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Online Computer Aided Design and Drafting Degree Programs

Online computer aided design and drafting programs aren't as common as campus-based programs, though both program types generally cover the same computer drafting construction techniques and technologies. Learn about the program requirements, educational prerequisites and course topics for these computer aided design and drafting degree programs.

What Kinds of Computer Aided Design and Drafting Programs Are Available Online?

On-campus programs in computer aided design and drafting (CADD) are fairly common at the diploma, certificate and associate's degree levels. However, you'll probably discover that online certificate and diploma programs are not common, and associate's degrees are even more rare.

Online Program Levels Certificate, diploma, associate's degree
Prerequisites High school diploma or GED; ACT or SAT scores
Common Courses Basic drafting, CAD design, computer graphics, 3D AutoCAD, blueprints
Key Technical Requirements Student editions of CAD software
Median Salary (2018) $54,920 (Architectural and civil drafters)
Job Outlook (2016-26) 8% (Architectural and civil drafters)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are There Any Prerequisites?

Most associate's degree programs will require you to have a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) credential, and you might be required to submit scores from the SAT or another standardized test. Certificate and diploma programs often have no specific educational prerequisites; however, all CADD programs will require that you have strong computer and math skills.

What Courses Will I Take?

In many cases, you'll find that the difference between a certificate and associate's degree program in computer aided design and drafting is the inclusion of general education courses. Associate's degree programs usually require completion of these classes, which include subjects like math, English and the social sciences, while certificate programs don't. CADD-specific coursework will provide you with training in necessary software and hardware, in addition to topics such as the following:

  • Basic drafting
  • 3D AutoCAD
  • Residential CAD design
  • Commercial CAD design
  • Computer graphics
  • Blueprints
  • Residential construction
  • Commercial construction
  • Rendering and animation
  • Engineering graphics

What Do I Need For An Online Program?

To take part in an online program, you'll be expected to have an up-to-date computer with a high speed Internet connection and enough memory and processor speed to handle the graphics requirements of the program. You may also need to have speakers and a microphone, a printer and other peripherals. Instructors also might recommend specific CAD software, such as AutoCAD Student Edition or SolidWorks Student Edition.