Computer Aided Drafting Associate Degree

Associate's degree programs in computer-aided drafting (CAD) teach students to use computer programs to create technical drawings of architectural and engineering designs. Learn about the courses available in CAD degree programs, as well as career information for drafters. Schools offering AutoCAD Drafting & Design Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Computer-Aided Drafting Associate's Degree?

Computers are highly technical and the application of computers in this field is highly specialized and sought after. An Associate of Applied Science in Computer-Aided Drafting degree program will train the student in this growing field by giving them the skills to work as a general drafter in the design industry. Designers can be used in nearly every business field, and industry degrees in computer-aided drafting can be utilized in a diverse number of industries. A person with this degree can create designs for buildings and structures, as well as general consumer products.

Key Skills Use computers to develop designs for general consumer products, structures and buildings
Common Courses Drafting fundamentals, solid modeling, tool design, civil drafting, digital imaging
Job Outlook 3% decline* for all drafters projected for 2014-2024
Annual Salary $52,720* for all drafters in 2015

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn?

Students looking to enter the design field by earning CAD associate's degree will have to pass courses preparing them for producing architectural, engineering and drafting materials for use in structural engineering and design. The list below is a sample of the classes required:

  • Drafting fundamentals
  • Solid modeling
  • Tool design
  • Computer-aided engineering
  • Structural drafting
  • Mechanical drafting
  • Civil drafting
  • Digital imaging
  • Electro-mechanical drafting and design
  • Drafting and design for land development

What Is My Salary and Job Outlook?

According to reports published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), drafters' salaries may vary depending upon factors like location and specialization. In 2015, architectural and civil drafters earned a median annual wage of $50,710 per year, and the 2015 median annual wage for employees in all drafting careers was $52,720.

Because CAD software has made drafters more efficient, employment in the field is expected to decline 3% from 2014-2024. As demand for drafting professionals decrease, competition for available jobs will increase. CAD software requires someone to build and maintain large databases, so prospective employees with strong training and experience in CAD software will have an advantage in the job market; this means those who have earned computer-aided drafting associate's degree will be more appealing to employers.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • The Art Institutes

    The Art Institutes responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The Art Institutes:

    • Associate Programs

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Arlington
  • Northern Michigan University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Marquette
  • Dunwoody College of Technology

    Campus Locations:

    • Minnesota: Minneapolis
  • Waubonsee Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Sugar Grove
  • Washtenaw Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Ann Arbor
  • Virginia Highlands Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Abingdon
  • Tulsa Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Oklahoma: Tulsa
  • Triton College

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: River Grove
  • Ferris State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Big Rapids
  • Tidewater Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Norfolk