Colorado School of Trades

Explore Education Options that Lead Straight to a Career: Colorado School of Trades

Colorado School of Trades

About Colorado School of Trades

Colorado School of Trades is a private for-profit school in Lakewood, Colorado. They focus exclusively on gunsmithing and they offer an associate’s degree. They have developed a unique hands-on system utilizing project-oriented and customer-provided training geared to educate people who want to become accomplished gunsmiths. They use a personal approach that allows students to acquire job skills that will prepare them to enter the workforce as an entry-level gunsmith. 

The school has a 20,000 sq. ft. facility that can take 160 students. Classes run for 14 months and they do not use a traditional school calendar. Students go Monday through Thursday from 7 am to 3 pm. 

Colorado School of Trades is located in Lakewood, Colorado in the heart of Jefferson County, just outside of Denver. The cost of living is a little higher than the average of the rest of the United States. 

The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,528 which is higher than in some places but can still be affordable for those receiving GI Bill benefits. 

Lakewood is 5 miles to Denver, CO, 62 miles to Colorado Springs, and 330 miles to Albuquerque, NM. 

Top Program for military-connected students at Colorado School of Trades

The Colorado School of Trades only has one program, Associate of Occupational Studies Specializing in Gunsmithing.

Within this program, you would take the Basic Course, which includes topics such as Analytical Thinking and Cycles of Operations. You would also take The Machine Shop course which includes topics such as the History and Use of Firearms and Stockmaking. The program also has the Stockmaking Design and Function course which includes topics such as Business and Ballistics and Handloading, and a Design and Functional II course. 

Career Information for the Top Program at Colorado School of Trades

Career options for a job with an Associate of Occupational Studies Specializing in Gunsmithing

Job Title | Estimated Average Salary

Gunsmith | $47,035

Firearms Instructor | $60,467

Firearms Specialist| $49,825 

Police Property Specialist | $47,890

Firearms Sales Associate | $30,860

Most Common Employment Benefits for an Associate of Occupational Studies Specializing in Gunsmithing

  • Social Security
  • 401K
  • Time off
  • Pension
  • Disability
  • Healthcare

Salary and job information from Salary’s website.

Why should I go to a trade or vocational school?

If you decide to go to a trade or vocational school, they often have programs that can be completed within 2 years and will help their students land jobs in their area of study. This allows you to get the education you need and get job placement assistance to start your career off strong. Most trade and vocational schools have partnerships with companies in the local area and around the country to ensure their graduates move on to fulfilling careers after graduation. 

Active-Duty Military Members

If you are an active-duty military member transitioning, this route allows you time to use your Tuition Assistance benefits to ensure you have career options after leaving the military community. You can begin the education process 2 years before your projected transition date. Right before your transition or soon after you will be able to get career placement assistance from the trade or vocational school you attended to help land your next career.


Using your benefits earned through service is a big decision. Be strategic in where and how you use those benefits. Trade and vocational schools allow you to find a career that is focused and sustainable. Trade and vocational schools are more affordable allowing you to limit or have zero out-of-pocket costs. Not to mention direct connections into the industry of your choice. 

Military Spouses

If you are a military spouse looking to find a career that can ensure job security at each assignment, consider exploring education programs at a trade or vocational school. Often education programs at these schools can lead to career paths that can be found on or near military installations around the world. 

Ways to Save on Your Education at Colorado School of Trades

  • Approved For the GI Bill
  • Approved For Tuition Assistance
  • Scholarships & Grants


Learn more about Colorado School of Trades, see what programs are offered online, and contact the school directly.