Number One Two-Year Degree for High Pay and Advancement: Engineering Technician

Technicians work in unique environments.
Technicians work in unique environments. | Source

Misleading Reporting On Jobs for 18- to 24-Year-Olds

Employment news writers working for the search engine giants still suggest traditionally lower paying "women's" jobs to all of America's youth in the 21st Century.

These analysts often write slick content that touts the same five careers every year, either disregarding or ignoring actual employment and job creation trends.

Technicians are needed in space and on the ground to design and build space technologies.
Technicians are needed in space and on the ground to design and build space technologies. | Source

Rating For the Job "Engineering Technician"

5 stars for Engineering Technician

The American labor market and education trends indicate that the top job ensuing from a two-year degree is not on the search engine news expert's lists.

In fact, an online job search based on any metro area in the USA usually pops up results that do not including the job titles in highest demand and offering highest pay. These job titles that are often not shown are Engineering Technicians & Engineers, Truck Drivers & Truck Owner-Operators, Physicians, and 4-year degree RN Nurses/Nurse Practitioners.

The job title Engineering Technician offers higher starting pay and more chance of advancement than any of the jobs on the expert's Top 5 list of jobs available to the holders of 2-year degrees.

Evidence Based on Jobs Available and Projected

In the philosophy of working in America, our country speaks with a forked tongue.

In 20 years of Education & Training and Counseling, this is what I've seen in the USA:

First Fork

Everyone Works

Under the Clinton Administration, Welfare Reform and educational programs nationwide adopted the mandate that beginning in Kindergarten, our nation's children are taught that everyone must have a job. This includes all married and single individuals who are not on disability or retirement rolls. Public Assistance Cash Benefits happen for only three years per family.

Retirement Age Increases

Everyone will be working a larger number of years. Piggybacking on Congressional action under the Reagan Adimistration, the age of retirement for Baby Boomers and younger citizens will rise to age 75. Some baby Boomers cannot receive full SS Retirment bnefits as of 2010 until age 66. Some of the youngest Boomers received botices beginning in 2010 that they can receive partial benefits at age 65 pr 66 and full benefits not until age 70 (I am one of those).

STEM Courses Encouraged

Nationwide, the Sciences, Technologies, Engineering, and Mathematics courses and their associated 2-year degrees and 4-year degrees were pushed to the forefront of K-12 education beginning in the 1990s. This included encouragement for young women and men in these areas. Television stars worked to recruit these young people for STEM based careers since the 1980s, including Nichelle Nichols and in the 2010s, Brent Spiner and Robert Picardo, all alumni of Star TrekĀ® and Star Trek: TNGĀ®. These stars have successfully recuoted employees for NASA, government contractors, and the private companies in the NASA Commercial Crew (63+ companies) - especially Planetary Resources.

You're Not a Princess

Imagine You're a Princess (Imagine This!)
Imagine You're a Princess (Imagine This!)

Imagine you're a princess - Why? Girls and women do deserve to be treated well, and so do boys and men.

 

Second Fork

You're a Princess

With promotional outreach by Disney Studios and a variety of toy makers, a large segment of American girls are taught that they are all princesses.

This movement has taken on a life of its own. For example, in Central Ohio, little girls can be seen by the dozen attending preschool and grades K-2 in princess outfits. Unfortunately, some of these little girls are growing up to believe that they never have to work and if they marry a husband, then they will hire maids to eliminate housework.

I think that this entertainment movement is hurting Generation Z in particular (Born 2005 - 2024), as some of the youngest begin to often wear princess costumes daily, engage more frequently in toddler beauty pageants, and perhaps develop some unrealistic expectations of life.

Some critics' comments about the film Don Jon (2013) included many agreeing that it was good to see a "princess" be taken down several notches. My favorite response is to another film.

The Candid Camera-like Bad Grandpa with Johnny Knoxville in 2013 included a prank on a Toddlers and Tiara type of pageant. It is worth the entire price of the movie ticket -- A boy dresses as a girl, puts on makeup, enters the pageant, sings a great song, then rips off his dress and does a pole dance as Grandpa tosses dollar bills. The audience is shocked. Parody makes us think about our society.

Some Media Encourage Lower Paying "Women's Jobs"

Hands-On Training and Traditionally Female Jobs -- The Top 5 jobs for 2-year hands-on training degrees reported by search engine employees are:

  • Nurses - Licensed Practical Nurses (Certificates achieved in a few weeks to nine months) and 2-year diploma Registered Nurses. This is incorrect as an inclusion in a "Top 5 Jobs." Larger numbers of jobs are available to 4-year diploma RNs and Nurse Practioners (NPs) who are also hired as Physician Assistants -- NPs earned an average of $91,450 per year in 2012. A better 2-year degree program to follow is that of Medical Assistant, from which one can benefit more readily from tuition reimbursement by the employing hospital or private practice and advancement to positions of highers responsibility and pay. Medical Assistants need only a high school diploma and can earn a median salary of about $29,000 (2012 - 2014 figures). Certified Medical Assistants, which employers prefer, hold a 9-month certificate, 1-year diploma, or 2-year degree and can earn more. Medical Assistant is one of the Top 10 fastest-growing occupations through 2018 and is expected to grow in numbers by 31% by 2020.
  • Paralegals - These jobs pay at a median wage of over $44,000 per year, but are expected to increase only 18% from 2010 - 2020, a low increase compared to those of Medical Assistants and Veterinary Techs.
  • Veterinary Techs - This is the only entry on the list of Top 5 that merits immediate inclusion. This is a fast growing occupation with increasing pay ranges, which vary according the metro area. Median pay in America was nearly $29,000 in 2010. These job are expected to increase by 52% from 2010 to 2020. Job listings already show large increases 2010 - 2014.
  • Dental Hygienist - Major job search engines place these jobs in the top results, even though they are not as numerous as Truck Drivers (who can be trained and certified in as little as two weeks) and Engineering Techs (2-year degree). The rise of a dental practice chain-store movement requires hygienists to work in several places each week, requiring some long driving times. More men are entering this profession and range of pay is increasing. This 2-year Associate's degree job can be upgraded with a 4-year diploma and a Master's degree, both of which provide proof of the holder deserving higher pay. Median pay in 2010 that includes all levels of education was about $68,000, but it is unclear how many have Masrter's Degrees. Although expected to increase by 38% from 2010 - 1020, jobs for Dentists increased even faster from 2010 - 2014. For instance, 30K Dental Hygienist were needed in December 2013, compared to over 95,000 Dentists.
  • Early Childhood Education Workers - This represents work in childcare with children ages birth to 5. When you read past the glowing description and click on links to daily duties and education, you discover that this work ends often in minimum wage daycare job. A few of these have a more educational component, but several people I know have accepted daycare jobs and been disappointed. However, educational services for Pre-K and Kindergarten are increasing and evolving in America and may lead to better services and better paying jobs as well by 2020. Currently pay is low and the workload/stress high.

Technicians help design and build bridges, cities, and parks.
Technicians help design and build bridges, cities, and parks. | Source

My Recommendations For Best 2-Year and Short-Term Diplomas and Work

I recommend for young people ages 18 - 24 who are not considering a 4-year degree to enter these training and occupational areas for the best chances of employment immediately after training, higher pay, and advancement.

  • Engineering Tech - Requiring only a 2-year degree to start, these appearing frequently within the 9 million job openings advertised across the nation in mid-December 2013. Pay range medians for these techs are $50,000 - $60,000 and higher. Electrical and Electronics Technicians earn within the highest ranges. Engineer Techs are in particularly high demand in IT, Communications, Healthcare, Aerospace, Manufacturing, Defense, and a number of various laboratories. Environmental Engineers are expected to increase by 24% or more by 2020. Aerospace related techs have already begun to increase beyond 2020 projections. Continuing to a 4-year degree in IT related engineering can bring a salary of $90,000 - $120,000 or more.
  • Veterinary Tech - Median pay $29,000 in 2010. Expected to increase by 52% to 2020.
  • Certified Medical Assistant - Median pay $29,000 and 31% growth expected to 2020.
  • RN Licensed Nurse - Median pay $65,000 (higher for Travel Nurses) and 26% growth projected to 2020. Nationalized Health Care may either increase or decrease the expected growth and future wages. In the meantime, working up to Nurse Practitioner is a good plan. See Working Up Through Healthcare Jobs.
  • Truck Driver - High school diploma and a few weeks' training. Median pay about $38,000 and 21% expected growth to 2020.

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Comments 5 comments

RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 2 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

As a former electronics engineer, I can testify to the value of a knowledgeable and reliable engineering tech. It is usually a technician who translates an engineer's design into a functioning prototype, and I well remember the comfort of knowing I could entrust that work to someone who would probably do it better than I could myself. So, I'm sure you're right that the need for skilled workers in that field can only increase.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 2 years ago from North America Author

@RonElfran - Thank you very much for sharing your experiences in working with engineering techs. You've given real-world support for their work and illlustrated how important an engineering team is to related projects.


Fred Mucai profile image

Fred Mucai 2 years ago from nairobi

Very, very informative hub. This is the sort of information people entering the job market need. As usual, you demonstrate that information is power.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 2 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I agree with Fred that this is the sort of information that anyone entering the job market needs. It is succinct but still has a lot of concrete, helpful detail. There are not enough resources like this available. Thank you!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 2 years ago from North America Author

@Fred Mucai and randomcreative - I spent some time watching clients attempting to find work in fields that were advertised in the media as "most jobs ever", when the real jobs requiring most additional workers were sort of covered up. Since then, I've tried to stay up to date with actual most-advertised positions and I think it helps. A whole of low lower paying jobs get the media attention, though.

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