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Persons employed in this occupation in the United States:
2004: 102,600
Projected 2014: 99,900

Persons employed in this occupation in Iowa:
2002: 1,610
Projected 2012: 1,720

2004 Median National
Annual Wages: $43,300
2004 Median Iowa
Annual Wages: $38,600

***Source: America's Career InfoNet

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Hans believes that a strong math background is critical to being successful in this career. He participated in as much math and advanced math as was available to him in high school. He was also involved in all drafting classes that were offered. Today he recommends that students also take CAD classes that are part of many schools' curricula. As for post-high school education, Hans entered into an apprenticeship trade program and received all relevant training there.

Work Experiences and Internships:

After high school graduation, Hans took two weeks off and then began his professional career as an apprentice. After four years as an apprentice, one year in tool and die and three years in mold making, Hans earned the title of journeyman. Later, the facility where he received his apprenticeship was purchased by a major US company, and he was promoted to foreman and then to plant manager. Approximately ten years ago he formed his own business and has been operating that ever since.

Activities and Organizations:

In high school, Hans was actively involved in track, cross-country, band and student council. Participation in these activities taught him discipline and greatly aided in the development of his communication skills. In his free time he enjoyed sailing and skiing. Shortly after high school, Hans purchased a Corvette and today he still cares for that same vehicle in his free time.

Setbacks and Obstacles:

Work layoffs were the toughest obstacles Hans faced in his career journey. Luckily, during the uncertain times of unemployment, his misfortune motivated him to "weather the storm," and soon he was back to work. Today, as a business owner he must carefully manage the company so his own workforce will not have to face layoffs.


One of the greatest motivators in Hans' life was the challenge of the job. Always one to take the most difficult math classes, he found that solving complex problems and the resulting sense of accomplishment was exhilarating to him. His interest in working his way up the career ladder and the financial rewards that came with success were also motivating factors in his life.


Hans admits that in middle and high school he didn't have very focused dreams. In fact, he wasn't quite sure what he wanted to do after high school. As soon as he started his apprenticeship, he knew his dream was to own his own business. Several years later his dream was realized, and now Hans has a new dream… to retire and travel around the United States.

Next: A day in the life of a Mold Maker.



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