Associate of Drafting Technology: Degree Overview

An associate degree program in drafting technology could be useful to individuals interested in careers as computer-aided design (CAD) technicians. Students might gain hands-on training in an array of tasks essential to the drafting profession.

Essential Information

Students in these degree programs can study a multitude of disciplines, including engineering, metallurgy, and parametric modeling. Some degree programs feature flexible scheduling for working students. Graduates of this type of program might have the option of applying credit obtained in the associate degree program to a 4-year degree program in a relevant field. Students may prepare to obtain professional certification in various software technologies critical to the degree.

Preparatory courses in algebra, geometry, physics, and art are recommended for this degree.


Associate Degree in Drafting Technology

The technical demands of the drafting technology curriculum may require students to have strong visual aptitude and mechanical proficiency. They can become skilled at arranging assembly drawings, creating schematics, and creating civil illustrations from the notes of engineers. The specific software programs that students work with may include AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, and Solidworks. Course topics may include:

  • Technical drawing
  • Engineering graphics
  • Mechanical drafting
  • Electrical drafting
  • Solid modeling
  • CAD customization

Popular Career Options

Graduates of this program may gain entry-level employment in a variety of fields, including mechanical, electrical, civil, and structural technology. They might choose the following career paths:

  • CAD designer
  • Lead drafter
  • CAD checker
  • Engineering aide

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of drafters is predicted to drop by 3% from 2014-2024. The average salary of a drafter differs depending on the type of drafting they do. For instance, the BLS reported that the average salary of architectural and civil drafters was $53,470 as of May 2015, and the average salary of mechanical drafters was $56,610. Electrical and electronics drafters earned an average of $62,890 at that same time.

Continuing Education

Graduates of an associate degree program in drafting technology who aspire to advanced careers in engineering and architecture may consider acquiring a bachelor's degree in a relevant field. Credits obtained in the associate degree program may be applied to a 4-year degree in a subject like engineering, architecture, and mathematics.

Students who earn an associate's degree in drafting technology will receive training through courseroom lectures and hands-on training on drafting design. Graduates can go on to earn more advanced degrees that will build upon the knowledge that is covered in this degree.


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