Online Drafting Schools and Courses

Online drafting training can teach you the basics of computer-aided drawing and architectural drafting. Find out how online programs work in this field, and check the software requirements. Review what you'd learn in a certificate, diploma, or 2-year degree program in drafting. Get info about choosing a school. Schools offering Building Information Modeling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Modern drafting involves using special software to create a computer-assisted drawing. Drafting programs for students are available on-site or online, depending on scheduling and location limits.

Online Fully or partially online programs are available
Courses Geometric construction, design, modeling, accounting and estimating, and technical mathematics
Schools Schools may offer stand-alone drafting courses and/or programs at the certificate, diploma, and associate degree levels

Can I Take Drafting Courses Online?

You can earn a certificate, diploma, or associate degree in drafting online. You can choose to fulfill your course requirements fully online or blend online classes with hands-on study at the school or through a paid co-op position.

Certificate and diploma programs usually take a year to complete. A Basic Drafting Technologies Certificate or a Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) Technologies Certificate might be two available certificate options. You may also be able to find a Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafting Technologies Diploma program as well.

Associate degree programs also include general education courses, and you can typically earn the degree in two years. Some options include an Associate in Applied Science in Computer Aided Design (CAD) Drafting Technologies or Architectural Drafting and Estimating Technology degree program.

What Could I Learn?

You'll be introduced to industry-specific computer-aided drafting (CAD) software, such as AutoCAD or SolidWorks. You'll learn sketching and technical drawing techniques in both manual and CAD formats. Most programs teach you how to read blueprints and interpret different symbols. Some common course topics include:

  • 3-D dimensioning
  • Geometric construction
  • Construction specifications
  • Accounting and estimating
  • Technical mathematics
  • Solid modeling
  • Structural design

Will I Have to Purchase Software?

Some schools provide you with the drafting software used by the program. However, in some cases, you might have to purchase or download some applications and install them on your home computer. You could have to furnish a notebook computer specifically for the courses or ensure that your existing system meets the minimum hardware and operating system requirements.

How Do Online Classes Work?

You can usually study whenever and wherever you want. Some schools require some structure to the program, and you'll need to complete assignments and take examinations according to a specific schedule. You'll submit homework through e-mail or a course management system. You might need to install a plug-in on your computer for testing.

How Do I Choose a School?

If time constraints are an issue, enrolling in a program that doesn't require you to meet deadlines might offer you the best options. Additionally, if you live remotely or can't make it to the campus for any reason, you should ensure that the entire program is available online. In some cases, you could be required to attend campus sessions or participate in a work co-op as part of the program.

Depending on your career goals, enrolling at a school that simply offers stand-alone drafting courses might satisfy your professional needs. However, if you want to have a broader range of courses available to you, a certificate, diploma or degree program might be the way to go. If cost is a factor, consider a program that includes all of your necessary materials and software within the tuition. These schools offer online drafting courses:

  • North Dakota State College of Science (Fargo, ND)
  • Minnesota State College Southeast (Red Wing/Winona, MN)
  • University of Houston - Downtown (TX)
  • Virtual Design and Construction Institute (San Diego, CA)

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