Online Bachelor's Degree in Computer-Aided Design

Although bachelor's degree programs in computer-aided design are typically only offered in an on-campus format, you can find online CAD programs at the associate's degree level. Get more info on both of these program types, including the courses you'd take in each program. Review the employment outlook and salary potential for some of your job options in CAD. Schools offering AutoCAD Drafting & Design Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Online Associate Degree in CAD?

You can find CAD associate degrees, such as the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Computer-Aided Design or AAS in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Technology, through online or hybrid programs. Many online programs are offered through private, for-profit institutions.

In addition to general education, you may take courses similar to the following:

  • Geometry
  • Physics
  • Visualization
  • Digital information management
  • Design theory
  • Drafting

This program can also prepare you for industry certifications in standard programs like AutoCAD or AutoCAD Architecture. You may also have the opportunity to develop a portfolio that demonstrates your skills and training.

Online Availability Fully and partial online programs are available for associate's degrees; online bachelor's degrees do not exist
Common Courses Technical illustration and drawing, model building, sales, customer service, leadership skills
Possible Careers Architectural drafter, interior design drafter, animator, engineering technician, mechanical designer
Median Salary (2018)$46,029 (for CAD drafters)*
Job Outlook (2016-26)7% growth (for all drafters)**

Source: *, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What is an On-Campus Bachelor's Degree in CAD?

CAD bachelor's programs are rare and typically only offered on campus. You may be able to choose among product design, architectural, mechanical drafting or computer graphics tracks. You could do advanced work in technical drawing, model building or technical illustration.

These programs may also offer management-related electives, such as leadership, sales and customer service. A bachelor's degree could prepare you for credentialing exams offered by professional organizations, including the drafter or engineering graphics certifications.

What Career Options and Income Can I Find?

With a CAD associate degree, you might work as an architectural or interior design drafter, animator or animation developer, solid modeling specialist, engineering technician or mechanical designer. With a bachelor's degree, you could prepare for advanced, specialty or management in CAD.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted a 7% growth for all drafters from 2016-2026. The BLS notes that the best prospects may be available for those with at least two years of postsecondary training and computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) skills.

In 2019, reported that most CAD drafters earned a median wage of $46,029. The website also reported in the same year that most CAD managers earned a median wage of $66,078.

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

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Central Missouri

    Campus Locations:

    • Missouri: Warrensburg
  • Murray State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Kentucky: Murray
  • Idaho State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Idaho: Pocatello
  • Cameron University

    Campus Locations:

    • Oklahoma: Lawton
  • Stanford University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Stanford
  • Harvard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
  • Eastern Michigan University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Ypsilanti
  • University of Pennsylvania

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia