While enrolled in Associate of Science in CAD Drafting programs, students complete both classroom studies as well as obtain hands-on training by working in computer labs. Possible internships and co-op education at engineering firms can provide additional practical learning experience.
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Associate's Degree of Science in CAD Drafting
Through the coursework in the ASCAD program, students become familiar with various 3D computer software programs. They also use modern software and hardware to learn about computer-aided drafting and design, technical sketching and parametric modeling. In addition to classes in these subjects, typical courses may include:
- Architectural drafting
- Descript graphics
- 3D AutoCAD
- Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing
- Technical drawing
- Statics and strength of materials
Popular Career Options
Graduates of this program are prepared to enter the field of drafting, engineering and structural design. Possible career titles include:
- CADD operators
- Mechanical designer
- Architectural drafter
Employment Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that the employment of drafters will decrease by three percent from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov). According to BLS data from 2015, architectural and civil drafters received a yearly median wage of $50,710. Electrical and mechanical drafters earned $59,520 and $53,520, respectively.
Continuing Education Information
CAD drafting is an area with growth potential, as buildings and residences develop and new homes and buildings are being constructed. Graduates of the associate's degree program may choose to join the workforce immediately or advance their studies. They may pursue bachelor's degree programs to become engineers, architects or technicians.
Professional certification also acts as an enhancement to employment, because it demonstrates proficiency and skill in the field. The American Design Drafting Association offers a drafter certification test at their approved sites (www.adda.org). To pass the test, candidates must be knowledgeable in geometric construction, architectural terminology, drawings and general drafting principles. With work experience, professional certifications and training, drafters may advance to designer or supervisory positions.
ASCAD programs provide a comprehensive introduction to drafting through hands-on training in 3D computer software programs. Gradautes can apply for entry-level jobs in the field, or they can pursue higher degrees or professional certifications that can lead to more advanced careers.