A Look at Unconventional STEM Careers for National STEM Day
November 8th is National STEM Day – a day dedicated to promoting interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. At Lincoln Tech, there are aspects of STEM training in practically every program we offer. We know that STEM careers are some of the most in-demand positions across the country: there are almost 2.5 million* openings projected over the next 8 years.
People often think of “STEM” as involving scientists in lab coats, or rocket scientists doing, well, rocket science. But STEM careers also involve hands-on professionals who you see out in the field every day. Here’s a look at a couple of STEM fields where demand around the country is high, and hands-on training can open doors to new career paths!
You Can’t Do HVAC Without STEM
You might not think of STEM when you think of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) careers, but as technology has changed, and energy efficiency and environmental awareness are being brought into the forefront, HVAC training has changed too. Lincoln's HVAC program introduces students to Green Technology - green alternatives to comfort heating and cooling systems, as well as Solar Thermal and Geothermal Technologies.
As the first school in the country that incorporated Energy Auditing courses from the Green Mechanical Council, Lincoln Tech teaches advancements in technology that enhance students’ HVAC skills and marketability to employers. Many Lincoln Tech schools around the country feature special training structures, known as “Green Houses,” on campus. Once students build a basic understanding of the science and technology crucial to becoming HVAC professionals, they begin training in these houses to simulate the kinds of assessments and troubleshooting they’ll perform every day on the job.
Energy auditing is a focus of programs at all campuses where HVAC training is offered, and “Green Houses” can be found at Lincoln Tech in Union and Mahwah, NJ; Columbia, MD; Denver, CO; Grand Prairie, TX; New Britain, CT; and Marietta, GA.
The Science Behind Welding
Similar to HVAC, welding is another skilled trade into which STEM is being incorporated. Recent advancements in technology have had an impact on welding and metal fabrication. Welders who understand why STEM is important may enjoy a competitive advantage.
In a recent NY Times article, Traci Tapanio, CEO of Wyoming Machine, a sheet metal company, explains how crucial STEM is to welding. “When trying to find skilled welders for a contract to armor Humvees,” she says. “I had lots of applicants, but they did not know the science behind welding, so [they] could not meet the new standards of the U.S. military and aerospace industry. They could make beautiful welds, but they did not understand metallurgy, and how different metals and gases, pressures and temperatures had to be combined.”
MIG Welding (Metal Inert Gas) is the first type students master in a Lincoln Tech program, followed by TIG Welding (Tungsten Inert Gas), a more versatile, higher quality weld. Both are covered in Lincoln Tech’s Welding Technology Training programs. Lincoln Tech campuses in Denver, CO; East Windsor, CT and Grand Prairie, TX all offer the program. Grand Prairie adds an important Pipefitting component and Nashville, TN offers a unique Welding and Metal Fabrication Technology training option.
With such an emphasis on education for careers highlighting STEM in today’s workforce, Lincoln Tech is proud to help lead our 21st century workforce in many of these careers – not just on National STEM Day, but every day!
*Source: careeronestop.org for the years 2014-2024.