Las Cruces, NM (population: 95,663) has seven gunsmithing schools within a 500-mile radius of its city center. Rio Salado College, the highest ranked school in this group with a gunsmithing program, has a total student population of 20,865. It is the 3728th highest ranked school in the USA and the 50th highest in the state of Arizona (#1 is Northern Arizona University).
Gunsmithing students from Las Cruces schools who go on to become gunsmithers, gunsmiths, research and development machinists, machinists, etc. have a good chance at finding employment. For example, there are 1,268,930 people working as maintenance and repair workers, general alone in the US, and their average annual salary is $36,520. Also, Machinists make on average $38,940 per year and there are about 380,720 of them employed in the US today. In fact, in the Las Cruces area alone, there are 50 employed machinists earning an average salary of $43,970. Maintenance and repair workers, general in this area earn $25,420/yr and there are 640 employed.
Las Cruces lies in Dona Ana county, which is one of the 23 counties in New Mexico. Overall, the Las Cruces area has 65,880 total employed workers according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a 1.3% unemployment rate, $18.00/hr average worker wage, and a $37,450 average annual salary. Thus, about 9.644 out of every 1000 jobs in Las Cruces are held by maintenance and repair workers, general, and 0.691/1000 are held by machinists.
Of the 7 gunsmithing schools with a 500-mile radius of Las Cruces, only 1 has a student population over 10k. After taking into account tuition, living expenses, and financial aid, Rio Salado College comes out as the most expensive ($11,005/yr) for gunsmithing students, with Yavapai College as the lowest, reported at only $4,664/yr.