Technology-based careers put workers on the cutting edge of the latest developments, whether scientific, industrial, mechanical or in information technology. Jobs in this field have a promising future and a steady and sometimes lucrative salary. Although many technical careers involve some level of math, for those who never liked this subject, there are technology-based jobs that don’t involve mathematics.
Technical writers use their technical skills to understand and explain complex information. They write training and instruction manuals, assembly instructions and customer-support guides, in addition to charts and other documents that make technical information easier to understand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for technical writers will increase by 17 percent through 2020, a little better than the 14.3 percent average for all jobs. Most employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism or communications or a degree and knowledge in a specialized technical area such as computer science, engineering, science or medicine. In May 2012, technical writers earned an annual mean salary of $67,910.
Career and technical-education teachers help students develop skills for such careers as automotive technology, heating and air conditioning repair, and computer repair. In addition to planning and teaching lessons, these teachers also coordinate their curricula with community colleges and develop relationships with businesses to ensure that employer requirements are met. The job outlook for this profession is a 2 percent growth rate through 2020, which is slower than the national average. The BLS reports that some career and technical-education teachers have a bachelor’s degree in their specialty area, others have an education degree and take classes in their specialty area, while some have a high school diploma and extensive work experience in the field they teach. The mean annual salary for these teachers was $57,140, according to May 2012 BLS data.
Technical wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives sell such technical products as industrial equipment and computer goods. They meet with customers, explain the features and advantages of their products, answer customer questions and negotiate prices. The BLS projects 16 percent growth in this area. A bachelor’s degree is usually required, and many companies have a formal training program. In May 2012, the annual mean salary for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives was $85,690.
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians set up and operate the electronic equipment used for television and radio broadcasts, concerts, movies and sound recordings. They may also work such events as conferences, sports events and lectures. In addition to setting up and operating equipment, these professionals also use their technical skills to troubleshoot and repair various electronic and electrical systems and mechanical equipment. Broadcast and video technicians are responsible for both video and audio, and some may work with lighting as well. Sound engineering technicians, recording engineers and sound mixers focus on audio. Demand for these professionals is projected to grow by 10 percent. According to the BLS, a high school diploma is the minimum educational requirement for broadcast and sound engineering technicians. However, many have an associate degree in broadcast technology or sound engineering. The annual mean salary for these positions was $46,690 according to May 2012 data.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Technical Writers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2012 National Occupational Employment Statistics
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Career and Technical Education Teachers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians
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