Drafting Technology Associate Degree Programs

Drafters are the mapmakers for architects and engineers. They provide illustrations and guidelines by which products are manufactured and structures are built. This article shows you some typical drafting technology associate degree programs, what kinds of drawings you will produce, what certifications you'll need and what jobs you can get. Schools offering AutoCAD Drafting & Design Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is the Program Like?

You can earn an Associate of Applied Science or an Associate of Science in drafting or drafting technology in about two years. These programs may require 60-63 credits, including courses in computer-aided drafting and design (CADD), engineering drawing, technical design, architectural drafting, civil engineering drafting, 3-D modeling, mechanical drafting, electrical drafting and structural technology. You may be able to specialize in one specific type of drafting through elective courses. Internships or work-study experiences are often included, either through your school or an independent business. Online opportunities for this degree program aren't commonly offered by public and non-profit schools.

Degree LevelsAssociate of Science, Associate of Applied Science
Course OfferingsEngineering drawing, structural technology, 3D modeling, mechanical drawing
Certification OptionsExam through the ADDA
Career PathsArchitectural drafter, civil drafter, electronic drafter, electrical drafter
Median Pay 2018 $55,920 (for mechanical drafters); $54,920 (for architectural and civil drafters); $60,070(for Electrical and electronics drafters)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Why Should I Pursue an Associate's Degree in Drafting Technology?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you may be able to secure an entry-level position in drafting with some appropriate secondary school training and a high school diploma. Most commonly offered at technical schools and community colleges, drafting programs typically lead to a 1-year certificate or an associate's degree, which can take twice as long.

You may want to build on your drafting degree and obtain a 4-year degree in an area such as engineering, architecture or mathematics. You may find it easier to transfer credits from a community college than those from a technical school. The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) accredit drafting programs.

What Certifications Are Available?

Certification is not necessary for you to be hired as a drafter, reported the BLS. However, certification can attest to your professionalism and competence and may enhance your chances of employment. Certification examinations are open to anyone, regardless of education or work experience. Examinations are administered periodically throughout the year by the ADDA. Continuing education and degrees above the associate's level can also increase your chances of career mobility.

What Kind of Job Opportunities Might I Find?

The BLS projected that employment opportunities for all drafters will increase by 7% from 2016-2026, including electrical and electronics drafters. A 5% increase is expected for mechanical drafters. On the other hand, opportunities for architectural and civil drafters will rise by 8%.

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

  • Ferris State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Big Rapids
  • Northern Michigan University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Marquette
  • Dunwoody College of Technology

    Campus Locations:

    • Minnesota: Minneapolis
  • Waubonsee Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Sugar Grove
  • Washtenaw Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Ann Arbor
  • Virginia Highlands Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Abingdon
  • Tulsa Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Oklahoma: Tulsa
  • Triton College

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: River Grove
  • Tidewater Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Norfolk
  • Thomas Nelson Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Hampton