Workforce Wednesday: STEM careers
Careers in science, technology, engineering and math, better known as STEM, are in high demand and pay well. The Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium (APICC) typically focuses on opportunities in the trades in Alaska, however, STEM careers have a lot to offer in growth potential, diversity and opportunity.
Alaskan, Willow Hetrick, is a biologist with a private consulting firm in Anchorage. She joined Daybreak to offer insight into what it's like to work in a stem career.
"I went to school for natural resource and environmental management, and I also have a certificate in urban and regional planning," Hetrick said. "I've been working in Alaska since 2009, when I came back from college, in environmental consulting, focusing mainly on permitting and marine and terrestrial wildlife surveys."
Hetrick says her role as a consultant is split into about 80 percent office work and 20 percent field work. "I spend a lot of time writing documents, a lot of time writing permits, a lot of time in meetings," Hetrick added. "But it is necessary to get out in the field to see the sites you're permitting. I've had an opportunity to travel all across the state. It's fantastic."
The pay for entry-level jobs in STEM careers range from entry-level, $35- to $45,000, to more experienced workers earning more than $100,000, according to APICC. You will typically need a bachelors or masters degree to work in a STEM career.
"All of our state universities offer degrees in what would be acceptable degrees for that," said Martha Peck, with APICC.
Peck said she found job openings at the State of Alaska, ASRC, Ahtna, North Slope Borough, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Environmental Resource Management, UIC Arctic Response Services and Bowhead Family of Companies.