Bachelor's Degree Programs in CAD Drafting

Learn about careers in computer-aided design (CAD) drafting and specialties in the field. Find out about the curriculum of bachelor's degree programs, and discover your online course options. Schools offering AutoCAD Drafting & Design Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are the Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree in CAD Drafting?

A CAD drafting program requires technical core courses in information systems or production materials, along with courses on CAD applications. If you're in a program specializing in industrial technology, you'll need several management courses as they relate to the industrial workplace. Some drafting bachelor's degree programs may require you to hold an associate's degree in drafting or a related field. Most schools require you to maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher.

Program Requirements Technical core courses and minimum GPA; associate's degree may be required for admission
Common Courses Advanced geometry, advanced engineering graphics, manufacturing with CAD, operations management, technical sketching designs
Online Availability Some colleges do offer programs online, or may allow students to complete the final two years of the program entirely online while they gain work experience
Career Possibilities Architectural, electrical, civil, mechanical or aeronautical drafting
Professional Certification Voluntary certification is available that may enhance employment prospects

What Will I Learn?

As a CAD drafting student, you'll learn the theory and practice of drafting and design using CAD software. You'll learn to apply the principles of CAD drafting to different areas of mechanical technology, including machine and product design, technical freehand drawing, residential design and mechanical design projects. Topics of study generally include:

  • Advanced geometry
  • Architectural design and graphics
  • Advanced engineering graphics
  • Residential drawings and designs
  • Technical sketching designs
  • Manufacturing with CAD
  • Operations management

How Do Online Programs Work?

CAD drafting bachelor's degree programs are offered online by some colleges. You'll often take the same courses as you'd take if you were attending a campus. You'll need a computer with Internet access and an e-mail address. The only difference is that your interaction with instructors takes place via e-mail or message boards rather than in classrooms. Your coursework is delivered through e-mail or a web-based course delivery system, such as Blackboard or Angel. If you're computer proficient and self-disciplined, online programs might work for you.

Many schools offer the online CAD drafting program as a degree completion program, through which you earn an associate's degree at a campus near you and transfer into a distance-learning program. This allows you to complete the last two years of the bachelor's degree program entirely online. Many drafters use this option because it allows them to gain work experience in the field while earning their bachelor's degrees.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

CAD drafting is a field that offers many specialties, including architectural drafting, electrical drafting, civil drafting, mechanical drafting, aeronautical drafting and electronics drafting. Once you've become a drafter, you can earn certification by passing a drafter certification test through the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA). The certification test, which tests basic drafting techniques, is given at ADDA-authorized sites. While certification may not be a requirement for employment, it acknowledges your knowledge of current drafting techniques.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of drafters is projected to experience a growth of seven percent between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov). The projected employment increase of drafters is mainly due to the growth in the engineering services and construction industries. The mean yearly salary for drafters is $55,550 as of May 2018.

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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