Bachelor's Degree in Computer-Aided Architectural Design: Program Info

In computer-aided architectural design (CAAD) programs students learn how an architecture project is designed from start to finish. There are only a few bachelor's degree programs in CAAD, but associate's degree programs typically offer CAAD classes as part of the curriculum.

Essential Information

Bachelor's degree programs in computer-aided architectural design (CAAD) are uncommon, but students seeking CAAD training can find associate's degree programs. Students may also be required to create designs by hand using more traditional drafting methods. This program also teaches students to present a design and concept using various methods, such as architectural rendering, animation, or physical modeling.

Associate's Degree in Computer-Aided Architectural Design

Students learn to create an orthographic view using descriptive geometry, which shows one side of a 3-dimensional object on a flat surface without losing the 3-dimensional look. Part of the curriculum includes solving problems that may arise while creating architectural drawings. Some course topics could include:

  • Drafting
  • Architecture lettering, symbols and notations
  • Structural and civil engineering
  • Interpreting blueprints and related drawings
  • Architectural rendering
  • Environmental sciences and creating green buildings

Popular Career Options

Students who receive their associate's degree in computer-aided architectural design have the necessary credentials and experience for entry-level positions. Graduates may work for architects, engineering firms, or design companies. While working as a drafter is a common career choice, it is not the only option. Some other popular career options can include:

  • Space planner
  • Construction detailer
  • Model builder
  • Specification writer

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects a 3% decrease in employment opportunities for drafters from 2014-2024 ( The BLS expects efficiency gained from CAAD will continue to reduce the need for these specialists. Drafters earned a median salary of $52,720 in May 2015, according to BLS figures.

CAAD programs teach students the necessary skills and software for careers as drafters and entry-level positions in architecture and design.

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