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.
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 show little or no change from 2018 to 2028. The BLS reported in May 2018 that mechanical drafters received a median annual salary of $55,920. Architectural and civil drafters earned $54,920.
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.