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

Tips for a Healthy and Happy Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is one of the most celebrated holidays of the year and rightfully so.  We’re celebrating the birth of, not only our nation, but the birth of democracy itself.  And how do we choose to celebrate? With fireworks, family, sunshine and barbecues, of course!

But the holiday can also come with a few potential hazards if you’re not careful. Not to worry; we’ve got some helpful tips to make this Fourth a happy and healthy one!

Bring some earplugs

And no, they’re not to tune out your annoying cousin Larry.  Fireworks can produce a sound output that is in the 150 to 175 decibel range. The World Health Organization recommends that adults not be exposed to more than 140 decibels of peak sound pressure and for children, the recommendation is 120 decibels. Ear protection is recommended for decibels above 85.  So be sure to grab a pair of earplugs before you head out to enjoy the fireworks.

Apply Sunscreen

To keep your skin from matching the red, in the red, white, and blue of the American flag, you’ll want to apply sunscreen.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology it takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you. So you’ll want to put it on before you’re out in the sun. You’ll want to use something with an SPF of 30 or higher, that is water resistant and provides broad-spectrum coverage. Reapply every couple of hours to prevent sunburn. Follow the American Academy of Dermatology’s tips on How to apply sunscreen and you should be covered.

Stay Hydrated

Being outside in the sun for a picnic or barbeque cookout can make you more susceptible to dehydration and other health risks. Keeping a bottle of water nearby will help to keep you cool and hydrated throughout the day’s festivities. Plus alternating each alcoholic beverage (if you are of age) with a bottle of water, will help to stave off alcohol-induced dehydration.

Practice Safe Barbecuing

So you’re the one who’s manning or woman-ing the grill; then it’s up to you to make sure that you’re practicing safe barbecuing. This means that you’re designating different plates for the raw and cooked meat, you’re marinating food in the refrigerator and not out on the counter, you’re cooking the food thoroughly, you’re not leaving the food out in the sun for more than 2 hours (one if temperatures are really extreme), and you’re following the manufacturer’s instructions for safely operating your grill.

Follow these tips and you’re sure to have a happy and healthy Fourth of July!

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator/Blog Editor – Arizona Automotive Institute

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

NOT NETWORKING = NOT WORKING

shutterstock_194022155_renderedIf you are clever at small-talk, have the confidence to insert a positive personal story that almost fits into a conversation, and can manage to sound smart when discussing news, business, and sports, you are a good networker. If you prefer to talk to people you know, don’t know how to keep a conversation going in an uncomfortable situation, and don’t like the pressure of always being “on,” then you my friend, are NORMAL!

Whether you love to network or hate to network, your career just might depend on it. “Networking” in the professional context, means talking and relating to people for the sake of improving your career. But guess what? Your best network is the people you already know!

I have had 7 jobs in 20 years (large and small companies, several you have heard of), and 5 of the 7 jobs would not have happened if it weren’t for my friends. Here are the 7 jobs, and who got me the “in” I needed to land an interview.

  1. IT Consultant – My sister, and my best friend’s wife were both employed at my targeted employer. They got my resume to hiring managers.
  2. Process Manager – A friend that I met during my first job left and got a new job at a new company. He told me about the role and got me in the door.
  3. Product Manager – Someone I barely knew from a co-ed 4-person beach volleyball league.
  4. Product Manager – Monster.com. Yep, no help on this one. But my resume worked now that I had “Product Manager” on it.
  5. Regional Director – High School friend I had kept in touch with and hounded about jobs over the years. He finally came through.
  6. Project Manager – CareerBuilder.com. Yep, no help. Miracles do happen.
  7. Product Strategy Director – Someone from a parent-company that I was in training with for 5 days. During training he was impressed with me (so don’t act like a clown during training–you never know who could be of help to you later).

The key for me was that I let everyone mentioned above know I was looking for work, and what kind of work might be good for me.

When I was “in between jobs” do you know what kept me sharp, gave me confidence, and helped me practice those uncomfortable conversations with strangers? Job networking groups. Guess how many job offers I got through a networking group? Zero! Would I go to one again, and did I see it help other people get jobs? Absolutely.

Look for groups like this one:

http://careerdfw.org/J/

Consider clubs and groups for employed individuals. People with jobs are better at helping people get jobs!

http://www.networkafterwork.com

Join your local Rotary club.

Join your local Chamber of Commerce

But most importantly, network with friends, family, and family friends!

Written By: Dan Morchower, Product Strategy Director – Ancora Education

Welcome to the Official Blog of Arizona Automotive Institute

Hello-&-welcome-[Converted]Connecting and sharing relevant content through the written word is important and a step forward for Arizona Automotive Institute (AAI) and its followers.

The official blog of AAI will give an additional voice to our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and employers, all of whom are professionals in skilled trade sectors that continue to ignite growth,  spur development and create progress across the state of Arizona and this great nation.

Our blog is designed to help you the reader to be entertained, learn something new, reach a goal, or solve a problem. It provides our perspective on interesting content from related businesses, industries, professions, and current events. Creative and timely content will focus real conversations about education, development, employment, and career advancement.

We trust you will enjoy the experience and we thank you for joining us on this new journey for AAI!

Michael J. Zawisky, President & CEO – Ancora Education