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CAD Drafting and Design Technology

Computer-aided drafting and design (also known as CADD) plays an integral role in the construction and manufacturing industries. If you are good at drawing and enjoy taking ideas from concept to concrete, then an education program in CADD technology may interest you.

Inside Computer-Aided Drafting and Design Technology

CADD operators use computer programs to create drawings that are used in building or manufacturing. Drafters may be employed in the architectural and engineering fields, creating drawings that provide the technical specifications of buildings. A significant portion of drafters also work in fields such as manufacturing or electrical design. Manufacturers use drafters to supply visual guidelines for exactly how parts should be made, detailing dimensions, procedures and materials that should be used. Electrical drafters use the same computer programs to visually map out electric wiring diagrams for electricians who install and repair electrical components of buildings.

If this type of work appeals to you, the following Study.com resources offer more information on career paths related to CADD technology.

Education Information

CADD technicians usually complete some postsecondary education before entering the workforce. Computer-aided drafting and design classes are offered at many technical schools, community colleges and 4-year universities. Technical colleges may offer a more task-specific education in CADD operation, while a university program generally teaches not only the skill of drafting but also a basic understanding of engineering practices and building materials. Although it is not required, some drafters may also earn certification by taking the Drafter Certification Examination given by the American Design Drafting Association (www.adda.org). Check out these articles to explore some of the degree options related to this field of study.

Online Options

Aspiring CADD professionals can find fully-online diploma and associate's degree programs in their chosen field. Visit the following links to get information on these distance learning options.

Career Options

Many career options exist for those with CADD skills. Below are only a few of the possible career choices.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of drafters is projected to change little if at all between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). The efficiency created by technology, including CADD, limits the number of new professionals needed in the field--particularly in the area of architectural and civil drafting. Competition is expected to be strong for drafting positions because the number of applicants exceeds the number of available jobs. BLS data from May 2013 shows that architectural and civil drafters earned a mean wage of $51,250.

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