Archive for May, 2012

Teach your kids about money before enrolling in technical schools

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Teach your kids about money before enrolling in technical schools

If technical training schools are in your future, there’s a good chance that money is also on your mind. Maybe you’re thinking about the best ways to pay for your tuition, or you’re just focused on how much you might make after you earn your diploma. As you will surely talk to your kids about your decision to return to school, there’s really no better time to teach them about money as well.

Why does money matter?

No matter how old children are, they may have trouble understanding why one of their parents wants to throw on a backpack and head to school like them. Sit them down and explain why you have made this decision. Are you enrolling in technical schools to fulfill a lifelong dream? Do you need to take courses in order to advance your career? No matter what the reason, be honest with your kids.

At the same time, talk about how having more education sometimes translates to higher salaries. If you have to leave your job or reduce the number of hours you work in order to attend classes, be honest about it. Your kids can learn valuable lessons about responsibility, making sacrifices and pursuing passions. You may even end up becoming a role model in their eyes.

Most importantly, if your family will have to cut back on certain expenses, be sure to explain why you may be eating out less or clipping a few more coupons than usual. After speaking to your children, they should have a better sense of what it takes to run a household and support a family.

Make learning about money fun

When you think of fun activities, working with numbers probably isn’t the first thing that pops into your mind. However, not only can learning about money be fun, but it can become a great opportunity for family bonding. There are plenty of games you and the kids can play that will expose them to a few financial basics. Here are two of the most famous:

  • Monopoly – This classic board game is all about dominating the board and owning as much property as possible – without going bankrupt, of course. While playing, kids get to make important financial decisions in between dice rolls. Best of all, the game can last all night, which translates to hours of learning.
  • The Game of Life – When you and your children set up the board for The Game of Life, you can teach your kids about the importance of financial decisions, as well as general life lessons like going to college, starting a family and preparing for retirement.

Benefits all around

No matter what approach you take to teaching your kids about money, they stand to benefit for many years to come. If they go into school with a firm grasp on topics like savings and interest, they may be a few steps ahead of their classmates. Furthermore, knowing how important money is may also help them make career decisions earlier in life.

Can you think of any other fun ways to teach children about money? Let us know in the comment space below.

How Much Do Dental Assistants Make?

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Dental Assisting is one of the fastest growing occupations in the health care support field. People who are detail oriented, take instruction well, and have good interpersonal and organizational skills excel in these positions and have the potential to earn an average of over $16 per hour.

Dental assistants are responsible for patient care and administrative tasks. In addition to assisting the dentist or dental hygienist during procedures such as teeth cleanings and in-office surgeries, they sterilize and prepare equipment, complete laboratory test and x-rays, and instruct patients in proper dental care and hygiene. Administrative tasks include scheduling appointments, managing patient records, billing and taking payments. Duties vary from state to state, depending on the regulations for that state, the education the dental assistant has completed, and the requirements of the particular office in which they work.

While some states have no educational requirements for dental assistants, others require graduation from an accredited program and passing a state exam. Continuing education may be necessary to gain additional skills.

Dental assistants held 297,200 positions in 2010, the most recent year data is available. Job outlook is better than average, with an estimated 31% increase in available positions over the next ten years. As the large number of baby-boomers age, all health care support occupations will see an increase in positions, but due to increased dental care, this generation has maintained more of their original teeth than previous ones. Additionally, new evidence linking good oral health to increased overall health means there is more work for dentists. Hiring additional assistants to do the routine work allows dentist offices to treat more patients. (

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average earnings for dental assistants in 2010 were $16.70 per hour ($34,140 per year). The lowest 10% earned $11.10 per hour ($23,080 per year), and the highest 10% earned $22.80 per hour ($47,420 per year). Average earnings for a dental assistant is approximately $10,000 above the average for other health care support occupations.

Wages for dental assistants can vary by region and demographic. Those working in metropolitian areas such as the District of Columbia can earn an average of $23.00 per hour. In more non-metropolitian areas, dental assistants can range from $11 to $13 per hour. Earnings also vary by state. A dental assistant working in Texas or Florida averages $15 to $16 per hour, while those in California or New York average over $17 per hour.

The type of office a dental assistant works in can affect their earnings as well. Most work in dentist offices and average $16.50 per hour. Those working for for the Federal Executive Branch can make over $18 per hour, and those employed in physicians offices may earn $15.75 per hour. More than half of dental assistants work full time, although many can earn a decent part-time living with more flexible hours for home or school obligations. Occasional evening or weekend hours may be required depending on where the dental assistant works.

For those thinking about careers in health care support, dental assistants earn above average wages and can complete their education in one to two years from one of the 285 programs approved by the American Dental Association.

Don’t be afraid to take the plunge and change careers later in life

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Don't be afraid to take the plunge and change careers later in life

There are probably several reasons why you’re thinking about signing up for a training program at technical schools. Maybe you got into your current line of work to satisfy a family member, or you’ve put off making the change because times are tough. Whatever the reason, it’s never too late to do something you really want to do.

Don’t bow to other people’s fears

Sure, changing careers – especially later in life – can be daunting. There are a lot of things to consider, from how to actually attend technical training schools while you’re still working to how much money you could make. Despite this, don’t let other people’s fears hold you back.

If you choose to talk about your plans with a trusted co-worker, they might try to convince you that your plans are reckless, or even silly. Don’t listen to them. Some people will try their best to keep others where they are, and may even be jealous of your determination to strike out and do something different. It’s important for you to do what’s right for you and your family, not trying to appease your colleagues.

Do your research

It’s one thing to blow off your co-workers’ dismissals of your future plans, but what about your family? Chances are, if you’re thinking of jumping ship and embarking on a new career path, your spouse and kids might be a little concerned about finances.

This is why it’s so important to do your homework about your prospects for when you finish your course. For example, if you’re thinking of signing up for a welding training program, find out how many jobs are available in your area and how much money you could earn before talking over your plans with the family. If you’ve got some hard facts to back you up, it could make the news a little easier to swallow.

What Do Dental Assistants Do?

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Not many dental practices work without a dental assistant. They are invaluable in freeing up the dentist’s time to actually take care of patients. The dental assistant should not be confused with a dental hygienist. The hygienist works on proactive care of the teeth and gums. The dental assistant has more responsibilities to the patient and dentist.

The dental assistant is instrumental in assisting during dental procedures. They may hand the instruments to the dentist, use the suction hose or just helping their patients feel comfortable during the procedure. They also help the patient after the procedure is done and continues to make them feel safe and comfortable.

The dental assistant may also be needed to do routine office work when not assisting. They are essential to keeping the office running smooth and keeping track of important patient information. They may make appointments, call to remind of appointments and do general office work. An assistant may also be responsible for billing, patients records and answering the phone.

The dentist may ask their dental assistant to take blood pressure and pulse and fill in medical information for the patient. Most are responsible for giving care instructions after a procedure and making sure all instruments are sterile and ready for use.

Another interesting part of their job description is they will also take impressions for the making of false teeth and developing x-rays. Instructing patients on the importance of good dental care including giving them advice about brushing, flossing and healthy diets to maintain oral health.

The benefits of being a dental assistant include being able to do a variety of tasks and different every day. Working in a dentist office is an excellent work environment and is perfect for the person who loves to interact with people. A dental assistant finds their work satisfying by knowing you have helped provide the patient with excellent health care.

The outlook for dental assistants are good even though we are in times of steep unemployment. The average pay for a dental assistant is about $16 an hour. The good news is that the working hours may be flexible. The dental assistant job may be perfect for a part-time student and a mom who needs part-time work. Of course many dentists employ their dental assistants full time.

A dental assistant may also look for employment in insurance offices filling out claim forms or as a dental sales representative. An assistant with advanced training may also be hired to train other dental assistants in a classroom setting. The educational requirements to become a dental assistant varies from state to state.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook printed by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics say that the potential for growth in this job market could be as high as 31 percent in the years between 2010 and 2020. This is an excellent job opportunity and will continue to grow in the future.

Three ways to stay focused on your online courses

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Three ways to stay focused on your online courses

Where would you be without the internet? When you’re not feeling well, you type your symptoms into Google’s search bar and see what you’ve got. If you want to go see a movie, you head to Moviefone for a list of showings. Most of all, if you’re looking for some distractions, the internet is never running low.

However, the fact that websites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are so distracting can also be your undoing, at least if you’re enrolled in online technical schools. You’ve paid to take courses and you definitely want to gain the new knowledge and skills they offer, so it’s time to get serious. Once you turn on your computer, it may be hard for you to stay focused on the task at hand, but there are ways for you to change your habits.

Pay the price for getting distracted

When you’re online alone, there’s no one around to tell you not to click on that link your Facebook friend posted. Before long, that one link has taken you to another and so on. The point is you’ve wasted precious learning time. To put an end to this behavior, keep a distraction jar in the house.

Say you’ve signed up for some courses being offered by web-based technical schools. To make sure your investment is worthwhile, make a promise to your family that you’ll put a dollar in the jar every time you abandon your school work to check your Twitter feed, Facebook messages or email. The more the jar fills up, and the emptier your wallet gets, the less likely you are to seek distractions from your academic responsibilities.

After you complete your studies, take all that money you lost and treat your family to a nice dinner.

When in doubt, block

If a distraction jar doesn’t do it, you may want to download some software that will keep you focused. One option is FB Limiter, a free program that lets you block Facebook temporarily or all the time, according to its website. So let’s say you have a set period of time every night that you devote to your studies. Just install FB Limiter on your computer, program what time you need the social media website blocked and let the software do the rest. Sure, you may try and access your profile but you won’t succeed. What you will do is devote more attention to the schoolwork at hand.

Track yourself

Sometimes the best way to become more productive is to see how much time you waste on a daily basis. Download RescueTime and you’ll quickly learn how long you spend on Facebook, Twitter and all those social media platforms you love to linger on. RescueTime’s website says that on average, the program can recover close to four hours of productive time every week.

How often would you say you spend online every week? Is it time well spent, or hours of your life you wish you could get back? Let us know in the comment space below.

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