Schools with Architectural Drafting Programs
Learn about degree and training programs for architectural drafting. Find out about courses offered in these programs, and get information about voluntary certification.
For those looking to pursue a career in architectural drafting, there are many educational program options. Coursework, degree levels, and certification information pertaining to architectural drafting programs will all be covered in this article.
How Can I Find Architectural Drafting Schools?
In general, you can find architectural drafting programs at community colleges and technical schools or institutes. Less often, they're available at 4-year schools. Reliable online programs in architectural drafting are quite rare.
You can locate suitable schools through a number of sources. The National Center for Education Statistics offers a searchable online database, where you can find over 200 schools that feature programs in architectural drafting, computer-aided drafting (CAD) and computer-aided drafting and design (CADD).
At the website of the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, there is a list of 45 technical institutes that offer accredited programs dealing with architectural drafting. Community colleges are not included on this list.
The American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) presents a roster of high schools, technical schools, community colleges and universities. The institutions on this list offer programs have met ADDA's standards of certification in the areas of drafting apprenticeships, drafting or design.
What Certificates or Diplomas Are Available to Me?
Depending on the school, a Certificate of Achievement in Architectural Drafting program can take 6-18 months to complete and can consist of 19-39 credit units. A 19-credit certificate is considerably less involved than one made up of 39 credits. All certificate programs offer you courses in architectural drafting, CAD and blueprint reading. More involved certificate programs may also include courses on construction materials and methods, technical mathematics, architectural theory, architectural building codes and urban planning.
Schools may offer a program leading to a Diploma in Architectural Drafting. In this case, a diploma falls between a certificate and an associate's degree. Because credit requirements can vary from 34-64, and you may have the option of attending part-time, completion can take you up to two years. Typical courses, in addition to those in a certificate program, may include more extensive use of CAD, design, technical writing, mathematics and an internship. Although with a certificate or diploma you may be qualified for an entry-level drafting position, you may want to transfer credits earned toward an associate's degree program.
What Degrees Can I Earn?
The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) is the degree most commonly offered in the field of architectural drafting. You may have the option of concentrating in a specific area such as construction technology, architectural drafting and design, residential design or commercial design. The A.A.S. is available at technical schools as well as traditional colleges.
Community colleges may also offer you the chance to earn an Associate of Science (A.S.) or Associate in Arts (A.A.). Some schools or technical institutes may offer an Associate of Occupational Studies (A.O.S.) in an area such as Architectural CADD. The A.A.S. and A.O.S. are designed specifically to qualify you for an entry-level position immediately upon graduation.
Though an A.A. and A.S. also prepare you to enter the work force, you may want to continue your architectural education at a 4-year college. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, because of the composition of degree programs, credits you earn at a community college are more likely to be accepted for transfer toward a bachelor's degree program than those earned through a technical school (www.bls.gov). Associate's degree programs can take 15-24 months for you to complete and can consist of 60-72 credit-units.
Which Schools Offer Architectural Drafting Diploma Programs?
Multiple schools grant an opportunity to earn a diploma in architectural drafting. Check out the following programs:
- SUNY Ulster houses a Drafting Diploma program
- Southern Crescent Technical College has a Drafting Technology Diploma program
- Savannah Technical College delivers a Drafting Technology Diploma program
Which Schools Offer Architectural Drafting Certificate Programs?
Certificates can also be earned at various colleges in architectural drafting, such as the examples below:
- Front Range Community College hosts an Architectural Drafting Certificate program
- Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College provides an Architectural Drafting Certificate program
- Arapahoe Community College has an Architectural Drafting Certificate program
Which Schools Offer Architectural Drafting Associate Degree Programs?
At the undergraduate level, students can enroll in architectural drafting associate degree programs. Listed here are a couple of them:
- Portland Community College has an Associate of Applied Science in Architectural Design and Drafting degree program
- South Central College provides an Associate of Applied Science in Architectural Drafting and Design degree program
- Waukesha County Technical College houses an Associate of Applied Science in Architectural Drafting/Construction Technology degree program
Is Certification Available?
Certification may be evidence of your competence in the field and may help you get hired or advance in your career, but it's not a legal requirement. Consequently, schools do not certify you, but they may prepare you to sit for a voluntary certification examination administered by the ADDA.
Diploma and certificate programs in drafting or architectural drafting are great ways to begin your education in the field and can help you find an entry-level drafting job. These credits can often be transferred to an associate degree program, which will provide further training and may allow students a greater range of job choices.