The basic purpose of an AutoCAD certificate program is to provide aspiring designers, engineers, and architects with a working knowledge of the most recent AutoCAD design software. In order to enroll, prospective students need only working knowledge of a basic computer system.
Students enrolled in an AutoCAD certificate program learn the basics of the software, as well as how to control efficiency tools, working layouts, complex objects, and image files. Students also learn how to customize AutoCAD to fit their specific career needs, whether they aspire to work in mechanical engineering or aeronautical design. Certification is available for AutoCAD users at two skill levels. The certificate program usually counts for 3 college credits and takes 6-12 months. There are distance learning courses available online.
Most AutoCAD certificate programs are offered to any students who wish to sign up; there are rarely educational prerequisites. For the most part, applicants to an AutoCAD certificate program need only a desire to learn about design and engineering software.
Several instructional topics and hands-on skill sets are taught to students within an AutoCAD certificate program. Some of these are:
- Drawing with AutoCAD
- Designing complex objects
- CAD standards
- Drawing setups and utilities
- Productivity with AutoCAD tools
- AutoCAD customization
Popular Career Options
While a certificate program in AutoCAD can in no way replace the training of a bachelor's or master's degree program - and therefore cannot successfully prepare students to enter careers in engineering or design - it can provide extra tools and skills necessary to become successful as:
- Commercial architects
- Residential architects
- Civil engineers
- Mechanical engineers
- Electrical engineers
- Metal fabrication technicians
- Aeronautical engineers
- Automobile engineers
Autodesk, the company that develops the AutoCAD software, offers two certification levels: AutoCAD User and AutoCAD Certified Professional. Earning certification involves passing an examination. These timed exams combine multiple-choice questions with questions that require hands-on use of the software. Though experience and training in AutoCAD is not required to become eligible for the exams, test-takers are unlikely to succeed without it. Autodesk recommends that User candidates have 50 hours of experience using AutoCAD, as well as knowledge from an AutoCAD course from between 2011 and 2014. Certified Professional candidates should have taken a 2014 course and have 400 hours of experience.
Prospective students are now ready to pursue an AutoCAD User or Certified Professional certification, which will provide the foundation for a potential career as an engineer or architect.