5 Ways to Find Your New Career in the Skilled Trades

So you’re studying a skilled trade and you want to differentiate yourself from the competition when applying for jobs in your field. Here are five ways to land a job in the trades.

  1. Get The Proper Training

Getting hands-on training at a trade school, like is a great way to get your start in the trades. Whether it be Welding, Automotive Service Technology, Diesel Heavy Truck, or HVAC and Basic Refrigeration, hands-on training is the best way to prepare for a job in the skilled trades.

  1. Get Certified

Upon completion of your program, obtaining a certification may make you a more marketable candidate for employment. The hands-on training, skills, and knowledge you have attained as a student help to prepare you for these certification exams. Don’t miss this opportunity to boost your resume and be considered as a viable candidate for employment.

  1. Create a Resume

Throughout your educational journey, it is important to work with the Career Services department to ensure you have a professional resume ready to present to employers upon completion of your program. Your resume is your marketing tool. This is the first impression that the employer has of you and the first opportunity to understand your education and training.  Your resume should spotlight your skills and education. Showing up at your interview with a professional resume sets you apart from other candidates.

  1. Be Proactive From Day 1

The keys to obtaining employment upon completion of your program are determination and initiative. Searching for a job, is a job in itself. Employers are impressed with candidates that have done their research and are prepared for the interview. The interview process can be tedious, but you must remain positive, and focused on the desired outcome.

While you are waiting to hear from employers, continue to research other employers in your field, participate in networking events, and stay in contact with your Career Services department. Remember, they are in your corner and always available to assist with the job search process. Career Services is where your preparation meets opportunity.

  1. Put Your Best Foot Forward

Even though the Skilled Trade industry requires a different type of uniform, it is important to always present yourself in the best way possible. Your interview attire should be clean, crisp, and  free from holes, tears, and stains. It should also be industry appropriate. For example, Combination Welders should wear a long sleeved, fire retardant shirt, jeans, and steel toe boots. They should also have their tool kit, welding hood and safety glasses available. In some cases, the employer will conduct a skills test, and you must be dressed appropriately.

We’ve highlighted some of the most helpful ways to land your first job in the skilled trades industry. Follow these guidelines, utilize your Career Services team, and you’ll be ready for employment in no time.

To make an appointment with the Career Services team, call 480-389-2258 or if you are interested in beginning your career training at AAI click here.

Written by: Jennifer Robinson – Social Media Coordinator/Blog Editor, Ancora Education

One Graduate’s Success Story

CorbinI remember the first time I met Corbin Gerner.  Corbin wasn’t even looking for one of our skilled trades programs and visited AAI with his friend for moral support.  “I was only going to support my friend who was interested in AAI’s HVAC/BR program.” But after touring AAI Corbin left with such a great impression of the campus. “When I first walked through the welding lab I saw students cutting metal, grinding steel with sparks flying and I thought that it was the most awesome thing and instantly wanted to try it.”

Corbin is a United States Army Veteran who served five years in the Infantry, did a one-year tour to Iraq and served another year in Afghanistan. He was happy to see that AAI had a big military population, from staff, faculty to students and alumni. He felt right at home. He only had 11 months left on his G.I.-Bill and felt that the “timing was just perfect.” Meeting with our Admissions and Financial Aid team really helped him through the process.

When I first met with Corbin he mentioned that he had just finished his AA degree but still had no idea what to do with his career. I was able to help and guide him. After checking out the skilled trades programs AAI offered, he became more and more interested in our Combination Welding program and enrolled in February 2015. He had never welded before so this was new to him and was really excited to learn the welding trade. Throughout his program we kept in good contact and he always let me know how classes were going for him. He said, “Looking back now, the teachers and staff always checked on me and that kept me motivated.”

In anticipation of graduation Corbin started working more with the Career Services department.  They were able to help him update his resume, helped him with interviewing skills and how to effectively present the skills he learned at AAI to a potential employer. After graduating in November, Corbin landed a job with DH Pace in Phoenix. “I now have the highest paying job I’ve had since getting out of the Army, I’m more than excited every day to go to work now!” stated Corbin.

As an admissions representative at AAI, I find that success stories like Corbin’s are incredibly motivating. Seeing him succeed made me feel like I played a small part in changing his life.  Keep up the great work Corbin!

Written by: Karina Zavala, Admissions Representative – Arizona Automotive Institute