Computer Aided Drafting Bachelor's Degree

Involved in the design of everything from baby buggies to battleships, computer aided drafting is a highly technical career that requires creativity and considerable mathematical aptitude. Learn how you can earn a bachelor's degree that can provide you with the training you'll need in computer aided drafting. Schools offering AutoCAD Drafting & Design Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Why Do I Need a Computer Aided Drafting Bachelor's Degree?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you can probably qualify for a position as a drafter if you hold an associate's degree. The BLS also stated that most 4-year colleges don't offer training in drafting, but there are some engineering and product design bachelor's degree programs that include instruction in this area. You can find associate's degree programs in computer aided drafting (CAD) or computer aided drafting and design (CADD) offered by many community colleges and technical schools around the country.

You can often transfer credits earned in an associate's degree program toward a bachelor's degree. Depending on your area of specialization, a bachelor's degree may qualify you for management or supervisory positions or to become an architect, engineer or engineering technician, though these may require additional educational or professional credentials.

Common Courses Architectural drafting, civil drafting, drafting fundamentals, structural drafting, mechanical drafting
Online Availability Full and partial online programs available; internships must be completed in person
Possible Careers Management positions, architect, engineer, engineering technician
Career Outlook (2014-2024) -3% (architectural and civil drafters), 5% (electrical drafters), -7%(mechanical drafters)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Can I Expect?

Some schools offer 2+2 degree programs that allow you to transfer associate's degree credits in computer-aided drafting directly to a bachelor's degree program. The BLS stated that you may have an easier time transferring credits earned through a community college than those earned through a technical school because a community college program may place more emphasis on theory and require you to complete general education courses. Other programs may offer a computer aided drafting concentration within engineering technology bachelor's degree programs.

Some courses commonly included in a CAD or CADD program include commercial and residential architectural drafting, civil drafting, drafting fundamentals, structural drafting, mechanical drafting, CADD applications, product design and machine drafting. In virtually all drafting courses, you utilize CAD or CADD. Through your choice of electives and where you serve your internship, you may have the opportunity to specialize in a specific type of drafting.

What Are Some Online Opportunities?

Some schools offer programs that you can complete entirely online, allowing you to complete coursework at your convenience. Some instructors may set assignment deadlines throughout a course, while others may allow you to proceed at your own pace, provided you complete all assignment and course requirements by the end of the term.

If a program contains an internship, you must complete it in person at a school-approved facility near you. In some cases, you may only be allowed to complete general education courses online. Schools that offer 2+2 programs may require you to complete your associate's degree requirements on campus. Upon acceptance of your transfer credits, you can complete your upper-level courses online.

What Are Some Employment and Wage Projections?

The BLS projected that from 2014-2024, employment opportunities for drafters will vary according to specialization. Opportunities for architectural and civil drafters were expected to decrease 3%, while those for electrical drafters would increase by 5%. Jobs for mechanical drafters were predicted to decrease by 7%.

In 2014, the median annual wage for architectural and civil drafters was $49,970. Those for mechanical and electrical drafters were $52,200 and $58,790, respectively.

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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  • Full Sail University

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    • Bachelor Degrees

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    • Florida: Winter Park
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  • University of Central Missouri

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    • Missouri: Warrensburg
  • Murray State University

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    • Kentucky: Murray
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    • Idaho: Pocatello
  • Cameron University

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    • Oklahoma: Lawton
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    • California: Stanford
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  • Eastern Michigan University

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    • Michigan: Ypsilanti
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    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia