Auto Mechanics Curriculum – Preparing for the Job of the Future

While taking driver’s education class in high school, for part of the curriculum, a man insisted his daughter take a basic auto mechanics class. They fought for weeks about this class. It was unnecessary. It was ridiculous. After all, she was a girl. After much verbal sparring, she took the class and enjoyed it, using her knowledge many times.

Years later, it became clear why the man wanted his daughter to take this class. Someday, her car would break down. The auto club would not always be able to come to her aid. Roadside assistance is not always available. Especially when the breakdown occurs in the middle of the desert. A person could wait hours for help. That could be dangerous. It was important to know how to fix the basics on her own.

When she became a parent, and her teenage daughter was ready to learn to drive, it was their turn to fight about taking the class. The mother insisted and her daughter relented. As it turns out, after much arguing, the student really enjoyed it. Since she did not have a “head” for business, or fashion, or mathematics, or English, or any other subject for that matter, it seems the one thing she excelled at was fixing cars.

After taking all of the basic classes the school had to offer, the student’s instructor suggested a transfer to the local high school that offered full vocational technical programs. The transfer took place, and for the next two years she took a number of classes like basic tune-ups and trouble-shooting, tire rotation and balancing, transmission repair, engine repair, fluid transfers for oil changes and transmission fluid, and air conditioning, among others. Upon graduation from high school, the student became a licensed auto mechanic.

For this young lady, that was not enough. She wanted to specialize in foreign cars. That required a whole new set of classes. Thus began her enrollment in the local college vo-tech. Another two years and she earned her A.S. Degree in Auto Mechanics. She was able to fix anything on wheels. However, as with any industry, evolution takes place. The new hybrid vehicles are already on the market, and the electric car is just around the corner. She continues with her education to maintain the high level of expertise necessary for the cars of the future.

Auto mechanic classes can help a student with their future. To become a mechanic, one must learn problem-solving skills. Mechanics is a process. So is life. One cannot put gas in a car that has no engine. Such is the same with life. One step at a time.

For students that struggle in school, vo-tech classes and auto mechanic classes have historically been extremely challenging. Their opportunities for success were once unlike the mother and daughter that both took auto mechanics classes and flourished.

The Alabama Maritime Welding Job Market

Alabama is a state that has an excellent workforce when it comes to welding. The state’s economy relies heavily on the steel industry for their tax revenue and a lot of really good welders come out of Alabama (mainly boiler tube welders). With all of the welding going on in the state many people might also be interested in working in the shipyards.

Alabama does not have many shipyards but it does have a few really big names that are always hiring welders, fitters and just about every other craft needed to build ships. Alabama is home to a lot of military ships and most of them are stationed near Mobile. Mobile is the main area that shipbuilders are and that is because of the deep water access that large ships need to get in and out of the harbor. Besides that Mobile is a safe harbor during bad weather and hurricanes for the ships.

The shipbuilding market for welders in Alabama is mainly in the military vessel construction. There are a few contractors that do most of the work and they typically need the following types of welders:

  • Pipe Welders
  • Structural Welders
  • Aluminum Welders

Pipe welders are needed in all shipyards and that is nothing new. Most of the pipe welding done in these yards is going to be carbon steel, stainless and CUNI also known as copper nickel. There is always a shortage of pipe welders in all shipyards and if work ever gets slow then you only need to drive a few miles to get a job in the Mississippi shipyards. The most common test given to pipe welders in these shipyards is going to be a 6G restricted test in carbon steel, stainless steel socket weld and copper nickel.

Structural welders are not in much demand in the shipyards because of the minimal skill it requires. Alabama does do its share of structural welding in their shipyards but again the demand is not that high. The structural tests range from just a SMAW 3G visual test to a 2G, 3G and4G open root flux cored arc welding test using a ceramic backing tape.

One of the unique types of welding needed in the Alabama shipyards is the need for aluminum hull welders. This type of welding is needed in the Mobile area just as much and if not more than pipe welders. The shipyards and staffing companies are and have been scrambling for aluminum welders in this state because the new ships that are being building use aluminum hulls. That is an aluminum hull with everything above it in steel. The tests for the aluminum welders is gas metal arc welding aluminum plate in the 2G, 3G and 4G position. The test is usually an x-ray and most people are failing. If you have the skills and want to weld on aluminum hulls then Alabama has all of the work you want and can handle.

Overall Alabama has a small shipbuilding industry but they have a few large shipbuilders that hire many employees. One of the good things about this area is all of the other shipyards just a few miles away. Simply cross the border into Mississippi and you have a lot of work just 20 minutes from mobile. Alabama in general is an excellent place for welding jobs and the shipbuilding industry only makes it better.

CNA Guide – Nurse Aide Training Program, Exam, Job, Salary, and Job Outlook

Certified Nursing Aides are valuable members and lifeline of the health care industry. They perform a broad range of nursing tasks and spend highest time with residents compared to other members of a medical team. The classroom instructions and clinical hands-on experience of CNA Training program provide them expertise in nursing care. According to the PHI survey, direct care workers are responsible for offering activities of daily living (ADL) and basic care to 70 to 80% Americans living with chronic conditions, disabilities, and long illness.

CNA Classes

Nurse aides must complete state-approved training programs and earn certification by passing the state-approved examination to be able to work as a CNA. The federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA ’87) have also made it mandatory for the states to provide minimum 59 hours classroom instructions and 16 hours clinical training to nursing assistants. The states should also assess their nursing care competencies through competency evaluation exams prior to their performing as a CNA. These OBRA measures are adopted by Congress for improving the quality and standards of cares for residents in the facilities.

CNA Exam

Nurse aide Exams are a means through which states implement OBRA-87 measures for evaluating nursing care competencies, skills, knowledge, and abilities of nurse assistants. The state’s home health departments are mainly responsible for developing and administrating these exams. However, many states have also contracted national exam providers like Pearson VUE, Prometric, and D & S Headmaster for developing, administering, and scoring nursing assistant exams. The examination consists of Oral or Written Tests, and Skills demonstration test. The test papers are prepared on the basis of classroom teachings and clinical trainings. The candidates must score required passing grade to be eligible for certification.


Nursing assistants and orderlies work in health care settings where their nursing proficiencies are essential for performing basic nursing cares and activities of daily living (ADLs). They are mostly found working in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living centers, long-term care units, residential care facilities, and home health agencies. In these facilities, nursing assistants offer ADLs and personal assistance to elderly and other people who suffer from disabilities and chronic conditions, long illness, and severe injuries.


According to the Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2013, total employments for Nursing assistants were 1,427,830, and their Mean hourly wage was $12.51, and Mean annual wage $26,020. However, their percentile median annual wage from starting 10 percent to 90 percent varied from $18,600 to $35,780 annually. The variation in wages was due to factors such as practical work experience, places of work, job types, education and training, and position. The salaries also differ in states, cities, and metropolitans due to density of population, nursing shortages, numbers of health care facilities, and hospitals.

Job Outlook

In coming years, the demand for nursing assistants will continue to rise rapidly, and more nurse aides will be required to perform varied basic nursing care duties. The factors responsible for higher nurse aide demands include nursing shortage, baby boomers age, and increase in aging population. During this period, many nurse aides will also retire and leave nursing for other high paying lucrative jobs. According to the BLS survey, the need for all categories direct care workers will grow by 21 percent from 2012 to 2020.