What Is Computer Aided Drafting?

Computer-aided drafting (CAD) utilizes computer systems and software for designing anything from small appliances to buildings. Keep reading to find out more about computer-aided drafting. Schools offering AutoCAD Drafting & Design Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

CAD Overview

The days of designing with pencils, rulers, and paper are long gone. Today designers, such as engineers or architects, use computer-aided drafting (CAD) software as their tool of choice. Computer-aided drafting is also called computer-aided design. CAD is a computer software or system that is used to create 3-D and 2-D representations or models of various tangible objects, such as bridges, buildings, or mechanical parts.

CAD allows designers to produce accurate drawings quickly and to save, revisit, edit, and print them, streamlining the workflow and enhancing productivity. Using computer-aided drafting software generally involves specially trained technicians, or drafters, who use CAD to make technical drawings from sketches made by a designer. Computer-aided drafting software is also used in conjunction with computer-aided manufacturing to change the design into computerized instructions for machines to make the part.


There are many computer-aided drafting software programs produced by a multitude of manufacturers for a variety of purposes. Programs are available free, as shareware, or may cost several thousand dollars, such as Autodesk AutoCAD, which is the standard CAD software used by many engineers and designers. CAD software can be used on a PC, Mac, or larger systems. Computer-aided drafting programs are designed specifically for engineers, architects, fashion designers, theater lighting designers, archaeologists, and woodworkers, as well as many other types of designers.

Education and Training

Degrees and certificates are available from both technical schools and four-year colleges. Those who are interested in pursuing a career that involves using computer-aided drafting software should have good communication skills and a strong background in math and science. For individuals, such as drafters, opportunities for employment and chances for advancement should be best for those with strong skills in computer-aided drafting, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov).

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:

Popular Schools

  • ITT Technical Institute

    ITT Technical Institute responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at ITT Technical Institute:

    • Associate Programs

    Online and Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Anywhere: Online Campus
    • Alabama: Bessemer, Madison, Mobile
    • Arkansas: Little Rock
    • Arizona: Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson
    • California: Clovis, Concord, Corona, Culver City, Lathrop, Oakland, Orange, Oxnard, Rancho Cordova, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Dimas, Sylmar, Torrance
    • Colorado: Aurora, Westminster
    • Florida: Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Lake Mary, Miami, Pensacola, Tallahassee, Tampa, West Palm Beach
    • Georgia: Atlanta, Douglasville, Duluth, Kennesaw
    • Iowa: Clive
    • Idaho: Boise
    • Illinois: Mount Prospect, Oak Brook, Orland Park
    • Indiana: Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Merrillville, Newburgh, South Bend
    • Kansas: Wichita
    • Kentucky: Lexington, Louisville
    • Louisiana: Baton Rouge, Saint Rose
    • Maryland: Hanover, Owings Mills
    • Michigan: Canton, Dearborn, Grand Rapids, Southfield, Swartz Creek, Troy
    • Minnesota: Brooklyn Center, Eden Prairie
    • Missouri: Arnold, Earth City, Kansas City, Springfield
    • Mississippi: Madison
    • North Carolina: Cary, Charlotte, Durham, High Point
    • Nebraska: Omaha
    • New Mexico: Albuquerque
    • Nevada: Henderson, North Las Vegas
    • New York: Albany, Getzville, Liverpool
    • Ohio: Akron, Columbus, Dayton, Hilliard, Maumee, Norwood, Strongsville, Warrensville Heights, Youngstown
    • Oklahoma: Oklahoma City, Tulsa
    • Oregon: Portland, Salem
    • South Carolina: Columbia, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, North Charleston
    • Tennessee: Chattanooga, Cordova, Johnson City, Knoxville, Nashville
    • Texas: Arlington, Austin, Desoto, Houston, Richardson, San Antonio, Waco, Webster
    • Utah: Murray
    • Virginia: Chantilly, Norfolk, Richmond, Salem, Springfield
    • Washington: Everett, Seattle, Spokane Valley
    • Wisconsin: Greenfield, Madison
    • West Virginia: Huntington
  • Penn Foster Career School

    Penn Foster Career School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster Career School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Sanford-Brown

    Sanford-Brown responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Sanford-Brown:

    • Associate Programs

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: San Antonio
  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

 More Schools