When you are looking to find jobs that allow you to work from home but don’t have the necessary equipment, don’t despair. There are plenty of companies that will provide you with the various types of equipment that you will need to get the job done. The problem though is – who does this?
A search on the internet will give you tons of results, almost too many to sort through. Lists of work-from-home jobs have been compiled and, as you pore through these, you start to see the same sources for work being listed over and over again. This could be good, in that the compiled lists will give you an idea of the types of jobs that can be done remotely. However, the downfall is that you and every other person out there that wants to work from home and needs help outfitting their home office is looking at the same lists – meaning you have tons, and tons of competition. So, what do you do?
For starters, it’s best to know what kind of work you like and are willing to do from home. Without narrowing that down, you can spend countless hours searching, reading through various sources that list a job as a work from home opportunity that really isn’t, or not even finding the actual jobs that are listed. Instead, you should first get to know the basic categories of remote work opportunities. Stay at home jobs most often fall under some of the following types of work:
Once you’ve researched these job areas and decided which interests you, it’s time to start your search. You can do this two ways – either search on the major job posting sites or do a lookup for the top companies that have the type of job you want.
Searching on the Major Job Posting Sites
If you start by using large job posting sites such as Indeed, SimplyHired, Glassdoor, or FlexJobs, you will need to structure your search to narrow down the results. Take for example, Indeed.com. Now known as the biggest source for nearly all jobs, the site can be overwhelming if you just search for “work from home.” You’ll have to pore through listing after listing until you come up with a company that offers the equipment needed for the work. However, refine that search! Try “work from home equipment provided” and you’ll see the number of results is greatly reduced. From there, hit Ctrl-F and enter “equipment” and see which listings have that word showing up. Your search just got a whole lot easier.
By doing exactly this daily, you will find newly posted work from home positions to choose from that will provide you with what you need. The best part is that while they may be jobs for the same type of work as seen on so many of the list sites, these listings are the most current as they are updated continually.
Here’s a sampling:
Telehealth/Work from Home Registered Nurse for Wellbox
According to the listing, you would be working from home providing telephonic encounters centered around chronic care management to patients. Further, the company listing says the job operates from the worker’s home and uses standard office equipment like computers and headsets. They provide all the equipment and the employee only needs to provide a high-speed internet connection.
Virtual Travel Consultant with American Express
If you are a well-seasoned traveler or somebody who was once an agent in a brick-and-mortar travel business, then this job may be right up your alley. With the only provision being that you live in an area that falls within the west region of the United States (Pacific, Mountain or Hawaii–Aleutian time zone), everything is outfitted for you. Per this job posting, consultants will be working for the American Express call center to help premium card members with all things travel related. You provide the space, and American Express will install both business class high-speed internet and a landline phone which is to be used exclusively for business purposes. This job opens up frequently in other time zones so keep an eye on their job postings if you live outside of this specific area.
Payment Solutions Associate for Alliance Data
Alliance is looking to fill positions for collections account representatives who can work from a home-based office. As a worker with Alliance, you will be handling calls, both inbound and outbound, aimed at negotiating settlements or securing payment arrangements on past due credit card accounts. To facilitate this work, Alliance Data states that they will provide all business equipment needed for the job, the exception being that the work-at-home employee needs to self-provide internet access.
Bilingual Member Service Representative with BroadPath Healthcare Solutions
If you have the ability to speak and read both Spanish and English, this fluency can land you a remote work position with BroadPath. This job also requires current working knowledge of Medicaid and/or Medicare health plans as the employee will be dealing with accounts related to these. BroadPath’s job listing states that work-from-home talent is typically hired during seasonal “surges” but getting your foot in the door often leads to a long-term position with the company. They will provide you with all equipment needed except for an internet connection. BroadPath Healthcare Solutions has several other work at home job categories (not all are bilingual) so be sure to check out their list of current positions.
AppleCare College Program Advisor for Apple
Apple has many work-from-home opportunities with this being just one of them. As an AppleCare At Home Advisor, it would be your job to work as a customer care representative using your knowledge and love of Apple technology and products to field questions from Apple customers. What’s unique about this particular position is that it is open only to students who are currently enrolled at a state-funded university (i.e.: Arizona State, Penn State, University of Alabama) that is designated as a partner in this program. So, if you are a student, love Apple products, and are looking to make some extra money to help with your educational costs, this might be a great fit. Apple only requires that you have a high-speed internet connection, as they will provide you with an iMac and a headset for the work you will be doing.
Work-From-Home Jobs Known for Providing Equipment
There are a few work-from-home jobs known for providing a computer, headset or other equipment necessary to complete the job remotely. I’ve already mentioned Apple and American Express. Here are a few more:
ABC Financial – this company offers remote customer service positions in addition to administration, account management and more. They not only provide all equipment and hardware needed to their at-home customer service reps, benefits are also available to full-time employees.
A Place for Mom – this company hires at-home Senior Advisors. These are usually full-time positions paying a base rate plus uncapped bonuses. Per the latest job listing, “SLAs are provided with a laptop fully loaded with Microsoft Office, Outlook, access to our CRM and VOIP Phone system through VPN to enable connection to the Company.” A bachelor’s degree and three years sales experience is preferred.
Buffer – this is a company that loves their remote workforce. Not only will you be supplied with a laptop to do your work, you will also enjoy perks such as unlimited time off, learning stipend, health insurance, “working smarter” stipend that can be used to create your ideal workspace, stock options, retreats and more. (Heck yeah!)
Care.com – this is a well-known company known for being “flex-friendly.” Past openings have included everything from accounting and art to editing and member care specialist. Their recent job opening for a Backup Care Specialist stated a laptop was provided. Positions may differ.
Enterprise – this company almost always has work-at-home positions available though they are usually location-specific. These are customer service and sales positions. You provide the computer, internet and USB headset. They provide a VOIP headset and key fob.
World Travel Holdings – World Travel Holdings provides you a computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, phone and headset upfront and then deducts the cost ($500 refundable deposit) from your first 5 paychecks. You do need a landline for this position. As you may have suspected, this is a travel-related gig. As an employee, you will also have access to benefits, paid time off and travel discounts.
Zapier – this company is 100% remote. Their workforce resides in over 17 countries. Like Buffer, this is another one that strives to make their employees happy. Not only are you provided with computer and software setup, but also unlimited vacation, healthcare, retirement, profit sharing and more. For those of you looking for employee positions, these are definitely two companies to try to get into if you have the experience and skills.
Original blog post on TheWorkAtHomeWife.com
Snapshot: The Real Poop: It’s very doubtful that anyone dreams about becoming a professional waiter (unless you’re Christina Ricci in Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star) or that anyone’s mom goes around bragging about her son or daughter being a long-term server. Truth is, this job is typically seen as a copout profession – one that flunkies who couldn’t hack going to school or succeeding at a “real” job get stuck with. Too bad. In reality though this career path is typically a temporary one for people IN school, IN the process of working at the beginning stages of another career, IN the process of earning more money to support their family (and many other situations that people are not aware of), it deserves to be painted in a different light.
The job requires people to be masters of multi-tasking (think managing several orders across several tables at once), knowledgeable of different types of food and beverages (not just burgers and Coke), able to accurately handle numbers and money (the cash registers do not do all the math all of the time), patient and diplomatic (screaming children or adults who act like children comes to mind), and reliable (miss your shift more than once and you may be off the schedule the next time you look).
Many of the people who work as waiters are highly talented, educated, charismatic, and otherwise successful individuals. Circumstances may have brought them to this profession and, if not for the degrading reputation that is put there by society, they might just keep at it because it’s hard but typically satisfying work. Additionally, the money can be really good, jobs are plentiful, free food is usually available, what to wear every day is a no brainer, scheduling can be flexible, and socializing while working is actually advantageous to the job.
The hardest part of the job is dealing with snide guests who expect everything and are stingy with tips. Also difficult is getting to know the menu, learning the way that the kitchen runs and getting your timing down, juggling orders during rushes, working on holidays, and being on your feet for hours at a time.
The unknown/unexpected part of the job is the side work. Filling salt and pepper shakers, rolling silverware, prepping the tables before opening – these and quite a number of other tasks are frequently part of the job and not known to the uninitiated (one more set of things that you often feel like you’re not getting paid to do).
The easiest part of the job? Taking the cash! When you’ve had a good table and they leave a really generous tip – nothing feels better than that.
The Typical Day: “It’s a five twelve o’clock world when the whistle blows” for Tommy Tablehop, a career waiter, with a day that starts off feeling like he never even went to sleep. He worked last night closing the restaurant and didn’t get home until 2AM. He was so wound up that he ended up watching a couple of movies before he finally fell asleep around six o’clock in the morning.
The Money: It’s unlikely that you’ll ever get rich working as a waiter, even at a chichi restaurant located in the likes of Beverly Hills. But, if you work harder than you can even imagine, kiss tons of butt between both the people you work with and the guests that you serve, you can make a good living - though your paycheck won’t show it. Remember, “officially” you’ll be getting paid much less than minimum wage.
Many times, if you’re lucky enough to work for a restaurant that is part of a company that offers benefits, your entire paycheck ends up being gobbled up in paying your portion for those benefits. So, that leaves you with what you earn in tips.
Tips can be good some days and entirely suck ass on others. It’s up to you to learn to manage your spending and bank the money instead of letting the wad of cash you bring home each night burn a hole in your pocket.
Good days can be mean a sizeable bankroll – upwards of $200 (translated annually, this would be equivalent to somebody working in an office for 40 hours a week earning 52K+). Not bad, when you can get creative at tax time and maybe claim only half. Not advocating - just sayin’.
Don’t forget, that there are parties or banquets that you may be able to work as well. Often, there are additional bonuses provided for working these. These can bring you more money since you can usually work these on days that you aren’t normally scheduled to work in the restaurant.
Bad news - there are lean days as well. Lots of things contribute to this – weather, holidays, a poor economy, bad kharma, whatever. These are the days that you wished you’d just stayed in bed and nursed the hangover you’ve got from last night’s bender. At work, you’re busting your butt and nobody wants to part with more than a couple of bucks over the entire table’s total tab. Plus, you’ve got to tip out the bar staff. Ugh. This is when you think to yourself that you wish you had saved up at least half of what you made last week, especially since the rent’s due and your car needs new brakes.
The Power: As a waiter, you do have power to some extent. You can burn the other wait staff by holding up the placement of your orders thus bogging down the kitchen. This causes the cooks to rush orders and frequently make mistakes. If the restaurant is really busy, your manager just ticked you off, and you don’t feel like working really hard, you can slow down the pace at which your guests wrap up their meals. This means less turnover for you, less money coming in for the restaurant, but you at least don’t feel fried at the end of your shift. You can give the kitchen staff problems by constantly recommending the most difficult dishes on the menu. Just a couple of these ordered can result in a kitchen slowing down enough to affect the pace of other orders going out. And then, there’s always the power over the guest. If he’s nice to you, you respond in kind. If he’s a jackass, watch out! As anybody is likely aware, there are tons of ways to exert your power over an obnoxious guest.
The Fame: You won’t find that you will become famous for doing your job as a waiter, but you may find that you become popular. Quite often, with good establishments that have guests that come very frequently, you may find that you are being requested. Guests that you have served, and served well, will specifically ask to be seated in your section. Good for you, since with this comes better tips and sometimes even recommendations to friends to try to get seated in your section.
The Glory: Most of the glory that comes from this type of job really comes in the form of money. Waiter, waitress, server or whatever term you are using – it usually is equated to incompetence in the mind of the masses, especially those that frequent the type of A-list establishment you’ve chosen to work for. But, you know you’re not dumb. Look at all the money you make – plenty of cash that you can “hide” from the tax man. So, when a guest wearing some really expensive top designer outfit is giving you a hard time, you don’t care. Yeah, he’s making a lot, but forking over most of it every year when tax season rolls around. You – not. Your’s is stashed away safely where only you know how to get it. Who’s the dumb ass now?!
The Stress: There’s lots of stress to this job. Between fussy guests, tempermental chefs, lackluster benefits, and a rushed work environment, you can expect to feel that you’re on the go and giving it your all almost every day. Long hours working at times when everyone else you know is home enjoying themselves (like all those family gatherings for the important holidays) lends to more stress as you’re constantly trying to explain that you have to work.
The Physical Danger: The most evident physical danger comes from walking around all day. It puts a lot of wear and tear on your body. You’ll also be walking around wet and greasy areas, so slip and falls are quite common. Arm and shoulder strains are also common from carrying heavy loads of food and dishes. Occasionally you may get burned, either from hot plates or by bumping up against a hot appliance in the kitchen of the restaurant. And finger cracking is quite common. From all of the hand washing that is required, the ends of your fingers can become quite cracked.
The Qualifications: To work as a server you need to have people skills more than any other. The ability to bite your tongue when a guest is obnoxious to you is high on the list, as is the ability to maintain your own self esteem when customers and your boss treat you like you’re an imbecile. Staying fit helps, since you spend your entire day on your feet. Your employer will expect you to be able to handle money properly, treat guests with respect and attention to detail, and be reliable. They have difficulty getting people to come in on short notice, so if your life is complicated, don’t expect that you can just call in sick.
The Odds of Getting In: The odds of getting a job as a waiter are a no-brainer. Millions of restaurants worldwide = millions of job openings. However, the chance of landing a job at a primo establishment are much less likely. Restaurants that cater to top-notch clientele often look for seasoned staff, so you may have to put in many years at a lesser quality restaurant before you’ll even be considered. It’s all about paying your dues.
The Odds of Hanging On: If you can put up with the physical demands, the uncertainty of how much you’re going to make on a weekly basis, the constant change-up in management, and the constant degradation from your customers, you can work in this field for a long time.
The Career as Depicted in Popular (or Unpopular) Culture:
Read: A Perfect Waiter, Keep the Change, Mad Man Knitting or The Waiter and the Fly
See: Waiting, The Jerk (Steve Martin dealing with a snooty waiter) and The Muppet Movie (Martin AS the snooty waiter), The Cowboy Way
The Tools of the Trade:
<<Good listening skills and memory>>
<<The ability to smile at and be patient with excessively rude people>>
<<Uniform, non-slip shoes>>
<<Pens – lots and lots of them >>
The Bell Curve of Success:
Published on Shmoop.com
Snapshot: The Real Poop: Have you ever played that game “Telephone” where the first person whispers a sentence to the next, and that person whispers it to the next person and so on? The point of the game is to see just how far off from the original the sentence becomes by the time the last person recites it. No matter how many people are in the chain, it’s always different by the time it reaches the last one. And usually it’s gotten a bit raunchier as well.
In the real world there are people who make a living trying to make sure that people get the story straight. These are professional “Telephone” players, just as real estate developers are professional “Monopoly” players and actors are professional “Don’t Tip the Waiter” players. They work in a field called “Public Relations.”
You’ll often be told that, to get into Public Relations, you need to write and speak well. That’s true. But there’s more to the story. To get in and stay in you had better be a really quick-thinker, willing to regularly have the demeanor of a bulldog gripping a big soup bone, and at the same time be the biggest suck-up the world has seen. You need to be like a Transformer, able to instantaneously morph yourself and change how you handle situations to best meet the needs of your client (Sybil and her multiple personalities have nothing on you).
Public Relations (or PR as it is commonly called) involves controlling information about something - usually a company or a prominent person (like an entertainer or politician). There are different areas of PR, some more exciting than others. The most common type of PR jobs fall under the oversized umbrella of a marketing department at a company. While companies use some of their marketing staff to create expensive collateral materials (think printed pieces, TV commercials, radio spots, etc.), the public relations group gets to do the fun stuff. More fun than making TV commercials, you ask? Yes siree. The E-Trade baby wishes he was in PR.
The entire focus of the PR specialist’s work is to build relationships with the people who buy the products, use the services, or have other affiliations with the company they represent. Depending on the type of “client” being represented (and yes, the company that you work for can be considered your client) there are plenty of ways to get the word out.
Writing press releases, planning book signings, booking your company big shots as guest lecturers, creating interview opportunities for personnel with particular expertise in something, email blasts, newsletter production, blogging, tweeting, attending speaking engagements held by closely affiliated business groups, scheduling personal appearances by the client, planning and orchestrating photo ops, brainstorming and executing publicity stunts (like when Taco Bell bought the Liberty Bell or when Burger King took the Whopper off the menu for a day), press kit development, providing support for new product launches, planning (and attending) red carpet events, booking concert promotions, and trade show participation are just some examples. They are quite a few examples, actually, but even still it only scratches the surface. A big part of the job is about doing the leg work that helps get the “faces” of the company (chief execs, creatives, your boss, etc.) out into the public eye. And you can’t just slap their literal faces onto a giant billboard and be done with that. It takes a bit more finesse than that.
The less common role of a PR person is the one you see on TV or in the movies. (As if anything on TV or in the movies does not perfectly reflect the way the real world works… please!) If you’ve ever seen the new version of Melrose Place, think about Ella, the character played by Katie Cassidy. Her job was one that most people who enter this field dream about doing. She worked for a big PR firm that got to represent all sorts of high-falutin clients. Her work took her to great places for exotic photo shoots, she got to meet the hottest talent in music and television, and she got to go to some of the swankiest parties around (on the level of P. Diddy’s New Year’s party), all while wearing the hottest clothing, usually provided by a designer her firm represented, eating at the finest restaurants while entertaining clients (with the meals paid for by her vast expense account), and much more.
Yes – these top-notch positions are out there, but they are few and far between, and it usually takes years and years of hard work in the PR trenches before you’re ready to take on this type of role (unlike Ella who seemed to have landed this job right out of the college gate. Hm… it’s as if the writers of Melrose Place wanted us to suspend our disbelief…).
For the more normal PR specialists (or the abnormal ones with the more normal jobs, anyway) there are times when the gig can approach this glorified position. This happens when the company wants to drum up a lot of publicity about something – typically a new product or service. To accomplish this, lots of planning takes place as to what types of PR should be done (like in our uber-long list above) to best get the word out. Once the game plan is made, it’s all hands on deck! Your contact list and calendar become your best friends. (Not your “best friend 4EVA” though. That’s Janet and always will be.) There’s a wide variety of projects to get done and typically there’s never enough time to get it all worked out. You need to be beyond excellent at what you do to keep everything moving and on schedule. And don’t think that it will all go smoothly. It never does. Problems crop up almost daily – the printer lost your files, the suite at a hotel your boss told you to book for a press conference is not available, the limo that’s supposed to drive your big shots to their speaking engagement broke down, there’s no electricity in your client’s room at the hotel suite – these are just some examples of the issues (hold curse words in) that can and do occur.
If you’re good at holding your temper and finding a way to get people to help you out of tough situations, then you’ll be okay. Part of working through this is what’s known by PR pros as “spin.” Many people think spin is basically creative lying, when in reality it’s more like diverting the negative attention that is being received and turning the situation to your advantage. It’s a “why-focus-on-that-hungry-escaped-tiger-heading-toward-us-when-it’s-such-a-beatiful-day!” way of looking at things. Here’s an example of spinning using a company that makes heart medication:
News breaks about a heart medication that is causing people to lose their hair by the handful. (Better than a hair growth product that is making people lose their hearts by the handful.) Rather than run and hide - or worse, deny that this is occurring - the PR execs at the company issue press releases in various forms (blog posts, tweets, print, TV spots, etc.) stating that they will quickly launch an investigation into the claims. It further states that production of the product will stop until the investigation is finished and all product on the shelves will immediately be pulled. Taking such action is costly for the company, but not as costly as if somebody’s entire scalp falls off and they end up suing for some ungodly sum.
As time goes on, the company keeps the public up-to-date as newsworthy developments occur in the investigation. This shows that they care about the victims and are trying to resolve an issue for them. Quite often, these releases are timed to coincide with other good news about the company, to soften the emotion that is wrapped up in the more scandalous issue. “We’re working on getting your hair to grow back, but in the meantime, we’re offering a 2-for-1 deal on Ibuprofin!” That’s spin, baby.
The company’s efforts to fix the problem continue until some resolution has been made and a final announcement can be delivered to the public. However, in the background (and this is the “sneaky” part that PR people excel at), the company actively searches out ways to align themselves with groups or organizations that have something to do with heart disease. They decide to sponsor at least three of them: The American Heart Association, WomenHeart, and some heart camps sponsored by the cardiology departments of two major children’s hospitals in prominent cities (because whose heart doesn’t bleed – figuratively, of course - when a sick child is thrust in front of their face).
The company chooses to become the “official sponsor” supporting events that these organizations hold, which does a couple of things. It keeps their name in the public eye in a positive way and, more importantly, it diverts attention away from the negative issue that it is tackling behind the scenes. The value of the newfound public goodwill that is generated typically outweighs the dollars that the company expends on this sponsorship. So even charitable acts do not always come from a wholly unselfish place. But hey, is there really anything so bad about a situation where everyone wins?
This is essentially why public relations pros have jobs. Rather than let word of mouth dictate the outcome of an event, PR people take charge and tell you what they want you to know and believe about a particular situation or client. And, when that’s not enough, they divert your attention to what they want you to see and believe. Even if it means resorting to helping those in need.
The Typical Day: “Get ready to rumble!” That should be the alarm clock’s waking call for most any PR professional. No day is the same, but every day will be a challenge, to the point where you might think that doing a couple rounds of ultimate cage fighting might be a bit more relaxing.
For Ellery Spinmeister, a mid-level PR exec, the day starts early – around 7 am with a hot coffee in one hand (she must rev those engines), her iPhone in the other, and glassy eyes staring at a long, long list of emails that streamed in after she left the office around 9 pm last night. Her company has a product launch to contend with – one that has previously been sold in Germany but is new to the U.S. market. For the launch, she needs to coordinate a wide range of things. A press conference needs to be arranged, catering for the conference needs to be planned, product literature has to be printed and, from this, press kits need to be constructed and shipped, trade show plans need to be worked out, attendee lists need to be confirmed and paid for, hotel accommodations need to be arranged, travel itinerary needs to be booked, union contracts for workers handling the booth setup at the convention center need to be settled, and graphics for the booth and the press conference need to be designed and produced. (Oh, is that all?) It’s Tuesday morning, the trade show kicks off next Wednesday, she’s already put in a good two months of hard work and tons of overtime, and now her deadlines are bearing down hard. She’s really wishing PR stood for “Peaceful Relaxation” right about now.
Here comes the onslaught of problems.
(1) The marketing group in Germany has sent over files (layout, images, and logos) for all of the printed pieces, but they can’t be used. German printing paper sizes are different than U.S., so she checks her contact list to find a couple of reliable freelancers that she can use to make these changes – and do them quickly. She needs to get the final files to the printer by Thursday if these are going to be printed and shipped to the event on time. Ugh – the Germans always have to be so difficult about everything. If it’s not starting a world war, it’s having different paper sizes. Always something.
(2) There’s a message from Ellery’s boss that there are more sales reps planning to attend the event. She has to get back into her files and find out how to enroll late attendees, figure out how much it’s going to cost, and requisition payment for each new person. Then she has to fill out the paperwork for each attendee (they can’t be trusted to get this right), submit it, and pray that their badges will show up before they leave – otherwise she’ll have to find a way to get the badges to them at their hotel (midnight runs to the 24-hour FedEx office are not unheard of).
(3) The video presentation that is slated to run at the press conference is running long. She needs to drop everything, get downtown to the studio (about a 40-minute ride) and figure out what to cut. Since her boss, who really should be the one to decide, is out of town and unreachable, she takes the situation by the horns, cuts what she thinks she should, and hopes that once her boss finds out, she’s not the next thing that gets cut.
(4) On her way back to the office, her assistant texts her to let her know that the caterer for the event won’t be able to provide all of the appetizers that she had originally selected. She tells the assistant to dig through her files, find the one for catering, and read off the ones that she had marked as suitable alternatives. She then calls the caterer to order these and is told that there will be an up charge for substitution. She argues that these are not substitutes since they couldn’t provide the original selections. After many rounds of this argument, it is agreed that the up charge will be only half as much as originally stated. Fine, now she has to do another requisition to pay for the difference.
(5) She gets back to the office where she runs to a meeting that she’s at least 15 minutes late for. This one is with the group that is doing the planning for the release notices for the product launch. Being considered are major industry publications and their websites. Ellery has asked for the copy for these releases and turns it over to the others in the meeting. The group (who already contributed most of what ended up in these press statements) doesn’t like what they’re reading and collectively demands a rewrite (her temper is rising and yet she finds a way to keep from giving everyone present a violent tongue-lashing – one of those that her children are in constant fear of receiving). The final copy is due out by the end of tomorrow by 3 pm, so another meeting is planned for 2 pm tomorrow (“Are they crazy?” she thinks). She goes back to her desk and starts writing. After getting about half of it done, the phone rings. She has a feeling this is not someone calling to tell her she has just come into a lot of inheritance money. Doesn’t seem to be the way her day is going.
(6) On the phone is a product manager for an entirely different product group who wants to know the status of the project he’s expecting from her. She tells him that it’s under way but won’t be ready when he wants because of the product launch. He gets irate; she apologizes and tells him to take it up with her boss then hangs up. She doesn’t hang up on him, per se; she just ends the call as soon as she possibly can without being blatantly rude about it. She prefers the subtly rude approach.
(7) Ellery gets back to writing the release. It’s now 6:30pm. She needs coffee – badly. Funny – this is how her day started…
The Money: For all the work you end up doing and for all of the stress that you have to endure, the average salary can seem a bit low for most PR pros. Salaries range from about 35K at the low end (and by no means is this the usual starting point for somebody just out of college – think about chopping about 5-8K off of this) to an average of around 55K for seasoned PR experts. Unless you work for seriously high-end clients, you won’t actually be making the kind of super money that you see PR pros make on TV. Let alone the actors who portray them. But… you can enjoy at least part of their lifestyle just by being around all of the fancy-shmancy social events they get to attend.
For those of you lucky enough to not get settled in a Marcomm department of some huge corporation, there’s more opportunity for upward mobility and - kaching! -more money. Agencies often have better pay, letting top earners move beyond the 100K mark. Typically, this type of salary is reserved for senior execs who have worked in the trenches, maintained ruthless OT schedules (sleep, shower – uh, what’s that?), bring in new clients, and have the best track record with current clients. Perks can include lavish expense accounts, company cars, extra vacation time, and flexible hours (like that matters when you’re already working 16+ hours a day) plus the opportunity to work remotely at least part of the time.
So, what other way can your career take off? There’s always the “I gotta do my own thing” route. Often, after working in the world of corporate PR for, say, 10 years or so, you (and everybody else in the 4 x 5 cubes surrounding you) start feeling ultra bored and super burned out.
Breaking away from the corporate boredom by going out on your own as a PR consultant is very common. Those that do this won’t have a ready-made list of clients to go after, since their company was their client, but they can take inventory of the vendors they worked with and bring that with them. This is a huge advantage since these vendors, provided that they have been treated well in your dealings, often provide great leads for new work. Armed with this, you could easily get yourself several good contracts within your first year, enough to stay afloat as an independent. With good success on those contracts, you will likely find that you’re more in demand and may even need to hire staff or partner with someone to let your business expand.
On the other hand, you may be one of those people who choose to go it alone as a contractor right off the bat – you want to exert your entrepreneurial spirit and not be trapped by salary caps, defined work schedules, and all the other junk that comes with corporate America. This is more difficult since you don’t have any “ins” with vendors, but it’s very doable as long as you’re committed to pressing through the hard times, eating ramen noodles for at least another year (you really thought you’d left them behind when you graduated, right?), and can balance time spent making connections with doing actual work on your own until you’ve got people in place to do the work for you. Land a couple of good contracts, do well with them, and your business if off and running!
In either case, the money won’t be really good right off (unless you land some really super high profile client) but it will steadily increase if you are good at what you do. Lots of PR consultants in good markets, and with solid client lists, find themselves clearing the 100K mark within the first 5 years of starting their solo gig.
The Power: This depends on the clients you work for. If you’re part of a marketing communications department, you have some power, but not much because you are there to handle the same types of work over and over, year after year. However, if you work for top-notch clients with important things at stake, you can make or break them. It’s a lot of power to wield. If the client treats you right, you work hard to keep them going on the right path. If the client disses you, you have the skills to concoct something that will make their empire collapse (not that you would ever really do that, now would you?). Tread lightly on the revenge stuff though. It’s like when you were a kid and got to go to a friend’s house to play. If he made you so mad that you broke something of his to get even and then you got caught, he wouldn’t ask you over to play again. And that would suck, because his mom made the best tuna salad sandwiches.
The Fame: Most PR professionals don’t become famous. If they’re doing their job correctly, they are working out of the public eye. Think of PR specialists as puppet masters - quietly pulling the strings of marionettes to make them do what they want. You don’t know any famous puppet masters, do you? Of course not. They’re very reclusive.
The Glory: There is little glory for a PR pro, again because they so often work behind the scenes. But there is a perk to this job, and it can be a big one. If you are lucky enough to work with a really prestigious client, like a sports team, or a famous musician, or a movie star, or even a big company that makes consumer goods, you get to go to lots and lots of events. Your only job at these events is to schmooze. Here’s how it works: show up, eat the over-the-top food, drink a lot, glad-hand the industry big shots, and talk up your client. Think you can handle it?
The Stress: If you don’t want premature wrinkles or gray hair, run! This job is not for you. Public relations jobs at nearly all levels are loaded with stress. Deadlines dominate your world. You are dealing with different personalities that want many different things and are highly demanding. Projects that cost a lot of money are under your care and you’d better handle those well. When the client is in trouble, you have to rally quickly to put out lots of fires – again, crazily stressful times. Many people who love this job say that they “thrive on the stress and excitement.” That, and a huge bottle of antacids.
The Physical Danger: Other than getting rotten food thrown at your head by angry people at a press conference, there’s very little real physical danger to this job. However, lots of stress coupled with little sleep, eating the wrong food more often than not, and lots of caffeine can wear you down if you’re not careful. But that’s okay – caffeine is the new oxygen.
The Qualifications: Some people who work in marketing end up in PR as a by-product of natural talents that they have. They like to talk in front of people, they are good at gathering people together (think of the best party planner you know), they can write and have a good design sense, and they don’t sit still for very long. Quite often, these people end up doing this job when in reality they had set out to do something else. For those of you who plan to work in PR from the very beginning, you’re going to need those same qualifications and a degree. Usually 4-year degrees in public relations or marketing communications are your best entry tickets, followed closely by journalism or business. Followed distantly by musical theatre.
The Odds of Getting In: The odds of getting an entry-level job in public relations are about as good as getting most any other beginner’s job in marketing. Your degree will help, especially if you focused on marketing, advertising, writing, or project management as part of your studies. Insider’s tip: Once you are in, remember to stay focused on what you want to do – otherwise you’ll get spun into a part of the department that you didn’t intend to end up in. Like the picking-up-coffee-for-everyone-else department.
The Odds of Hanging On: The life span of a PR person is always up in the air. If you work for a company that is mundane and doesn’t have a lot of public attention, you’ll likely be okay. Your contact list will grow and the associations that you have made will make you more valuable to your company over time. Plus it will help you perform your job more efficiently, since you will know who to call to get the help you need when problems occur. However, keep in mind that usually all it takes is one project that went horribly wrong in the eyes of some big shot, one event that went too far over budget through no fault of yours, or one really bad publicity nightmare that got away from you and your group to make the axe fall swiftly.
The Career as Depicted in Popular (or Unpopular) Culture:
Read: Thank You for Not Smoking, The 42nd Parallel, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
See: Melrose Place (the newer one), Spin City, Absolutely Fabulous
The Tools of the Trade:
<<Brain cells in fast and creative working order>>
<<Gift of gab – plus the ability to know when to zip your lip>>
<<Some business acumen>>
<<Computer, smartphone, contact list>>
<<Company credit cards >>
The Bell Curve of Success:
You’re J.Lo’s main PR squeeze and, because you were able to put a positive spin on her nip slip at the Oscars so quickly, you’ve found yourself in high demand by other talented and scantily-clad Hollywood starlets. Can you say ‘Mo Money! Party On!
Published on Shmoop.com
The ArtSchools.com Guide to Graphic Design Schools, Degrees, Financial Aid and More...
Think you like a challenge? Try this one. You're given the art director's concept sketches and the copywriter's input for text for the campaign's headlines and body. Next comes the photographer's ideas about what looks right for the campaign. And don't forget...the client's opinion overrides all of these ideas. Your job is to pull together all of these elements and marry them in a way that should inspire the client's audience to react to the message in a positive manner. It can be a daunting task, however, the rewards of this type of work are great. Working with a group of creative professionals, getting the to chance to express your ideas, and especially seeing your finished work makes you realize how much fun you had with the planning, creation, and execution of the project.
Originally posted on ArtSchools.com
A career in photography is a great way to meld a passion and a paycheck. There's more to it, though, than just liking to take pictures. Those of you who get a solid education in the field are most likely to find steady work - and to try different avenues you hadn't initially considered. Did you know that there are food photographers? Forensic photographers? Fine Arts photographers? In the articles that follow you can find out about these different fields of photography plus how to pursue your education and launch your career:
Originally published on ArtSchools.com
Thinking about an education or career in art? Browse our guide below to help you decide which artistic specialty(ies) you are most interested in pursuing, or click here to see our Design Careers and Education Guide. Each specialty has a general description, education and career perspectives and helpful links for more information.
The airbrush is a hand-held tool that distributes liquid and powder material by air pressure. Liquids are sprayed from air-brushes to decorate cakes, paint murals, render technical illustrations, retouch photographs, and (a recent trend) put designs on finger nails. Glass may also be etched using the air-brush by spraying aluminum-oxide powder. The air-brush was the forerunner to the spray paint gun which now paints so many products of today (like your car). It was patented in 1882. The airbrush, properly used, can produce "photo-realistic" renderings that rival other forms of artistic medium.
Airbrushing courses are offered privately and at many high schools, art schools and departments, but degrees or certificates in the art form are not common. The Bureau of Labor Statistics includes some information regarding careers for airbrush artists in its write-up on Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators.
Animation is the illusion of movement. All films are created by joining together a sequence of still photographs with very small changes in-between. These photographic sequences appear to move because our eyes can't keep up with the speed of change. Animated films are created by filming drawings instead of photographs. Each single drawing is called a frame. When twenty four frames per second - each one slightly different - move in front of our eyes, it enables us to see the picture moving. This movement brings the drawings to life giving us the characters and the stories of the cartoon or animated series.
Careers for animation program graduates include 3D illustrators, digital artists, storyboard artists, game designers, video post-production artists, broadcast graphics designers, film animators. The Bureau of Labor Statistics includes some information regarding careers for "Multi-media artists and animators" in its write-up on Motion Picture Production and Distribution.
Antiquing is an art of broad spectrum. It involves a variety of methods used to produce an appearance of age and wear, but it applies to a multitude of surfaces and materials, including wood, glass, metal, plastic, paint, etc. Some methods involve using glazes which allow colors to blend into crevices to give an antique appearance. The antiquing process is very lengthy and usually involves numerous steps to obtain the proper finish.
In terms of education, the art form and skills are taught within some art programs, sometimes associated with jewelry, metals or furniture design programs. However, it is not commonly seen as a course or degree program unto itself.
The field of Art Administration bridges the balance between Art and Business, combining aspects of the visual arts related to management, marketing and finance. Educational programs often provide for students to choose a primary arts emphasis, while also taking courses in business & economics, art history, communications, information studies, communications, public relations, marketing, law, and fund raising. Professionals often work in arts management for museums, galleries, advocacy or professionals organizations, foundations, art management companies, and schools.
An excellent page from the University of North Texas' web site describes Art Criticism as "responding to, interpreting meaning, and making critical judgments about specific works of art." Art Critics analyze, evaluate, interpret, and study of works of art, then translate them by articulating the intangible into the tangible. Ideally, the profession emphasizes development of an appreciation for and the use of art, including elements and principles of design, aesthetics, art terminology, art history, style of expressions, and the function of past and modern art concepts. Students can expect to focus on developing their writing skills to express interpretations of art through structured exercises that emphasize the three basic structural elements: form, content, and context.
Art Directors are found in almost every category of Art, taking conceptual ideas and putting them into a finished product. They often work closely with production to see projects through to completion, working to make every aspect of an artistic project the best that it can be. Depending on the type and scope of the project and the size of the company, this can involve any aspect of art creation, including the less "artistic" aspects such as organizing, scheduling, budgeting, advertising, and liaisoning with everyone else involved.
Students learn the tools of the Art Director: written and verbal language and the communication of ideas, which may include considerable overlap with fields such as Arts Management and Visual Communication. They learn how to present ideas and execute them in a professional manner.
The most effective art teachers are sociable and have the ability to motivate others. Like all teachers, they must be able to communicate their work to students, they must be knowledgeable in the arts, and they must be able to transfer that knowledge to students. Personal characteristics might include creativity, independence, patience, persistence, and caring for people.
Art Education programs are one of the most popular options in the visual arts, accounting for about 5 percent of all art majors and more than 65 percent of AA, BA, MA or doctorate candidates (according to statistics from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, 2000-2001 HEADS Report, completed from a survey of 228 of its accredited member organizations). For graduates, some of the career possibilities beyond the classroom include positions as administrators, art critics, teacher supervisors, and art therapists. See the Bureau of Labor Statistics write-up on "Teachers — Preschool, Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle, and Secondary" for a detailed look at the field of teaching.
An art history program or concentration provides students with a knowledge of the contributions that artists and art make to our society. This, of course, is a huge undertaking given the spectacular history of art from prehistoric art to 20th century art and everything in-between. Education in the field involves the study of visual images and objects in various media, in particular, painting, drawing and sculpture, architecture, photography, video and the decorative arts.
Art History programs often focus on the historical, cultural, social, and political context of art and encourage the development of analytical and visual skills and an appreciation for differing viewpoints. Graduates have many opportunities, including, but not limited to, working as museum professionals, writers or critics, teaching art history, dealing in art, or using the education as a foundation for further study.
According to the American Art Therapy Association, "Art Therapy is a human service profession that utilizes art media, images, the creative art process and patient/client responses to the created products as reflections of an individual's development, abilities, personality, interests, concerns and conflicts. Art Therapy practice is based on knowledge of human developmental and psychological theories which are implemented in the full spectrum of models of assessment and treatment including educational, psychodynamic, cognitive, transpersonal and other therapeutic means of reconciling emotional conflicts, fostering self-awareness, developing social skills, managing behavior, solving problems, reducing anxiety, aiding reality orientation and increasing self-esteem.
Art Therapy is an effective treatment for the developmentally, medically, educationally, socially, or psychologically impaired; and is practiced in mental health, rehabilitation, medical, educational, and forensic institutions. Populations of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds are served by art therapists in individual, couples, family, and group therapy formats."
A general degree in Art prepares students for careers in design, illustration, and fine arts, and it often requires studio art, art history, and electives outside of art. It strives to create a foundation for good communication, knowledge and social interaction. The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers an overview of art careers in its write-up on Artists and Related Workers.
Blacksmithing is the art of heating and shaping metal. The traditional craft has been an art form since primitive men began making tools and weapons, and today, forged iron commonly takes a variety of forms from artistic sculptures and jewelery to decorative household items such as rails, gates and furniture. Blacksmithing students learn the equipment, the forge, building and maintaining fire, basic metallurgy, history, and the types and qualities of coal, iron, and steel. Blacksmithing is primarily an art form today, as welding and machines have largely replaced the blacksmith's ability to create affordable, practical items.
Book artists use traditional forms to compliment the text and content of books. It is a relatively new art form, some examples of which include miniature books, pop-up books, puppet books, tunnel books, and motion books. Although many aspects of book artistry have been recognized for centuries as artwork, book art itself has only come to be recognized and studied as an art form unto itself in the last 30 years.
Students of Book Arts will learn about adhesives, inks and papers, taking courses in bookbinding, printing and publishing, papermaking, typography, calligraphy, history and sculptural work. Graduates will find employment opportunities with printing and publishing companies, book binderies, engraving companies, and paper companies.
Calligraphy is the art of handwriting and lettering which uses fonts, pens, inks, paper and other writing tools to create artistic text and is commonly used in announcements of special events, where a hand-crafted piece of text is desired. Today, the hand-craft is often overshadowed by computer-generated texts and fonts, but it is still commonly taught in schools and used by artists throughout the world, particularly in historic and cultural contexts. Calligraphers are often referred to as scribes, which also includes the art of illumination or page decoration, and its study is often included in curricula as a division of the Book Arts.
Cartooning is the support art of story telling, found in both animation and comic art. It used in light comical context of the funny papers to illustrated novels. It typically involves figures, characiture drawings, inkings and digital computer creation. It ranges from hand drawn comic strips to computer-generated cartoons found in feature films. Cartooning is fairly commonly-offered by art schools; there are also a handful of schools dedicated to cartooning and a great number of privately-offered cartooning courses. It is common for cartoonists to also study or graduate with degrees in animation, illustration, graphic design and drawing. A brief description of careers in cartooning is included in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' write-up on Artists and Related Workers.
Ceramics is one of the oldest mediums of art, predating civilized societies. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, ceramics is the "art or process of making useful or ornamental articles from clay by shaping and then firing them at high temperatures." In typical artistic mediums, clay is molded to any infinite number of shapes for an almost infinite number of industrial and domestic uses.
In terms of education, ceramics is one of the most popular artistic specialties, with almost 1,000 students in BFA and MFA programs at accredited art and design schools in the United States, according to the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Students can expect some overlap with fields of painting, lithograph, and printing. Graduates can expect to find work as potters, decorators and model makers, in galleries and museums, in the tile and brick industry and in education.
Cinematography is defined as the art and process of making movies - however, it involves much more than simply recording an event with a video camera. Cinematography encompasses the artistic vision of filmaking, including considerations of lighting, photography, camera movement and angle, producing and final presentation. The cinematographer, cometimes referred to as the Director of Photography, works closely with the film director to determine the best way for each scene to be shot and lit.
The study of cinematography includes drawing, photography, lighting, theater, art direction, and filmmaking. Degrees and certificates do not appear to be particularly comon, but Film and Video related majors at the undergraduate and graduale level are and cinematography is a large subset of that field of study. Graduates can expect starting jobs such as camera operators, production assistants, gaffers, grips, and moving up to positions such as film directors and producers.
The field of commercial art is broad and varied, involving print advertising and promotional material, television, signs, packaging, web pages and almost any other form of visual communication for the purpose of attracting attention and interest in products, services or ideas. Because most businesses need to sell products or promote themselves in some way, commercial artists can be found in almost any workplace.
Students will find significant overlap with fields of graphic design, illustration, printing and publishing, computer graphics, exhibit design, visual communication and other art majors. Graduates can expect to find employment in advertising agencies, print shops, publications offices, television studios, and many other industries.
Crafts include, but are not limited to, art forms such as quilting, candlemaking, carving, beadwork, stitching, needlepoint and sewing, jewelry making, and woodworking. These art forms are not always associated with fine arts, but the detail of the work is often even more intricate. Art students will find classes and workshops in any number of crafts, and BFAs and MFAs in Crafts are available at some visual arts schools. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design reports more than 500 "Crafts" majors in accredited BFA and MFA programs in the US.
Drafting refers to the creation of technical drawings to be used as visual guidelines leading to an object's production, also including details such as dimensions, materials and process. Traditionally, this work has been done by hand on drawing boards using precision tools for exact measurements, but today, most drafting is done through computer-aided design (CAD). It is used in many fields of specialty, including (but not at all limited to) medicine, architecture, fashion, sports, and manufacturing.
Because drafting is between art and engineering, education requires math and science, in addition to artistic design skills, depending on the specialty within the field. However, the emphasis is more on the technical skills than the artistic, and drafting itself is not commonly found as a course of study at art schools, but it is common at technical schools which also frequently carry other art-related majors. Drafting professionals work closely with engineers, surveyors, architects, and growth within the industry is expected to expand at an average pace through 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS offers an excellent write-up on Drafters, which anyone interested in the field should read (link below).
Drawing is a basic technique that very often is the first artistic skill to be developed by people in their lifetimes. As such, it is often considered to be the foundation of an artist's ability, and those who choose to further develop their talent may end up in any number of artistic or technical fields. The most common mediums can include pencil, charcoal, ink, etching and pastels.
One who majors in drawing is essentially a fine arts major, and can expect to work toward a deeper understanding of visual languages, as well as develop drawing skills that would be essential for their specialty. The field has significant overlap with many other artistic fields, including Illustration, Design, Drafting, Animation, Calligraphy, Cartooning, and Visual Communication. Drawing courses and workshops are common throughout the United States. Careers in drawing can include architecture, graphic design, commercial art, medical illustration, film animation and more.
Enameling is the art of fusing glass to metal. The oldest known enameled artifacts date back to the 13 century BC, and, today, 20th century artists use enameling to create murals and sculptures, as well as a myriad of practical and decorative items, such as jewelry, cookware and vases. The art of enameling is commonly taught in craft-oriented classes and workshops, and it is often offered as a course in art schools and programs - particularly as a sub-discipline of Glass Arts, Metal Arts or Jewelry. However, degrees and certificates in enameling itself are not common.
Textiles, fabrics, spinning, and weaving have been a part of our culture for ages. This ancient art dates back to thousands of years B.C., and although some of the equipment has changed, the process has remained the same. All fabrics are made through the process of knitting, weaving, netting or braiding. Textile manufacturing is the second largest money-making industry in the United States (second only to the aerospace industry).
A person looking for a career in textiles needs to be well versed in many areas from fiber manufacturing to fabric dyeing and finishing. Many colleges offer classes in textiles and weaving, and degrees are offered from the certificate level to the Masters; students can expect some overlap with majors such as Apparel Design, CAD, Crafts, Fashion, Folk Art, Product Design, and Visual Communication. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that overall employment of "textile, apparel, and furnishings workers" will decline through 2010, it also states that "because of the large size of this occupation... many thousands of job openings will arise each year from the need to replace persons who transfer to other occupations, retire, or leave the occupation for other reasons."
Opportunities for visual artists in Film and Video are many and varied, ranging from make-up and storyboard artists to 3D animation creators to directors and producers. Professionals in the field create everything from the shortest television commercial to the longest feature-length movie, and visual artists play a major role in a great many aspects their production. Given the size of the entertainment industry and the explosion of cable and satellite programming worldwide, jobs should be in high demand in all sectors of the industry for the foreseeable future, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Educational programs in film and video are often based on a liberal arts foundation, with specializations in history, theory, design, production and many other possibilities. Depending on their emphasis, students majoring in the field can expect some significant overlap with other artistic fields such as 3D design, animation, art criticism, art direction, CAD, cinematography, media arts, multimedia, and visual communication. A few good career write-ups for the field are provided by BLS for Motion Picture Production and Distribution, Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators and Editors, and Actors, Producers, and Directors.
Fine Art is a broad career field representing many disciplines which could include specialization in almost any artistic specialty in both the visual and performing arts. Career opportunities for Fine Artists specializing in visual arts include gallery artists, commission portrait artist, publicly and privately commissioned sculptor or printmaker, fine jewelry making and ceramics designer, background painter for animated films, scenic artist for film or theater, muralist, or artisan/craftsperson. The opportunities are really as wide and varied as the interests of the fine artist.
Students can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and can continue on to receive their Master of Fine Arts (MFA), which is considered the highest degree for studying the fine arts. Many students who earn their MFA go on to teach college level courses. Many students who enter a Fine Art program focus on Art History, for which a doctoral degree is also available to pursue; these students can further their education, seeking a career as an art critic, a gallery director, or a museum education program specialist.
Professionals in the field of jewelery may be buyers, sellers, appraisers, designers, mold and model makers, assemblers, engravers or polishers; often, jewelers specialize in a number of these areas for large manufacturing companies or small businesses. The work entails cutting, setting, and polishing stones and/or the repair and adjustment of jewelry, either of which requires precision work and attention to detail. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers), about 30 percent of all jewelers are self-employed, and they most often earn their education at trade schools, through correspondence courses, or on the job.
Learning the art of jewelry making deals with developing aesthetic values, technical skills and a commitment leading to personal expression in works of art. The process of jewelry-making requires fabrication, enameling, casting, designing and ultimately creating a wearable or decorative piece of art. New technologies in the field include computer-aided design (CAD) and the use of lasers for cutting and improving the quality of stones and intricate engraving or design work. To gain this kind of in-depth knowledge often requires a BFA in Metals/Jewelry, which includes general education, foundations, and a studio core, as well as art and design electives.
Layout and Production
Layout and Production has a broad range of educational and career choices. Included under layout and production is print production, pre-press, graphic design, and typesetting. Layout and production can be designing and producing magazines and newspapers, or it can also be video or television production. No matter what the specific area, the basic philosophy is to be able to design a layout including text, type, and images for any circumstance and to assist in its production.
Education in the field requires at least a Bachelor's Degree, usually in a specific field such as Animation, Graphic Design, Commercial Art, Illustration, Printing and Visual Communication. The actual courses can vary widely depending on the program; however, most programs focus on the development of problem-solving skills and the application of communications, math, science and technology.
Career options include web design and production, industry layout, layout artist. Because the field is so broad, career prospects are booming, and the pay is moderate to high.
Lettering refers to the art of symbols used in writing, covering Typography, Printing, Calligraphy, and Typeset. As a profession, lettering refers to the use of art and design principles and techniques to design quality signs, decals, banners, and much more. A knowledge of letter is required for nearly any type of graphic design work, and careers are often with graphic designers or businesses that create window splashes, custom signs, lighted signs, and do graphic other work. Jobs include logotypes, calligraphy and lettering for graphic designs projects, and even calligraphy work to be shown in gallery shows.
Because of the nature of the work, education in lettering is most often found as a subset of Graphic Design, Commercial Art and Illustration. When searching for a college that offers lettering, look for "Sign Lettering and Design." Most college programs for lettering begin with an associates degree and are sometimes followed with a bachelor's degree in a more specific area.
Plato said that a good education is the combination of social, emotional, physical, cognitive and spiritual development. A liberal arts education provides the foundation to define and pursue career goals as changes occur. While non-liberal arts universities focus on majors, liberal arts students focus on a broad base of subjects within their first two years, and then move into classes that help them develop specialized skills. A liberal arts curriculum is designed to facilitate a lifetime of continuous learning by providing the skills, tools, and encouragement needed to succeed. Students will sharpen their skills of inquiry, research, analysis, and communication. Most liberal arts colleges are four years and combine traditional, interdisciplinary, and experiential modes of learning with the use of advanced technology. Graduates develop a well-rounded, general background that opens them to a wide variety of jobs in the arts, depending on their interests and academic emphasis.
Lighting professionals use light, illumination and shadows as a means of artistic expression. The techniques are commonly used not only in photography and cinematography, but also in exhibit design, stage design, and interior design.
Lighting Education is both a science and an art, often referred to as "Lighting Technology." In this curriculum, students are provided with an overview of lamps (light bulbs), advanced lighting technologies, ballasts, luminaries (lighting fixtures), lighting controls, and much more. Students learn how to develop lighting designs, create mock installations, and how to use computer-based optical modeling. Career options for graduates include fixture designers and manufacturers, landscape lighting specialist, and fiber optic lighting specialist to name just a few. Gaffers, or lighting technicians, set up different kinds of lighting needed for filming.
Marbling is the "art of printing multi-colored swirled or stone-like patterns on paper or fabric" (Galen Berry). A common technique uses rakes and combs to make a pattern on a surface. Paper treated with alum is then carefully laid onto the surface. A few seconds later, the paper is removed and the pattern is transferred onto the paper. One of the main uses of marbling in the past, and even today, is that the paper has become an essential part of bookbinding, with the papers being placed on the inside covers of books. Besides bookbinding, marbled paper can be used for picture framing, note cards, collages, origami, and for covering just about anything.
There is formal education in that marbling skills are commonly taught at art schools as a course or a portion of course, degree- and certificate-granting specialties are rare. However, workshops and classes on marbling are common. A career and education in the printing and production field is one way to incorporate marbling and other printing techniques into a sellable job market. Otherwise, the market for marbling is very limited.
Media Arts are all about learning how the media operates in the world to shape the public mind. Media Arts can include working with media production experiences such as journalism, video production, and desktop publishing. In order to be successful in this field, one needs to have well-developed fundamental skills and be a creative person who can produce media messages.
A Bachelor's program in Media Arts provides a thorough background in liberal arts with an emphasis on media forms, such as television, radio, film/video and the Internet. Some of the course often covered in a Media Arts program are Photography, Stage and Sound Engineering, Graphic Design, Layout, and Typography, to name only a few. As a career choice, graduates should expect a very competitive field, and professionals must be motivated and interested in the communications industry to do well. Job titles could include TV producers, directors or technicians, public relations specialist, marketing directors, graphic designers, editorial cartoonists, and even college professors; because it is such a wide field of study, salaries also vary widely.
Medical illustrators create "accurate and aesthetically pleasing visual presentations for the healthcare industry" (Association of Medical Illustrators). Most professionals in this field have a love of art and science who became specially trained artists to communicate complex medical and scientific ideas in a meaningful and understandable manner.
Academic programs in medical illustration require studying of biomedical sciences, exploring new media techniques, mastering solid business practice, and applying all of this in novel ways. Today, index visuals are bringing together medical, scientific and natural science artists from all over the world. A degree in medical illustration is mandatory as the field is quite difficult to master. However, most programs are only two years and usually followed by further education - although there are only a handful of MFA program in the US that offer the specialty of Medical Illustration.
Graduates illustrate innovative surgical procedures for medical journals, design multimedia web sites, produce 3D animated films, and hand craft prosthetic appliances for patients. Medical schools, urban medical centers, large hospitals, and clinics employ many medical illustrators.
Media is a way of conveying information, and multimedia is the full range of methods in which such information is transferred. The most common are text, audio, video, and Internet, and professionals frequently combine media mediums in their work. A successful Internet and booming technology has caused the making and exchanging of information to be more profitable then ever before, and Multimedia professionals work to create compelling presentations and sales pieces, drive traffic to websites, put catalogs on CDs, or develop novelty business cards.
Multimedia is extremely popular in the area of education currently, and degrees range from an Associate's to a Master's, including courses in media literacy, technology, and communications, as well as the arts. There will likely be significant overlap with fields such as Advertising, Art Direction, CAD, Commercial Art, Desktop Publishing, Film/Video, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interactive Media, etc. A person who specializes in the field will learn about the different types of technology and equipment that are learn to listen to a customer's requirements, develop a solution, and explain it clearly. A person in this field can find jobs in advertising, computer art, web design, promotion, businesses that rent equipment, etc.
Museum Studies is a broad interdisciplinary field which explores the role of museums in shaping society's knowledge about art, culture, history, and the natural world. Careers opportunities in this field can be found in museums, cultural arts centers, historical sites and houses, science centers, environmental education centers, exhibit design firms, planetariums, zoos, and botanical gardens.
Museum Studies programs are often a collaboration between History, Biology and Art Departments, and advanced degrees can be found in the field from the certificate to the masters level. Students should expect to study art conservation, exhibition planning and design, educational programming, management and administration, preservation techniques, art history, and anthropology. The job outlook includes positions as archivists, curators, and museum technicians, which are expected to be keen as qualified applicants outnumber job openings. The job outlook for conservators may be more favorable, particularly for graduates of a conservation program. Employment is expected to increase about as fast as other occupations over the next ten years. The average salary for this field is $31,000 a year (Occupational Outlook Handbook).
Painting has an immense historical significance in the world of art to say the least. From Leanardo Di Vinci to Vincent Van Gogh some of the best known artists have been painters.
Painters: Render drawings, illustrations, and sketches of buildings, products, or models, working from sketches, blueprints, memory, or reference materials. Painters paint scenic backgrounds, murals, and other renderings for motion-picture and television sets, glass artworks, and exhibits. Painters develop paintings, drawings, diagrams, and models of medical or biological subjects for use in publications, exhibits, research, and teaching.
Painters study techniques, colors, textures, and materials used to maintain consistency in reconstruction or retouching procedures. Painters brush or spray decorative finish on completed background panels, exhibit accessories, or finished paintings and integrate and develop visual elements, such as line, mass, color, and perspective, to produce desired effects on a variety of materials.
Photography is an infant in the world of visual arts. It has only been in existence for a few hundred years. However, it has made a name for itself within the expanding world of the visual arts. Originally, photography was limited by the boundaries of visual reality. With time, professionals in the field have tested the rules of reality. This is becoming even more evident with the advent of computer technology. Now the skies are no limit.
Professional photographers benefit from formalized education at institutions that specialize in the art of rendering photography. The education of photographers is not bound to specialized training, as most colleges and universities offer courses in photography. From there, the photographer will find career opportunities in a variety of arenas, including everything from advertising and journalism, to scientific or free-lance professions. Workshops and seminars are also available for continuing education.
A major in photography provides studies in the aesthetic and practical areas of camera-generated imagery. Black & white and color photography are taught using traditional darkroom techniques, and using cutting edge technology with computer-generated and manipulated images and digital photography. Be sure to check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics excellent write-up on Photographers, which includes educational requirements, professional opportunities, and employment trends.
Printmaking is an art which involves the transferring of an image from one surface (such as an inked plate) to another (such as paper, fabric, metal or wood). The art finds its strength in its artistic value and its ability to be replicated, contributing greatly to the definition of world cultures. One will find alternative printmaking techniques as diverse as Indian, Asian, European, and American cultures. With each, a style has manifested itself over time, becoming a sort of artistic tradition for the people.
Education in printmaking can be found within most college and university fine arts departments. Students learn techniques in woodcarving, screen-printing, and lithography, among other forms of printmaking, together with related photographic, reproductive and digital printmaking techniques. Finally, there are methods of printmaking that can be done fairly easily, using simple household materials, which will provide the beginner with a good footing in the art of printmaking.
Careers in printmaking extend from advertising to publication illustration to free-lance art, to name just a few. Workshops, seminars and organizational memberships are also available for further education.
We learn from history. Due to this fact, it is important to properly record the events that symbolize the development of knowledge, culture, and civilization - and the artwork of any particular era is perhaps the most powerful benchmark: It not only provides a context of the times, but an emotional and cognitive element that provides a holistic view of a particular society.
Restoration is the repairing of damages concurred to the art material, the filling of gaps in the canvas support and paint layer, so as to maintain integrity and continuity. Art restoration refers to the restoring and conserving of paintings, murals, sculptures, textiles, manuscripts and so on. A restorer/conservator cleans, mends and protects artifacts from the past, working with a variety of materials, including paint and ceramics.
Education in the field ranges from the certificate and associate level to MFA's and doctorates in conservation, studio art, and/or art history; coursework often includes anthropology, chemistry, world cultures and foreign languages. Different academic programs will focus on different techniques, and students often learn to become specialists; for example, a person preserving paper products needs different knowledge and skills than a person preserving film. Career possibilities are found in museums, historical societies, public archives, curation, historical consulting, and fine art, furniture and or architectural restoration businesses.
Sculpture is an art form in three dimensions, involving crafted works of almost any material, including clay, glass, metal, plaster, stone, wood, pulp, or anything else that can be manipulated, molded or attached. Sculptures range from tiny models and collectibles to very larger-than-life monuments. In today's society, sculptors may work in foundries, galleries, museums, personal studios or movie studios, making anything from ornaments to exhibits. Sculptors have a basic understanding of the construction of objects and, therefore, they sometimes work professionally in architectural and industrial design.
Education in the field of sculpture can be found at most schools, nationally and globally, at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It is one of the most popular artistic specialties at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, according to statistics from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. For the recreational sculptor, there are also workshops, seminars and continuing education courses offered in almost any community. Students should expect to learn skills in modeling, carving, forging and fabrication, moldmaking and casting, and nearly all methods of three-dimensional expression. This will prepare students for positions in teaching, fabrication and design of exhibitions, set design, motion picture industry, welding, and three-dimensional design.
The art of stained glass gained its acclaim during the early Romanesque period of art in Europe (11th or 12th century). The process involves pieces of colored glass which are cut out of a large sheet of bulk glass, then sometimes painted and fired. In the actual construction of the work, these pieces are fitted together using long flexible strings of lead - a process which can be dangerous if lead levels in the air, or in contact with the skin, are not properly regulated. Finally, when the piece has been completed, it is cemented to make it durable. Interest in the field has grown rapidly in the last 30 years, as new homes are often decorated with stained glass entryways, bathroom windows, lampshades, and window decorations.
Education in Stained Glass Design and/or Construction is found primarily through private workshops through craft centers, art fairs and museums, and through courses and classes offered in art schools and departments. However, there are also a few bachelors and masters degree programs offered, as well. It may also be found as a subset of Glass Art, which is a more commonly found art major. Careers in this field extend from the construction of windows for private and public buildings, to making lamps and jewelry, to fine art sculpture.
Originally published on ArtSchools.com
Dr. Doolittle, one of the most famous animal doctors in literature, once sang:
If we could talk to the animals, just imagine it
Chatting to a chimp in chimpanzee
Imagine talking to a tiger, chatting to a cheetah
What a neat achievement that would be."
He, like most people who have animals, wished that he could speak with his animal friends. This wish is never as important as when an animal is sick.
People who work with animals, such as veterinarians, veterinary technologists/technicians, and other specialists in the animal healthcare professions, often wish that they could speak with animals, as it would make their jobs easier. Yet through their training and day-to-day work, these practitioners get closer to understanding animals than most of us can ever hope to.
They learn to read animal behavior in an effort to help them when they are sick, injured, or ill-tempered -- looking for clues such as eating and sleep habits, socialization problems, and other non-verbal signs that indicate pain or suffering. This connection to animals is necessary for individuals who provide healthcare to animals.
The jobs related to animal healthcare are important and diverse.
While most of us usually only think of veterinarians and veterinary technologists/technicians working with "everyday pets", their involvement can include many types of animals - just like some of those listed in the lyrics above.
Some individuals specialize in zoo animals, lab animals, or even wild animal care. Others choose to specialize in particular animal patient services, such as doctors who work only on issues of health and disease related to the heart, or technicians who work exclusively on laboratory analysis.
Learn more about these professionals and the education you'll need to work in the fields of Veterinary Technologists & Technicians and Veterinarians.
Original post for VeterinarySchools.com
What is one of the best ways that you can leave your mark on your community or the world? Become a teacher! According to Henry Adams, a prominent 19th century journalist, professor, lobbyist, and world traveler, "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."
Using hands on teaching methods and interactive discussions, teachers are considered instructors, coaches, or facilitators in helping students learn and apply new educational concepts. In early educational levels, educators can use simple games to teach letters or numbers to preschoolers. As students get older, more sophisticated tools, such as computers or science apparatus can be used to teach complex concepts, develop critical thought processes, and reinforce problem solving skills.
Teachers are typically grouped according to the age level of students taught (Preschool, Kindergarten, Elementary School, Middle and Secondary School). Post-secondary Educators teach college-level courses and are desribed further along in this article.
Preschool TeachersPreschool teachers work with children who are old enough to be away from home for several hours a day, but too young to begin kindergarten. Their work involves using play activities (such as storytelling, rhyming, and acting) to improve the child's social skills, further language and vocabulary development, and introduce basic concepts of science and math. Creative activities may include art, music, and dance and may be presented on a one-on-one basis or as part of a group lesson.
The job of kindergarten teachers is much the same as that of a preschool teacher; however at this level, basic academics become more important. Letters and numbers, phonics, and a stronger awareness of science, nature, and the arts are subjects that are typically covered.
Elementary Schools Teachers
In most elementary schools, teachers are responsible for instructing one class of students in several subjects. In other schools, some teachers may be found who instruct only one subject to multiple classes (usually science, math, reading, physical education, art, or music).
Middle and Secondary School Teachers
Building on lessons taught in elementary school, middle and secondary school teachers help students by expanding on previously learned skills and by exploring new topics so they may gain information about the world around them. Classes such as history, biology, and foreign languages are offered and, often, middle and secondary school teachers can be found who specialize in these specific subjects.
Another educational specialty is a vocational education teacher, who can train students to work in a wide variety of fields (i.e.: technology, healthcare, auto repair).
Other responsibilities for teachers include monitoring homerooms and study halls, escorting students on field trips, and supervising extracurricular activities. They may also be involved in assisting students with various activities related to college and career exploration. Duties performed outside of the classroom often require educators to work more than 40 hours per week. An exception is preschool and kindergarten teachers who typically work on a part-time schedule. Traditional school years require most teachers to work for 10 consecutive months with a 2-month vacation held over the summer. Preschool teachers who work in a daycare setting often work year-round.
Licensing requirements for preschool teachers can vary by state. Public preschool teachers are generally subjected to higher requirements than those teaching at private preschools. In some states a bachelor's degree in early childhood education is required, while others only require an associate's degree. Some states require certification by a nationally recognized authority. The most common type of certification, The Child Development Associate (CDA)credential, requires a combination of classroom training and experience, in addition to an independent assessment of an individual's competence.
Public school teachers are required to be licensed to work in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Private schools teachers are not required to be licensed. A State Board of Education or a licensure advisory committee usually grants licensure.
State requirements for licenses to teach kindergarten through 12th grade vary. All states require a bachelor's degree and the completion of an approved teacher training program as well as supervised practice teaching. Technology training and the attainment of a minimum grade point average is becoming more common in some states, and some states require that teachers earn a master's degree in education within a designated period of time after they begin teaching. Most states require continuing education for renewal of a teacher's license.
Individuals who are post-secondary teachers usually work as professors, assistant professors, instructors, and/or lecturers. These are all "tenure track" positions, meaning a tenured professor may not be fired without good reason or due process. Tenure exists in an effort to preserve academic freedom for professors - thus ensuring that they will not be fired for espousing controversial opinions. Part-time instructors, known as adjunct faculty members, usually are not eligible for tenure.
Courses for undergraduate or graduate students are taught by post-secondary educators who typically instruct in one or more subjects within a prescribed curriculum. These teachers are responsible for the preparation and delivery of lectures and associated course materials/components (bibliographies, tests, reading assignments, research, in-class demonstrations, guest lecturers, etc.) pertinent to the subject being taught. In addition, administration and grading of examinations is part of their job. Post-secondary teachers often conduct research in their particular field of interest and publish their findings in professional journals. They may also direct the research of other teachers or graduate students who are working to obtain an advanced degree in the same field. Other duties can include acting as an advisor to students or student organizations, and providing service on faculty committees.
For post-secondary educators, WetFeet.com reports that "College and university faculty should enjoy an increasing number of employment opportunities as well, but competition for those jobs will be intense, particularly for tenure-track positions. And as colleges and universities face increasing budget constraints, more and more teaching positions will go to contract workers."
Potential earnings can vary widely based on many factors, some of which may include the following:
With skills and personal attributes such as organization, communication, motivation, creativity, patience, diligence, and commitment, individuals can succeed in a rewarding career as a teacher and work towards their passion for ensuring a high-quality education for the children and adults that come into their classroom.
Getting accepted to a veterinary program at any level has many requirements that you'll need to be sure to pay keen attention to. Generally, the process for students of veterinary technology programs is simpler than that for veterinary students wishing to earn graduate or doctoral degrees.
Testing RequirementsStudents of veterinary technology/technician programs who wish to earn an associate's or bachelor's degree are required to have a high school diploma or GED and submit either SAT or ACT scores.
The SAT measures your skills in Critical Reading, Math, and Writing.
The ACT test, America's most widely accepted exam, assesses your general education development and your ability to complete college-level coursework.
You'll be tested via multiple-choice questions in four skill areas: English, math, reading, and science. There is an optional writing test that measures your skill in the planning and writing of a short essay.
Other Vet Program Requirements
Schools may also look for personal qualities such as leadership, motivation, and good communication skills when making admission decisions.
Veterinary program applicants are also expected to have some experience working with or near animals (such as in pet stores or animal shelters) as this shows your ability and demeanor for the proper care and handling of animals.
Since the number of colleges and universities that offer veterinary programs is relatively small (compared to other majors), the competition for admission can be fierce, for regular vet tech and DVM degree programs. Very high standards are set and you'll need to meet all of the criteria that a school requires for admission, such as:
In many cases, there are no more than one or two institutions of higher learning in a given state that offer master or doctoral programs in veterinary science. In such cases, schools often give preference to in-state students first.
With so much competition, schools often set a high minimum GPA for incoming students. Students should not expect to be accepted if their average is below 3.0, with some schools opting for an even higher GPA.
GRE or MCAT Scores
Testing for acceptance into masters or doctoral level programs is done through either the GRE or MCAT. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is made up of two separate parts: the General Test and the Subject Test in psychology.
The General Test is a three-part test comprised of sections that measure verbal skills, quantitative knowledge, and analytical writing skills.
The Subject Test (which only is required by some programs) measures knowledge of psychological concepts that are essential to graduate study.
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized, multiple-choice exam, designed to assess your problem solving, critical thinking, and writing skills. It will also test your knowledge of science concepts (physical and biological) and other principles that are considered prerequisites to the study of medicine.
Along with test scores, graduate schools place a lot of importance on the types of courses covered at an undergraduate level. Typically, courses in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and animal science must have been taken within a specified number of years prior to your application to ensure that you have the most current knowledge.
You'll be expected to have some type of animal care experience (other than mere observation) already under your belt.
This experience should showcase your interest in animal well-being, your work habits, and your personal integrity. Consider working or volunteering at a zoo, animal medical environment, veterinary practice, animal research institution, humane shelter, regulatory animal control facility, or commercial animal production operations.
Some schools require applicants to submit written referrals from either their personal and/or professional associates that attest to their interest in the field, their commitment to the profession, and their general attitude and demeanor towards animal welfare. Make sure you ask for character affidavits from people who have seen you interact with animals on a professional level, and look beyond your family and close friends.
Communication is a key requirement for any veterinarian professional. (See Top 10 Qualities of a Great Veterinarian).
During the admission process, you'll be assessed on your communication skills either through personal essays or in personal interviews. Veterinarians need to communicate effectively with staff and animal owners, and so this can be a key component used by schools when considering your for admission into their veterinary program.
As with any other undergrad admission programs (and many graduate programs), activities done in the community are looked upon favorably by schools.
Your extracurricular r work can further show your commitment to the field of veterinary medicine. Your level of devotion to causes that are important to you can portray compassion - another key characteristic of veterinarians.
It may seem that there are a lot of requirements that have to be met for acceptance to veterinary programs -- at any level. This is true because of the nature of the profession. Veterinary practitioners deal with life on many levels.
Veterinary colleges and universities make a point of selecting individuals who can meet the challenges of the profession while serving to protect and enhance the lives of the creatures that come before them, advance the causes of science related to veterinary practices, and live up to the ideals set forth in the Veterinarian's Oath. Veterinarian's Oath (from the AVMA)
Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.
I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics.
I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.
Oprah... Howard Stern... Larry King... Dan Rathers... Rush Limbaugh... Barbara Walters...
Years ago each of these people started at small radio or television stations and now they are all at the top tier in the world of broadcasting. They all have similar passions... they stay current on what's going on in the world and then communicate their knowledge and ideas on these topics to the public. If you feel the way they do, a career in broadcasting may be a good fit for you. You may want to be in the forefront of broadcasting with a job as an announcer or sportscaster, or if you prefer, a job in a support position may be more satisfying. These positions can include producers, directors, editors, copywriters, camera operators, and many more.
History vs. Present
Traditionally, broadcasting has been the distribution of audio- or visual-based programming designed to reach predetermined target markets by means of radio or television reception. Advances in technology have brought the advent of "webcasting" - a form of content delivery designed for the Internet. Webcasting includes delivering content produced for internet-only distribution, as well as a current trend whereby large communications companies adapt live or pre-produced broadcast material for insertion on radio or television websites that are part of their existing roster. For example, NBC News televises The Today Show each weekday morning and, by early afternoon, clips from featured interviews on that particular day's show have been fed to a webcast on NBC's online partner site, MSNBC.
Even when new content is being created to be delivered on an Internet-only basis, the personnel involved in the entire process can be relatively the same as those involved in the production of more conventional broadcast programs. A difference is seen when it comes to getting the programs out to the public. Sites involved with webcasts have an added need for professionals with a high degree of expertise the area of content delivery mechanisms for the Internet. This includes working knowledge of webcast applications, coding expertise, and the understanding of networks, digital and streaming technologies, and in some cases, privacy and security issues.
Some industry professionals do not consider webcasting as a part of broadcasting simply because of the very nature of broadcasting itself. According to Dictionary.com, the definition of broadcasting is that it is "a medium that disseminates via telecommunication" with telecommunication defined as "the science and technology of communication at a distance by electronic transmission of impulses, as by telegraph, cable, telephone, radio, or television." Franc Kozamernick of the European Broadcasting Union stated in "Webcasting - the broadcasters' perspective" in 2000 that "the distinction between conventional broadcasting and the Internet begins to blur." Since that comment was made, webcasting has made impressive technological strides, and though it utilizes a very different method of information delivery than those involved in traditional broadcasting, it is still a means of getting information out to a wide contingency of individuals. For the purposes of this article, it will be included as a type of broadcasting.
What Is Broadcasting?
Some radio stations have various formats throughout the day - mixing talk, news, and music, while others have one general theme - such as an oldies station or all talk formats. In the case of television, stations may provide programming for children in the early hours, housewives in midday, family entertainment during early evening hours, and have more adult-oriented shows in the later portion of an evening, or they may be dedicated to one particular format - such as HGTV, which airs home and gardening information all day long.
The success of a station is measured by levels of listener or viewer retention that is gauged on a steady basis by professional monitoring services, such as Neilsen Media Research for television or Arbitron for radio. A station's success depends not only on the on-air personality's performance, but also on the coordination of programming, the quality of production, and the various other functions that go into making the on-air programs entertaining and informative to the station's target audience.
Careers in broadcasting can be broken down into five basic categories: On-air announcing, program direction, production, writing, and other jobs.
Announcers are the most easily recognized of the broadcast personae. You tune them in to find out about your news, sports, and weather. They give you topic-loaded insider comments about some of your favorite shows, read commercials to you, interview guests on talk shows, or preside over panel discussions.
In news broadcasting, announcers are primarily concerned with the delivery of on-air reports, while television stations will also hire announcers to host variety and talk shows.
Stations compete to find personalities that have the right look, voice, and general charisma that will attract and keep a loyal following. News announcers are paid to coordinate and deliver the news and, in some cases, they are also required to research and write their own stories. Variety and talk show hosts are required to become informed about the show's guests and the topics to discuss, make sure that the guest stays engaged in exciting commentary, know when to take breaks for commercial endorsements, and keep a show's schedule moving at the right pace.
Radio stations that are an all-music format hire announcers (usually called disc jockeys) to provide between-song commentary, and sometimes read news, weather, and traffic reports. All-talk radio stations usually require their on-air personalities to be well-versed in the topic that their show covers (political, religious, gardening, health, financial, etc.) and then the day-to-day performance is similar to that of the television talk show host.
Program directors have the responsibility of setting the tone for all content that a station provides. Some stations provide a broad range of styles, attempting to reach out to as many types of demographic sets as possible. Television network stations are a good example of this, offering programming for all ages at various times throughout any given day. Other stations try to fill a need for niche markets (narrowcasting), with stations devoted to the likes of home repair, classic TV reruns, game shows, cooking, or science fiction. Program directors work closely with their station's management and sales teams to determine and tailor the station's overall presence. They also decide what shows will run and at what times in an effort to draw the greatest number of viewers and increase the station's overall ratings, which then drives up key advertising revenue.
For radio stations, program directors provide the same types of services, except that instead of deciding what television shows to air, they are responsible for the creation of play lists of songs for the audience to hear and for determining what talk or information shows are to run.
Once the "tone" is set by the Program Directors, the responsibility of coordinating all of a station's specific content falls squarely in the lap of the producers. Different departments might handle news, programming, advertising, writing, and other production functions, but the producers have to ensure that they all are kept informed of assignments to be met, schedules to be adhered to, and of changes that may be made to either as production moves along. Success in production efforts provides for a smooth transition as stations switch between programs, news, weather and traffic updates, commercials, and station-identification alerts.
In either television or radio, the producer also is responsible for overseeing the production of original shows and commercials.
News writers at large stations write the news that on-air announcers and reporters will read. Before doing so, they might review reporter's notes, perform background research, confirm interview sources, and adapt newswire reports. At smaller stations it is not uncommon to find that an announcer's job description includes researching, writing, and editing his own material.
Copywriters create written material to be used by businesses to promote their goods or services. Large businesses often hire advertising agencies with copywriters to write their ads; however, many stations have copywriters available for this service. Small stations typically use staff other than copywriters to create ads for advertisers and even for the station itself.
Original entertainment programs, like variety shows or dramas, employ scriptwriters who are responsible for creating material, sometimes on a very fast-paced basis. These positions are usually difficult to find, extremely competitive, and typically available only at larger stations.
Other broadcasting employees work at jobs in video and audio production, editing, engineering, camera and audio operations, technical direction, information technology, marketing, and sales. In these positions, like the others, people work under a great deal of pressure to meet deadlines. This can make for erratic work schedules, with employees sometimes working early mornings or late into the evening.
Although the broadcasting industry is known for high pressure and sometimes demanding hours, the work is generally not hazardous and many people find the excitement of this industry is a good trade off.
Typical Broadcasting Jobs
More job titles can be found at TVJobs.com. The linked list shows job titles (over 350) as submitted by actual people working in the field.
Another very good site to check out is ArticleInsider.com which provides an abundance of information on the different types of positions found in broadcasting.
Working In Broadcasting
Being a team player is important in the broadcasting field. It is imperative to remember that all personnel at a station must work together to ensure that the quality and timeliness of a station's broadcasts are met. The station needs to attract the largest audience possible, which in turn attracts advertising dollars and keeps the business operable. Advertising dollars are the main revenue source for any station, except in the case of many non-profits which try to lock in public and private funding sources instead.
To work in broadcasting, it is helpful if you have a broadcasting degree or a background in communications or journalism, although these are not necessary and many people move into good positions without them. You should know that the "glamour" jobs are hard to come by and competition for them is extremely fierce. Most of those breaking into the industry start at a small radio or television station to get hands-on practice interviewing local politicians, sports, and news personalities and producing news programs and commercials.
If your goal is to have a career in broadcasting and you don't want an on-air spot, then finding an engaging and creative position in the supporting roles of this field is realistic and attainable. Keep in mind, though, that the pay can be low and the hours long, often at times of the day when you normally wouldn't want to be working. In addition, since so many radio and television stations are small, you may have to change employers several times to advance in your career. Frequently, relocation to other parts of the country is necessary to make such a move.
Colleges and trade schools offer formal programs in mass communications, journalism, and radio or television broadcasting, writing, and production. Even technical jobs are now being covered as new technologies come into place, requiring employees to have a better understanding of computers, networks, and other forms of digital technology. Courses of study can be as long as 4 years or as short as 6 months, depending on the path you decide to take.
Bachelor level programs at universities or colleges can be found with majors such as mass communications, journalism, broadcasting, media studies, etc. Typically, these programs offer an education rooted in liberal arts with concentrations in various aspects of the industry. Courses for the concentrations are designed to teach students technical, conceptual, and theoretical applications about the field and prepare them for entry-level jobs upon graduation. Some concentrations include the following:
Course requirements for specific concentrations are usually predetermined by the school and leave little room for customization, however some schools allow for "independent study" classes to be chosen. In this situation, a student can select a couple of classes that satisfy a special interest. Below is a representative example of classes offered in journalism and mass communications programs at some universities or colleges:
Trade schools offer quicker and more intensified programs of study, usually aimed at getting students thoroughly trained in one particular area of the broadcasting field. Programs don't include studies in English, math, science, and history like at the universities. Even classes on theory, analysis, and business principles are excluded. Some time is spent on classroom lectures, however the general theme of an education provided by a trade schools is that hands-on, real-world experience makes for the most well-trained student. If a student wants to be a camera operator, study begins by learning about and then working on a camera; future videotape editors learn the editing process then work with actual tape and editing machines; and would-be newscasters work in front of a microphone or camera to hone their skills. At some schools, students also will work collectively on larger projects (i.e.: commercial production, preparation and delivery of on-air shows, sportscasts) to obtain a more broad base of experience. Training is supervised by professionals who are educators in the field and, in some cases, currently working in the profession.
Whether you are looking to work on-air or off, it is generally best to have some real work experience. This can be attained by working for your school's radio or television station as an intern or volunteer, or by approaching local stations to find other potential opportunities. These positions are usually unpaid, however you may be able to obtain college credits or tuition reimbursements instead. Hands-on-training is considered one of the most desirable aspects for a potential job candidate to have because stations want you to be able to begin working immediately and with little further instruction.
The employment outlook for broadcasting is expected to increase by only approximately 9 percent over the 2002-12 period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Competition from other media outlets (internet, satellite, etc.), introduction of new technologies, and industry consolidation are contributors to the slow growth for this field. Many small stations have been consolidated into larger broadcast networks. This trend has caused employers to create ways to use existing employees more effectively. For example, a news program or talk show can be produced once and then broadcast from all of the station's affiliates simultaneously. This eliminates the need for multiple news or production teams. Other employee efforts, from technicians to upper level managers, are also being pooled to achieve costs savings across the board for large broadcast networks.
New technology also is impeding the employment growth in the traditional areas of broadcasting. Where conventional broadcast equipment used to be very specialized, new computerized equipment usually combines the functionality of several older pieces and requires less manpower and knowledge to perform even complex operations. In particular, this new equipment has decreased the need for individuals whose sole responsibility was either editing, recording, or creating graphics. In addition, this equipment can be controlled remotely, which allows the user to operate and monitor transmissions from a distance, again eliminating excessive employees.
Services outside of the traditional broadcasting industry that create and use radio and television programs also are slowing job growth. Prepared programming, including news, weather, music, sports, commentaries, and announcer services are created by these services and are accessed by listeners or viewers over satellite or internet connections (i.e.: WABC-AM News Talk Radio 77, The Christian Internet Radio & Television Network, National Public Radio (NPR), BBC News Television, Air America Radio). Similar to production techniques used at the broadcasting conglomerates, programs only need to be created once and then they are sent out over multiple media types. Again, this reduces the need for news and production staffs.
Getting a job in broadcasting is competitive, so individuals should start looking for potential opportunities before graduating. People in the industry often say that one of the best ways to find work is to be willing to do whatever a station manager wants you to do - even if it is not what you went to school for, and do it at any time of the day (evening and overnight shifts are not uncommon). This not only gets you in, but it also shows that you are willing to keep on learning and can be a team player in the process.
To look for jobs, there are several sources to consider:
A school's career placement office
Many schools work with locally and even nationally-based broadcasting companies and communications organizations to provide current job listings for future graduates. It is wise to check out these opportunities early in your educational process as job descriptions can often give insight as to courses and skills that should be obtained prior to graduation.
Trade publications provide another good source for finding employment. Many hardcopy publications have an online counterpart and, in most cases, the online versions have current job listings or provide links to other sites related to the trade. Some suggested sites include the following:
Many associations post job listings on their sites that do not show up anywhere else. In addition to national and worldwide sites for broadcasters, individuals should be sure to look for broadcasting associations listed by state as well. Examples are:
Other than the large generally-oriented career websites, be sure to look for sites specifically aimed at listing jobs in television, radio, and communications such as:
Not to be overlooked are the sites for television and radio networks, and especially their local affiliates. Often jobs posted by affiliates are ones that pertain to the station alone, not necessarily to network-level positions. Radio-Locator is a great tool as it provides links to over 10,000 radio station web pages, searchable by state, zipcode, or call letters.
Also of note is TVRadioWorld which provides a searchable database of stations on a worldwide basis and includes information on whether or not a station has webcast capabilities in place.
Careers in broadcasting can be very diversified, hectic, exciting, and challenging. With a solid education and lots of practical on-the-job experience while in school, new graduates can expect to find many opportunities to choose from. Graduates need to remember that they may initially have to make temporary concessions as to the type of work being done or the hours worked just to "get a foot in the door," and relocation may be required as well.
With hard work, the ability to think on one's feet, an open-minded attitude, and dedication to learning new skills, individuals can go far in this field and have very rewarding careers.
Original blog post: BroadcastingSchools.com