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Choosing a Career That’s Right for You in 2015

Open up your future in 2015 by searching for opportunities and finding a new career that’s right for you. This new beginning is an excellent time to review and reconsider where you are at in your work life. There’s no reason not to look at different career options, especially when there are so many ways to change your path and expand your reach.

New Career

Finding a new career is a popular topic, addressed frequently in the media at the start of a new year. Information about a variety of careers is compiled by credible sources, such as the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”). This site contains information based on real statistics from the current job market. By researching potential career choices that appeal to you and your personal interests, you can narrow down the field before you take the next step toward choosing your new career.

For example, the BLS has created a list of the fastest growing occupations. This list is dominated by career in the areas of health care and technology and includes salary and expected job growth figures.

Choosing a Career

When you begin choosing a career, make a short list of your needs, wants, and dreams. Include things like ease of entry, available jobs, pay and salary rates, growth prospects, and what would make the new job satisfactory to you. Write down your current skills and experience, so you can eventually determine what else you need to learn to transition into your desired new career.

New Degree

Even if you are currently skilled in a field, it may be necessary to obtain additional training to pursue your new career. You may not need to spend four years at a university. Many people get the knowledge they need through online job training and degree programs. This may allow you to make progress towards your new career while retaining your current position.


Many online training centers offer comprehensive programs providing training in a variety of popular careers. For example, Vatterott College offers programming in nine broad career categories. Some classes are offered on-ground; others are available online.

Choosing a career that’s right for you in 2015 may mean exciting changes that bring you greater opportunities. There’s no better time to examine this option than today; start now while the year is fresh and you are motivated to consider an upgrade in your career.

How to Become a Dental Assistant

Those who wish to pursue a dental career but prefer not to spend several years in college may benefit from dental assistant training. After completing a dental assistant program, typically about one year in length, candidates are prepared to work in a variety of settings. Potential dental assistants can begin their journey by learning more about this exciting career.

Education for Dental Assistants

Many aspiring dental assistants complete a postsecondary program that includes several months of practical training in both clinical skills and administrative duties. Graduates may then choose to take the national board exams and receive certification.

When pursuing a career as a dental assistant, individuals should first obtain the right education.

  • Enter a dental assistant educational program. Vatterott’s 60-week, 65.5 credit hour Dental Assistant program may be a good option. This comprehensive program prepares students to tackle many of the challenges presented in a dentist’s office.
  • Take the national board exams. Provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), these exams are open to graduates of accredited programs and those who have completed the required amount of on-the-job training. Importantly, certification through these exams may make dental assistants more attractive to potential employers.

Working as a Dental Assistant

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that employment of dental assistants will grow twenty-five percent (25%) between 2012 and 2022. This rapid growth is considered much faster than average when compared to all occupations. Dental assistants with the proper education and drive can feel hopeful about their employment prospects.

Dental assistant tasks include checking in patients, completing relevant medical histories, taking patients’ blood pressure, pulse, x-rays and teeth impressions, ensuring patient comfort throughout the visit, training patients on proper oral care and hygiene and assisting the dentist during dental procedures. Additionally, assistants are involved in controlling infection, sterilizing instruments, running the front office and communicating with vendors.

Career Growth for Dental Assistants

While basic dental assistant training provides access to a variety of work opportunities, advanced training may also be beneficial. Adequate training equips dental assistants to work in solo, group and hospital dental practices. Additional jobs may be found with pediatric dentists, oral surgeons, orthodontists, endodontics, periodontics and prosthodontics. Dental school clinics, insurance companies, vocational schools and dental sales companies also hire dental assistants to work directly with patients or in administrative capacities.

Preparation for a dental career can begin with a quality education from Vatterott. Graduates will be equipped to embark on an exciting and rewarding career.

New Year, New You – Start the New Year with a New Career

Make your new year all new for you by beginning your training for a new career. There are many paths to success. You can achieve your goals so long as you plan ahead and keep moving forward, one step at a time. We have a few ideas here to get you started with your plans for 2015.

Make Your Dream Career Reality

Dreams are pretty interesting. They have an ephemeral quality. As much as you try to remember dreams, they have a unique way of just disappearing – unless you take some immediate action to write them down. The same can be said for your dream career. Once you know which career you want to pursue, that dream will only materialize if you take concrete steps to make it reality for you. Here are three important steps to take now, to begin your journey in this new year, 2015.

Step 1. Your New Career – The first step is to decide which career you would like to pursue. To winnow down your options to the few that you feel will fit your personality, your skills and your desires. There are a multitude of choices and this may make you feel a bit overwhelmed. However, there is an amazing resource website that may help. The U. S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics website provides important facts about a range of career choices. This website offers you the latest reports and statistics about various occupations, helping you identify the opportunities that are available. Learn about wages, geographic locations, broad industry facts and specific, detailed facts about occupations in the private and government/public sector. Once you have narrowed down your career choices, it is time to look at career preparation and education.

Step 2. Your Online Degree – For many people, getting an online degree is an accessible and affordable choice. Before signing up for any program, it is important to know whether the program is accredited and meets your academic standards. Vatterott College offers quality, accredited online programs.

Step 3. Consider Trade School – Trade schools, where you learn by doing, may be an excellent choice, especially for careers in construction or other mechanical occupations. Many trade schools also offer externship opportunities.

New Year, New You

Get started now, by doing your research, narrowing your focus, and finding out career details at the BLS website so you can determine what education or training is required for success in your chosen career. Planning now makes all the difference that allows you to start preparing for a new career in 2015.





How to Become a Personal Fitness Trainer

If you get excited about physical fitness and helping people become healthier, a career as a personal fitness trainer may be a good fit for you. As a personal trainer, you can help your clients make dramatic life changes and create strong, lean and healthy bodies. Watching improvements add up week after week can be very gratifying for both you and your clients.

Work Environment

Personal fitness trainers often work in gyms and other fitness centers, either as employees or subcontractors. They may also work in hospitals and physical rehabilitation clinics. Some even go to clients’ homes, though this is fairly rare.

How to Become a Personal Fitness Trainer

Personal fitness is far more scientific than it may seem at first. This is because of the mechanics of the body, which must be learned in order to understand what makes certain exercise techniques good and others harmful. Personal fitness trainers must also possess an understanding of nutrition among other related topics. Because mistakes in these areas can cause serious bodily harm, most employers require trainers to have formal education in relevant fields.

Some employers require trainers to have a bachelor’s degree that is focused on fitness or health. Courses required for such a degree can include kinesiology, nutrition, and exercise physiology. Those interested in helping people recover from injuries also need to learn rehabilitation methods and how to perform fitness assessments.

Other employers may require candidates to possess a personal fitness trainer certificate or diploma. These credentials are granted by institutions that focus more closely on courses directly related to the field.

Local regulators may also impose their own requirements, so it’s a good idea to check the regulations before accepting clients. This will ensure that there is no trouble later on.

Career Outlook

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for personal fitness trainers and instructors was $31,720 in 2012. The employment outlook is average, with employment of personal fitness trainers expected to grow by 13 percent between 2012 and 2022.

This career offers the opportunity to help people improve their physical health and abilities and witness tangible results. This can contribute greatly to job satisfaction and may provide the motivation you need to be excited about going to work.

Why You Should Make Radiography a Part of Your Medical Assistant Education

Medical assistants are called on to perform a various duties when assisting with patients. You will likely have a better chance of successfully entering the field if you choose an educational program that prepares you to perform a variety of the procedures. Some of the tasks you’ll do are easy to guess. It stands to reason that you’ll be asked to take patients’ blood pressure and temperature, for example. Other tasks, such as taking x-rays, are easy to overlook when you’re still in school. This, however, is a great time to learn how to do basic radiography and other important procedures.

A fully-trained medical assistant will often be asked to perform procedures like electrocardiograms and x-rays. This requires the assistant to be familiar with the proper operation of the machinery, x-ray safety, appropriate preparation to achieve meaningful results, obtain required certifications and more. Of course, it’s also essential for assistants to know the basics. You’ll need strong interpersonal skills to interact with patients, math skills to calculate proper medication dosages and writing skill to complete administrative tasks such as writing up reports.

Which duties you’ll need to perform depends heavily on the type of medical office or institution where you are employed. Typically, the amount of possible duties increases along with the size of the institution.

  • A basic doctor’s office may need you to take people’s blood pressures, temperatures, and medical histories.
  • An expanded private office may ask you to get samples of blood or urine for testing.
  • An urgent care center will likely need you to take the occasional x-ray or run an electrocardiogram.
  • Hospitals perform the widest variety of procedures, so you may find yourself doing all of these things and more on a daily basis.
  • Some hospitals assign assistants to specific departments. In these cases, you may do the same thing all day long.

Each type of facility tends to have a different atmosphere and employee expectations. Individual doctor’s offices are typically slower-paced than hospitals, though there are some major exceptions. When it comes to urgent care centers, the pace is often more relaxed than the name implies. Even though they handle problems that come up suddenly, they are not emergency rooms and don’t usually have that “right now or else” vibe. Hospitals usually have the fastest pace. They can have hundreds of patients in beds at the same time, so there, you can expect constant work during your shift. Of course, these are just general guidelines. There are always exceptions when it comes to the work types, pacing, and atmospheres of medical establishments.

While this overview is intended to make it easier to figure out which types of offices or facilities you are interested in working for, the fact is that there’s no way to know for sure which types will be hiring when it comes time to put your education to work. By completing expanded courses, you’ll ensure that you’re prepared to take advantage of a variety of opportunities present when you complete your training. Vatterott offers programs that cover x-ray work and office management, so you can be versatile enough to step into a variety of situations.

Our courses don’t stop at the classroom setting. They also provide externships to local medical facilities so that you get hands-on training in real situations. This will prepare you for the environment and pace of our partner facilities and those like them. Potential employers are always glad to get new assistants who are as ready as possible. While each employer has slightly different office or facility practices, the fact that you will have had live experience should be a definite plus for your resume.

We have many diploma and degree programs to choose from in this field. Diploma programs are offered at Fairview Heights and Quincy, IL as well as in Wichita, KS. Degree programs are taught at St. Charles and St. Joseph, MO; Tulsa, OK; and Wichita, KS. We also offer programs at Sunset Hills, MO (South County). Specifically we offer a medical assistant program with limited radiography training at our NorthPark campus in St. Louis and other locations. This makes it easy for you to attend a Vatterott College program in an area near you.

To learn more about our medical assisting programs, including our programs with training in limited radiography and office management, just contact us. We’ll be glad to tell you more about our programs and enrollment options. Soon, you can be on your way to an exciting and rewarding new career!

Making a Building Maintenance Checklist

Deterioration is natural and expected in any type of building. Whether it comes from external forces like rain, wind, sand, freezing temperatures and sun, or it comes from the wear and tear of those using the building, any building will deteriorate over time. This is why building maintenance is so important. Having a checklist for building maintenance is a must if one wants to cover all the bases, because there are far too many components to keep track of by memory alone.

The Basics of a Building Maintenance Checklist

Preventative maintenance is a must if one hopes to keep a building in working order for an extended period of time. Far too often major problems are missed when people wait for obvious signs – issues often start small and will only be detected through a thorough inspection.

  1. Roof – The roof is the main barrier between the outside world and the interior. It must be kept in good repair to protect the internal structure and everything inside. Checking the roof at least twice a year is recommended, especially before the freezing temperatures of winter arrive and after they leave. Specific inspection steps will depend on the roofing material, such as asphalt shingles, cedar shingles, metal panels or clay tiles. Broken or weathered roofing materials may allow water penetration. One key area to check on roofs is any point where something penetrates the roof – such as chimneys or vents. Gutters are also an important component of a roof and should be examined for proper drainage and weathering around attachment points.
  2. Doors and windows – All entrances to the building should be examined for damage to weatherstripping and functionality of each entry point. Doors and windows will fail over time and should all be working properly to seal out the elements. If doors or windows are not properly sealed the energy efficiency of the building can be severely compromised.
  3. Walls – Exterior walls are another vital component of a building. Wall materials will vary from stucco, masonry, siding or shingles. Each has a particular maintenance regimen, but the overall goal is the same. Ensure that walls are holding up well under weathering, sealed against the outside and that the finishes – if present – are still doing their job. Finishes – such as paint – need to be reapplied periodically to remain effective.
  4. Decks – Decks and porches, as well as the roofing that protects them, must be examined regularly. They are often exposed to the elements and tend to wear out faster than a traditional building. Moisture, sun exposure and insect infestation are all major issues with decks. This is why decks must be stained regularly and examined for rotting and insect damage. Chemical treatments offer some protection from insects but must be reapplied periodically.
  5. Grounds – The land that the building sits upon must be designed to direct water away from the building. This is usually done when the building is built, but it nature has a way of subverting this design. Drainage should be checked after heavy rains to ensure that water is still going where it should go. Left unchecked, drainage problems can create
    issues with the foundation of the building – an expensive problem to fix. Grounds include everything on the lot, including driveways and landscape features. One should ensure that driveways are clear of debris and that drainage is still functional. Landscape features, such as trees and shrubs, should be checked for disease and all problem plants treated or removed.
  6. Basement – The walls and flooring of the foundation hold up everything else in the building. This makes them prone to a variety of stresses, some of which can result in damage to the building. The basement and crawl spaces should be examined for cracks and moisture penetration. Mold can result from moisture penetration, so searching for any
    dampness should be a primary concern. The structure of a building can have many designs, including concrete flooring, wooden beams or masonry floors. All of these will have particular maintenance steps. As a general rule, one should look for warping or cracking of flooring, sagging of wooden beams and of course leaks. Another possible problem area is any type of installation that was put in after the building was built. Some building owners stick closer to building codes than others, meaning a new chimney or other feature could cause issues with the rest of the building structure. Examine all such installations for possible problems.
  7. Electrical and plumbing systems – The electrical system should be checked to ensure that it is sufficiently designed to handle the power load of the building. Older buildings were not designed to deal with modern electrical needs and may need to be updated to handle current use. Plumbing and water supply should also be looked over to ensure functionality and safety.

    A building maintenance professional requires training to do his or her job well. Check out Vatterott’s building maintenance
    programs today to get started on a promising career!

How to Winterize Your Pipes to Protect Your Home

Frozen pipes can mean big trouble in and around a home. A hard freeze can lead to broken and busted pipes and other plumbing fixtures, which can cause water damage and increased water bills. Fortunately, preventing frozen pipes is not overly difficult if you are willing to put in the time and effort to do the job.

Tips for Winterizing Your Pipes

  • Outside – Drain and store garden hoses. Shut off all the outside spigots when possible. If it is necessary to use a garden hose during the winter months, the hose should be drained after use and put away again. Hoses left attached to spigots can freeze and damage both the hose and the spigot.

Attempt to shield the water meter from excessive wind and cold. Even simple cardboard can help prevent cold winds from freezing and breaking a water meter.

  • Inside – It is best to insulate all pipes that will be exposed to cold. Hardware stores offer several options for insulation material, including heated versions. Heating is a good option when there is significant risk of freezing in spite of basic insulation.

Open up cabinets where water pipes are located to allow the heated air inside the home to keep them warm. Avoid lowering the thermostat below 55 degrees, even while away from the home. The extra heating bill is less expensive than renovating a flooded home.

Sealing and insulating the home wherever possible is also recommended. External pipes entering the home often come with gaps in the wall where they are located – gaps where cold air can enter. Seal up all gaps, including those found around windows and doors. This will have an added benefit of lowering the heating bill. When possible, it is also a good idea to place insulation in walls where pipes are located.

  • Leaving the house for extended periods – If one is leaving the home for long enough that keeping the heat on is impractical, it is best to shut off the water at the point where it enters the home. This, combined with draining the remaining water left in the pipes by turning on the faucets, will ensure there is no water left to freeze.
  • Sprinklers – Turning off the sprinkler system will not eliminate the risk of a freeze. It is best to have a professional come out and blow out the water left in the sprinkler system to guarantee protection.

If you would like to learn more about how to winterize your pipes and other plumber training, enroll in one of our exciting plumbing programs at Vatterott!