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Spring 2007 Vol. 51, Number 1


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Dietetic technicians: Aides for healthy eating

Many people try to maintain a balanced diet. But few pay as much attention to food and nutrition as dietetic technicians do.

Dietetic technicians assist dietitians in planning and preparing healthy meals. This may involve studying and following recipes, for example, or assisting with the supervision of food production and service. These workers also help with other tasks, such as educating people and collecting data to monitor nutritional progress.

Job growth in the occupation is projected through 2014, so now is the time to learn sustenance savvy. Preparation for the career often starts with on-the-job training or an associate degree from a dietetic technician program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), median annual earnings were $23,470 in May 2005.

For more information, write to the American Dietetic Association, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, Illinois 60606; call toll-free, 1 (800) 877-1600, ext. 5400; or visit the career section of its Web site at

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High school students’ work and time use

Having a job in high school has many benefits. It can teach responsibility, time-management skills, and the value of earning money. But being employed does reduce teens’ leisure time, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2005 American Time Use Survey.

On weekdays during the school year, employed high school students aged 15-19 worked about 2 hours on average and had 3 hours of leisure time. Students who did not work enjoyed an extra hour of leisure time. Both groups of students spent over half of their leisure time watching TV or movies.

Whether employed or not, however, high school students reported spending roughly the same amount of time on most other daily pursuits. These included classes, homework, school clubs, and other educational activities (about 6 hours); playing sports or exercising (less than 1 hour); and participating in religious, spiritual, and volunteer activities (less than 30 minutes). And, on average, teens reported getting more than
8 hours of sleep. Students who were not employed reported slightly more time engaged in these activities, with one exception: employed students allocated more time for religious, spiritual, and volunteer activities. But the differences are too small to be statistically significant and could be the result of error.

The data are averages for respondents who reported being enrolled in high school and who were surveyed on nonholiday weekdays during the months of January through May 2005 and September through December 2005. Only the respondent’s primary activity is recorded, not activities done simultaneously. The data were collected by interviewing respondents about how they had spent their previous day.

For more information about the American Time Use Survey, write to BLS, Suite 4675, 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE., Washington, D.C. 20212; visit; or call (202) 691-6339.

Contributed by Jill N. Lacey, a BLS economist working on the American Time Use Survey program

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Beware the blog and other online content

Jobseekers should think twice before posting something controversial or risqué online. Cyberspace is public space, and potential employers are watching.

According to respondents to the Job Outlook 2007 Fall Preview survey, more than 10 percent of employers planned to review job applicants’ profiles on popular social networking sites. An additional 40 percent were considering such tactics. Moreover, a July 2006 poll showed that more than a quarter of employers used the Internet to search for candidate information—and what they found sometimes influenced their hiring decisions.

Job Outlook 2007 and the poll were both published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. To learn more, write to the association at 62 Highland Avenue, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18017; call toll-free, 1 (800) 544-5272; or visit

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Scholarships for student gardeners

When spring is in the air, plant lovers delight in seeing things grow. For some student gardeners, it can also be a time to help their careers take root.

Every March 1, garden clubs nationwide accept applications for more than 30 scholarships of about $3,500 each. This money, offered by the National Garden Clubs, Inc., goes to college juniors, seniors, or master’s degree candidates who major in floriculture, horticulture, botany, or other approved areas of study. Applicants must have a grade point average of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale. The application requirements include a personal essay, a list of extracurricular activities and honors, a recent transcript, a financial aid form, and three letters of recommendation. All materials must be sent to the applicant’s State garden club prior to the deadline.

More details about the application process are available by writing to Linda Nelson, NGC Scholarship Chairman, 543 Lakefair Place North, Keizer, Oregon 97303; calling (503) 393-4439; or visiting

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: September 21, 2007