Bachelor's degree programs in drafting technology focus on proficiency in computer-aided design (CAD) software. These programs are open to high school graduates, but some programs require an associate's degree. Bachelor's degree students are equipped with skills to construct professional quality representations of 3-dimensional structures, objects and construction projects, including highways, commercial buildings, sewage systems and pipelines.
Bachelor's Degree in Drafting Technology
In some programs, students can choose a concentration in an area such as mechanical design, design drafting or architectural drafting. Students also might learn about other relevant concepts, such as technical writing, industrial design, machine drafting and computer drafting. Upon graduation, individuals may apply for certification, enter the workforce or enter into a master's degree program in the field.
Because effective use of CAD software relies on a variety of interdependent skills, curricula typically include both courses that are narrowly focused on CAD and classes that provide complementary knowledge. Students may take these courses, among others:
- CAD modeling
- Basic AutoCAD
- Architectural design
- Structural drafting
- Machine design
Popular Career Options
CAD software aids a large variety of companies and entrepreneurs in many phases of conceptualization and development, and a degree program that focuses on drafting technology can provide individuals with a variety of career options. Students can apply their CAD software training to a multitude of endeavors; this software is used for designing or accurately representing everything from mechanical objects such as automobile motors and computers to furniture and toys for children. Common careers include:
- Architectural drafting
- Civil drafting
- Mechanical drafting
- Electrical drafting
- Product design
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that employment of drafters would decrease by 3% between 2014 and 2024. As reported by the BLS in May of 2015, mechanical drafters earned a median annual salary of $53,520, and architectural and civil drafters earned median salaries of $50,710.
Individuals can earn certification to demonstrate the validity and range of their drafting skills, but employers typically do not require their drafters to be certified, according to the BLS. Graduates of drafting technology programs who wish to continue their education can pursue advanced degrees in fields such as architecture or engineering.
Earning a CAD drafting bachelor's degree opens the door to a number of different fields in which individuals apply their drafting skills to real-world product design.