What Skills Will I Learn in an Online Computer Drafting Course?
Students taking an online computer drafting course may learn how to use drafting software, along with other valuable skills. Students may choose from an introductory course, if they have no previous experience with drafting software, or a course that goes into the more advanced features of a drafting program.
Computer Drafting Overview
Computer drafting is used in many different areas, including architecture and engineering. It is a field that has a variety of applications from civil and mechanical engineering to mining and architecture. The field of computer drafting generally involves using a CAD (computer-aided design) software program. There are many different CAD programs available on the market, although some are free. Students taking an online course in computer drafting will need access to a CAD program or perhaps a specific CAD program depending on the online course.
Important Facts About Online Computer Drafting
|Prerequisites||Geometry and computer skills recommended|
|Concentrations||Architectural and engineering CAD, Civil CAD, CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/ Computer Aided Manufacturing)|
|Degree/Certificate Levels||Certificates; associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees|
|Possible Careers||Building engineer, map surveyor, civil engineer|
|Median Salary (2020)*||$57,500 (for architectural and civil drafters)|
|Job Outlook (2019-2029)*||-3% (for architectural and civil drafters)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
If you're new to computer drafting, it is best to start with an introductory online course. Here, you may learn the basics of computer drafting before going on to more complicated matters. Basic CAD skills may include:
- Booting the program
- Interacting with the user interface
- Opening a drawing file
- Using the commands - e.g. draw, erase, draw objects, view, undo and redo
- Producing a simple 2D drawing
- Editing and drawing using editing tools - e.g. select, move, copy, rotate, scale and mirror
Once students are familiar with the computer drafting software and are relatively comfortable using it, they can move on to more advanced features. This may entail enrolling in an advanced online course. Advance CAD skills may include:
- Using layers and templates to create a drawing
- Working with advanced types of objects - e.g. arcs, polylines, polygons, ellipses
- Using advanced editing commands - e.g. trim, extend and stretch
- Working with 3D images
- Creating projects
In addition to learning how to use a CAD program in an online computer drafting course, students may learn to apply basic skills in drafting, annotation and dimensioning to the fields of architectural, civil and mechanical technologies. In addition, students may study basic drafting terminology and standards.