AutoCAD Drafting and Design Certificate: Program Overview

The AutoCAD drafting and design certificate program teaches the basic concepts of AutoCAD software, preparing them for entry-level work or further studies in related subjects.

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Essential Information

Students in AutoCAD drafting and design certificate programs learn ways to create drawings in both two and three dimensions, using mouse and keyboard input. Practical drafting training, often including a practicum, is provided. The program only requires 23-25 semester hours, so students can usually complete it in less than one year. Some programs are designed to allow transfer of credits to an associate's degree program. While applicants only need a high school diploma or the equivalent for admission, basic computer familiarity is a plus.


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  • Architectural Drafting and Design
  • CAD Drafting and Design Technology
  • Civil Engineering Drafting and Design
  • Mechanical Drafting and Design

Certificate in AutoCAD Drafting and Design

The program focuses on drafting applications and the different disciplines within the industry. It covers both 2-D design and 3-D modeling using the AutoCAD software application. Other topics within this course may include:

  • AutoCAD I-III
  • Computer information systems
  • Civil engineering technology
  • Drafting and electronics
  • Intro and advanced Solidworks
  • Technical writing and communications

Popular Career Options

Successful completion of this certificate program can prepare graduates for entry-level positions working in a wide variety of occupations, including construction, architectural design, interior design, mechanical design, and animation. Some potential careers are:

  • CAD drafter
  • Design drafter
  • CAD manager
  • Interior designer
  • 3-D animator

Employment Outlook and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of drafters is projected to decline by 3% from 2014 to 2024. The BLS reported in 2015 that mechanical drafters received a median annual salary of $53,520. Architectural and civil drafters earned $50,710.

Continuing Education Requirements

Graduates of a certificate program in AutoCAD drafting and design can increase their knowledge and skill levels by enrolling in an associate's or bachelor's degree program in design. Autodesk, the manufacturer of the AutoCAD software application, provides free software downloads and tutorials for students who are enrolled in a certificate program at an accredited college or university. Students must join the Autodesk Education Community to participate.

Aspiring drafters who need to become proficient in AutoCAD software can get this essential training by earning an undergraduate certificate. After finishing, they may apply for entry-level drafting jobs or improve their employment prospects in this competitive field by transferring to an undergraduate program in a design-related field.

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