InterCoast Colleges https://www.intercoast.edu Wed, 02 Dec 2020 22:19:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 https://www.intercoast.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/intercoast-colleges.png InterCoast Colleges https://www.intercoast.edu 32 32 Electrician Apprenticeship: 7 Things You Should Know Before Joining IBEW https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/electrician-apprenticeship-ibew/ https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/electrician-apprenticeship-ibew/#respond Wed, 25 Nov 2020 18:24:24 +0000 https://www.intercoast.edu/?p=6102 In 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for an experienced electrician was $56,180 per year or $27.01 per hour. With 739,200 jobs available, it is...

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In 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for an experienced electrician was $56,180 per year or $27.01 per hour. With 739,200 jobs available, it is easy to see why this is an ideal career choice. Especially when the career can be achieved with a high school diploma or GED and on-the-job training as an apprentice.

If you are thinking about becoming an electrician, one of the first things you may consider is an electrician apprenticeship with IBEW.  Read on to learn why this is not the only choice for your career, and that attending a California approved trade school may be a better option for you.

What is IBEW?

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) is a labor union that represents about 775,000 workers in the electrical industry. Their apprenticeship program provides you with on-the-job training and classroom instruction.

The disadvantages of this seemingly easy route to a good-paying career could outweigh the benefits.

What Is an Electrician Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a long-term training program. These are generally run by professional organizations combining work and instruction. You must perform a specific amount of hours in classroom instruction and hands-on training to complete the apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships generally take about 4-1/2 to 5 years to complete. You have two options when looking to complete an apprenticeship:

  • Apply to a professional group and, if you receive acceptance
  • Attend an electrician school, receive professional classroom and hands-on training as an electrical assistant, and apply for an apprenticeship

The Hybrid Electrical Training Program you receive at InterCoast College provides a combination of on-campus hands-on instruction,, simulated projects, and online assignments you can complete from home. And, you will participate in real-world practice in the labs at the school one day a week. This provides you with a well-rounded education. 

Active students receive an Electrical Training Card (ET). This allows you to work while attending school. You graduate in less than one year.

IBEW vs. InterCoast Trade School

When looking at whether you should join the IBEW or attend a trade school, weigh carefully the following:

1.  Getting an IBEW Apprenticeship can be Difficult

When applying to the IBEW there are usually a lot of applicants and only a few openings. The apprenticeship program turns away many good candidates. The program usually takes 4-5 years, and requires a longer commitment than a trade school.

The InterCoast program is only 1 year. InterCoast offers job placement assistance and you will have the opportunity to select your employer.

2. Application Requirements

To participate in the IBEW apprenticeship program, you must be 18 years old by the time of selection and indenture. Additional typical requirements may include:

  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Have and maintain a driver’s license
  • Have a passing grade for one credit of high school algebra or one semester of college algebra
  • Be in good health
  • Have a qualifying score on their aptitude test
  • Be drug-free

The first step to being an electrician is to complete your high school diploma or GED. InterCoast College provides an opportunity for you to receive your high school diploma at the same time you are attending their electrical program. So, you can start the InterCoast program without a high school diploma or GED. For more information on this great opportunity call (877) 227-3377.

3. Select Specialty When Applying

When applying to IBEW you often are required to select the area in which you want to specialize:

  • Residential Wireman—Installing electrical systems into residential areas, a 3-year program
  • VDV Installer Technician—Installing circuits and equipment for low-voltage systems, a 3-year program
  • Outside Lineman—Installing distribution and transmission lines, a 3-1/2 year program
  • Inside Wireman—Working in commercial and industrial settings, a 5-year program

When you are making this selection at the time of application, you are choosing a specialization in one area.

When you attend InterCoast College you learn about various areas of the field, putting you in a better position to select the specialty you want. You learn a wide range of work-related skills, also making you employable.

Safety is important to all training programs. During a 34-year study by OSHA, there were 4,255 fatal electric shock incidents, an average of 125 per year. You will learn proper safety protocols during your studies at InterCoast College. 

In addition to safety procedures, you will also be learning the National Electrical Code. This is the knowledge you need when taking your journeyman exam.

3.  IBEW Entrance Test May be Required

You may be required to interview and take an entrance exam for admission to IBEW. To pass the exam you must be strong in math, especially algebra.

Even if you later desire to join the union, going to an electrician school could provide you with the instruction and credentials necessary to be accepted into their organization.

By going to a school for training and working as an electrical trainee, you will get your foot in the door for possible jobs. As an electrician trainee, you will meet other electricians who can help you obtain an apprenticeship.

Attending a trade school gives employers the opinion that you are also serious about your career. You also will have experience in the work field as a trainee if you work before entering an apprenticeship.

4. Fees and Dues

When you are a member of the IBEW you must pay union dues. Union dues financially support the goals of the union.

Here is an example of the dues for the IBEW Local 1200:

  • Initiation Fee—$200 per initiation
  • Basic LU 1200 Dues—$20 per month
  • Basic Per Capita Dues—2% of base wages or $25 per month minimum

This can easily add up to several hundred dollars per year. The $200 initiation fee must be paid upfront by new union employees.

When you attend a trade school you have no obligation to union employment and therefore no dues. You do pay for your education, but the well rounded education is worth the investment.

5. Call Board Employment

When you work for the IBEW you typically do not select your work location. You may find yourself sitting at the union and waiting for your turn to work. When a contractor calls and needs workers the people are sent out on a call board rotation.

You also usually do not select the employer. You are paid wages the union establishes, and your union dues are paid from those wages.

If you have a desire to work for yourself, an electrician is a great career. Many electricians eventually become self-employed, working as independent contractors or own electrical contracting companies.

As a self-employed electrician, you are able to choose what jobs you want in the locations you want, working the hours you want, and earning an income you set, depending on the jobs you take and the hours you work.

6. Obtaining Journeyman License

When you participate in the IBEW program you are usually taking 4-5 years to complete your apprenticeship. This means you are locked into working for the IBEW during that time.

An electrician does not need a four-year college degree nor a 4-5 year apprenticeship commitment. Completing an electrical program in a college or trade school provides you with a good option for great career opportunities.

You can decide to participate in an apprenticeship program, but this is not necessary to take the journeyman exam. Students who complete the InterCoast Electrical Training Program are qualified to sit for the Journeyman examination.  Once you pass the examination, you will need to accumulate your experiential hours, working at your place of employment, under a licensed electrician. 

The time to become an electrician varies depending on what your goals are. If you want to become an electrical contractor and own your own business, you need a C-10 license to become a contractor in California.

Most states have journeymen and master electrician licenses. California offers a variety of licenses depending on your work specialty. Each type of license has different requirements for hours worked, on-the-job training, and separate exams.

 7. Lack of Flexibility

If you are not a member of a union you have the freedom to negotiate these aspects of your employment, independent of any union.  If you only want to work certain hours or part-time, attending a trade school can be a great benefit to you.

One of the benefits of attending a trade school is learning skills such as time management, budgeting, and communication. This will assist you in negotiating your own jobs if you work independently. Another benefit is flexible schedules that allow you to work part-time while attending school.  Additionally, if you decide later to be self-employed, you are able to stay on friendly terms with the employer and work out your own wages and requirements.

Start Your Path to Becoming an Electrician Today

If you have not yet graduated high school, contact InterCoast College to learn about beginning your electrical training while still in school. You can begin your steps to becoming an electrician by taking subjects in high school necessary for electricians. This includes additional math, shop, and mechanical drawing. 

After high school, continue your electrician apprenticeship goal by enrolling in a college program. There you will gain knowledge and hands-on experience to pursue your career. You will receive your ET card as an active student and begin getting work experience while receiving your training.

For more information, you can subscribe to our YouTube videos and download our no-cost E-Book “What is a Trade School.”

Contact InterCoast College today, simply click the banner below or call us at (877) 227-3377 to get all your questions answered.

With thousands of enrolled students over 35 years, InterCoast College is the only way to go on starting your career.

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What Does It Take to Become an Electrician in California? https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/become-electrician-in-california/ https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/become-electrician-in-california/#respond Mon, 16 Nov 2020 22:10:51 +0000 https://www.intercoast.edu/?p=6072 Today’s focus will be on California’s requirements, although much of the information will be more broadly applicable, too. Without further delay, join us as we explain everything you need to...

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Today’s focus will be on California’s requirements, although much of the information will be more broadly applicable, too. Without further delay, join us as we explain everything you need to get started down this exciting career path!

What Does It Take to Become an Electrician in California?

The obvious first step to becoming an electrician is research. You’re going to want to look up the exact requirements for being one in wherever you intend to live.

The California state government has a reasonably detailed page on their site, which has all the details you’ll need. However, the information can admittedly be a bit overwhelming when you are first looking into the requirements. We’ll try and put it more succinctly here.

For obvious safety reasons, the state has specific requirements you must meet before they allow you to become an electrician. If you intend to engage in the “connection of electrical devices for electrical contractors,” you must meet these requirements. 

There are certain edge cases, such as with licensed electrical contractors, but this won’t be the focus today. Most people wishing to do electrical work are going to need proper training.

Our focus will be on becoming a general electrician, but more focused electricians’ requirements tend to be similar. The most significant difference between most electrician specialties is they often require fewer hours before you can become licensed (discussed in more detail later). There are other ways in which you can become a licensed electrician in California.  If you have never received training in the electrical field, going to a vocational or trade school is a very good option for you to enter the field in less than one year.

The Path to Licensing

The path to getting your license can begin with a college or trade school. There, you’re going to need to take 750+ hours of classes on electrical theory and practical methodology.

Be sure to choose a well-designed program that meets all state requirements. Most importantly, the program must be approved by the State of California, Division of Industrial Relations. Some of the basics you’ll learn include:

  • National electrical code requirements
  • Wiring basics
  • Mathematics essential to the trade
  • Safety, including OSHA and CPR
  • Conduit Bending
  • And much more

This training is only a portion of what you need to become an electrician. The other part of your training, which often can be done concurrently with your electrician program, is the requirement that you accumulate at least 8,000 hours of on-the-job experience. 

The exact hour requirement changes for specific electrician career paths, but the basic principle remains the same. If you want to be an electrician, you’ll be spending at least a few thousand hours as a trainee.  You can earn while you work, as long as you work under a licensed electrician.

This, coincidentally, is why many people are training to become electricians who take courses at night. It is much easier to get on-the-job hours during the day and take classes at night than the reverse.  Some students are even taking Hybrid programs that allow them to learn both online for theory and simulated labs, and then on-campus for actual hands-on training. 

Becoming an Electrician Trainee

The above mentioned 8,000 hours of required job experience may sound intimidating. The reality is it usually isn’t quite as hard as it initially seems. Most electrical training programs offered by colleges and trade schools help make this trainee process easier. 

The goal of this trainee requirement is to make sure electricians have both the required education and also the practical experience in their jobs. After all, training courses can only provide students with so much training.  It is always helpful to have hands-on training with on-the-job experience.  With an electrical trainee status, you can work under a licensed electrician and accumulate hours for licensure. 

It’d be a good idea to read up about this trainee process. While it isn’t generally grueling, it still works. If it is paid, you’ll often only make minimum wage or slightly above.

Your goal during this trainee period should be to learn. Pay close attention to the electrician you’re working under. Ask questions often and internalize the answers you’re given.

A certified electrician can have only a single trainee under them at a time. Be respectful of the individual who ostensibly has decided to become a critical teacher in your career path. You will want to cultivate a positive relationship with them.

Remember that this trainee process is just as necessary as the schooling process. You’ll be getting hands-on experience with the day-to-day tasks of your future career. Take it seriously!

This is also the time to internalize whether this work is what you thought it would be. While you can’t do everything as a trainee, the work will be similar to that of an electrician. If you hate doing it, that might signal a problem.

Exam Time

Once you’ve taken your courses, you can apply to take an exam to become a qualified electrician.  You can also wait until you have accumulated your hours before you take the exam.  

In any case, the initial steps of this process are easy. You just need to submit an application to take your exam. Eventually, the state will send you relevant information about the exam.

The test itself will cover a lot of what you learned in your school.  Your test will include questions from the national electrical code.  You will know how to navigate through the national electrical codes, which is important for taking the exam. It is not incredibly difficult, but it requires you to get a 70% grade or higher. The test can be retaken if you do not pass the first time.

Keep in mind; you will be provided with a national electrical code manual at the test site. You should be familiar with navigating it but don’t need to memorize it. 

Do yourself a favor before the test and go over the basics of electrician work. Go online and try some practice questions similar to those on the test. In other words, prepare!

Once you manage to pass the test, you’ve done it! You’ll become licensed and be able to work as an electrical contractor in the state.

All that’s left to do is land an electrician position, and you are ready to work. Work safely and work hard, and you’ll rarely be wanting for work! Everyone needs electricians at least some of the time.

Renewal

Once you have your license, remember you will need to renew it. 

It may be a good idea to set reminders for yourself when you need to renew your license. That way, you never miss any deadlines. Working while not licensed, even accidentally, could carry steep consequences you need to avoid.

Get Started on Your Career Path Today

So what does it take to become an electrician? 

Your first step is to get in school and get your electrical trainee card (ET Card). With enough dedication to pursue the requirements to get there, you can finish your classes in less than 10 months! 

If you’re curious about becoming an electrician, we’d love for you to consider InterCoast Colleges. If you’d like to see what we can do for you, request more information from us! You can also call to schedule a campus virtual tour to see for yourself what we’re able to offer.

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Career Change Advice for Adults: Top Tips for Shifting Field https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/career-change-advice/ https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/career-change-advice/#respond Mon, 19 Oct 2020 17:08:00 +0000 https://www.intercoast.edu/?p=5982 Did you know that many people will change careers 3 to 7 times throughout their adult life?  Given how many people change careers many times throughout their lives, it’s essential...

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Did you know that many people will change careers 3 to 7 times throughout their adult life? 

Given how many people change careers many times throughout their lives, it’s essential to know what careers are the best to change. People should know the top jobs for shifting fields, the best career change advice out there. 

If people knew the best career advice and what to do, they would have a better idea of what career to choose. They might switch fewer careers as an adult. 

Here’s a guide on the best career change advice and answers to the most common questions. 

What’s Your Personality Like? 

Finding the perfect career depends a lot on your personality. For example, it may be challenging to be a public speaker if you are naturally an introvert. 

Similarly, it may be challenging to work at home alone if you are an extrovert. 

You should consider taking a personality test like the HEXACO revised model or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. These personality tests can give you insight into whether you are an extrovert or introvert. They can also tell you what you like to do and what you don’t like to do. 

In some instances, these personality tests can tell you what jobs fit your personality. Some personality tests can give you recommendations on how your personality would do in a particular field. 

If you’re unsure of what kind of career change you want, take a personality test. You may find out more about yourself than you never knew before.

Will an Assessment Help? 

As a personality test, you can also take a career assessment that tells what career would be perfect for you. 

You should consider taking one of these tests before switching to a new career that you know little about. Taking these assessments are sometimes offered at colleges, or you can take them online. 

Ultimately, a career assessment can give you insight into what kind of career would be great for you based on your strengths, weakness, and what skills you possess. 

You should also ask yourself questions about your strengths and weaknesses. For example, these are questions you would ask if you want to be a medical assistant

Evaluate Your Current Job

Before you change careers, you should evaluate what you don’t like about your current job. You should also consider why you do like your current job. 

If you are in management and make a certain salary, you should consider how long it would take to get to that point in a different industry. You will also have to consider starting from the ground and working your way up the ladder. 

At your current job, think about what you don’t like to do and why it makes you want to swap careers. 

Are you burned out? Is the pay low? Do you wish there was more opportunity to work your way up the ladder? Are you no longer interested in your job? Are you simply looking for a change? 

These are questions you have to figure out. Choosing a different career is a significant change that can affect your family and your living cost if you don’t properly plan out a new career. 

Evaluating your current job and why you don’t like it can help you figure out what you want in a job and what you don’t want.   You might want to write a list of what you like in your current position and what you hope to do in your new position.

Do Your Research 

Another tip to consider when you are searching for a new career is to do your research. You should look at every aspect of your new career. 

You should look at the pay, the job growth, the skills required, and much more. The more research you do on a new career, the more you can prepare for it. You should also look at the leaders in your new career field and see what advice they have. 

Leaders in your new career can offer wisdom on how to climb the ladder faster. They can tell you how to transition into that new career quicker and seamlessly. 

If you jump into a new career because it looks great on the outside, it could be something you’re not expecting when you change to that career field. 

You should also consider interviewing people in your new career. They can offer insight into what it’s like working day in and day out, giving you everything you need to know about a career before you jump into it. 

What Matters Most in a Different Career? 

While you are looking for a new career, you will have to assess what matters most in that new job. Is it money? Is it passion? 

You may have a passion for teaching, but you don’t like the pay. You have to decide what kind of job you want the most, including your interest, pay benefits, and more. 

Figure out what matters most to you in a career, and it can help you decide what career is best for you.  

What’s the Job Outlook? 

Another critical part of your job search is looking at the outlook. You want to see what the job growth is like for the next ten years in a particular field. 

If it doesn’t seem to have a strong outlook, you should know why that is. You should see if the job is being outsourced by technology or if there’s just no longer a need in that career. 

However, you may find a career that is one of the fastest-growing among other professions. This is why you need to consider what’s required of the job to get hired quicker. 

For example, here’s a look at the fastest growing Allied Health careers

Create a Pros and Cons List

Before you switch careers, you should consider the pros and cons of that career, mostly the cons. It’s easy to only focus on the pros of what it would be like to work in a different career field. 

But you also have to be realistic about what to expect. You should look at online forums and see what people say negatively about the job. You should also see the typical lifespan of that particular career is – you may find that the average person only stays 5 to 10 years in that specific field. 

Ultimately, creating pros and cons can give you an idea of what to expect from a job before jumping into it. 

Shadow Someone in a Different Career

While you are considering a new career, you should also shadow someone. You should follow someone around while working on their job, seeing the nitty-gritty details of everything they do. 

This gives you hands-on experience, and it can be an eye-opener to what it’s like to work at a specific job. For example, some people shadow nurses because it gives them an idea of what it’s like to work in a hospital, being around sick people, and lots of blood.  

Check Out the Education and Training Requirements

If you are considering another career, you may need a whole new education. You may need to go back to school to earn another degree or certificate.

For example, if you are changing from a business career to a medical career, you’ll most likely need to return to school to take additional classes. You’ll also need to see if you need to earn a certificate or pass a test. 

Becoming a lawyer would require you to take the Bar, for instance. Overall, figure out what educational requirements you need to be successful in your new career. 

Update Your Resume and Your CV

Before you apply for jobs in a new career, you will need to update your resume and CV.

You want to show your past job history and any relevant skills on your resume and cover letter. You especially want to show potential employers why you are switching careers. 

If you return to school for certifications or a degree, it’s important to highlight that on your resume. Also, show volunteer work you’ve done in a particular industry that can help you pivot into a new career. 

The more relevant your resume and cover letter are, the more it can help you land a job that you want. 

This can be Great Career Change Advice.

Overall, the career change advice found above can help you transition to a new career faster and easier. It can help you figure out what you are looking for in a new career and what to expect when it comes to the educational requirements. 

Switching careers as an adult can be difficult because you may need to return to school or start at the bottom of the ladder. But learning everything it takes to get there will make it a more painless process. 

If you have questions about the educational requirements when changing to certain fast-growing careers, contact us here

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At The Liminal You’re Limitless: How To Navigate Transitioning Careers https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/transitioning-careers/ https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/transitioning-careers/#respond Thu, 15 Oct 2020 16:51:39 +0000 https://www.intercoast.edu/?p=5977 The prospect of changing careers can be intimidating. You might be concerned about taking on extra debt to pursue more schooling or making the wrong choice in a new career....

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Finger pressing a new career start button. Concept of occupational or professional retraining or job opportunities. Composite between a hand photography and a 3D background

The prospect of changing careers can be intimidating. You might be concerned about taking on extra debt to pursue more schooling or making the wrong choice in a new career. The good news is that there are ways to jump from a job that’s not fulfilling to one with more opportunities and better pay.

Wondering how to get started? Keep reading to learn how you can navigate transitioning careers!

Know Your Goals in Making a Career Change

If you’re trapped in a job without any opportunities for advancement, the motivation for finding a new career path might be pretty clear cut. As some experts suggest, a desire for advancement opportunities is the leading reason people change jobs. No, it’s not always a bad boss or wrong benefits package.

On the other hand, if you hate your job, you might need to find a new calling. Ensure it’s the job or career path you’re dissatisfied with and not the people you work with. Sometimes a few bad apples on your work team can sour you on a career path you might otherwise like in a healthier work environment. 

But in other instances, you might feel lost. The job doesn’t inspire you to work hard. In those cases, it’s essential to know why you want to make a career change and take some time to write down your goals in making a career change.

Talking things over with a loved one can help you weed out career paths that don’t measure up, and it can help give you more ownership of where you want to go next. You may crave a better income, but you may prioritize the ability to live anywhere or work remotely more than income. It is important to keep tabs on which attributes are the most important for you.

Jump Right In

A big obstacle to making a career change is apprehension. It’s easy to start wallowing in self-doubt, but if it is your true desire to see change happen, you have to push through it. The best advice is to jump right in and research and explore, even if you’re not an expert in the area you want to work.

Are you still learning how to code or write the perfect press release? That’s okay, as long as you’re making progress and can show evidence of initiative.

Jumping right in and sending out applications or meeting face to face shows a level of ambition that employers will notice. Even if you lack a big resume of experience, you’ll show eagerness to learn on the job until you get it right.

Roughly half of all workers make a significant career change, so if you’re thinking of hopping from business to healthcare, you’re not alone. Making a significant change can be stressful for even the most prepared people, so find an outlet to work through your concerns.

Make a habit of journaling each night before you go to bed. Jot down a list of the pros and cons of a given field or plan of attack. By doing so, you’ll create a written record of your thought process that you can refer back to in the months ahead. Talk with people who are in the career you seek to join.  Talk with your friends and family about your desire to enter a new field. 

Own Your Transferable Skills

When you’re chipping away at a new career path, it can seem like you’re starting from scratch. But in nearly every instance, you’ll bring something to the table to help you in a new position. Remember that every time you feel like throwing in the towel, persist onward!

You may have developed into a fast typer at your previous jobs, personable presence in the office, or creative contributor. These are all intangible skills that will transfer to any job.

Know how to articulate these skills on a resume. Employers want to see that you’ll be an easy and dutiful trainee if they decide to hire you. Choose clear language and lead with your successes.

And when in doubt, seek the help of others who are already in the career you are seeking. They will understand how to frame your skills in a resume or cover letter to attract an employer.  You can also talk with a career counselor who may have suggestions to guide you toward a new and better career.

When Transiting Careers, Know It Will Take Time

One of the most important things to know is that it can take time to make a move from one career to another. Be patient with yourself, and give yourself rewards when you achieve certain milestones along the way. Most importantly, make sure that you have a support group in your corner to rally you when the workload or stress starts to feel overwhelming.

Changing careers means that you’re sitting in a liminal space — and on the threshold of something new. Don’t beat yourself up if you think you should have made a change earlier. Embrace the opportunity now, and look for the right new path.

A good step is to pursue additional education. Career focused training programs offer an efficient and faster education path to a new career. Within significantly less time than it takes to earn a 4-year degree, you can be certified for an in-demand job within a year.

Look into careers as a receptionist in a medical setting, or try something hands-on like repairing HVAC systems. Or switch things up and go into business or addiction counseling. The options are endless, so it’s a matter of determining what you’re passionate about, what can provide the hours and income you need, and let you grow.

Choosing an online program means more flexibility in your schedule. If you’re able to take your class asynchronously, you could add a part-time job within your new field to your daily schedule.

Gather As Much Info As You Can

Information gathering is a critical component of transitioning careers, too. If you’re making a career change at 40, your needs will be different from those of a college student just starting. You’ll have to learn about the costs of continuing education and the time commitment necessary to move onto something new — especially if you have a family.

Can you shadow someone in the field you’re pursuing? Can you volunteer a few times a week to gain experience and connections? Can you talk to others about your career ideas and ask them what they think?  Have you always been told you have specific skills that will enhance your desire for certain careers you are considering?

Remember, the more hands-on experiences — and face time — you can get, the more informed you’ll be. And the bottom line is that you want to find ways to take advantage of the resources around you.

Also, understand the expenses you’ll incur for making a career switch. You might not be able to make a clean jump from your current job to the next one, so stash away some savings to cover any gap expenses or plan on picking up a short-term gig to tide you over.

Network Like Crazy

Knowing how to network is one of the best skills you can develop as you search for a new job. Networking involves developing contacts in areas of interest — and then maintaining those contents over time. Since creating a strong reputation and projecting a sense of likability is vital, you’ll have to be persistent in cultivating new connections.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can do this. Social media sites like LinkedIn are built for networking and allow you to showcase your resume and talents to recruiters and people in your network. Attend speaking engagements and try to be present and mingle at community functions if you’re hoping to land a job in the same place.

In the same vein, you can find networking events in most major cities. Dress confidently, show up on time, and start talking to people in related fields who might help you find the job of your dreams. And don’t forget to bring a clean and memorable business card that you can handle to new contacts.

When you connect with someone in your chosen field, ask if you can buy them a coffee and talk. Often people are very willing to share their career experiences. And someone who knows that you’re interested in switching to their field can provide a more honest account of the latest trends in the industry, including the job market.

There’s no harm in asking! After you’ve scored an informal meeting with a new connection, be sure to follow up and thank them for their time. You never know when this person could help you find the right role down the road!

Make Your Move

Transitioning careers can take a lot of work and time, but it can be worth it in the long run. Don’t toil at the same old job that makes you unhappy or leaves you feeling underappreciated. Make a change, and you’ll boost your confidence, happiness, and potentially your income.

All you have to do is jump in and get started. When you’re ready to reroute your career path, contact us, and see if we can help you!

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8 Unexpected Benefits of Becoming a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/certified-drug-alcohol-counselor/ https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/certified-drug-alcohol-counselor/#respond Thu, 15 Oct 2020 16:29:31 +0000 https://www.intercoast.edu/?p=5972 Are you someone that enjoys helping other people? What about helping those that are going through difficult times? Do you see yourself as a good listener, supporter, and problem solver?...

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Are you someone that enjoys helping other people?

What about helping those that are going through difficult times? Do you see yourself as a good listener, supporter, and problem solver? If so, you might make a great certified drug and alcohol counselor.

Being a drug and alcohol counselor isn’t for the faint of heart. You have to be fully invested in someone else’s recovery to help them get where they need to be. You also take on their struggle to a certain level and the challenges they face with their family members. 

You might not expect it, but there are some fantastic benefits to this rewarding line of work. Today, we’re going to look at 9 of them so you can decide if drug and alcohol counseling is something you can see yourself doing. 

1. Job Availability

Before we get into the personal benefits that you’ll experience as a drug and alcohol counselor, let’s discuss the employment side of things. One of the great perks of this line of work is that there’s always job availability.

Sadly, because of the increasing addiction numbers across the country, more and more people need drug and alcohol counseling. For you, that means there are likely going to be numerous job opportunities right out of school. 

2. You Get to Help People

The best part of working as an addiction counselor is getting the chance to help countless patients overcome their illness. There’s probably a reason that this type of job appeals to you, and we’re guessing it has something to do with the need to help others. Your work will always make a difference in someone’s life, and there’s nothing more rewarding than that.

Overcoming addiction is one of the hardest things someone can do, so they’re going to need all the support and counseling you can provide. You have to be all-in when you decide to do this job, but that’s what many counselors love about it.

3. Learning Every Day

Spending every day alongside different people at different recovery stages will give you rare insight into how the human mind works. Addiction is an illness that affects many people, and you’re going to get a daily practical education on how it works.

You won’t walk into your first counseling job knowing precisely what to do with each case. Gaining new experiences every day will help you develop throughout your career, so you feel comfortable assisting people in different situations.

4. Leaving the 9-5 Behind

Many drug and alcohol counselors get into this kind of work because they thrive in unpredictable scenarios. You’re likely not going to experience the monotony of a regular 9-5 desk job because you’ll be working with unique people that have unique problems. 

No two days as an addiction counselor will look identical because your patients are always experiencing new challenges that you’ll help them get through. There are still new challenges to overcome, but that can be extremely rewarding, both mentally and spiritually, for everyone involved.

5. Personal Growth

You’re going to be thrown in the fire when you start a counseling job. No amount of education can fully prepare you for the stories you’ll hear, and the hardships people are going through. That being said, this is the kind of job that will lead to profound personal growth the more you do it. 

In many cases, you’ll find yourself becoming very attached to your patients’ recoveries. In some, you might even find lasting relationships with those you’ve counseled. It’s a difficult job, but it’s something that can reward you personally in new ways every single day.

6. Location Flexibility

Another practical benefit of a job in drug and alcohol counseling is that you’ll likely have location flexibility throughout California. You won’t be stuck in one place because there are addiction problems all over the state. If you want to live in a specific area, you’ll be able to do it while retaining your ability to do the job you’re meant to do.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 25% job growth rate for counselors by 2029, much faster than average. While this statistic includes data outside of California, the overall numbers are excellent for your job outlook.  This should also be a stark call to attention for those looking to get into drug and alcohol counseling. Some people need your help out there.

7. Teamwork

Not only are you likely to build deep and long-lasting relationships with the patients that you work with over the years, but you’re going to lean on your fellow workers for advice and to bounce new ideas off of. The teamwork aspect of counseling is often overlooked, but it’s essential to do your job to the best of your abilities.

These are sensitive issues that you’ll be dealing with, and it’s going to be hard to relate your experiences with patients to people outside of this world. Your coworkers will understand what’s on your plate, so you can always confide in them.

8. Don’t Need Extensive Education Background

You might think that you need to go through years and years of schooling to work as a drug and alcohol counselor. If you want to open up your private practice, you may want to get advanced education outside of a certificate program, but that’s only one version of this job.

A certificate in addiction counseling from a respected institution will give you the tools and knowledge that you need to help people. To learn more about a CCAPP and CAADE approved programs from InterCoast Colleges, visit our site today.

Be the Next Great Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor

If these job benefits sound perfect for you, you should consider becoming a certified drug and alcohol counselor. At InterCoast Colleges, we provide our students with the practical and educational skills required to enter this dream career.

The Substance Use Disorder Counseling program will help you communicate with individuals and families, facilitate various kinds of counseling groups, help you equip clients with coping skills, teach you how to manage case records, and provide you with culturally-competent counseling techniques, among other things. Having a CCAPP or CAADE designation will allow you to work as a counselor in California.

Contact us today for more information on this program.


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10 Key Tips That Will Help You Land Your Very First HVAC Job https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/hvac-job-california/ https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/hvac-job-california/#respond Thu, 08 Oct 2020 17:38:55 +0000 https://www.intercoast.edu/?p=5965 70  percent of all new HVAC businesses fail within the first year of operations. Currently, more than 105,000 HVAC companies are operating in the United States. With such a high number...

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70  percent of all new HVAC businesses fail within the first year of operations. Currently, more than 105,000 HVAC companies are operating in the United States. With such a high number of industry players, landing your first job as a newbie can be hectic. 

Are you a fresh HVAC technician hoping to get your first HVAC job soon? The high failure rates in the sector can be a discouraging factor for any HVAC internet. However, with the right knowledge and insights, you don’t need to worry about being a new entrant.

An HVAC technician job can be a fulfilling and rewarding career. With a little balance between experience and skill, you should soon be able to break into the market. 

These ten badass tips can help you land your first HVAC job and kick start your career path. 

1. Work on Your Resume

Your resume mirrors an accurate picture of your background. Before a potential client assesses your core capabilities, they first review your resume. If you are looking forward to landing your first HVAC job, it will help build your resume so that any prospective client can’t resist your services.

Ensure that your resume accentuates the positives. You can achieve this by listing your experience in the field. It would also help to include every award attained during your HVAC apprenticeship journey. 

A good resume should also mention interests that align with the HVAC career. This is your best shot at convincing a stranger that you’re worth their money. With this in mind, you should do your best to ensure that your resume stands out.

2. Learn the Basics 

Most people don’t have a problem with hiring a novice. Even so, you must prove that, at the bare minimum, you understand the basics as an HVAC technician. Do you know the fundamentals of air conditioning and refrigeration systems? 

Your success in the HVAC industry will depend on your ability to apply the basic concepts gathered in class and real-life situations. This means that you must grasp the theoretical aspect of HVAC to be able to use the knowledge in a practical scenario. Most potential clients consider your understanding of basic HVAC a deal-breaker when hiring a greenhorn.

Before rolling up your sleeves to look for an HVAC job, assess your aptitude and understanding of the basic HVAC systems. This will give you the confidence to approach a prospective client. 

3. Have the Right Computer Skills in Readiness for Your First HVAC Job 

Granted, you aren’t a tech geek. Nonetheless, the world is changing, and there’s no longer enough room for computer illiteracy. If you’re hoping to land your first HVAC job soon, you might need to up your tech-savviness.

As with all things today, most HVAC systems have become more high tech. You won’t land your first HVAC job soon enough without a basic understanding of computers and the link with HVAC systems. Computers help HVAC technicians track clients while keeping up with the various assignments. 

More importantly, most of the modern HVAC equipment operates within a computer-controlled system. You might need to ensure that you understand computer applications in the control and maintenance of HVACs.

4. Improve on Your Communication Skills

You might have the right academic qualifications and a superb resume but take longer to land your first HVAC job. Working as an HVAC technician requires a unique ability to communicate and resonate with potential clients. You’ll probably get to talk to agitated clients looking for reassurance about their own HVAC needs.

Remember that at least 87% of American households have air conditioning equipment. But don’t get it twisted, the market might be significant, but you won’t succeed as a technician if you can’t communicate with your clients. Work at your interpersonal skills before venturing out to look for your first contract. 

Communication involves listening, empathy, and open-mindedness. You might also need to work on your body language. Ultimately, your resume might be commendable, but your first HVAC job might be long coming without the right communication skills.

5. Be Equipped 

Being a beginner should never excuse your lack of preparedness. If you’re pursuing an HVAC career, a few “must-haves” will set you apart. Every first time client wants to be sure that you have the right equipment. 

Hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, and tape measures should never miss in your toolbox. The best investment for an HVAC technician is in the tools of the trade they own. Other critical equipment includes crescent wrenches, powered drills, and pipe-wrenches.

Ensure that you have the essential equipment before you go all out looking for your first HVAC job. No homeowner or business will contract you if you don’t have the right equipment for the job. 

6. Know Your Worth

You must be dying to make your first dollar in the HVAC business. However, your pricing might be keeping you away from your first real deal. According to the BLS, the median pay for an HVAC mechanic and installer in the year 2019 was $23.43 per hour

A seasoned HVAC technician can earn up to $37 per hour, depending on other factors, such as years of experience. Nonetheless, for a beginner hoping to land your first job, it would make more sense to settle for a bargain price. You want to attract a few first-time clients as a means of building your profile.

The bad news is that you might need to lower your worth in the medium term. However, the best news is that your worth will grow in due time. 

7. Consider Volunteering 

A common baseline when choosing an HVAC technician is often their experience.  Unfortunately, as a greenhorn, the level of knowledge can be the most significant obstacle between you and your first HVAC job. Your best bet in this scenario would be to consider volunteering your services to gain the requisite experience. 

The best thing about volunteering is that you can work under a highly-experienced mentor. With the right mentorship program, you can volunteer your services and learn the ropes. Part of the reasons why you need to volunteer is to gain practical knowhow.

A portion of the process of breaking out in any career includes a period of offering one’s services, time, and skill free. This is important in landing your first job. 

Are you looking forward to landing your first HVAC job? It might help to consider participating in an unpaid mentorship arrangement to help you acquire the necessary skills. 

8. Consider Getting a License  

Most states don’t require single HVAC technicians to have a license. The procedure of licensing is often a reserve for more prominent HVAC companies. There were at least 367,900 HVAC technicians, mechanics, and installers in the USA in 2019, which means that you need a differentiating factor to thrive in the sector.

Applying for a license can easily land you your first job. While a permit is not mandatory, it adds a sense of professionalism and credibility when approaching clients. Given a choice between a licensed beginner and an unlicensed HVAC veteran technician, most clients would consider the former. 

Applying for a license will give you an edge over the rest, given that it’s a confirmation of your qualification as an HVAC technician. If you’re wondering how to kickstart your HVAC career, then licensing should be a precursor to landing your first job. 

9. Consider Specialized Certification 

There can be multiple ways of becoming an HVAC technician. Most budding HVAC technicians learn their skills on-the-job. However, it’s often hard to land your first HVAC job with such basic education. If you want to succeed in the HVAC career, you might need to consider specialized certification through continuous learning

The HVAC technician requirements vary from one State to the next. Nevertheless, taking up additional certification is an individual decision, which can be scaling your career development. Some of the advanced certification options you might consider include North American Technician Excellence (NATE) and the HVAC Excellence certification.

10. Have Insurance Coverage 

Your role as an HVAC technician exposes you and the HVAC systems you manage to unending risks. Most homeowners and businesses understand this risk of liability too well. As such, only a handful of potential clients are willing to work with an uninsured HVAC technician. 

The owner of the premise covers any liability in case of personal injury to an uninsured HVAC technician. This informs the keen focus among homeowners only to hire insured HVAC contractors.

Are you hoping to land your first job soon? It would help to consider getting full coverage for workmanship compensation in case of on the job injuries. 

Prepare Adequately for Your First Job 

The HVAC industry has grown exponentially over the last two decades. Today, HVAC technicians are in high demand as the majority of American households embrace modern HVAC equipment. However, the sector is also highly competitive, given the growing number of highly qualified technicians.

Are you looking to land your first HVAC job in the market soon? These tips can go a long way towards preparing you for the task ahead. You can also learn more about continuous learning and certification programs on our website.

All you need is to contact us today and kick start your path towards career development.

Becoming a HVAC Technician In California

Download our no-cost Ebook “How To Become An HVAC Technician In California”

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Building A Support System Reorient Your Life https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/support-system/ https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/support-system/#respond Thu, 08 Oct 2020 16:53:17 +0000 https://www.intercoast.edu/?p=5962 Getting started in a new profession can be a daunting task. You’re learning how to navigate an entirely new space while you’re fresh out of school, and you’re also still...

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Getting started in a new profession can be a daunting task. You’re learning how to navigate an entirely new space while you’re fresh out of school, and you’re also still trying to find how you fit into your new world. 

If you want to set yourself for professional success, the best thing you can do is work on your support system.

When some people hear the word support system, they may not know what it means. In truth, many of us already have support systems. We just don’t know it yet. 

If you want to learn a bit more about support systems, you’ve come to the right place! We’re going to give you a rundown of what a support system is, how it benefits you, and what you can do to start building one today.

What Is a Support System?

Simply put, a support system is made up of people who can give you support, respect, and care in life. It goes beyond simply having friends. A support system is a sprawling network of people you can rely on for a variety of reasons. 

A friend can undoubtedly be a part of your support system, but they’re far from the only factor. Professional contact or acquaintance can be a part of a healthy support system. So can family or even a romantic partner.  

In a professional sense, your support system can play an essential role in your career growth. The right support system can help you find new opportunities and connect with influential people. 

Why Do I Need a Support System?

Some of you may be wondering why support systems are essential. The truth is that support systems can help you in every facet of life!

Whether you want to work on your career or improve your personal life, a support system can help. Here are just a few of the reasons why support systems are incredibly helpful. 

Grow Professionally 

Whether you want to land a new job or explore different career paths, building a reliable support system is essential.

When it comes to the job search, it truly is about who you know. When you spend time building a support system, you have many people you can reach out to about potential jobs. 

You never know who will have connections to people you may want to know. A student you meet in class may have a close relationship with your dream company’s hiring manager. Your workout partner may have some great connections in your industry. 

Improve Mental Health

Humans are naturally social creatures. Even some of the most introverted people still need friends or loved ones to help them throughout life. 

Isolation can have a lot of negative effects on people. People who don’t have a good support system may turn to substance abuse to cope with loneliness. Others may experience more severe symptoms of mental health disorders like anxiety or depression. 

Support and social contact can’t cure problems, but they can certainly help them. That’s why it’s crucial to build a network now so you’ll have the support you need in trying times. 

Open Yourself Up to New Things

You never know what can come from a reliable support network. The people you bring into your inner circle could end up enriching your life in ways you never thought possible. 

The work acquaintance you know may have a daughter that goes to the same school as your son and needs a friend. Someone you meet in the classroom could give you a brand new hobby or interest. 

This is why having a reliable support network is so crucial for people. Surrounding yourself with the right people can open you up to more opportunities than you could imagine. 

How to Build Your Support System

Now that you see how a support system can help you throughout your life, it’s time to start forming one of your own. 

We do want to note that there is no one definitive way to build your support system. People have different needs, and you should consider that before you set out to create your network of supportive people.

There may not be one right way to do things, but we know of several tips that can help you along the way! If you’re serious about building your support network, make sure you follow these essential tips.

Think About What You Want 

It’s essential to think about what you want to get out of your support system before you start building it. When you know what outcome you want to have, it’s a lot easier to find the right people to help you build your network. 

When you think about your support system, what’s the one thing you want everyone to do? 

Some people want to build a network of mentors they can rely on for advice and help in the job market. These people may be older and have much more experience than you.

Other people may want the exact opposite and want to surround themselves with new professionals like themselves. They want to find people they can commiserate with and exchange helpful advice to find their ways in the professional world. 

You may find that you want a mix of things or that you have one clear goal. Regardless of what you want, be clear about the outcome you want to achieve.

Examine Your Existing Network 

Did you know that your brother in law is friends with the IT manager at the company you want to work for? Does your best friend attend happy hours with people in your industry? 

If you want to build a reliable support system, look no further than who you already have around you! When you build your support system, you should try to seek out new people, but that doesn’t mean you should disregard people you already know. 

Be vocal about what you want to achieve and that you wish to help from people you trust. Some of your friends and relatives may not know your current goals. That’s why it’s a good idea to be upfront about what you want. 

Remember, your existing network isn’t supposed to stay static. These aren’t just people you can rely on for support. They know plenty of other people that have the potential to support you too!

Attend Professional Events

Since we’re talking about support from a professional standpoint, we can’t stress the importance of attending industry events enough. 

Once you have an idea of what you want to get out of your support network, you can start going to events to find the people you want to connect with. Professional conferences, meet up events, and happy hours are great ways to find people to build your support system. 

Even if you can’t attend in-person events, you can attend plenty of virtual events to meet people. If you’re anxious in groups, virtual events may be the best way for you to find a low-pressure way to connect with others. 

Remove Negativity 

It would be nice if the people we currently surround ourselves with were always supportive and positive. Unfortunately, plenty of people are surrounded by toxic influences that can undermine their overall goal of finding support. 

You may have a friend that makes a snarky comment every time you mention what you’re doing in school to switch careers. There may be a co-worker that thought getting an associate’s degree would be pointless. In some cases, you may even be getting negativity from family members. 

Support networks are designed to build people up and support them, not cut them down and make them second guess their hard work. If you want to form a good support network, take some time to cut out the people that don’t have your best interests in mind. 

Don’t go to negative people for advice, support, or even good news when you’re focused on your success. They won’t be able to give you the support you need and deserve. 

Build Your Bright Future 

A support system is critical when you’re starting a new career path. The people you surround yourself with can help you find new opportunities or simply be friends during your time of need.

Don’t wait until you graduate. Start building those connections now to have a reliable support system when you’re ready to start your job search!

Do you have more questions about things you should be doing to help yourself professionally? We have a lot of helpful content on our blog, so be sure to start there. 

We’re also always open to having a conversation with anyone that wants to use education to further their career. Be sure to contact us today to discuss the best way to help you grow professionally. 

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Figuring Out If Becoming a Substance Abuse Counselor Is Right For You https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/substance-abuse-counselor-career/ https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/substance-abuse-counselor-career/#respond Mon, 21 Sep 2020 22:41:00 +0000 https://www.intercoast.edu/?p=5771 Substance abuse is one of the most challenging roads one can face. It can ruin careers and relationships, and it can cut a life short. Substance abuse counselors are there...

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Substance abuse is one of the most challenging roads one can face. It can ruin careers and relationships, and it can cut a life short.

Substance abuse counselors are there to assist people in battling addiction. If you’ve ever been interested in substance abuse counseling, you might be surprised to find out you don’t need a master’s degree to get started.

Working as a substance abuse counselor is not for everyone. It can be challenging but incredibly rewarding. Find out if it’s right for you!

The Role of a Substance Abuse Counselor

If you are wondering just how severe drug and alcohol abuse is in the United States, take a look at these numbers from the American Addiction Centers website:

  • In 2017, substance abuse affected almost 20 million adults. 
  • Three quarters suffered from alcohol abuse.
  • Over eight million battled the co-occurrence of mental illness and substance abuse.
  • Addiction costs U.S. society over $700 billion annually in healthcare expenses, crime-related issues, and lost job productivity.

Substance abuse is a disorder all its own. It takes specialized training and the right experience to be able to treat it properly. This is where the role of the substance abuse counselor comes in. 

What Does a Substance Abuse Counselor Do?

Also commonly referred to as addiction counselors, substance abuse counselors are accredited professionals trained to treat substance abuse disorders. 

An addiction counselor deals with various issues that often come with drug and alcohol abuse. Problems such as eating disorders and behavioral issues are also prevalent and fall within an addiction counselor’s scope, depending on the level of experience.

In general, a substance abuse counselor’s responsibilities include:

  • Evaluating a client’s physical and mental health, addictive habits, the severity of the addiction, and readiness to begin therapy.
  • Working with clients–and their families, if appropriate–to create goals and a treatment plan.
  • Helping clients identify addictive habits and giving them tools to modify their behavior.
  • Referring clients to resources, such as support groups and job placement services.
  • Creating outreach programs to educate their community about the signs of addiction and resources available and how to prevent addiction.

The venues can vary from private practices to hospitals, rehabilitation centers, correctional facilities, and community centers. While much of the work is one-on-one, many addiction counselors will work out of group settings.

At the heart of addiction counseling is empowering clients to deal with stress. Addictive habits often spiral out of control because people don’t have the coping mechanisms they need to deal with life’s challenges.

Because so much of addiction is embedded in a client’s everyday habits, an effective counselor must display strong interpersonal skills. Substance abuse counselors help their clients get sober by their reliable and empathetic presence.

To be an effective provider, a substance abuse counselor must be well-versed in the physiology of addiction. A drug counselor must also understand the socioeconomic factors that come with substance abuse. 

Sounds like a lot of responsibility? It is, and there’s no wonder why the job requires a certain coursework level and some experience. 

Addictions Counselor Certification

To be a licensed therapist generally requires a master’s degree, in addition to state licensure. Substance use disorder and many other types of issues fall under the scope of a therapist. 

Licensed social workers–also a master’s degree–are qualified to work with substance abuse. Like licensed counselors, social workers can either work in a setting or go into private practice.

But did you know you can work as a substance abuse counselor without having to go the long road of getting a master’s degree?

It’s possible to become a substance abuse counselor with as little as a few college courses and relevant experience. You can effectively perform many of the significant responsibilities of a social worker or therapist, including:

  • Clinical evaluation
  • Treatment planning
  • Case management and referral
  • Client and family education and outreach
  • Documentation

While you cannot work with clients one-on-one (only state licensure allows that),  you can begin working in this critical field as a Certified Addictions Counselor (C.A.C.). Certification means you have relevant coursework in addition to supervised hours.

The requirements to become an addictions counselor are largely state-specific. However, you can seek out a national certification. Almost half the states recognize the NAADAC–National Association for Addiction Professionals as the gold standard in addictions counseling. 

Even though this certification requires more extensive college coursework, it will allow you more leverage when applying for an addiction counseling job wherever you go.

If you are interested in becoming an addiction counselor, there’s no time to start like now. There’s no better place to begin than at Intercoast, with an Associate of Applied Science in Substance Use Disorder.

Whether you are confident in your choice to become a substance abuse counselor, or you are exploring the field, our core classes will give you the foundation you need to move forward.

Some of the subjects in the AAS Substance Use Disorder curriculum include: psychology, preventing and treating relapse prevention, case management, and community and mental health. 

Also, our program includes supervisory hours so that you can graduate job-ready as a substance abuse counselor.

Do You Have What It Takes?

If you are interested in the field of substance abuse recovery, you are likely a compassionate person. To be a successful addictions counselor, you should also be an excellent listener and extremely patient. 

If you have what it takes to treat addiction, your skills are needed now more than ever. There is a shortage of qualified people willing to take on the role. It’s a shortfall that the opioid crisis has worsened in the last few years.  

Get Started Today

Working as a substance abuse counselor carries a great deal of responsibility. Some of the most vulnerable society members will rely on you to overcome one of the most devastating disorders imaginable: drug and alcohol abuse. 

Nevertheless, the rewards can be immense. Earning a salary while helping people recover from addiction can lead to an incredibly fulfilling career. 

Contact us today to get started with the online program.


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Key Questions to Ask Yourself Before Becoming a Medical Assistant https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/medical-assistant-career/ https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/medical-assistant-career/#respond Thu, 17 Sep 2020 18:10:55 +0000 https://www.intercoast.edu/?p=5761 Are you planning on getting into the medical field, but you’re not committed yet? You’re not alone; the healthcare field is expected to grow nearly 14% by 2028, making it...

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Are you planning on getting into the medical field, but you’re not committed yet? You’re not alone; the healthcare field is expected to grow nearly 14% by 2028, making it the fastest-growing field in the United States. Medical assistants specifically are seeing even more significant growth.

If you’re looking for a career with a high potential for growth and longevity, getting into healthcare might be beneficial. 

But how can you decide what the right job is? The healthcare field is pretty broad, so you have a lot of options. 

If becoming a medical assistant seems like it might be the right fit for someone newly entering the field, this is the guide for you.

Keep reading if you want to learn a few things that you want to ask yourself before committing to a medical assistant career. 

Why Do You Want to Get Into Healthcare?

First, consider your purpose for getting into the healthcare field. Is it just going to be a job for you? Are you in it solely for the money?

Healthcare is a steep path, regardless of your position. For many people, it has to be a passion. Jobs in healthcare often require long hours and plenty of empathy with patients and doctors alike. 

At times the job can be hectic. If you’re someone who seeks an easygoing career that allows them a healthy work/life balance, this may not be the right choice. However, for those who want to make tangible a difference in people’s lives, a medical assistant career could be precisely what you need. 

Is the Pay Suitable for You?

The average pay for a medical assistant is just over $33,000 per year, though it varies widely around the country. Some parts of the country are lower while the west coast, specifically the Pacific Northwest, has higher averages. 

For the levels of education required, this can be a viable career with a stable income if it’s the path that you choose to follow.

Look into the average pay for medical assistants in your area (or a place you’d like to live) and see if the income suits your needs.

Are You Interested In Advancing In Healthcare?

Becoming a medical assistant might be the final step for you. It’s not unlikely that you discover that you enjoy this position and like to continue it for the rest of your working life.

That said, many people choose to advance their careers later. Having a medical background as a medical assistant can give you a leg up in that area. 

This is a great way to earn money while figuring out if you want to pursue further education avenues to expand your career. Some people find that working as a medical assistant sparks an urge to go into nursing. Others find that the experience sends them into a more administrative or managerial direction. 

Either way, becoming a medical assistant can be the first step towards either of these outcomes. You get a fulfilling career while also potentially progressing towards something new.

What’s the Job Outlook Like?

What careers can you get as a medical assistant? It might seem like a standalone job, but you can be placed in several positions. 

Medical assistants are needed everywhere, so you’ll have your choice of physical locations. Your skills will be required all over the country (and may potentially span across countries). 

You’re going to be working in some medical facility, but these have a wide range, and you can choose something that appeals to you. You may find yourself in a doctor’s office, a psychiatric clinic, a gender clinic, a pediatrician’s office, etc. 

If you have a passion for a specific field of medicine, you may find a job there. 

What Skills Will You Need?

What skills do you possess that might be helpful in the position of a medical assistant? 

Many skills are going to be taught by your program. These are things like CPR, patient care and bedside manner, and the ability to do basic medical tasks like performing injections or taking vitals. 

Other skills may have been obtained through previous work or school experience. These are things like bilingualism of some kind, communication, organizational skills, computer skills, and an ability to multitask effectively.

A medical assistant can work either in direct healthcare or administration, so the required skills tend to be a mix of both. 

What Education Do You Need?

The education and certifications required to become a medical assistant vary slightly depending on the state and facility you’d like to work. 

Generally speaking, people who attend classes online or otherwise can expect a year’s commitment to a program. This program will teach you the skills required to succeed in the career and may end in a certificate needed for many medical assistant positions. 

For those interested in healthcare but lack the time, money, and commitment to do a much longer program, this is an appealing choice. Not everyone can go to medical school or even a 4-year nursing program. This is an accessible avenue into a healthcare career. 

What Should You Consider When Choosing a Program?

When you’re committed to the career, the next step is choosing the right program for you. You have plenty of options, but which one suits you best?

Here are just a few things that you may want to look into before committing. 

What Is the Cost?

Before starting any education program, it’s essential to know whether it’s in your budget. Getting caught in student loan debt is tricky, so it’s best to know whether this will be a viable option.

The career as a medical assistant is stable, and the program is short, meaning that any debt acquired can likely be paid off. That said, it doesn’t hurt to inquire about the price before committing. 

Does It Offer Both Medical and Administrative Skills?

Not all medical assistant programs are alike, and they won’t all offer everything that you need. You’re looking for a program that will prepare you for the breadth of skills you’re going to use in your future career. 

It’s helpful if a program will offer all of the skills you need, even those usually taught through external programs (like first aid and CPR). 

This is supposed to be a comprehensive program, even if it’s short. Make sure that you’ll get the most out of your commitment. 

Does It Offer Externships? 

Externships are like internships. They’re opportunities to gather real-world experience. In this case, students will be spending time in real medical centers to gain valuable hands-on experience with patients. This isn’t something that can be taught in a lecture or done in a lab.

You want to have a lot of hands-on time, not just a few weeks. Look into how many hours you’re going to be spending on-site at the medical facility and decide if that’s going to be enough time for you to feel comfortable when you transition to a “real job.” 

How Long Will The Program Take?

As we mentioned, the average program takes a year to complete. That said, not all programs have the same time commitments, and often they can be broken down into hours. 

If you’re looking for a program that can fit alongside your schedule, planning it out by hours required for completion might be more helpful. The programs are quick, but knowing specifics can help you make your decision and plan around your classes. 

Does the Program Offer Career Services?

Getting a job isn’t always as easy as sending out an application to every medical center nearby. 

A good program that’s invested in the students’ growth will offer help with career placement and services so that you can start working right away.

You may get assistance with resumé writing, networking, employment counseling, and more. This can help those who have been out of work for a while or anyone who needs to brush up their job-hunting skills. 

Is the Role of a Medical Assistant for You?

If you think that you might thrive as a medical assistant, consider looking into programs to get you on the right path. Careers in healthcare can be challenging, but they’re fulfilling and stable, and you may just find that you love it enough to continue your career development. 

If you’re interested in a program that offers 900 hours of education, career services, and valuable on-site time, visit our site to request information about our medical assistant program. 

The post Key Questions to Ask Yourself Before Becoming a Medical Assistant appeared first on InterCoast Colleges.

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Finding a Job In Business Administration After Getting Your Associates Degree: 4 Tip https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/career-business-administration/ https://www.intercoast.edu/blog/career-business-administration/#respond Thu, 17 Sep 2020 18:10:00 +0000 https://www.intercoast.edu/?p=5764 Have you just earned a certificate in business administration? Are you about to graduate with your associate’s degree? If you’re finishing up your education, then it’s time to start your...

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Have you just earned a certificate in business administration? Are you about to graduate with your associate’s degree?

If you’re finishing up your education, then it’s time to start your job search. This task can be daunting if you’ve never done it before or enter a new field.

You don’t have to stress out when you have some helpful tricks up your sleeve. Here are the best tips for applying for and landing the job you want.

1. Know What You Want

Do your research and find out what jobs are available for a graduate with an Associate Degree in Business Administration. Many entry-level positions are significant for a business student looking to get started in the corporate world. Here are some possibilities:

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Executive Assistant
  • Administrative Coordinator
  • Customer Service
  • Inside Sales
  • Human Resources Generalist

Any position at a corporate business is ideal for someone with an entry-level business degree. If you’re looking for a job, these types of posts are great because you have options. Moving up through the ranks happens faster when you have the degree behind you.

You can take some online quizzes or personality assessments to learn more about yourself and what you’d be good at. These often give you potential job ideas and the salary standards that go with them. Be careful when you see a number; look up the average salary in your area because it can change based on geographical region.

2. Make Connections

Networking is a great way to make connections when you’re looking for a job. Join a club like Rotary or Kiwanis to get to know other business people in your area. Finding out who you know at which companies will help you jumpstart your career.

To do well in this setting, you have to be willing to put yourself out there. That means having confidence and being the first one to introduce yourself. While this is challenging for some people, it’s constructive when you’re trying to make business connections.

These connections may be the key to helping you find the right position, especially people in management. Here are some tips for presenting yourself well at a networking event or business meet and greet. You want to be honest about who you are, but you may have to fake a few smiles at the same time.

3. Associate Degree in Business Administration: Marketing Yourself

Part of presenting yourself as a great candidate for a job is having a stellar resume. It should be polished and clearly show the school you attended and the degree you earned. You no longer need to include dates, unless you’re still finishing (then say, “In Progress”).

Education and Length

Besides your education, make sure to include an objective at the top. Your objective is a brief statement about your soft skills (like organization, people skills, and crisis management).  Explain why you’d be a good fit for the position (one which utilizes your soft skills, like a position requiring top-notch attention to detail, excellent customer service, and great communication).

Your resume should be one page. It won’t be able to fit everything. Yet it will give your potential employer a good snapshot of who you are and what you bring to the table.

If you feel other skills or essential aspects of your education, your employer should see, include hyperlinks. Links can consist of your personal website, portfolios, and other relevant work. You even can link them to your LinkedIn profile.

It’s a good idea to update your LinkedIn regularly to mirror your resume with your objective as you search for jobs. It’s a great platform to show your entire work history if you keep it up to date. People you network with may go to your LinkedIn page if they are interested in hiring you to get more information before asking for a resume or interview.

Don’t link to your LinkedIn page if you haven’t maintained it. It can do more harm than good.

Formatting

Make sure your resume isn’t too fancy. While you may want employers to see your Microsoft Office skills, the resume isn’t the place to show off. Instead, use plain, easy-to-read font and standard margins, colors, and layout.

Be sure you double and triple check your resume. Proofread it for typos and errors, and ask at least one other person to do the same. Use online tools like Grammarly to help you find typos so that you are sending a mistake-free document to potential employers.

Name the file specifically. Don’t call it “Resume” because your potential employer probably gets a lot of those. Include your full name and the job you’re applying for, like “Anastasia Rostokov – Administrative Assistant.”

4. Acing the Interview

Sometimes when you land the interview, it’s easy to feel confident and not spend time preparing. Yet employers look to add someone to the company who is steady and polished. They can tell if you’re not prepared.

Practice makes perfect is a cliche for a reason. It would help if you had someone give you a practice interview. Find questions online for them to ask you, and then spend some time having a mock interview session.

Record yourself so you can watch the video later. Critique yourself, including your body language.

Are you sitting up straight? Do you wave your hands around? Do you look down or at your interviewer?

Do your research about the company before you go. The interviewer will likely ask you what you know about them or questions that require background knowledge of the company. It’s good to be prepared with at least some basic information about who you’re applying to work for.

Landing Your Dream Job

Once you earn your degree in business administration, you’re equipped to look for your dreams’ job. If you know what you want, you’ll be able to apply for the most relevant positions.

Follow our other tips above regarding networking, writing your resume, and interviewing for the job. 

Contact us to get started earning your business degree today.

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