Need a career change? Trade schools offer variety of programs

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by Javier Soto

Bio | Email | Follow: @JavierSotoTV

azfamily.com

Posted on April 28, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 28 at 10:55 AM

PHOENIX -- If you're craving a change or a fresh start when it comes to your career, there are some great options out there. And you don't necessarily have to go back to a traditional college to change your career path.

There have been a surge of trade schools opening recently. In fact, a 2012 Bureau of Labor report showed that 48 percent of all college grads are working in fields that do not require a college degree.

On Monday's Good Morning Arizona, 3TV's Javier Soto gave us a look at Maricopa Skill Center, part of Gateway Community College. Maricopa Skill Center offers a variety of certificate programs for careers in business, technology, health care, and trades, most of which can be completed in less than a year. Small class sizes, self-paced learning, and hands-on classrooms are just a few of the benefits that students will enjoy.

"We have 13 core program areas," says Interim Director CJ Wuerster. "We offer 30 certificates in the business programs, health care programs, and also in the trades areas."

Customer service and IT areas are said to be among the fastest-growing fields. "Those are definitely areas we try to provide high levels of training," says Wuerster.

But meat-cutting and welding are also very popular programs at the skill center. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, welders can make up to $150K a year!

"We try to make it a real-world experience for them," says welding instructor John Duran. "That way when they get out of there, they'll still be entry-level, but they'll be certified welders."

As for the meat-cutting training, the students get hands-on and experience throughout the entire program. "Right now they're cutting stew meat for an order for a local restaurant," says meat-cutting instructor Retha Watchman. "It's a six month program for the apprentice meat cutter."

Fore more information:
GateWay Community College-Maricopa Skill Center
1245 E. Buckeye Road, Phoenix, AZ 85304
602-238-4300
www.maricopaskillcenter.com

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