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Arizona Vocational and Technical Schools

The economy in Arizona show signs of heating up. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), unemployment rates in Arizona dipped from 7.8 percent in November 2013 to 6.9 percent in April 2014. Technical, trade and vocational schools in Arizona strive to help students learn the skills employers need in Arizona's largest industries from tourism to mining to high tech manufacturing.

Where Arizona's jobs are

When you are deciding on a career path, it is important to know where the jobs are.

Technology thrives in Arizona's warm, dry, sunny climate. It is an ideal place to house data management centers and harness the power of solar energy. It's also a leader in high tech manufacturing. As the Arizona Commerce Authority reports, most of the state's key technology employers are located in the Greater Phoenix and Tuscon areas which are known for:

  • Aerospace
  • Defense
  • Technology
  • Optics and photonics (fiber optics)
  • Bioscience
  • Healthcare
  • Renewable energy and green technology
  • Data management

Tourism is also big business in Arizona. According to the Arizona Office of Tourism, in 2012, over 38 million visitors came to Arizona and pumped over $19 billion into the state's economy. The destination of choice for many visitors is Maricopa County, home to Phoenix. Over half of Arizona's 160,000 tourism jobs (86,000) are found here.

Mining is the third major industry in Arizona, according to a report prepared by Arizona State University for the Arizona Mining Association. In 2012, over 65 percent of the U.S. copper came from mines in Arizona. Mining accounts for over 50,000 jobs in Arizona and is a $4.8 billion industry. Though mining happens throughout the state, the greatest number of jobs can be found in Maricopa and Pima Counties.

Arizona's top employers

There are over 1,200 aerospace and defense employers in Arizona, according to the Arizona Commerce Authority. Some of the top employers are:

  • Raytheon
  • Boeing
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Honeywell

Top Arizona technology employers include:

  • GoDaddy
  • Intel
  • Microchip Technologies

Arizona's two biggest renewable energy employers are First Solar in Tempe and UNS Energy Corp in Tucson.

Major bioscience and healthcare employers in Arizona include:

  • AstraZeneca
  • Medtronic
  • Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Translational Genomics Research Institute

The state's largest mining employer is Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold, Inc.

Arizona wages

When researching career and vocational schools in Arizona, it is important to know what you might expect to make after you earn your degree, certificate or diploma. Here is a sampling of May 2013 median hourly wages for Arizona workers as reported by the BLS:

CareerTotal EmploymentAnnual Median WageProjected Employment Change
Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers560786501,000
Aerospace Engineers1200825906,100
Web Developers25005674028,500
Chefs and Head Cooks1830440706,000
Computer Programmers44607398028,400
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians27603611047,900
Computer Systems Analysts1354084170127,700
Food Service Managers3020518405,000
Dental Hygienists34408604064,200
Medical Assistants1638030490162,900
Accountants and Auditors1881058260166,700
*This data is sourced from the 2013 BLS employment report (BLS.gov)

Vocational Schools in Arizona

Arizona employers are looking for workers with knowledge and skills. Those who wish to learn more about vocational and tech careers should contact Arizona vocational schools to find out more about the programs they offer.


Aerospace & Defense, Arizona Commerce Authority, http://www.azcommerce.com/industries/aerospace-defense

Arizona Facts, Arizona Guide, http://www.arizonaguide.com/arizona-travel-info/learn-about-arizona/arizona-facts

Arizona's 100 Largest Employers, The Arizona Republic, AZCentral, 2014, http://archive.azcentral.com/business/rep100/

Arizona 2012 Tourism Facts, Arizona Office of Tourism, 2013, http://azot.gov/system/files/1146/original/2012%20AOT%20Tourism%20Facts%2003.05.pdf?1395843739

Bioscience & Health Care, Arizona Commerce Authority, http://www.azcommerce.com/industries/bioscience-health-care

Economy at at Glance, Arizona, Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 2014, http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.az.htm

Renewable Energy, Arizona Commerce Authority, http://www.azcommerce.com/industries/renewable-energy

State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Arizona, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_az.htm

Technology & Innovation, Arizona Commerce Authority, http://www.azcommerce.com/industries/technology-innovation

The Economic Impact of the Mining Industry on the State of Arizona, Arizona Mining Association, L. William Seidman Research Institute, W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, 2012, http://www.azmining.com/uploads/2012%20AZ%20Mining%20Economic%20Impact%20Study_1.pdf

Vocational Schools in Arizona
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