Becoming a Welder in Arizona
Working as a welder, or welding technician, involves using blueprints, design skills and knowledge of metal properties to build and repair factory equipment, buildings, cars and more. It’s a fast-paced and constantly-changing vocation that gives people the chance to work with their hands while completing projects that give them a true sense of accomplishment.
Prerequisites for Welding Jobs
To work as a welding tech, one should have prior experience as a welder or successfully complete a formal training program. Some employers may offer training after hiring, allowing people to enter the field right away and learn a specialized aspect of welding.
Welders in Arizona do not need to have any certifications or licenses to begin working. Some employers, however, may require that their workers have an American Welding Society (AWS) certification. This is particularly common for specialized areas of welding, such as robotic ARC welding or welding engineering and inspection. AWS offers several certifications, and courses for each are sometimes available online.
Arizona Training Programs
Technical schools and community colleges throughout Arizona offer training programs for welding technicians. These programs can help people enter the field or improve their skills. Students in Arizona can consider the following schools:
- Arizona Automotive Institute. Despite its name, the Arizona Automotive Institute can also prepare students for work in a range of welding jobs. They will learn shielded, gas and flux arc welding techniques, among others, and learn to operate electric and manual welding equipment.
- East Valley Institute of Technology. EVIT offers a unique high school program that allows students to spend half of their day at their local high school and the remainder at EVIT. Adult training options include paid apprenticeships and 10-month educational programs.
Salary and Career Expectations
Thanks to a growing industry, welding techs in Arizona will be able to find work throughout the state, where the field is anticipated to increase by 20.7 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the Projections Managing Partnership. This change represents one of the largest increases in the country, making Arizona an excellent place to begin a career as a welder.
Salaries for welders in Arizona average $43,480 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those with more experience or education may be able to secure higher incomes.
Working as a Welder in Arizona
Welding technicians are always on their feet, using their creativity and problem-solving skills to repair and build new work. They typically work in factories, machine shops and construction sites but can also select their own projects if they choose to work as independent contractors. Jobs are typically easiest to find in larger cities, such as Phoenix and Tucson. These cities offer higher salaries to compensate for their higher cost of living. However, work can be found throughout the state.