Associate's degree programs in civil computer aided design train students to use software to visualize the initial ideas and rough drawings of architects and engineers. Students can expect to study zoning codes, regulations, building materials, landforms, construction standards and structural systems. These programs generally include theoretical instruction combined with practical, hands-on training. Prospective students may benefit from successfully completing advanced high school courses in mathematics.
Associate's Degree in Civil Computer Aided Design
Students may gain the technical proficiency necessary to opersate a host of specific drafting technologies, which may include AutoCAD, Adobe systems, boundary survey and word processor software. They develop skills in problem-solving, hand-eye coordination, calculating dimensions and reading construction blueprints. Students can also learn to use tools such as dividers, triangles and compasses, as well as read technical manuals and create duplicate copies of computer-aided designs.
Most of these programs take two years to complete. Applicants are required to have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. In total, they must complete 60 credit hours in order to graduate. Course topics may include:
- Machine drafting
- Civil drafting principles
- Plane surveying
- Blueprint interpretation
- Technical drafting
- Computer-aided design and drafting
Popular Career Options
Graduates of these degree programs may gain employment in a variety of professional settings, such as engineering firms, government agencies, machine shops and manufacturing firms. They may also work on a range of projects, such as dams, highways, sewage systems, aircraft and bridges. Some typical occupations may include:
- Drawing coordinator
- Transportation technician
Career Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the employment of all types of drafters will show little or no change during the 2018-2028 decade (www.bls.gov). Based on BLS data from May 2018, architectural and civil drafters received an average annual salary of $56,700.
Graduates who are interested in more advanced civil engineering and architectural careers may consider pursuing bachelor's degrees in these fields. In addition, drafters may consider getting certified with a professional association, such as The American Design Drafting Association. Individuals must typically complete a certain number of continuing education hours to maintain certification.
To summarize, associate's degree programs in civil computer aided design provide aspiring drafters with the technical skills they need to join the workforce. Those who are interested in higher-level positions in engineering or architecture can continue their studies through bachelor's degree programs.