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Essential members of any construction team include mapping and surveying technicians—the "instrument people"—who set up and operate special equipment that measures distances, curves, elevations, and angles between points on Earth's surface. These technicians then take the data gathered by the instruments and create maps and charts on a computer. About half of their work is spent in hands-on, high-technology data collection in the field, while the other half is spent in an… Read more
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Do you enjoy watching cable television, texting on your phone, and surfing the Internet? Do you know anyone who has had eye surgery and been back to normal the next day? Many of the advances in telecommunications and medicine are due to laser and fiber-optic technology. This technology has led to devices that provide faster and richer communication, advanced surgeries, and faster healing times, as well as amazing robotics for manufacturing. But, as with all equipment, someone has to install and… Read more
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Would you like knowing that what you do every day helps the environment and saves money? Well, that is what solar photovoltaic installers do. They outfit buildings and large solar energy farms with photovoltaic systems that convert free sunlight into clean and renewable energy. This is an exciting, emerging field that will enable you to combine a passion for the environment with mechanical and electrical skills. Read more
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Have you ever seen a wind farm or a collection of wind turbines? When the wind blows, the turbines rotate, turning the wind into energy for communities to use. But in order for the wind turbine to produce the greatest amount of energy efficiently, a wind turbine service technician must inspect, troubleshoot, repair, and ensure that the wind turbine is in good working order. This is a job that requires no fear of heights along with great mechanical aptitude and a good working knowledge of… Read more
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Have you ever been in a new city and needed to figure out how to get from point A to point B? Have you ever tried to figure out the best time of the year to go on vacation so that you have good weather? Many people in these situations turn to a map. Maps are important sources of information, and geographic information systems (GIS) technicians are the professionals who gather data from a variety of sources, store it in databases, and use those databases to make accurate maps. Because maps are… Read more
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Every day, trash collectors across the nation haul our garbage (minus the recyclables) to a landfill. There, the garbage decomposes into gas and leachate. This sounds gross, but the good news is that the gas can be used to create electricity. Landfill gas-collection power plants harvest the methane gas from landfills, then burn it to generate electricity. These power plants need people to keep the equipment functioning properly. Methane gas generation systems technicians are responsible for… Read more
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What do traffic lights, lasers, and microchips have in common? They are made from special materials called semiconductors. Semiconductors have helped revolutionize technology. If you enjoy hands-on work and are interested in participating in cutting-edge semiconductor technology, then a career as a semiconductor processor maybe of interest to you! Read more
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Do you spend time enjoying a city park? The next time you go, take a minute to look around and see how other people arrive at the park. Some people may walk to the park on a maintained pathway. Others may come via the subway, if one is located close by. Still others may be dropped off by car, at a designated curb. A few may even bicycle to the park. But who plans all of these different ways of getting to the park? Well, that would be a transportation planner, who figures out how to get all of… Read more
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Houses are made up of walls, doors, windows, ducts, and attics. Our lives are centered around the rooms where we eat, sleep, and spend time with our friends and family. But, while walls, doors, windows, and ducts shelter us, they can also cost money in wasted energy. If any of these things "leak"—if they are not sealed tight or insulated—your house can be subject to changes in the weather, becoming too hot in summer or too cold in winter. In either case, keeping a "leaky" house… Read more
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