15 Best Trade Schools in Colorado | Costs, Requirements, and How to Apply 

This article explores the best trade schools in Colorado.

Vocational and trade schools in Colorado offer a career-focused education in fields like allied health, technology, skilled trades, and legal service. 

Graduates of trade schools can work as paralegals, mechanics, respiratory therapists, electricians, and occupational therapy assistants. 

Many of these in-demand professions offer above-average pay and promising job growth prospects. 

In comparison to four-year academic programs, vocational programs have several advantages. 

For instance, a vocational certificate or degree is typically completed in 1-2 years, allowing students to enter the workforce sooner than those enrolled in four-year programs. 

Additionally, vocational schools frequently cost considerably less than four-year programs. 

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, professionals with occupational credentials enjoy a higher employment rate than those with academic credentials.

In order to accommodate busy students’ schedules, many vocational and technical schools in Colorado provide self-paced or accelerated options. 

The flexibility of online vocational programs is another option for students. 

The information presented here is meant to help people who want to learn a new trade choose the best school for them. 

The compilation gives general details about some of Colorado’s top universities, such as tuition prices, admission requirements, contact information, etc. 

The schools on this list offer excellent instruction that equips students for a range of in-demand professions, including: 

Other fields include automotive, health care, and beauty technology. 

We anticipate that the information on this page will help you choose the right trade school for you.

Are there Trade Schools in Colorado?

Colorado’s top-rated trade schools. Prospective students can find the school that best suits their interests and career objectives by researching these institutions.

This article also provides information on the career and salary outlook for trade school graduates and scholarship opportunities for students.

  1. Bartending School of Denver
  2. Colorado School of Trades
  3. IntelliTec College
  4. Independent Electrical Contractors
  5. Emily Griffith Technical College
  6. Healing Arts Institute Fort Collins School of Massage
  7. Recording Connection Audio Institute
  8. Barnett Bicycle Institute
  9. Colorado Springs School of Massage
  10. Lincoln College of Technology
  11. Pikes Peak Community College
  12. Red Rocks Community College
  13. Front Range Community College
  14. Community College of Denver
  15. Arapahoe Community College

How Much Does Trade School Cost in Colorado?

In Colorado, trade school tuition is $25,500. 

Colorado Schools of Trades takes part in the Direct Lending and PELL Grant Programs. Veterans Assistance Programs are also approved for the Colorado school.

What are the Requirements for Trade Schools in Colorado?

A permanent resident alien or US citizen, who is at least 18 years old, is required to apply. 

Candidates must have a GED or high school diploma and clear a background investigation. 

Also required of potential students is an essay entitled “Why I Chose to Become a Gunsmith.” 

Additionally, candidates must be physically and mentally capable of completing the assignments and coursework necessary to graduate.

What are the Best Trade Schools in Colorado | 2024?

Students in Colorado’s vocational schools are prepared for careers in fields that are expanding. 

Professionals can advance their careers and increase their earning potential by selecting a top-ranked vocational program. 

We’ve ranked Colorado’s top trade schools to make it easier for potential students to find the program that will help them achieve their objectives.

1. Bartending School of Denver

Students can receive cutting-edge training at The Bartending School of Denver in a modern setting, preparing them for a career as a bartender. 

The training course can be finished in one week, two weeks, or over two weekends. 

Students have the choice of online or in-person enrollment. 

On Monday through Friday, classes are held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 2-6 p.m., and 6-10 p.m. 

On the weekends, classes are held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday to Saturday 

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Students also have the choice of learning at home so they can show up at the lab ready to use their newly learned bartending techniques.

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2. Colorado School of Trades

The Colorado School of Trades is dedicated to fostering the development of outstanding novice gunsmiths. 

Moreover, with an Associate of Occupational Studies in gunsmithing, the school provides students with the training necessary to work as entry-level gunsmiths. 

The university is the biggest gunsmithing program in the country. 

A system based on customer-provided, project-based, hands-on training has been developed by the institution.

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3. IntelliTec College

The IntelliTec College Grand Junction campus offers courses that equip students with the knowledge and abilities needed to succeed in some of the most in-demand industries. 

This trade school was established in Colorado1985. 

By teaching students the most practical skills, the practical training programs seek to prepare students for careers as quickly as possible.

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4. Independent Electrical Contractors

A successful career in the electrical construction industry can be attained by enrolling in the Independent Electrical Contractors’ four-year apprenticeship training program. 

The program has received approval from the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training of the US Department of Labor. 

Students are allowed to go to class one night a week. 

During their apprenticeship, students receive practical instruction in order to get ready for the Journeyman’s License Exam. 

One night per week, students attend the class for four hours. Each academic year is divided into two semesters, each of which lasts 18 weeks. 

Graduates of the IEC apprentice program receive 42 hours of college credit from the Emily Griffith Opportunity School. 

The majority of Colorado’s colleges and universities accept these credits as transfer credits. 

Fees. $610 is spent on tuition per semester for IEC members and $1025 per semester for non-members. 

The costs for curriculum and kit are $475 for IEC members and $550 for non-members.

Military veterans may use their VA benefits while enrolled in the apprenticeship program.

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5. Emily Griffith Technical College

The Emily Griffith Technical College in downtown Denver has nearly 100 years of experience instructing students in welding, auto repair, and heating and cooling system repair. 

In order to house its educational programs, the College of Trades, Industry, and Professional Studies opened a new facility in Denver in 2015. 

Every career training program complies with the educational requirements established by different professional organizations. 

Community members who wish to enroll in a career training certificate program at Emily Griffith Technical College will be given special consideration for a scholarship created by the Emily Griffith Foundation.

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6. Healing Arts Institute Fort Collins School of Massage

The Healing Arts Institute has been teaching the Body Insight MethodTM to massage therapists from all over the world since 1991. 

Students learn the art of massage at the Fort Collins School in addition to social and professional skills. 

The Healing Arts Institute has earned ABHES accreditation (Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools). 

The Institute has received approval from the Division of Private Occupational Schools of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. 

All of the part-time instructors at Healing Arts Institute are licensed massage or bodywork therapists in practice. 

Graduates of the Healing Arts Institute make up the majority. 

Fees. The cost of tuition ranges from $1,500 to $9,975 depending on the program. 

Each elective class costs roughly $140-$160. 

Students who qualify for financial aid can choose from various options.

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7. Recording Connection Audio Institute

Denver’s Recording Connection offers courses for those who want to get into music production, record a band, become an audio engineer, or work as a live DJ. 

Students start out as externs in a real-world studio where they are guided by a professional in the field. 

The benefits of receiving one-on-one instruction from an experienced teacher are passed on to the students. 

Students can get tutoring as long as they are enrolled in the program. 

The curriculum includes individualized, practical lab time. 

The newest and most advanced technology will be widely available to students.

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8. Barnett Bicycle Institute

The Barnett Bicycle Institute (BBI) seeks to educate individuals in bicycle mechanics at the professional level. 

At BBI, students receive technical training at the professional level that teaches methodology and quantifiable, repeatable processes. 

Also, Barnett Bicycle Institute is governed and approved by the Division of Private Occupational Schools of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. 

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Enrollment at BBI is contingent upon NBDA membership. If you are not already a member, you can become one for $50 by contacting BBI directly. 

Fees. The cost of tuition varies by program. Prices vary depending on the program and the season from $129 to $1,494.35. (summer or off-season). 

The Level 1 Certification Exam costs $200 in total for tuition and fees. 

The full cost of the Level 2 Certification Exam tuition and fees

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9. Colorado Springs School of Massage

The Colorado Springs School of Massage has received approval from and is governed by the Colorado Department of Private Occupational Schools. 

This trade school in Colorado has been teaching massage since 1982. 

For students, teachers, staff members, and clients receiving student massages, the school supports a holistic healing environment. 

However, students who complete the 600-hour massage therapy certification program will have the knowledge and abilities necessary to apply for and receive a license to practice massage therapy in the state of Colorado. 

To become licensed, students must complete the required coursework, ace the MBLEX National Exam, clear a background check conducted in Colorado, and receive the nod of the Colorado State Department of Regulatory Agencies.

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10. Lincoln College of Technology

Students from all over the nation are being trained at Lincoln Tech Denver for careers in the HVAC, welding, collision repair, diesel, and auto industries. 

For more than 55 years, the Denver campus has provided workforce training. 

With the goal of assisting students in enhancing their career options, Lincoln Tech has partnered with top automakers. 

The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges has granted accreditation to Lincoln Tech Denver. 

Fees. The cost of tuition ranges from $18,200 to $39,341 depending on the program. 

Those who meet the requirements can also receive financial aid.

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11. Pikes Peak Community College

  • LOCATION: Colorado Springs, CO
  • TUITION: $8858

The biggest college in the Pikes Peak region is Pikes Peak Community College, which is based in Colorado Springs. 

PPCC, one of Colorado’s top trade schools, offers more than 150 degrees, including training for technical careers. Associate degrees and certificates in disciplines like allied health, automotive collision repair, culinary arts, and dental assisting are available through PPCC’s vocational programs. 

In a trade or technical profession, an associate of applied science usually takes two years to complete and calls for 60 credits and, students are prepared for careers in their fields through instruction and coursework.

For instance, courses in metal welding and cutting, structural damage repair, and spray equipment operation are needed for the AAS in automotive collision repair. 

In auto shops, graduates are qualified for employment. PPCC boasts an employment rate of 89%. In some programs, there is also a component for an apprenticeship or internship.

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12. Red Rocks Community College

  • TUITION: $8493

The Colorado Community College system includes Red Rocks Community College, which operates campuses in Lakewood and Arvada. 

In a number of trades and technical fields, including auto collision technology, building maintenance, computer information systems, and emergency medical services, RRCC offers associate degrees and certificates. 

The majority of the associate of applied science degrees take two years and 60–63 credits to complete. For certificate programs, 10–40 credits are needed.

In addition to earning their degree, associate degree students frequently complete a certificate program. 

For instance, students can earn a certificate in refrigeration after just 11 credits and an AAS in air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration after 62 credits. 

Fundamentals of gas heating, piping techniques, elementary sheet metal, air conditioning systems, and mechanical codes are just a few of the subjects covered in the courses.

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13. Front Range Community College

  • TUITION: $8941

Westminster, Longmont, and Fort Collins are just a few of the cities throughout Colorado where Front Range Community College has campuses. 

In areas like automation and engineering technology, criminal justice and public safety, medical assisting, and welding technology, the school offers more than 60 career programs and certificates. 

At FRCC, the majority of associate programs take two years and call for 60–63 credits. 

For instance, 60 credits are needed to complete the associate of applied science in medical assisting program, which includes pharmacology, medical record terminology, and medical office administration. 

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Apprenticeships in manufacturing, healthcare, and tree care are available through FRCC.

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14. Community College of Denver

  • TUITION: $6736

One of the foremost trade schools in Colorado.

Several campuses are operated by the Community College of Denver throughout the Denver metro area. 

The Metropolitan State University of Denver and the University of Colorado Denver both share facilities with CCD. 

More than 100 degree and certificate programs are available from CCD. 

Associate degrees in technical and trade fields like applied technology, dental hygiene, electrical engineering, and veterinary technology are available for students to choose from. 

These associate of applied science degrees typically take two years to complete and call for 60 credits.

Also, an internship or an apprenticeship might be necessary for some programs. 

In addition, CCD offers certificate programs that concentrate on particular skills. Some certificates can be finished in as little as six credits over the course of one semester. 

Students studying mechanical design and engineering graphics, for instance, can earn one-semester certificates in SolidWorks and scanned input 3-D modeling.

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15. Arapahoe Community College

  • TUITION: $7610

The first community college to open in the Denver region was Arapahoe Community College, which is situated in Littleton. 

Associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees are among the degree and certificate programs that ACC offers. 

Construction management, health information technology, medical laboratory technology, and emergency service administration are just a few of the professions covered by the school’s technical and trade degrees. 

Additionally, ACC offers apprenticeship programs in water operation, property management, medical assisting, and community association management. 

In a technical or trade field, 60-90 credits are needed for an associate of applied science degree. 

The typical time for students to finish their degrees is two years. 

ACC offers some programs in a hybrid format, with online lectures but in-person lab sessions, especially those that include a lab or hands-on training component. 

ACC additionally provides a number of grants,

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How Much do Traders Make in Colorado?

Numerous trade school careers provide above-average pay and promising job growth. 

The average annual salary for trade school occupations is $55,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Salaries vary depending on factors like role, industry, and location. 

Graduates from trade schools have a variety of career options with varying salary potential. 

Personal care and service occupations, for instance, typically pay $32,700 annually, whereas installation, maintenance, and repair occupations pay over $50,000 annually. 

Additionally, technical and healthcare professions pay about $55,000 a year. 

The salary prospects for graduates of trade schools are also influenced by location. 

According to BLS wage estimates, many trade occupations pay well in Colorado.

How do I become a Trader in Colorado?

There are numerous secondary schools, community colleges, and technical schools in Colorado where students can pursue career and technical education (CTE). 

These programs offer courses in business and marketing, family and consumer sciences, and technology and communications. 

Prospective students can use the search tool below to look into their options for a vocational school in Colorado.

Best Paying Jobs In Colorado with Salary 

  • The average salary for respiratory therapists is over $64,000, while dental hygienists earn over $86,000 annually. 
  • In the state, paralegals earn over $62,000 a year, compared to about $55,000 for electricians. 
  • Personal care and service positions typically pay $32,700 per year, versus over $50,000 for jobs in installation, maintenance, and repair. 
  • Additionally, salaries for technical and healthcare jobs average around $55,000 annually.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is online trade school a possibility? 

Yes. A lot of trade schools provide online vocational training. Also, students who enroll in an online program complete their coursework remotely while completing any on-site requirements locally. 

Are scholarships available for students pursuing a career? 

Yes. Vocational students are eligible for numerous scholarships and grants. Some scholarships demand enrollment at a recognized university. 

When can I submit my application to a trade school?

 Since many trade schools accept applications on a rolling basis, new applicants may do so whenever they like. Additionally, most programs provide a variety of start dates throughout the year.

What is the duration of a trade school? 

Depending on the program, obtaining a certificate or degree from a vocational school typically requires 1-2 years. Throughout their program, students receive both classroom and hands-on training.


Learning a new trade could be the first step to landing your dream job. 

The excellent education received by students at Colorado’s trade schools prepares them for careers in some of the most in-demand fields. 

To train for a career as an automotive technician, bartender, or massage therapist, you can choose from a variety of schools. 

Discover relevant data to assist you in selecting the ideal school (completion rate, employment opportunities, accreditation, admission requirements, and so on).


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