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Summer 2003 Vol. 47, Number 2

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Jobs in the field of aging

Itís no secret that the number of older people is increasing as "baby boomers" ageóor that improved healthcare is promoting longevity. So, it should be no surprise that thereís a growing need for people to work in the field of aging.

Helping to answer questions about these careers are resources from the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, the educational unit of the Gerontological Society of America. "Careers in Aging: Consider the Possibilities" is an introductory booklet on careers in aging. The 16-page booklet, aimed at high school and college students, covers the career field by breaking it down into a number of topics. These include explanations of what gerontology is, what jobs and careers are available, and how to become a professional in the field of aging. A longer, more detailed booklet, "Careers in Aging: Opportunities and Options," is for upper level undergraduates and for adults considering a career change.

Single copies of either booklet are free; multiple copies are 20 cents each. To request a booklet or more information about careers in aging, contact the association at 1030 15th St. NW., Suite 240, Washington, DC 20005-1503; (202) 289-9806, voice; (202) 289-9824, fax. The 16-page booklet may be accessed online at and at

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Health services hired the most new workers in 2002

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, more workers were hired in health services than in any other industry in 2002. The 270,000 new workers in health services represented a 2.6-percent employment increase over 2001 employment in that industry.

Growth in demand for healthcare services stemmed from an aging baby-boom population, overall population growth, and technological advances. Hospitals, with 113,000 new hires, accounted for the largest share of job growth. But the 63,000 additional workers in offices of clinics and medical doctors represented the greatest proportional increaseó3.1 percentóin the health services industry.

The data are from the BLS Current Employment Statistics program. To learn more about employment in 2002, see "U.S. labor market in 2002: continued weakness," by Terence M. McMenamin, Rachel Krantz, and Thomas J. Krolik, in the February 2003 Monthly Labor Review, available online at

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Aviation resource: Careers in the skies...

A livelihood in the air might be your dream. But pursuing and paying for your education, flight training, certificates, and other aviation-related requirements might seem like a nightmare.

Now, thereís an online resource that can help. The nonprofit AvScholars Network Foundation has an educational and career Web site for students interested in aviation or aerospace occupations. The foundationís online career center provides brief descriptions of occupations ranging from the airborneósuch as pilots, flight engineers, and flight attendantsóto ground personnelósuch as airport managers, ticket agents, and avionics technicians. The career center also contains links to related information. Other topics on the site include guides to finding financial aid, scholarships, and internship and cooperative education opportunities. There are several searchable databases.

To visit the site, set your browser to If you do not have Internet access, you may contact the foundation at 8526 S. Drexel Ave., Chicago, IL 60619; (773) 846-3327. But there are limitations to what youíll get by writing or calling, even if you do so after visiting the Web site. The foundation does not screen applicants or provide input regarding selection of recipients for openings mentioned on its Web site. Inquiries about specific programs, scholarships, or other opportunities should be made directly to each administrator.

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...and on Earth: Careers in ecology

If youíre interested in the environment and enjoy life sciences and a variety of other subjects, a career in ecology might be for you.

Ecologists study the interaction between organisms and their environment. To help students learn more about this career field, the Ecological Society of America provides information for aspiring ecologists. Among the societyís publications are brochures aimed at two different student audiences: High school and college. Both brochures describe what ecologists do, what kinds of jobs they have, what their job outlook is, and where to get more information. The brochure for high school students also explains the kind of educational background they need and steps they can take while in high school to increase their awareness of ecology. The college version recommends courses to take and suggests ways to get ecology-related experience before graduation.

For a free copy of either brochure, contact the society at 1707 H St. NW., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20006-3915; (202) 833-8773. The brochures also are available online via links at

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Information, scholarships offered for orthotics and prosthetics study

Orthotists and prosthetists evaluate and custom fit peopleís artificial limbs and braces. And for five students pursuing that career path, scholarship money is available to help them finance their education.

Working in the field of orthotics and prosthetics requires strong interpersonal skills, an aptitude for mathematics and science, and technical knowledge. Students can train to become a practitioner in a baccalaureate or certificate program or train to become a technician in an associate-degree or certificate program. Baccalaureate study, which takes 2 academic years to complete, is designed for students who complete prerequisites in their first 2 academic years of a 4-year bachelorís degree program. 

Practitioner certificates require 1 year of study for those who already have a bachelorís degree in a science-based subject such as engineering, biology, or kinesiology. And a 1-year, postbaccalaureate residency program offers hands-on clinical training and experience. Associate-degree technician programs generally require 2 years of study.

The Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Development Fund administers three scholarships for students enrolled in an accredited orthotics and prosthetics program. The Dan McKeever Scholarship (May 31 deadline) grants $1,000 to three rising seniors completing bachelorís degree programs, the Chester Haddan Scholarship (January 9 deadline) awards $1,000 to a rising senior in a certificate program, and the Ken Chagnon Scholarship (January 9 deadline) provides $500 to a student in a technician program. Students must show proof of financial need, complete an application, and provide a recommendation, letter of reference, transcript, and 200-word essay explaining why they want to work in the occupation.

To learn more about careers in orthotics and prosthetics, contact the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists, 526 King St., Suite 201, Alexandria, VA 22314; (703) 836-0788, ext. 203. Or, set your Web browser to For more information about the scholarships, including additional application requirements, contact the Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Development Fund at the academyís mailing address or go online:

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Librarian scholarships for minorities available

Minority students who are considering or are currently pursuing a masterís degree in library studies might be eligible for a $5,000 scholarship.

The Spectrum Initiative scholarship is a one-time, nonrenewable award paid directly to a recipient in two $2,500 installments. Recipients must be members of specified minority groups and must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or Canada; they also must be enrolling in, or have completed no more than one-third of the credits for, a graduate degree program in library and information studies. Students may be either full or part time, but they may not defer enrollment after accepting the award.

The scholarship is administered by the Spectrum Initiative, the American Library Associationís diversity recruitment effort. The association also provides other scholarships for graduate students in library and information studies. Primary consideration factors for all scholarships are academic excellence, leadership, and evidence of commitment to a career in librarianship. The scholarship application process opens annually in September, with applications due to the associationís scholarship clearinghouse by March 1.

For more information about Spectrum Initiative or other scholarships, contact the association at 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611; 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 4277. Or, access scholarship information online at

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: December 11, 2003