Colorado can be a tempting destination for welders for a number of reasons. Communities are booming, and the growing economy is demanding skilled labor for both construction and industrial activities. Learn how to get a welding certificate in Colorado; welding educational and job opportunities in the state; and salary rages for welders in the Denver metro area.
Does Colorado require a welding license?
In a word, no. But it’s not quite that simple. There are so many types of welding, and so many different types of jobs that require welding, that offering licensure would be overwhelming for the Colorado state bureaucracy. Instead, employers are left to use their own standards in hiring. Although it is possible to get a job as a welder straight out of high school, most employers will require previous work experience, which may include professional training and/or certification.
What Types of Certification Do Colorado Employers Look for in Welders?
If you want welding certification that will impress employers in Colorado, you will want to seriously consider AWS and ASME certifications. AWS stands for the American Welding Society, and earning a certification from that trade organization can help you find better employment and earn more money as a welder. Likewise, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers offers welding certification. They also offer online courses for practical welding techniques and applications.
How Long Is Welding School in Colorado?
One of the most popular welding schools in Colorado is the Community College of Denver. Due to the rigorous nature of the courses, students can expect to spend two years learning the basics to prepare for an entry-level job in welding if they attend the Community College of Denver’s welding school program.
Graduates receive a Fabrication Welder Certificate.
Another popular option for welding education is Front Range Community College in the Denver suburb of Westminster. At this school you can earn an associate’s degree in welding and/or a Welding Fundamentals Certificate. Whether you’re chiefly interested in creative metalworking or arc welding, Range Community College offers a program to suit you.
Do Welders Make Good Money in Colorado?
Colorado welders are among the higher-paid welders in the U.S., but wages/salaries in Colorado don't reach the heights they do in costly coastal cities.
SkillsetGroup Salary Guide for the Denver metro area shows median wages for welders are about $51,000 or $23-$24 per hour. That's well below median welder wages in the San Francisco bay area, for instance. The average welder there makes about $63,000 per year, according to SkillsetGroup's Salary Guide.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there are 4,740 welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers currently employed in Colorado.
Where in Colorado do Welders Make the Most Money?
If you’re looking for the highest-earning jobs in welding in Colorado, you will want to look to the big city, Denver. Denver is home to the highest-earning welding jobs in the state, with jobs starting at $40,000/year, and going as high as $62,000/year.
Fort Collins also offers its share of high-earning welder wages. Workers hoping to earn the highest wages as welders would do well to consider certified training in MIG, TIG, and arc welding techniques.
What other schools offer welding certification in Colorado?
Although the community colleges around Denver are some of the most popular places to earn welding certifications, they are by no means the only places offering welding certificates.
- Between Fort Collins and Denver is the town of Greeley, and Greeley’s Aims Community College offers both a certificate in pipe welding and a certificate in welding technician, as well as an associate’s degree in welding technology.
- To the West of the Rockies is Grand Junction, CO, home of Colorado Mesa University. CMU offers both a certificate and a degree in welding. Right between Denver and Grand Junction lies Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs, CO. They offer a certificate in basic welding and cutting.
- Back in the Denver area, aside from the community colleges you can choose the Emily Griffith Technical College, which has been accredited since 1975. They provide welding certificates. So does the Lincoln College of Technology–Denver.
- Far to the east of the state in Fort Morgan, CO, Morgan Community College specifically offers certification in Shielded Metal Arc (Stick) welding. Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, CO offers both a degree and a certificate in welding.