”

Both Ponsky and Grand agree: Not every high school student can (or should) select an occupation prior to college admission.

Nonetheless, OOH and other career exploration resources are an invaluable part of the college application process.

One of the OOH features that Grand finds most helpful is the “More Info” tab, which commonly includes links to professional groups associated with each occupation. She encourages her students to use those resources to pursue mentorships or job shadow opportunities.

“Lots of times kids are going to change majors, but I think when they have an idea of what they want before they go, they’re more likely to finish in four years ” said Grand, who worked as a school-based counselor for 22 years before founding her company, The College Advisor, Inc. “They have a purpose, and they have a passion.”

Introducing the new Career Outlook for students, jobseekers, career counselors, and others

I am delighted to introduce the new BLS publication Career Outlook. Formerly known as Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Career Outlook has a new name, a new look, and new features for students, career counselors, jobseekers, researchers, and others. Career Outlook provides helpful information about choosing an occupation, changing careers, understanding education and training options, and more.

You will find several kinds of articles in Career Outlook.

  • Feature articles present in-depth studies of topics such as occupations and industries, employment projections, and career planning.
  • You’re a what?” articles profile unique or interesting occupations, such as ornithologist and golf ball diver.
  • Interview with a…” lets you follow a worker’s career path in a question-and-answer format.
  • Data on display” showcases data in graphs, along with accompanying analysis.
  • Quick Tips provide links to helpful websites for scholarships and other topics of interest.

Career Outlook articles are written in straightforward language and provide relevant BLS data, where appropriate. A list of related content accompanies each article so that readers can get more information on the topics they want to see. New articles are posted to Career Outlook frequently, so be sure to check back!

You also can sign up to receive email alerts when new Career Outlook articles are published. Just type your email address in the box on the lower right side of the Career Outlook homepage.

Visit the new Career Outlook today!

Helping young people learn about economic statistics—and have fun doing it!

This week we have guest bloggers, Jean Fox and Robin Kaplan of the BLS Office of Survey Methods Research. Jean and Robin are part of a team of staff members who have been working to improve our web resources for students and their teachers and parents.

BLS recently launched a new K-12 website to reach out to our youngest audience—students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The goal of the site is to help students learn about BLS concepts related to statistics and the economy and to help them make informed career decisions.

The new site has a mix of games, resources for students and teachers, and facts about BLS. Students can play games that teach them about BLS concepts, find careers that relate to their interests, and learn facts about the economy and jobs. Teachers can use the content on the site to bring BLS into the classroom, with hands-on activities that teach students about topics such as inflation, time use, and careers.

The development team wanted to get feedback about the site directly from kids. So when the Department of Labor (DOL) hosted a “Take your Daughters and Sons to Work Day,” we took advantage of the opportunity to see what the kids thought.

During the event, we held sessions in a DOL computer lab. Four different groups of 20 students each came through the lab, including students from elementary, middle, and high school. During each session, we gave a brief demonstration of the site, then let the kids try it out on their own. Most of the kids tried at least one of the games, and a number of them looked at career information. At the end of each session, we had a brief discussion about their experience and their recommendations for the site.

Overall, the students (and the chaperones!) liked the material on the site, but they had some great ideas for improving it. For example:

  • The students thought the games should have more of a “celebration” when they won.
  • Some students thought the games were too hard, others thought they were too easy. To address this, we should be sure to include different levels of difficulty for the games.
  • A couple of students mentioned that they might want to access the games and other content from a cell phone or a tablet, so we should make sure everything works on these devices.
  • Several students suggested that we should have more games; they were happy to hear we had more planned.

Overall, students who looked at the career information thought it was useful and interesting. They also had some suggestions, including:

  • We should make it easier to find information about occupations that were not listed on our page. Our Occupational Outlook Handbook contains information about hundreds of jobs, so the K-12 site should provide an easy way to reach it.
  • We should make sure that we include the more popular occupations on the K-12 career exploration page.

The team has already incorporated some of the suggestions. We are continuing to revise the site to add content and address additional suggestions from the kids. We are also working to get more feedback from students and teachers to improve the site for everyone. By creating content that appeals to kids, we hope to continue our mission of reaching out to the next generation of BLS customers.

If you have suggestions or comments, please contact the team at Kids@bls.gov.