our everyday life

Careers for Those With Good Hand-Eye Coordination

by Terri Williams

Hand-eye coordination is essential for such basic human functions as eating with a fork or handwriting a note. Attention deficit disorder and other developmental disorders, in addition to strokes and injuries, can negatively affect the relationship between hand and eye movements. In addition, some people just have poor hand-eye coordination. However, there are some careers in which this synchronization is essential.

Surgeons

Surgeons perform operations to treat injuries, diseases and deformities.They use a variety of very sharp instruments to either repair or remove and replace defective or diseased body parts. Due to the delicate and precise nature of this profession, good hand-eye coordination is imperative, and the lack of synchronization can result in maimed or dead patients. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the educational requirement for surgeons includes graduation from medical school and 3 to 8 years of internships and residencies, depending on the specialty area. As of May 2012, the annual mean salary of surgeons was $230,540.

Airline and Commercial Pilots

Airline pilots fly planes to transport people and cargo, while commercial pilots perform other flight activities such as charter flights, rescue operations and firefighting, in addition to crop dusting and aerial photography. Their hand-eye coordination must be good to operate the plane’s controls and instruments, while gauging the necessary distance for takeoffs and landings. While many pilots are veterans who learned to fly in the military, the BLS also reports that pilots can obtain an associate or bachelor’s degree in aviation from a civilian flight school. Airline pilots earned an annual mean salary of $128,760 in May 2012, while commercial pilots earned $80,140.

Carpenters

Carpenters perform a variety of construction and repair jobs, from insulating office buildings to installing drywall and kitchen cabinets. They may construct stairways, doorframes and partitions, or build braces and scaffolding for buildings. Carpenters use an assortment of tools and need good hand-eye coordination to avoid injuring themselves or making costly errors when hammering, sawing, drilling or performing other tool work. According to the BLS, some two-year technical schools offer carpentry degrees. In addition, some carpenters learn on the job, while others complete a 3- or 4-year apprenticeship. As of May 2012, carpenters could expect a mean annual salary of $32,940.

Athletes

Good hand-eye coordination is needed for almost every sport. Golfers must look at the golf ball and then determine how hard to swing the golf club, while baseball players have to size up a pitch while deciding when and how fast to swing the bat. Also, football players must gauge the distance of the football while it’s in the air to ascertain how to catch it, while tennis players have to calculate the direction and speed of the tennis ball in relation to their tennis racquet. In addition, boxers must simultaneously dodge their opponent’s punches while trying to inflict blows. There are no formal educational requirements for athletes, although many athletes are recruited while in college. The annual mean salary for athletes was $75,760 in May 2012, although top athletes can earn millions of dollars in salary and endorsement deals.

About the Author

Terri Williams began writing professionally in 1997, working with a large nonprofit organization. Her articles have appeared in various online publications including Yahoo, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report University Directory, and the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images