Have you ever opened a cookbook to make a recipe, yet found that you had none of the ingredients? Perhaps the recipe calls for a difficult technique, with a piece of equipment you don’t keep in your kitchen. What once started out as a great idea to make a fun meal now seems confusing and like more work than you expected.

Similarly, when you want to begin a job in an interesting field, you need to be equipped with the right knowledge and skills to get started. If you walked in on the first day and had no idea what to expect or to do, you are behind.

While there is always room to grow and improve in your career, it definitely helps to have the basic requirements and expectations to succeed. That’s why learning a job first-hand, in real-life settings makes all the difference.

How IntelliTec Students Learn: Our Real World Approach

At IntelliTec College, we understand that the trades our students receive training in require a certain set of skills, certifications, and proof that you can excel in the field. To help students hit the ground running towards a new career, the curricula we offer include real job training.

Along with the important information you learn in the classroom, you gain practical skills that prepare you to start your career right away. How do we do it? See just a few of the ways we accomplish this below!


One of the most common ways that our students gain real career experience is through our externship program. Because IntelliTec is invested in the communities where we are located, we have great connections with businesses, clinics, and more around town.

Thanks to our instructors who know their industries well, and thanks to our helpful career services department, students are able to connect with externship hosts. These externships, offered in a variety of settings for different programs, allow students to work alongside industry professionals, gaining experience and seeing how the day-to-day business is handled.

During your externship, you will shadow, learn from, and begin working alongside a worker in your industry. Students are able to see what their future career looks like and how coursework affects the ability to perform in the workplace.

Our Salons

For students in our cosmetology and massage therapy programs, we offer a truly hands-on approach to honing their skills.

In Grand Junction and Pueblo, we have two cosmetology salons, which are open for customers to come in and let students try out their craft. The salons offer hair, nail, waxing, and skin services to the public.

As an affordable option for our communities, these salons also give great real-life training to students. We ensure that students have had enough experience before working on a customer, but also let them do services to learn tricks and techniques that they cannot learn in the classroom.

Click here to access our cosmetology salon’s page and to learn more about the services offered to customers and the experience students gain!

Similarly, our massage therapy students have their own massage clinics in Grand Junction and Pueblo, too! While some massage services at upscale spas can cost quite a bit of money, our services in the massage clinic provide the same relaxing experience for a fraction of the cost.

Students practice their therapeutic skills with an array of massages – from 30 to 90 minute offerings in various massage options, such as popular Swedish and Deep Tissue massage therapies.

The public is invited to come in, get pampered, and leave feeling renewed, while helping out a massage therapist in training! Click here to visit the massage clinic’s page.


For science-based programs, such as medical, dental, pharmacy, and nursing assistants, laboratories offer real experience for the workplace. Getting into the true science of your new career allows you to find out how medicines work and how to make solutions while on the job.

Additionally, our medically-based programs are able to work within our simulated clinic settings, which are offered on all of our campuses. Inside the clinics, you get a true feel for what it is like to work alongside fellow professionals, how the day flows, and how to handle emergencies.

With these experiences, students in the medical field can not only learn faster, but they also can get a better sense of what type of work they would like to pursue. By giving laboratory and clinic settings at the college, along with externship opportunities in hospitals and other medical settings, IntelliTec allows students to find their true passion and decide on a career that fits their personality.

Equipment and Technology

For some of our programs, the right technology and tools provides enormous value to students. When you are familiar with all of the latest updates in your industry, you can find a job that is innovative and able to adapt, giving you a long-term career where you can always grow as technologies change.

As an example, our new Computer Systems Technician program was recently started to keep up with the booming tech field. Our students are able to complete their own labs, working on actual computer systems and finding solutions to some of the most common industry problems.

For students in programs like our HVAC & Refrigeration or Automotive Technician, having simulated equipment and the right tools makes all the difference in how students learn. HVAC students even receive their own toolkit through the program, which allows them to work with the real-world tools, become familiar with them, and fix issues that arise.

For Automotive Technician students, IntelliTec has an array of Snap-On tools, allowing students to run diagnostics and become familiar with one of the leading brands used in the industry today. In addition, automotive technician students receive their own set of tools upon graduation to ensure they are equipped for their new career!

Additionally, for programs like Personal Training, understanding the equipment and how it affects the body and a client’s results is crucial. In addition to understanding the theory behind their work, personal trainers get hands-on learning in our spacious fitness facility, which is equipped with state-of-the-art practice training equipment. Having the right equipment allows trainers to see it in action, understand its impact, and make recommendations to clients based on their experience.

Think Outside the Classroom with IntelliTec

There’s a reason why IntelliTec College provides more than just a classroom setting. We all learn in different ways, but one of the most effective ways to learn is by doing!

Trying something out for yourself, especially for a new career path, means having consistent practice, becoming familiar, and feeling confident. If we taught just a classroom alone, our students would not have the practical experience and exposure that a potential employer wants.

Through IntelliTec’s programs, students get a distinct advantage above other job seekers. Instead of coming into a job as an entry-level candidate, you have the skills and real-life experience. This allows you to tell an employer directly what you are good at, what you love, and where you see your career headed with them.

Curious about a certain program and how hands-on learning can help you? Browse our programs here, and contact our Career Services department to learn more!

Natalie Huber: Pharmacy Technician program graduate of IntelliTec College in Grand Junction
Natalie Huber: Proud graduate of IntelliTec College in Grand Junction. Natalie is currently employed at Montrose Memorial Hospital, where she served her externship as part of the Pharmacy Technician program at IntelliTec.

After Years of Dead-End Jobs, IntelliTec Pharmacy Technician Graduate Gains a New Lease on Life With a Degree Offering Exciting Opportunities

It is never easy to make a complete life change, but to do so with little knowledge of what the future may hold is a whole other story.

Natalie Huber signed up for pharmacy technician classes at IntelliTec College in Grand Junction with “zero knowledge” about a career in pharmacy. However, she knew one thing: she wanted a job that was not dependent on the ups and downs of the economy.

“A huge challenge for me was that when I started taking courses I knew nothing about the pharmacy world. But I hit the ground running by studying hard to make my dream come true. Pair that with excellent teaching and courses geared toward bringing a student up to standards in the pharmacology field, and you can see how IntelliTec worked for me,” says Huber.

Carving Out Study Time is Key to School Success

Huber worked part-time at Safeway in the evenings in order to focus on school and raising her children during the day. Finding time to study meant tackling the books in the very early morning hours.

With the burden of housing costs relieved (her boyfriend let Huber and her children share a home rent-free), she made school a priority.

“Going back to school was my #1 focus [besides my children]. I had to find time to study, even if it was 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. I tell people who are thinking about going back to school to enjoy the time while learning because it goes by quickly. The late study nights and long days may seem challenging, but if you want it badly enough you can do anything,” says Huber.

Sometimes Your Future is Yet to Be Imagined

The pharmacy technician externship not only allowed Huber to practice her skills on-the-job, it helped land her a job once she completed it. She externed at Montrose Memorial Hospital, and they hired her once she finished her externship hours.

“A year ago I had no idea I’d land my dream job. I didn’t even know what my dream job was then, and now I’m right where I want to be: working directly with patients when they are admitted to the hospital. I’m so excited to be part of this constantly growing career with opportunities,” exclaims Huber.

Have the Courage to Make a Choice and Take a Chance to Make a Change, If Not It’ll All Just Stay the Same.

Life is about choices on so many levels, and no one knows that better than recent Pharmacy Technician college graduate Taeler Monroe. Monroe was so determined to complete her pharmacy technician certificate, she drove 40 miles each way to attend classes at IntelliTec College in Grand Junction.

“She never missed a day. Even in the snowy, winter months Taeler maintained perfect attendance,” says Allison McKissen, Pharmacy Technician Program Supervisor. “I’m so proud of her drive and her determination to make a better life for herself and her son. She’s mature beyond her years,” McKissen adds.

Once she completed her nine-month Pharmacy Technician training program, Monroe interviewed for several jobs and received three offers. She was able to quit her job in the food service industry and accepted a position at a retail pharmacy with full-time hours.

“Now I come home at the end of the day and think to myself ‘I did it!’ I’m off all government help. I have a son. We have a nice place. And now I have an amazing job where we aren’t living check-to-check. Sometimes I get emotional because I would have never imagined my life like this right now,” explains Monroe.

Pharmacy Technician college graduate Taeler Monroe.
Pharmacy Technician graduate of IntelliTec College in Grand Junction: Taeler Monroe and her son.

If You Really Want It, You Find a Way to Make it Work

Taeler believes her struggles were no different than those of most students. However, she was committed to finishing what she started, regardless of her very real exhaustion from motherhood, work and academic demands. She didn’t just finish, though; she finished strong, earning a National Technical Honor Society certificate as well as straight A’s.

“I missed one day because I had my wisdom teeth removed. The next day, I went right back to class. Also, I’m the youngest to both graduate the Pharmacy Technician program and pass my national exam,” says Monroe.

To Get Somewhere You Have Never Been, You Have to Do Something You Have Never Done

“They [IntelliTec College] know you have a life. They know some of us have kids. And almost all of us work. I was really happy to discover they were flexible enough to have options that worked around my life,” explains Monroe.

There were days she struggled to manage such a hectic schedule. Between her commitments to her son, her job, and her classes Monroe questioned if she could finish her degree. She’d arrive home close to midnight most evenings completely exhausted, and wonder how she’d ever keep this going.

“Then I’d look at my sleeping son and think about his future. It would reenergize me every time,” comments Monroe.

It takes courage to take that first step, acknowledges Monroe, and then the ability to stick to a commitment. But the rewards are empowering personally and professionally. She looks ahead to her future and says excitedly,

“I have goals now. I’d like to further my career and eventually work in a hospital. But my immediate plan is to buy a house. I never thought I’d be barely 20 years old with such grown-up plans!”

About the Pharmacy Technician program in Grand Junction

The Pharmacy Technician program in Grand Junction gives you hands-on career training to earn your professional certificate, designed to be completed in nine months. Feel satisfied you are making a contribution to patient wellness as you learn to work with clinical laboratory equipment and develop hands-on pharmacy technician skills. Complete an externship and be prepared to sit for the PTCB Pharmacy Technician certification exam.

About IntelliTec College in Grand Junction

IntelliTec College in Grand Junction offers hands-on career training in the automotive technician, business/accounting, cosmetology/beauty, dental assisting, medical assisting, pharmacy technician and refrigeration & HVAC technician fields with associate degree (occupational) and professional certificate programs. Request information at or call 1-800-748-2282.

Pharmacy Technician are now being trained at IntelliTec College
Pharmacy Technician Training comes to the Western Slope

Press Release – For Immediate Release

Grand Junction, Colorado – Aspiring Pharmacy Technicians can now receive dedicated training at IntelliTec College in Grand Junction. The new Pharmacy Technician training program is a Professional Certificate program designed to be completed in only 9 months. Students will train using clinical lab equipment in a real-world pharmacy setting, while preparing to sit for industry certification exams.

Continue reading “IntelliTec College Prepares Pharmacy Technicians for In-Demand Careers in Colorado”

Career Path Choices
What career path is right for you? Learn the benefits of accelerated career training.

Are you ready for a new career but are unsure of what you want to do? Do you want to make a living doing something you love and are genuinely good at?

Then look into associate degree (occupational) careers or professional certificate careers.

  • These career paths will take you less time than getting your degree through a community college or traditional university.
  • Most programs will also prepare you to sit for professional certification exams; having certifications generally make you more employable.

Associate Degree and Professional Certificate Careers are Rewarding and In-demand

You can complete training for Associate Degree (Occupational) or Professional Certificate careers in only 12-18 months. Explore this sample of six career paths that have positive employment growth:

Continue reading “What Career Path is Right for You?”