Bachelor's Degrees in Drafting: Online and Campus-Based Programs

Getting a bachelor's degree in Computer-aided design (CAD) drafting will prepare you with the skills needed for the early stages of construction design. Read on to learn about program options that cover drafting at the bachelor's level, courses to expect, online degree options, and possible careers and salaries in the field. Schools offering Building Information Modeling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of Drafting Degrees are Available at the Bachelor's Level?

Bachelor's degrees in drafting are available through computer-aided drafting and design technology or industrial technology programs with specializations in architectural drafting, mechanical drafting, CAD and computer graphics. However, drafting programs are more frequently available at the associate's degree or undergraduate certificate level. Some schools offer programs so that if you complete an associate's degree in drafting, you can transfer and earn a degree in a related area (such as mechanical engineering technology or industrial technology) at the bachelor's level.

Degree Programs Bachelor's: Design and Drafting Technology, Industrial Technology, Mechanical drafting, CAD and Computer Graphics; Associates/Certificates: CAD
Common CoursesTechnical illustration, drafting systems, tolerancing and geometric dimensioning
Online Availability Mostly available for associate's degrees and certificates.
Median Salary (2014)$52,200 (mechanical drafters); $49,970 (architectural and civil drafters); $49,990 (all other drafters)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Classes Will I Take?

The bachelor's degree program will take at least four years to complete. In addition to general education courses (which will also be part of an associate's degree if you go that route), you will have to complete major, core and specialized drafting courses. Some topics covered in these courses could include the following:

  • CAD and manual methods of drafting
  • Technical illustration
  • Design planning techniques
  • Tolerancing and geometric dimensioning
  • Drafting systems

Can I Earn it Online?

There are very few online or distance-learning programs available in drafting at the bachelor's level, though there are some. Usually, these have some on-campus requirements, although you'll be able to complete most of the coursework and the lectures via the Internet. Online drafting programs are more commonly available for associate's degree and certificate programs. Some of such programs are available entirely online, although you can choose to complete portions on campus.

What Can I Do With This Degree?

The specialization you choose will provide training in the area of your choice, though many options are open to drafters. You could become an architectural drafter, which includes drawing structures and commercial or residential buildings. You could be a mechanical drafter, creating plans for mechanical devices such as clocks or robots. You could enter civil drafting, which includes preparing topographical maps and drafting plans for highways, bridges or sewer systems. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), the median annual salary for architectural and civil drafters in 2014 was $49,970; for mechanical drafters it was $52,200, and the median for other drafting positions was $49,990 per year.

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

  • Eastern Michigan University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Ypsilanti
  • Sam Houston State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Huntsville
  • University of Central Missouri

    Campus Locations:

    • Missouri: Warrensburg
  • East Carolina University

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Greenville
  • Weber State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Utah: Ogden
  • Texas Southern University

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Houston
  • Siena Heights University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Adrian
  • National University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: La Jolla
  • Murray State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Kentucky: Murray
  • Lewis-Clark State College

    Campus Locations:

    • Idaho: Lewiston