Archives for October 2014

What are the Most In-Demand Engineering Jobs in the US?

This blog was written by Alex Downard (Fircroft Regional Manager)

In the United States, approximately 1.6 million individuals are employed in an engineering job, earning a median wage of $42 per hour. More high school seniors are planning to undertake a major in the field than any other degree, signalling a bright future for the sector.

Around 274,000 people are civil engineers, while mechanical engineers and industrial engineers represent 264,000 and 229,000 of the workforce respectively. Job growth is in double digits (between 2010 and 2014) in four different occupations, including petroleum engineering, mining and geological, biomedical and industrial.

engineering jobs

This clearly indicates that demand for these particular types of jobs is high, but is this about to change? Is there an increasingly greater need for other kinds of engineers?

The Economic Modelling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) has posted statistics for 2014 that show not only the demand of engineering jobs, but the extent to which that demand is being met. The study looked at the amount of job postings and compared them to the number of hires between January 2012 and July 2014.

The Need for Industrial Engineers is High

Although it is only the third most popular sector of the engineering field, the demand for industrial workers is far greater than anything else. The EMSI’s report shows that there were almost 25,000 online job postings over a two-and-a-half year period – but just under 8,000 people were hired.

This figure is staggering – there are potentially 17,000 job openings that were not or have not yet been occupied. Industrial engineers are, by far, the most in-demand workers, but there is little supply to fill those vacancies.

Mechanical engineers are the second most in-demand, according to the report. But they are way behind number one with just 12,500 jobs being advertised on the internet. More than three-quarters of those were taken. Electrical engineering was in third place with 8,900 jobs and just 5,800 positions filled.

Hires Outnumbering Job Openings

In some peculiar cases, the number of people being hired by companies was higher than the number of positions that had been advertised. This could be for a number of reasons; one advertisement could have stated two or three positions were available. Employers could be taking people on with posting jobs online too, so they wouldn’t have been included in this study.

This was the situation for five out of the eight engineering categories researched. More than 13,000 people were hired as civil engineers compared to 6,000 advertisements, while in electronics there were 600 more appointments than supposed openings.

Considering Age

Another aspect to take into account would be the average age of the workforce. An older group may potentially suffer labour shortages in the future, and so would require younger people – college graduates most likely – to step in and fill those slots.

Approximately 29 per cent of marine engineers and naval architects are over 55 years old, while for petroleum and industrial engineers that figure is around 25 per cent. For the latter two this is particularly interesting because these fields are two of the fastest growing in the country.

Overall, the engineering field appears to be in good shape and there are plenty of opportunities for people who are considering it as a career path. If you’re a professional currently looking for a job, then check out Fircroft for up to date information on vacancies across the world.

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5 Tips for Improving Your Business’ Cash Flow

Good cash flow is vital to a business. It is true that the activities of many areas of the business influence the amount of cash that is available. If you are serious about improving the cash flow of your business, it’s vital that expenses are controlled and profits increase.

business cash flow

Below you’ll find five of the very best tips to set you on the right path.

1. Is Growing your Business a Viable way to Stimulate Improved Cash Flow?

In an effort to increase profits, and ultimately improve cash flow, you should review your pricing structure, consider whether a concerted advertising campaign will be beneficial, and think about the impact of improved customer service. This analysis also provides a valuable opportunity to appraise whether growing your business will help. If this seems like a wise move for your business, evaluate your finance options and consider whether a short-term business loan from a credible provider such as STBLA, is appropriate for your business.

2. Focus on Stock Control

If your business holds too much stock, there is every chance that you will experience the difficulties synonymous with cash being tied up. In addition, poor stock control will increase expenses related to storage and insurance. When a business practices effective stock control, stock is maintained at an efficient level.

3. Manage Accounts well

Few things are more expensive to your business than debtor accounts failing to be paid. It is critical that you follow up on overdue accounts. Be sure to set and enforce robust credit policies and discuss these with your clients in advance of work being carried out, so that both parties are clear about expectations and business policy. Although this may be a little uncomfortable, it is vitally important for successful debtor management.

Conversely, you may be able to negotiate extended payment terms with your suppliers, if your business needs or would benefit from them. In many cases, suppliers will accommodate longer payment terms as this flexibility is far more preferable to complete non-payment of an account. A longer time to pay your suppliers provides financial cushioning, enabling you to receive payment from your customers before finalising your accounts with suppliers. The upshot of this is that you will avoid out-of-pocket expenses.

4. Work towards a Reduction in your Business Overheads

In an effort to improve the cash flow of your business, it may be helpful to reduce the overtime work carried out by staff. Placing tighter controls on the overheads of your business may also help your business to enjoy better cash flow, as will a focus on more environmentally friendly work practices through a reduction in costs including electricity and water bills.

5. Access Expert Advice

A professional accountant or financial adviser is well placed to consider the individual situation of your business and provide considered advice pertaining to improved cash flow. Be sure to consult a qualified, experienced and credible professional if you do choose to seek such advice.

Positive cash flow is essential to the livelihood of your business. It is important to take steps so that your business enjoys prosperity and your tasks as a business owner can be carried out with as little stress about inadequate cash flow as possible.

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The Value of Time in Business Operations

Time is gold. There is no value that can be attached to time as it highly depends on how it is utilized. A few days might be a long time for an employee to complete a routine report. The same time period can be considered too short for an entire management team to come up with a realistic and doable business plan for the entire year. What is undeniable is the impact of the prudent utilization of time in business operations. Using time properly and wisely is important if the business is to achieve several goals.

value of time

Employee Productivity

It goes without saying that employees will have to render a certain amount of time in order to complete their tasks and responsibilities. The time within which tasks are finished is influenced by how efficient the employee is. Wiser use of time increases employee productivity. This then spirals in other benefits of prudent time management.

The management, therefore, has to ensure that employees are properly equipped in knowledge, skills, and tools in order to complete their tasks within the shortest period possible. This means investing in training and equipment if necessary. It also means giving incentives to motivate employees to do more than what is expected of them. This way, employees will put more effort in ensuring that they spend time for business operations rather than for other unnecessary activities that do not have anything to do with their tasks and responsibilities.

Customer Satisfaction

When the company makes wise use of time in business operations, it most often results to customer satisfaction as well. Manufacturing and business processes are done within targeted turnaround times and the products and services are delivered to the customers in a timely manner. More than just the initial customer contact, any business that values time will surely build customer relationships and enjoy customer loyalty.

Revenue Generation

The realization of the company’s revenue goals is expected to come sooner rather than later when time in business operations is spent wisely. This further creates more value for the business owners, the employees, and the customers. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. Of course, this might sound overly optimistic for some as issues of setbacks and contingencies could be raised. Wise time management also means making provisions for these instances so that the timeliness of the completion of all operational, sales, and service processes will not be disrupted. Following a carefully crafted action plan with the corresponding timelines will allow businesses to prosper over the long term.

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The Winchester Mystery House

Ever heard of the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose California? This extravagant mansion have been claimed to be haunted by ghosts ever since the construction begun in 1884.

The Winchester Mystery House Infographic
Presented By Door Store America

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Choosing the Right Business for Profitability

It is not rare for people to get the advice that they should put up their own business if they want to reach their financial goals sooner. Staying in the rat race, or employment, is not the path to financial independence. Not many, however, are bold enough to take the plunge. There are also those who left employment to put up their own business, but failed soon after they made their first sale. In a lot of cases, this is because these people did not take the time to find the right business for profitability.

business and finance

There are a lot of ideas for businesses that you can get from all over. There are trends that have proven to be profitable for a lot of new business owners. Yet, these ideas do not necessarily guarantee that you will be successful in your chosen business. There are essential factors that you will have to think long and hard about if you are to find the right business for profitability.

According to many business consultants, among the key factors are:


You need to be passionate in anything that you intend to do over the long term. This will sustain you and motivate you even when the inevitable challenges cross your path. Choose a business that involves products and services that you are passionate about. As they say, when your work involves something that you love, you will not have to work a single day in your life.


Scale your business plans according to your physical, mental, emotional, and financial capacity. Do not take on something that will be a heavy burden to you. This will only lead to frustration. Know your limits and choose a business that matches your capacity and capabilities. The right business for profitability is one that matches your available resources and one that you can manage efficiently.


No business will prosper if there is no need for the products and services it offers. You need to have a clear market for your business. Identify your target market and find out how big the demand is for your products and services. It would also be a good idea to check out the competition. It would be difficult for you to penetrate a market that is already saturated. Of course, if you feel that you have a strong advantage that will make your target market choose you over your competitors, go right ahead and make your own waves.

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Pong –

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