Why Should I Be A Nurse?

February 10th, 2014

As career counselors, this is a question we hear a lot. The answer really depends on your goals and personality. Nobody can tell you exactly why you should be a nurse. That’s something you’ll have to figure out but we can tell you that with the right education you’ll be able to make a decision for yourself. Here are good reasons to be a registered nurse.

Nursing is expected to grow — even more over the next 7 years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that by 2020 there will be an estimated 3,238,400 nurses needed.

That is 526,800 more registered nurses than currently. There are a couple reasons for the increase, including a shrinking work force and Baby Boomers retiring.

Choices, choices, choices

Registered nurses have many different specialties they can do so don’t think you will be spending all your time at a patient’s bedside or in a clinic. That’s not the case.

Nurses can specialize and what they specialize in determines their patient contact and job duties. For example, a certified registered nurse anesthesiologist spends little time with a patient while awake.

A CRNA handles patient care pre-surgical care before administering the anesthesia and recovery afterwards.

An advanced practice nurse or midwife may serve as a patient’s primary care provider in many rural areas where general practitioner physicians are in a shortage.

An emergency department nurse will work in the ER handling trauma while a operating room nurse may not have direct contact with the patient while awake but will serve as a patient advocate in the OR.

A nursing instructor may teach students how to be a nurse.


If you think this career is for you, consider learning how to become an RN fast. And it really is quick, requiring a two-year education. Read: http://differentmedicalcareers.com/how-long-is-nursing-school/

You can graduate with an associate’s degree, take (and pass) the NCLEX-RN, complete any additional certifications for your state, and you can work as a registered nurse.

There are prerequisite courses, which will take a semester or two, but you can be a licensed RN in less than 3 years with no college experience.

That’s pretty quick if you ask me. Of course, there are other options for those who have an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree.


Let’s not forget salary. The median hourly wage for a registered nurse is $32.66 per hour, which turns out to be an annual salary of $67,930.

The lowest paid percentile of RNs earned $21.65 per hour or $45,040 per year. The highest paid percentile earned an average annual wage of $94,720 or $45.54 per hour. Either way, that’s not too shabby for 2 years of school, which at a community college will cost minimal.

These are all good reasons to be a nurse but you may find that your personality may be a good fit, too.

You will want to be a good communicator and like working with people.

You also need to like science; otherwise, you’ll have a difficult time getting through nursing school.

How Much Does A Paralegal Supervisor Make in California?

December 24th, 2013
By http://www.flickr.com/photos/editor/1749047073

By http://www.flickr.com/photos/editor/1749047073

I’ve been looking into new careers and wondered what the wage was for a paralegal supervisor in California.

I did some research at salary.com. For this job, you could expect to earn a median salary of $75,893 in Los Angeles. That’s a nice chunk of change. And that is a average, but the lowest 10 percent earned $56,114 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $118,070.

It’s sort of surprising that the average hourly wage for a paralegal supervisor in L.A. is $36.48 per hour or $1459.48 per week.

The lowest rung of paralegal supervisors earned $26.97 each hour or the equivalent of $1079.11 every week. And the highest rung of legal assistant bosses pulled in a salary of at least $2270.05 a week, which turned out to be $56.76.

Ever wonder what a legal assistant does for that money?

If you’re like me, you wondered what does a paralegal do every day. They supervise the creation of legal briefs, contracts, wills, and appeals — basically, any type of legal document — and provide it to the supervising attorney.

It’s important to note that the supervising attorney provides the advice to the client but the legal assistant can actually create the legal document.

Paralegals also understand statues and judicial cases, so they can provide legal research that assists the attorney.

The main function though of the supervising paralegal is make sure the paralegals are managed correctly, doling out work and checking time cards and doing reviews.

Doling out work is important when you work in a large corporate law office because the assistants may specialize and only do one specific aspect of the job. Example: a public records research paralegal may only do just that while a trial paralegal may spend time preparing documents for the attorney who goes to court.

The paralegal supervisor may also work on special projects. While the regular paralegals are making the legal office function, the supervisor may work on marketing the law firm, public relations.


Although becoming a legal assistant does not require a degree in paralegal studies, it is beneficial and may be expected of a paralegal supervisor.

This position requires management and leadership skills and the ability to adapt to situations quickly and a bachelor’s degree is the best preparation for it. You can get a job as a paralegal with an associate’s degree, as well; some larger corporations will even hire you without any degree, so it really depends on the firm you are applying to. But your best chance is to have a degree from an ABA-approved program.

Sample Electrician Pay Scale

December 8th, 2013

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of electricians for 2012 was $49,840. This data was based on the wages received by 519,850 electricians employed. This further means that the lowest 10% earned not more than $30,420 while the top 90% of these electricians earned more than $82,930.

The salary of an electrician is affected by several factors, including the area of specialization of the electrician, the geographic location of the employer, the prevailing wage standards and demand in the area, benefit packages agreed, and union presence or absence.

Location matters

The demand for electricians was seen at 23% more jobs in 2020, with high employment numbers occurring in the states of Texas, California, and New York. Electricians in Alaska earned the highest wages at $74,280 annual mean wage. New York reported an annual mean wage of $70,580; Illinois $70,060; Oregon $68,320; and Hawaii $67,230.

Experience counts

Experiential learning has never been truer in any other profession than in the training of an electrician. Electricians start with the apprenticeship program. From day one when an apprentice learned about the basic tools used as an electrician, it had been a learning experience. He never ceases to gain experience since then. An apprentice earns 30%-50% of the journeyman or master electrician he works for. A master electrician certainly earns more than a journeyman.

Top industries

Top industries in terms of the highest number of electricians hired in 2012 were the building equipment contracting (employed 361,400 electricians) and the local government (employed 14,840). However, the top-paying industry was the business, computer, and management schools industry which paid an annual mean wage of $81,800. Electricians in the natural gas distribution industry earned $75,430 annual mean wage. The accounting and related services industry, on the other hand, paid an annual mean wage of $73,210. While these were the industries with the highest wages offered, there were less than 2,000 electricians employed under them.

Unions negotiate better benefits

Unions, such as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), are able to negotiate for better benefits for electricians. The states with the highest annual mean pay were noted for established unions. Medical benefits, better wages, insurances, paid leaves, retirement schemes, and reimbursement for occupational safety gears and outfit are just some of the perks that members benefit from their unions.

Learning doesn’t end

You may have learned how to become an electrician in a few steps and became one quick after high school. But education and learning never ended there. Apprenticeship was a form of empirical education. To take the licensing exam, an electrician must study the NEC more deeply. Additional years of experience an associate or bachelor’s degree will open doors for higher positions and corresponding higher salary. Skills upgrading will also add to an electrician’s specialist status and opportunity in specialized industries.

The role of electronic and electrical technicians has never been more relevant than today when technology is at its peak and gadgets come out of the market on a daily basis. Energy sources, too, are undergoing modernization. But even these new and potential energy sources need the services of electricians and increase the demand for this occupation. From the looks of it, electricians are facing a bright future ahead.

What Is the Difference Between a Dental Assistant and a Dental Hygienist?

November 1st, 2013

From a patient’s perspective, you may have never noticed the difference between a dental assistant and dental hygienist.

They both work in the clinic and under the supervision of the dentist. But there is a difference between them. We’ll look at the difference.

Dental assistant vs dental hygienist

There should be no “versus” between them. They are both competent health-care professionals but their responsibilities are different.

Dental assistants have a wide range of assisting responsibilities. They work closely with the dentist and patients before, during, and after procedures.

Before any procedure, they record patient history, take x-rays, and prepare the patient.

During the procedure, they prepare instruments, syringes, supplies and anesthetics that the dentist will use during the procedure, and they ensure the comfort of the patient.

After the procedure, they handle billings and instruct patients regarding dental care and medication at home.

Dental assistants also handle administrative and office management responsibilities.

Dental hygienists, on the other hand, do not merely assist dentists while the latter perform their job.

Dental hygienists perform their own set of exams and procedures and are licensed according to the requisites of the state where they practice.

They also work under the supervision of the dentist but they perform procedures which usually include cleaning services.

Hygienists remove teeth plaque and tartar, treat stains, apply sealants, perform and interpret dental x-rays and other diagnostic workup, record dental history, among other things.


Dental assistants and hygienists differ in education.

Education and training are similar in the general area learned, but the expanse, degree and length of the programs are definitely different.

A certificate of completion or diploma can be acquired for a dental assistant education. You must seek accredited dental schools that offer the program. Upon completion of the program, there is no licensing necessary to practice or work.

A student needs to complete at least an associate’s degree on dental hygiene from an accredited dental school to be considered for national certification and licensing.

State regulations vary from one to the other, but generally, all states ensure rigorous training of dental hygienists.

Salary, job outlook

They differ in salary and job outlook. Naturally, their paychecks significantly differ.

Salaries differ within the same profession owing to length of experience, license, and level of education.

A dental assistant has a median annual salary of $33,470, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics in its published data for the 2010 labor force.

The BLS projects 31% growth from the number of dental assistants employed in 2010 to prospects in 2020.

A dental hygienist has an annual median salary of $68,250 in the same report.

This means that half of the total number of dental hygienists in 2010 had an annual salary lower than $68,250, while half of the dental hygienists had annual salary higher than that figure.

Currently, there are 181,000 dental hygienists in the US. The BLS projects 38% growth of this industry by 2020.

Different tools

Dental assistants and hygienists use different types of equipment. Because their tasks are different, they need to handle different tools and equipment, too.

Dental assistants use forceps and dental dams in assisting dentists during procedures. They must also know how to use the computer and be familiar with applicable software, such as program for accounting the dental clinic’s transactions and Microsoft Office for performing administrative work.

Dental hygienists usually use probes, lasers, and other devices for cleaning teeth and performing prophylactic and corrective procedures. Hygienists need to update on technology, too.

They will be working with medical software and other programs that make their tasks easier.


The two jobs wear out the body differently, too.

Dental assistants have more varied jobs. They can start the day confirming patient’s schedules and making calls, prepare instruments that will be needed for the day’s procedures, talking to patients as they come, entering transactions and patients’ details on the office software, and preparing documents on word processor when patients thin out in the later part of the day. Because they can shift from one task to another, the dental assistants are not that worn after the day.

On the other hand, dental hygienists may need to stand hours on end in a fixed position and hunched over a patient. The strained and stationary position is punishing to the neck, shoulders, and back. The legs and wrists may suffer, too. A dental hygienist normally goes home with an aching back. They don’t get to relax and vary their daily activities like the dental assistants do.

Different regulations are implemented by the different states for both positions and you would need to learn how to become a dental hygienist and assistant if you wanted to start in either career. Scope of work also depends on the state. While many aspects of both occupations vary, such as the title, degree of specialization, pay, and tasks, they serve the same goals. Dental assistants and hygienists together work in making the patients’ experience hassle-free and more relaxed even with the discomforts attached to the procedures. Patients depend on their specialized training for correct information and instructions regarding oral care.

How to Drag Race a Car at a Dragstrip

October 15th, 2013

Learning how to drag race at a dragstrip can be intimidating, with all the loud cars and high speeds. But with a little information, you’ll have no problems passing technical inspection and understanding about staging before making your first pass down the track. This will make sure that your high horsepower sedan will make a safe and successful run down the 1/4 mile. To help you, I want to focus this article for beginners who want to know how to drag race. After time, practice, and learning the basics, you’ll gain drag racing experience and this will all be old hat.

Welcome to the dragstrip!

Drag racing is a sport and is about competition. It involves using a dragstrip that is a 1/4 mile long straight stretch of pavement. This roadway, which is a closed course, serves as the stomping ground for two vehicles to race side-by-side in an acceleration contest. The first car to cross the finish line wins the race. Before you get to push the accelerator pedal and make a top speed run down the track, you’ll need to pass tech inspection.

Technical inspection, which is done by an official at the dragstrip, involves making sure your car meets all the safety requirements for the high speeds you’ll be going. For those racing in competition, tech inspection also makes sure your car meets the class requirements — i.e., no sandbagging.

You’ll need to fill out a tech inspection form, first. This is the first step in learning how to drag race. The form will ask for information about you and your car. It’s important to fill this data out before you meet with the tech inspector, who will check over your car. You’ll need to pass this before you can learn how to drag race.

Passing technical inspection

Drag racing car inspection

Inspection starts under the hood and may sound complex. But here’s the short of it: If you can drive your car to the grocery store without mishap, you’ll probably pass tech. That said, let’s wrench out the details.

The number one problem why street cars fail tech inspection is because their battery is not secure. Bungy cords, twine, or zip ties are not a secure mechanism. You’ll need a battery tie-down to pass.

If you’re battery has been relocated to the trunk, you’ll need it secure, as well, but you’ll also need a master cut off switch on the outside of the car. This won’t be a problem if you’re using your street car.

The second problem that will make you fail tech inspection is not having a catch-can or overflow tank for your radiator. A stock recovery tank on a modern car is fine, but an older car will need one that can hold at least 1 pint of antifreeze.

The third common problem for failing tech inspection is not having two throttle return springs. The idea behind this is to avoid having a stuck throttle. This is generally only an issue with older carburetor vehicles because EFI cars usually have two concentric springs mounted on the throttle body.

It’s also important that your drag race car is not leaking any fluids — whether oil or transmission fluid. A clean engine bay, which is a good idea to have, will help you detect any type of leaks. Besides, if your car is filthy under the hood, the tech inspector will look at your car more closely because that filth indicates neglect.

Some tracks don’t allow antifreeze in cooling system because if it get spilled it is difficult to clean up and makes everything slick. Check with your track beforehand if they require straight water.

The minimum ground clearance is 3 inches to drag race. And if this is your first run, leave the exhaust connected.

Your wheels and tires must be in good shape, as well. Make sure all the lug nuts are tight and are there. You can’t have bald spots or cords showing on your tires.

If you’re running slicks or drag radials you’ll need additional safety equipment, which is beyond the scope of an article about learning how to drag race.

Clean out your kid’s coloring books and stuffed animals from the backseat. There can be no loose items in the car interior or trunk.

You’ll need your seats securely mounted and seat belts in the vehicle before making a pass down the dragstrip.

If your car is slower than 14 seconds, you are allowed to have a passenger with you as long as they are older than 16. Faster than 14 seconds, you’ll be required to wear a Snell approved helmet.

And remember, you’ll need a shirt with sleeves, long pants, socks and shoes, and need a government issued drivers license before you can make the first pass and learn how to drag race.

Drag racing basics on the track

The burnout in a drag race

After the inspection you’ll make your way to the staging line. This is where all the cars will be lined up single file and ready to accelerate down the 1/4 mile. At this point, you should not be making tuning changes to your car, except minor adjustments to the tire air pressure.

Once it’s your turn, you’ll move forward to the burnout box. The burnout box contains a thin layer of water, which drivers with slicks or drag radials use to do a burnout. A smoky burnout helps clean off the tires, heating them up, and provides better traction to drag race with.

As a beginner, you don’t need to do a burnout, and it’s best to drive around the burnout box. This is important if you are using street tires. Street tires will carry the water forward on the track, rather than burn it off, and you’ll actually lose traction.

Sooner or later, though, you’ll want to do a burnout because it’s essential to learning how to drag race. It’s also a lot of fun with high horsepower sedans.

The person in the middle of the dragstrip …

A key element in learning how to drag race is staging the car. Source: estoril via Flickr | Public domain: CC BY 2.0

A key element in learning how to drag race is staging the car.
Source: estoril via Flickr | Public domain: CC BY 2.0

… is called the starter

After the burnout, you’ll notice a person standing in the middle of the track.

That’s the starter, who will alert you to any problems on the track with a signal. You’ll then be expected to inch forward up the track to the starting line. At this point, many people have problems.

They can’t see the starting line, which is an invisible laser on the track. The lasers trigger the series of lights on the Christmas light tree, which contains a pre-stage light, stage light, three yellow lights, a green light and a red light.

Drag racing light tree

You’ll inch forward until your wheel interrupts the first laser, which will light the top yellow bulb — known as the pre-stage light — on the tree.

Gather your thoughts and take a breather. Now’s the time to inch forward slightly.

The second light — known as the stage light — will be lit. This means you are now staged and the green light could drop at any time if the other drag racer has staged.

Three yellow lights will count down on the tree. Each light flashes for about one-half a second. After the third one, you’ll get the green light. (There’s also a pro-tree, which has the same three lights, but they all flash at once, then green light drops and the drag race starts.

The green light can be controlled automatically if the track uses a 7 second delay after both cars have staged. It can also be triggered by the starter, who may press the green light button after both cars are staged. So don’t get caught napping on the line if you are competitive.

Tips for staging

Many beginning drag racers don’t know how to stage. They will often pull up to the tree and stop, which is called double-bulbing. This is problematic, especially if your competitor has already staged. You could get the green light before you’re ready. They need to learn how to drag race.

Other times, drag racing beginners will stage on the back wheels or pull in too far and then back up. The rule book indicates that the last motion in staging needs to be forward motion, which prevents you from launching your car in reverse.

Once you understand the dynamics of drag racing staging, you may find that you are doing a shallow stage, which gives you a seven inch running start before your time begins. This is bad for your reaction time, which is how fast you leave after the light turns green. (The lower the number the better.)

To get reaction time down, you’ll want to deep stage, which means rolling in until the pre-stage bulb turns off and the stage light is still on.

Your car will take less time to clear the beam once it starts moving and will give you a quicker reaction time. If you’re doing a deep stage, make sure to write “deep” on your windows so the starter knows not to hit the light before you are all the way in.

And remember, you want to leave just before the green light. This will allow you to get a good reaction time, which is essential in bracket racing. The key is to try leaving when the third bulb flashes. If you see the light being green, you’re leaving too late.

But you can be a little itchy with the gas pedal, too. If your tires clear the stage beam before the green light comes on, you’ll get a red light which means you’ll be disqualified.

The secret to winning races is learning how to stage correctly. This will come to you after you learn how to drag race and gain more drag racing experience.

Drag racing basics after the finish line

You blasted down the track and have reached your top speed and are now at the finish line. This is the most dangerous portion of the track, where there are two cars at a high speed.

Most tracks, though, have right of way. The general rule is that the slower car brakes and pulls behind the faster car. Both slowly and safely turn off the track, go down return road, and make their way to the timing booth to pick up time slips.

The time slip will have data sets about how your car runs. It will include reaction time, 60′ time, 330′ time, 1/8 time and speed, 1000′ time, and 1/4 mile time speed. These numbers can be valuable markers. You can tune your car different, try different drag racing strategies as a driver, and set goals to get lower (or more consistent) times.

How to Buy a Motorcycle

October 14th, 2013

Learning about the nuts and bolts of how to buy a motorcycle is easy with a little information. There are tips and tricks — along with common things to watch out for — that can help you when you purchase a good starter bike or even the bike of your dreams. I want to provide them to you in this article. First, though, let’s take a look at the different styles of motorcycles.

Styles of motorcycles

There are street, dual-purpose, and off-road motorcycles. Because we’re buying a motorcycle for street use, we’re not going to discuss the off-road machines. The other two are fair game, though.

Street bikes are broken down into touring, cruiser, sport, and standard bikes and scooters.

Touring: These are large bikes, with big windshields and fairings, long-range fuel tanks, and a lot of low-end horsepower.

Cruiser: A cruiser is a bike that is designed for looks and not high performance. It features an upright riding position, with feet fairly far forward and hands high.

Sport: A sport bike shuns comfort in favor of speed, acceleration, braking, and cornering ability. These are commonly referred to as a crotch rocket.

Standard: This is the gold standard. These offer a balance between the other three styles of motorcycles. There’s plenty of power for speed and acceleration, along with good handling and a comfortable ride.

Scooter: A scooter is OK for around town usage, but they don’t have the engine displacement needed to get up to highway speeds.

Dual-purpose: Also called enduros, these machines are street legal and feature tires and a suspension that is at home on the road and off the road.

What is a good beginner motorcycle?

Out of the different styles, a good beginner bike is based on the standard.

A sport bike looks cool, no doubt, but is not practical for someone starting out. These machines are more about performance and designed for racing — not exactly appropriate for a first-timer. A simple twist of the throttle over a bump can send you in a wheelie on one of the racing bikes.

A cruiser, as well, does not make a good first time machine. These don’t have the same handling characteristics of a standard, and they often comes in engine sizes too large.

For a newbie, engine displacement should be between 250cc to 500cc depending on your experience and stature.

A taller guy — like myself — just can never get comfy on a 250cc, so I opted to starter with a little larger bike.

A 250cc starter bike is the perfect motorcycle for women and new riders.

Motorcycle guide for new riders

‘Where can I buy a motorcycle?’

You have many options to choose from when it comes to asking, “where can I buy a motorcycle?”

Common locations include local dealers, online, eBay, craigslist, from classified ads.

Before you pull any money out of the bank, you’ll want to look into the market. A good place to start is Nada or Kelly Blue Book values — both of which are available online.

This provide a rough estimate if you are buying a used bike from a private party, but it’s actually best to watch auction sites or craigslist to get that ballpark figure.

After seeing a few bikes about the same year, make, model, and condition listed for a certain price, you’ll get an idea about pricing.

Leaning how to buy a motorcycle from a local dealer uses the same concept. You want to do research to find out what the MSRP for the motorcycle is.

The dealer may be able to go lower than the sticker price or may be willing to sweeten the deal with riding gear or tune-ups if you purchase from them.

One of the benefits of purchasing from a dealer is the warranty and service.

Guide to buying a used motorcycle

The best motorcycle guide for beginners can be summed up in one sentence: Don’t buy the first bike you look at.

Motorcycles have tell-tale signs that provide insight into their past and potential future problems you may encounter.

You should look the bike over, searching for cleanliness and presentableness. A grimy bike, with dents, cracked plastic, and filth, is a sure sign that it has not been taken care of properly.

Make sure the bike is straight when you look down the centerline and down the forks.

Often, you’ll see a big red flag if you find scraped-up handlebars, exhaust components, clutch or brake levers, and/or broken plastic.

The style of the scratches can indicate the type of damage: short and shallow scratches are usually the result of a tip-over. Long and deep scratches that run parallel are usually an indication of a crash.

The mechanical components should be in good shape. The effort required to pull the clutch, along with the operation of the brakes should be checked.

It’s important, too, to know the flaws of the makes and models you are thinking about buying. Some bikes just have common problems that are easily fixed.

You may want to enlist in a grease buddy friend to help you look over the bike. This can be beneficial because he/she will help you avoid buying the first bike you see. Also, I always bring a small every day carry tool, which allows me to check how tight (or loose) pieces on the bike are. (Need an EDC? Read multitool reviews.) This is can be a sign of a bike that’s been taken care of or neglected.

The gas tank may also provide insight into neglect. A tank with rust in it will be a future headache, and gas in the tank that is dark-colored will require changing.

Consumables, such as brake pads and tires, should be checked as well. Tires that are dry-rotted will need to be replaced, as will ones that have no tread depth remaining.

Making sure that all the electrical equipment works is important, as is checking the suspension for seal leaks or physical damage to it.

While checking out the suspension, it’s important to turn your attention to the smoothness of bearings in the wheels, along with chain and sprocket wear — such as hooked teeth and/or a stretched chain.

The engine, as well, should be checked over with a fine-tooth comb. Does it run? Does it leak?

Found the perfect bike?

Taking the motorcycle for a test ride can provide a log of information about the bike.

After you’ve found a good starter motorcycle to buy, you’ll want to make sure the VIN and title match.

The owner may also have service records, which can be helpful when determining upkeep (or neglect) of the motor bike.

I hope this overview of how to buy a motorcycle has been of help to you.