Online Mechanical Drafting Degree Programs

Mechanical drafting programs explore both modeling theory and skill development with drafting software. Learn about online undergraduate degree options, course topics and professional certification. Schools offering AutoCAD Drafting & Design Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Mechanical Drafting Degree Options Are Available Online?

You'll find that most mechanical drafting degrees are offered through campus-based programs. Though drafting is commonly done on computers, most programs provide training in traditional drawing techniques as a way of providing you with a fundamental understanding of the field. In very rare cases, however, you'll find colleges offering mechanical drafting degrees that can be completed partially or fully online.

To study online, you'll need access to a computer with a high-speed Internet connection. You'll be able to complete your coursework from wherever you have this access, which provides you with increased flexibility compared to a campus-based program. Your coursework in an online program will be largely identical to what you'd find in a campus-based program, though you'll forego any training in drafting by hand for computer-based techniques.

Online Availability Online programs are available, but rare
Common Courses Machine design, solid modeling, CADD software, algebra, modeling principles
Certification Options Optional ADDA certification available
Continuing Education Bachelor's and master's degrees available

What Courses Will I Take?

When you pursue an associate's degree in mechanical drafting, you learn to create and refine drawings and 3-dimensional models used in the manufacturing industry. Much of your time will be spent learning different types of drafting. This includes solid modeling, parametric modeling and machine design. Most programs will train you in computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software, which is the standard tool in the mechanical drafting industry.

You'll also take theory-based courses in the principles of shape design and modeling. Non-drafting courses that are applicable to your field include mathematics courses, such as algebra. To round out your associate's degree, you may be required to take general education courses.

Will I Need Certification?

Though not required, you can earn certification as a mechanical drafter through the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA). This certification, which is valid for three years, demonstrates your professional skill and knowledge. The certification exam covers many principles and theories used in mechanical drafting, though CADD is not included. ADDA recommends that you complete a minimum of two years of practical training, or between 800 and 1,200 contact hours of specialized education, prior to seeking certification.

What Continuing Education Options Can I Pursue?

While you can find work as a mechanical drafter with only an associate's degree, you may choose to complete further study in order to advance your career. There are several fields related to drafting that require a bachelor's or master's degree. These include engineering and architecture. Engineering degrees are available in a wide range of specializations, including mechanical, computer and electronics engineering. Depending on the program, some of your associate's degree credits may transfer to a related bachelor's degree program.

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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