Online Architectural Drafting Degree Programs

Architectural drafting programs are unlikely to be offered online because of its interactive studio requirements. Get information about classes that relate to this field and are available online, and learn about opportunities for further education or employment after graduation. Schools offering Building Information Modeling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Why Can't I Earn an Architectural Drafting Degree Completely Online?

You're unlikely to find architectural drafting degree programs offered fully online due to the hands-on nature of the coursework. On-campus or partially online programs teach you how to create the sketches and layouts that are later used by construction teams to erect buildings. Learning these skills typically involves taking a number of studio classes that require you to complete assignments and projects in a workshop-like environment. You often must work on 3-dimensional models using architectural tools beyond just a computer.

Many schools maintain small class sizes and have you work under the guidance of faculty members. Although you won't be able to complete a degree online, you can take evening courses to fulfill your associate's degree program requirements if you have family or work commitments during the day. You can also take a few of the introductory architecture and CAD classes online, which will show you how to use AutoCAD software to produce building designs via computer.

Online Availability Online programs are not available, though some individual classes may be offered online
Program Levels Associate's degree is most common
Prerequisites High school diploma or GED
Common Courses CAD drafting and design, building codes, sketching, residential and commercial drafting, blueprint reading
Possible Careers Architectural drafter, CAD technician

What Levels of Study Are Available in Architectural Drafting?

The associate's degree is the most common architectural drafting degree level. You can earn your associate's degree in either architectural drafting or computer-aided design, which both prepare you for a career in architectural drafting. During the course of these on-campus programs, you will learn about the architecture of both commercial and private buildings, and you will use computers or hand sketches to produce the architectural designs for buildings before their construction.

The associate's degree program can also help prepare you for pursuing your bachelor's degree in the related field of architectural engineering. If you decide to become an architect, you'll eventually want to earn your Bachelor of Architecture and possibly your Master of Architecture.

How Do I Apply?

To apply to the associate's degree program in architectural drafting, you typically must hold a high school diploma or GED and meet an overall GPA requirement. Some programs might require you to take a general math and reading proficiency test and submit your standardized test scores.

What Classes Will I Take?

Architectural drafting courses show you how to design building layouts both by hand and by computer. The program emphasizes strong computer science and mathematical skills, along with good attention to detail. You will also learn about common construction practices and the steps that occur after preliminary architectural designs are completed. Typical architectural drafting class topics include the following:

  • CAD drafting
  • CAD design
  • Residential drafting
  • Commercial drafting
  • Building codes
  • Drawing to scale
  • Advanced sketching
  • Understanding blueprints

What Can I Do with My Degree?

If you earn your associate's degree in architectural drafting, you can find employment as an architectural drafter. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that drafting positions were expected to decline between 2014-2024, at a projected rate of 3%. However, the specific field of architectural and civil drafting should offer more job opportunities than other areas of drafting, according to the BLS. The BLS also states that those with their associate's degree will have the best chances at finding employment. The BLS reported that architectural and civil drafters earned an average yearly salary of $52,480 in 2014.

You can also become an architectural or CAD technician with your architectural drafting associate's degree. PayScale.com reported that most CAD technicians earned an hourly wage of $13.06-$25.81 and a salary of $28,850-$58,481 in 2016.

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:

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