How to Become a CNC Machinist in Colorado

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How to Become a CNC Machinist in Colorado

Are you interested in working as a CNC Machinist?

If you live in Colorado this could be a good option for you.

While still new, this profession has gained popularity over the past years.

To learn more about what this job entails, make sure to check out the article below.

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You will also find out what the requirements are and where you can train.

CNC Machinist Job Description

If you don’t know what CNC means, it’s good to know it stands for Computer Numerical Control.

As a CNC machinist, you will get to work with machines that are controlled by computers.

These devices are usually used to cut hard materials.

These materials include metal or plastic.

The most used machines in the field are:

  • Lathes,
  • Mills,
  • Grinders

Naturally, you will also have some daily tasks to complete.

These daily duties include:

  • Prepare machinery for operation
  • Develop and validate programming codes
  • Fine-tune settings as required
  • Analyze blueprints and schematics to grasp component requirements
  • Validate finished components against specified criteria

CNC Machinist Job Requirements

Now that you know what you need to do, you should also have an idea of the requirements.

Some of the requirements to work as a machinist are:

  • Completing secondary education
  • Maintaining a 2.5 GPA or higher
  • Earning a degree or certification relevant to the industry
  • Gaining practical experience
  • Demonstrating proficiency in essential skills

You will find out more about the skills you need to possess by checking out the FAQ.

Becoming a CNC Machinist in Colorado

Many jobs require specific training, and a CNC Machinist job is no different.

So, what are the steps to getting the right training?

Step 1 – Education

Finishing the basic education entails completing high school and getting a diploma.

If getting a high school diploma is not attainable, a GED is a viable alternative.

Once you get the high school diploma or the GED, it is a good idea to enroll in a post-secondary school.

This school can provide a certification or a degree related to the field that will help you get a job.

You can get to learn more about the institutions where you can train in Colorado below.

Step 2 – Experience

Job experience is essential, and it’s not possible to get experience only by getting a degree.

But, you should know that the schools offering degrees sometimes also provide apprenticeships.

As an apprentice, you can work with experienced machinists and get practical experience in using the machines.

Not only that, but many times, apprenticeships are paid, so you will also make money while training.

Step 3 – Get The NIMS Certification

This certification is offered by the National Institute of Metalworking Skills.

The NIMS does not require renewal, so once you get it, you can use it for as long as you need.

More so, the exam you need to take is available online, for free.

If you don’t pass the exam the first time around, you can always take it again as you are not limited in this regard.

Getting a certification will provide better job opportunities overall.

Step 4 – Apply for a Job

Once you are done with your apprenticeship, a good idea is to start searching for a job in the field.

While the school you trained at can sometimes help you get hired, many times you may need to find one yourself.

This is however not difficult as there are many such jobs in Colorado.

CNC Machinist Training in Colorado

You already know that as a machinist you need some particular skills.

These skills can only be mastered once you get the right training.

In Colorado, there are a few institutions that offer the training you might be interested in.

Community College of Denver

The CCD Advanced Manufacturing Center is a large, 33,280 square feet facility, offering top degree and certificate programs in both machining and welding.

CCD also provides classes of continuing education courses for CNC machinists.

It is located 4 miles away from the main Auraria campus and provides convenient accessibility for students.

Some of the training includes:

  • HEIDENHAIN CNC Programming
  • Mastercam
  • True Position in GD&T
  • Wire EDM training.

You will also get experience in these welding processes:

  • FCAW
  • GMAW
  • GTAW,
  • SMAW

The program includes classes on some cutting techniques:

  • CAC-A,
  • OFC,
  • PAC.
School Name Address
Community College of Denver 800 Curtis Street, Denver, CO 80204,

CNC Machinist Salary in Colorado

You may be wondering how much you can make as a CNC machinist in this state.

In Colorado, you can expect an annual salary of $51,190.

Keep in mind that your earnings can be influenced by the experience and education you have.

Below you can see a list of the cities where salaries for CNC machinists are higher.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Snowmass $52,390
Twin Lakes $52,150
Almont $51,980
Boulder $51,950
Erie $51,820
Allenspark $51,750
Bond $51,680
Jefferson $51,580
Toponas $51,580
Dupont $51,490

Regional Salary in Colorado

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Boulder, CO320$59,910$28.8$82,300$38,730
Colorado Springs, CO410$51,490$24.76$68,100$35,940
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO1,420$54,760$26.33$75,560$38,080
Fort Collins, CO380$53,520$25.73$71,460$38,610
Grand Junction, CO100$48,850$23.48$66,650$34,180
Greeley, CO260$48,100$23.13$65,120$32,560
Pueblo, CO110$50,060$24.07$64,070$37,100
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Machinists, OCC Code 51-4041, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What skills does a CNC machinist need in Colorado?

There are more than a handful of skills you’ll need for this job.

Here are some of them:

  • Great attention to details
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Ability to read, understand, and follow blueprints
  • Willingness to strive for perfection
  • Understanding math and geometry

Can I enroll in an online training program for CNC machinists in Colorado?

To be brief, no, you can’t.

This is because you’ll also need to practice what you learn, in a lab equipped with CNC machines.

It’s difficult to get access to such a lab without attending an in-person training program.

How long will it take to train as a CNC machinist in Colorado?

This depends on the type of diploma you want to obtain.

Usually, a certificate program takes about a few months.

Those opting for an associate’s degree will have to study and train for 2 years.

USA CNC Machinist by State

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