Science, Tech, Engineering & Manufacturing

Job shadow opportunities from Kirkwood in the fields of applied sciences, technology, engineering, and manufacturing can help you learn more about the wide variety of careers available. Put yourself on the path to achieving your goals.

Learn how to get started in careers like: mechanical, chemical, electrical, or civil engineer; architect, computer software developer, CAD drafter, diesel mechanic, and wind turbine service technician.

How to Apply for Job Shadows

  1. Review the group and individual job shadow opportunities available below and select your top two choices. Note: Your choices can be from two different industry categories.
  2. Review the application instructions.
  3. Start your application.

Group Job Shadows

Group job shadows offer a great introduction to specific career fields and allow you to explore a broad scope of careers within that industry, all in one shadow experience. Group job shadows are a great option for initial exploration of a specific career or industry. On average, shadows are typically 2-4 hours in duration.

Note: Group job shadows with an asterisk (*) next to them are in-demand jobs in the corridor area, as determined by our area economic development organizations.

*Architecture and Interior Design Day: Martin Gardner Architecture, Marion

IDo you like Art or Science?  Solving problems or using technology such as Virtual Reality? Working outdoors or making a positive impact on the community?  If so, this job shadow is for you!  Explore architecture and design careers including architect, landscape architect, digital media manager, and interior designer.


*Aviation Day: Iowa City Airport, Jet Air

If you are interested in piloting, aircraft mechanic, or aviation engineering, this is the career exploration opportunity for you. During this day you will learn how to get your piloting license and ratings, available careers for pilots and aircraft mechanics. You will also get an inside look at the inner workings of an airport by touring their facilities including the Operator Performance Laboratory and maintenance shop.


*Renewable Energy Day: Kirkwood Main Campus - Jones Hall, Cedar Rapids

Join us as we tour the wind turbine lab and solar array at Kirkwood Community College.  Learn about exciting career opportunities such as wind energy technician and how Iowa is leading the nation in renewable energy jobs.


*TV News/Weather Day: Iowa News Now (KGAN-TV), Cedar Rapids

Lights, camera, action! It’s not a movie, but it’s your local news. See behind the scenes of a newscast and how news stories are written, how breaking news is handled, and how weather is forecasted and presented on TV. This job shadow will teach you about the fast paced world of TV broadcasting. Anchors and meteorologists from Iowa’s News Now will show you everything you need to know about the world of live TV news.


*Warehouse Logistics Day: Van Meter Inc., Cedar Rapids

Learn about the growing field of warehouse & distribution logistics at Van Meter Inc. This session will offer students an opportunity to learn about their culture and meet with Operations staff. If you are interested in the following careers this is the job shadow for you: distribution center team member, commodities team member, and delivery driver.


*Exploring Engineering Day – Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids - VIRTUAL ONLY

Explore careers such as mechanical, electrical, software, and systems engineering.  This is a great job shadow whether you have a general interest in engineering or you have a specific career in mind.


*Exploring IT Day: VIRTUAL ONLY

Discover careers in information technology. Learn about a sampling of IT careers possibly including image processing, data infrastructure, mobile app development, game development, software development and embedded systems.


*Exploring IT Day: Infrastructure Technology Solutions, Monticello

Join Infrastructure Technology Solutions (ITS) for an overview of careers, facility tour, and workforce needs.  Featured roles and topics include: IT security – products and tools for monitoring and managing machines and users; CTO/CIO – Methods of performing CTO/CIO duties as a contracted partner and as an internal employee; physical security – video surveillance and door access control – products, technologies and integrations; network engineering and Installation, with an emphasis on network security; software engineering, APIs and the Internet of Things; computer repairs/hardware, Business Development Roles; office manager and technical sales, performing standard business roles within a high-tech environment. Cap of 20 students


*Medical Engineering Day: Medical Devices - CIVCO, Coralville

Learn about biomedical, mechanical, CAD, and manufacturing engineers from a cutting-edge medical device company as well as do some problem solving of your own. 

*Construction Welding Day: Cedar Rapids

Test your skill at virtual welding. Learn about a variety of careers within the construction welding field. Welders are needed for sheet metal workers, iron workers, plumbers and pipe fitters. Apprenticeships are tuition free and earn-while-you-learn training programs.


*Construction Day: Woodruff Companies, Tiffin

If you are interested in any construction area from inception of design to final construction period including pricing, project management, resource planning, including management, coordination, and scheduling then you don’t want to miss this day. You also will have the opportunity to speak with professionals about their careers and help identify career interests and outline career pathways.


Orbis Manufacturing Day in Monticello - VIRTUAL ONLY

Do you have interest in robots and automation and why do we need them?  Do you know how plastic pellets become containers that are used for food, medical supplies and Amazon?  As leading companies continue to drive sustainability in their business, they scrutinize every point of their  supply chain, including the packaging used to move their product. ORBIS provides reusable plastic containers, pallets, dunnage and bulk systems that improve the flow of product all along the supply chain, to reduce costs, enhance profitability and add sustainability.


*Skilled Trades Day: Cedar Rapids

If you are interested in the following careers this job shadow is for you: electrician, plumber, pipefitter, carpenter, bricklayer, and general laborer. You will also learn about building trades apprenticeships - tuition-free, earn while-you-learn training programs.


Well Drilling and Pump Services Day: Gingerich Well and Pump Service, Kalona

Are you looking for a career where you can be out and about, not tied to an office? Do you like to be hands-on? Are you looking for a career where you can gain on the job training? Discover what it means to have a career as a heavy equipment mechanic, a fabricator (welder), a drilling service provider (for water wells) and a pump service provider. Observe a drill rig and a pump rig in action. Plus, learn about wells, aquifers and the importance of groundwater preservation.

Individual/Small Group Job Shadow Opportunities

Individual/small group shadows allow for a deeper dive into specific careers, shadowing a professional(s) in that field. These small group shadows are perfect for those who are more confident in their career interests and have had some initial exposure to that career.

Job shadows may be individualized or include a handful of students, depending on demand. On average, shadows are typically 2-4 hours in duration.

Note: Group job shadows with an asterisk (*) next to them are in-demand jobs in the corridor area, as determined by our area economic development organizations.

Careers to Shadow

Air Traffic Controller

Control air traffic on and within the vicinity of an airport, and movement of air traffic between altitude sectors and control centers according to established procedures and policies. Authorize, regulate and control commercial airline flights according to government or company regulations to expedite and ensure flight safety.


Conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or experiments in laboratories for quality or process control, or to develop new products or knowledge.

*Artificial Intelligence

Gather, analyze, or evaluate information from a variety of sources; applications within biomedical field, information technology, and within data analytics. Also referred to as machine learning.

Diesel Mechanic/Technician

Diagnose, adjust, repair or overhaul buses and trucks, or maintain and repair any type of diesel engine. Includes mechanics working primarily with automobile or marine diesel engines.

Engineer - Chemical

Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, plastics, detergents, cement, paper and pulp by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics and engineering.

*Engineer - Civil

Perform engineering duties in planning, designing and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures and facilities such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants and water and sewage systems.

*Engineer - Environmental

Research, design, plan or perform engineering duties in the prevention, control and remediation of environmental hazards using various engineering disciplines. Work may include waste treatment, site remediation or pollution control technology.


Automotive Body Repair

Repair and refinish automotive vehicle bodies and straighten vehicle frames.

Automotive Mechanic/Technician

Repair automobiles, trucks, buses and other vehicles. Master mechanics repair virtually any part on the vehicle or specialize in the transmission system.

*Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration

Install, service or repair heating and air conditioning systems in residences or commercial establishments.

*Industrial Maintenance

Lubricate machinery, change parts or perform other routine machinery maintenance.

Truck Driver

Drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW). May be required to unload truck. Requires commercial driver’s license.