Do you want to earn a living in a hands-on, fast-growing career? If you work as a welder, you can expect to take advantage of stable job opportunities and a lucrative salary. In this guide, explore welding schools in Arizona and learn how to get started in the welding industry.
What Does a Welder Do?
Welders use specialized tools to join metal components of equipment, tools, and structures. Some of the key tasks in this profession include:
- Reviewing technical documents such as blueprints
- Determining the correct dimensions of welded components
- Ensuring the quality and safety of components and tools
- Using power supplies and torches safely
- Monitoring equipment during operation
- Maintaining systems and equipment, including necessary repairs
Depending on the industry and project, you may work in an indoor and outdoor setting. Some welding jobs take place on high scaffolding or in small, confined areas.
Arizona welders must be prepared to wear safety gear in elevated desert temperatures. The expanding crude oil industry is a notable growth area for welding jobs in the state.
Welding Schools Near Me in Arizona
Welding schools in Arizona can help prepare you for a professional welder position and for the trade exam which may be required if you wish to become an independent welder with a contractor license.
These are some of the top recommended education programs in the state for this career.
Mesa Community College
MCC offers access to advanced welding technology and state-of-the-art equipment.
- Location: Mesa
- Phone number: 480-461-7131
- Programs available: Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Welding, Certificates of Completion (CCL) in Welding, Welding Fundamentals, Gas Metal, and Flux Core Arc Welding, Ferrous Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, Non-Ferrous Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, Pipe Shielded Metal Arc Welding, and Plate Shielded Metal Arc Welding
- Program duration: About two years to earn an AAS in Welding and a few months for a CCL
- Average cost: $1,000 to $2,000 for a CCL, $4,000 for an AAS (county resident rate).
Gateway County Community College
Gateway is accredited by the American Welding Society (AWS), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and American Petroleum Institute (API).
- Location: Phoenix
- Phone number: 602-238-4350
- Programs available: CCL in Welding Fundamentals, Ferrous Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, Non-Ferrous Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, Pipe Shielded Metal Arc Welding, and Plate Shielded Metal Arc Welding
- Program duration: Seven to eight months
- Average cost: $4,275 (county resident rate)
Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC)
West-MEC offers an attractive program for people looking to keep working while attending welding school, a night school program that runs four times a week for three hours per night.
- Location: Glendale
- Phone number: 623.738.0046
- Programs available: CCL in Welding Technology
- Program duration: Seven to eight months
- Average cost: $9,575 (county resident rate)
Use our tool below to find the closest welder training programs near you.
Welding Career Opportunities in Arizona
Phoenix and Scottsdale rank in the top ten metro areas in the United States in terms of employment opportunities in the welding industry according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
How Much Do Welders Make in Arizona?
The BLS states that a welder in Arizona can expect to make between $31,350 and $63,660 per year. In the Phoenix-Scottsdale metro area, welders earn an average of $40,320 per year.
Major Employers of Welders in Arizona
Raytheon Technologies is an aerospace and defense firm that ranks as the sixth-largest employer in the state according to Biz Journal, with nearly 15,000 workers. This company also advertises the need for welders who have security clearance.
Intel, the 12th-largest employer in the state, currently has more than 12,000 Arizona residents on its team. This tech company’s microprocessor manufacturing in Ocotillo hires specialized welders as fabrication manufacturing technicians. Intel is known for its generous employee benefits, including stock options, bonus programs, tuition assistance, and retirement funds.
Freeport McMoRan, another one of the state’s largest employers, hires many boilermaker welders for its copper and gold mining operations in Morenci. The Morenci mine represents one of the largest copper resources in the U.S. and employs about 3,300 Arizona residents.
How To Become a Certified Welder in Arizona
For most potential welders, the training process includes:
- Completing high school or obtaining a GED
- Complete a degree or certificate program in welding
- Get on-the-job experience through an apprenticeship or internship
- Earn AWS welder certificate
Some welding schools in Arizona may require certification through either the American Welding Society or ASME. These organizations create industry standards and certify welders in specific areas and processes.
Employers recognize the value of the training required to achieve these certifications, so AWS and ASME certifications can help you find employment and advance welding careers in Arizona.
Do You Need a License to be a Welder in Arizona?
Arizona welders do not usually need a contractor license to perform welding work. However, you may need a general contractor license with an R-56 Welding (residential) or C-56 Welding (commercial and residential) classification. Whether or not you need this depends on the type of work you do and who you work for.
This license class is primarily for general contractors who do some welding as part of the projects they take on. This may involve structural steelwork on commercial or residential buildings, but it can also apply if you work as a subcontractor on various construction projects, such as building a pipeline.
The license requirement usually applies if you are independent of the business owner, and whether or not the work you are doing requires certain permits.
While the state does not have specific education requirements for this license, you do have to either pass a trade exam or qualify for a waiver. The waiver certifies that you have at least five years of professional welding experience and/or certification as a welder in another state.
You can obtain licensure through the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, which will require you to take a trade exam in your specialty area and pass a criminal background check. The Arizona General Contractor License Guide can help you navigate this process.
Arizona Welding FAQs
1. How Long Does It Take to Become a Welder?
Most vocational welding training programs last 6-12 months and can be completed through night school. Once you have begun the training process, you can expect to start working as a welder within 1-2 years. Acquiring a general contractor license in Arizona with a welding classification, however, can take at least 5 years to acquire the required experience and licensure through the state.
2. Does a Welder Need Insurance in Arizona?
For most welders working for an employer or in industries that do not require a contractor license to perform the work, insurance is usually not required at all. Though, it may be a good idea to help protect the cost of your tools, equipment, or liability, especially if you are self-employed.
Specialty contractors, such as welders, must provide a bond or other proof of insurance in Arizona. The amount ranges from $9,000 to $100,000 depending on the value of the projects and whether you work in the residential or commercial sector.
You can easily request a free commercial insurance quote from our partners using the tool below.
3. Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
You can contact the Arizona Registrar of Contractors to learn more about how to become a welder in Arizona. The agency also holds a monthly Applicant Education Session where you can get free guidance about welding careers in Arizona and how to navigate the licensing process.
Start your journey to a new career by connecting with these recommended welding schools in Arizona.
For More License and Career Guides
To find out how to become a Welder in another state, start here.
For information on other trades in Arizona, click on a link below to learn more about the licensing requirements: