Architectural CAD Technician Courses and Programs

Architectural CAD technicians create digital images of building plans, and they're part of the team that plans and constructs new homes and commercial buildings. Learn about the 1- and 2-year degree programs offered in this field, and explore the typical courses you'd take. Get info on what you should look for in an architectural CAD technician program. Schools offering Building Information Modeling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need To Know

Architectural CAD technicians make blueprints using computer-aided drafting in order to contribute to building projects. Becoming an architectural CAD technician requires an associate degree in the field, taking courses such as graphics animation and manual blueprint drawing, work experience, and training with CAD software. It will be best to find a technical school that offers training with the most useful software such as SolidWorks, along with having credits that you can transfer to a professional bachelor's degree program.

Degrees Certificate or associate degree in architectural CAD
Courses Fundamentals of CAD drafting, graphics animation, workforce staging, commercial building construction
Schools 2-year community colleges and technical and vocational schools

What Is An Architectural CAD Technician?

Architectural CAD technicians use computer-aided drafting (CAD) technology to create blueprints from conceptual designs using special computer programs. Working as an integral part of a design team, you'd work with architects, engineers, construction managers and mechanical contractors to make sure a layout correctly accounts for all elements necessary to complete a building project. Your job includes interpreting and digitizing drawings provided by a licensed architect to develop construction blueprints for each building trade, allowing for quick and efficient changes or modifications.

How Do I Enter the Field?

Several schools offer certificate and associate degree programs in architectural CAD that prepare you for an entry-level job in the architecture field. If you're interested in eventually becoming an architect, these programs provide you with basic training in creating designs but focus more on mastering CAD software and reading technical specifications.

You can find generalized programs that give you basic, well-rounded training in creating CAD drawings and blueprints, and some schools provide separate certificate programs that allow you to focus on a specific aspect of the profession, such as 3-dimensional design or modeling, manufacturing and machining or a particular CAD application.

What Types of Courses Will I Take?

Vocational schools and community colleges offer a variety of programs in architectural CAD design that include fundamental to advanced training in the field. You'll prepare several CAD drawings to create a portfolio that you can use when looking for employment after graduation. Certificate programs might focus on specialized training, though some common courses you'll take in both degree and certificate programs include the following:

  • Fundamentals of CAD drafting
  • Graphics animation
  • Workforce staging
  • Manual blueprint drawing
  • Commercial building construction
  • Flat drawings
  • Software for creating 3D drawings
  • Editing techniques for drawings

What Should I Look for in a Program?

Because architectural CAD is completely computer-based, it is important that you find a school with excellent technical resources. If you prefer to learn how to use a particular software application, such as AutoCAD or SolidWorks, ensure the school not only offers the training but includes the most recent version of the software. Some schools also have placement programs to help you get a job after you complete the program. If you want to advance into the field of architecture, you might want to find a school that allows you to apply your course credit toward a professional bachelor's degree program.

What Else Should I Consider?

Faculty could also play an important part in your academic decision. Programs taught by licensed architects might provide you with greater insight into the field and the role of CAD technicians in real-world situations. Additionally, coursework that covers the elemental aspects of some of the construction trades or mechanical requirements could give you a broader understanding of the types of professions you'll be working with.

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:
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