Online Architectural CAD Training Information

Get information about online training programs in architectural computer-aided design (CAD). Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out the types of certificates and software available.

Essential Information

The architectural industry frequently uses a computer-aided design program (CAD) to create 2- and 3-dimensional objects for work-related tasks. Training in this technology is available through online certificate and associate's degree programs in drafting and design technology. Individuals interested in online architectural CAD training should check for specifications prior to enrollment. Prospective students may need certain at-home operating systems or other computer browsers, software or hardware to complete the curriculum. Other necessities may include textbooks and drafting tools. Some programs provide a 1-year student license to access the AutoCAD software needed for the course.

Certificate in Architectural CAD

Many colleges and universities offer Web-based certificate programs that teach Autodesk's AutoCAD software. Many also partner with Gatlin Education Services (GES) to provide online training through a 9-month sequence of classes.

Common Course Topics

Typical CAD subject matter includes:

  • Basic sketching
  • Layered drawing
  • Industry tools
  • Precision
  • 2-D and 3-D drawings
  • Plotting lines

Associate Degree in Architectural CAD

Online programs may also result in an associate's degree, such as an Associate of Applied Science in Drafting and Design Technology. These options incorporate general education classes and additional electives, but otherwise have similar course content to certificate programs. They may also have a more specialized industry focus, allowing students to choose architectural, mechanical or engineering courses. Programs typically last about two years, but may end in as few as 17 months.

Types of AutoCAD Software and Certification

AutoCAD software programs are separated by industry and tailored to consumers' individual needs. Categories include products intended for either general architecture or specifically designing buildings, factories, plants or objects. There is also software for structural analysis and infrastructure planning.

Autodesk offers a variety of certifications for professionals including AutoCAD 2010, AutoCAD Architecture and AutoCAD Civil 3D. In order to become an overall AutoCAD Certified Professional, individuals must pass both Certified Associate and Certified Professional examinations.

The Certified Associate exam consists of questions about the features and tools of the AutoCAD program. Users should typically have at least 100 hours of hands-on experience prior to taking the online test. The Certified Professional exam tests a user's ability to perform certain tasks. At least 400 hours of hands-on experience is traditionally necessary to prepare candidates for the exam.

Fully online architectural CAD training programs are available to students who would like to learn more about AutoCAD. Topics of study include basic sketching, precision and plotting lines, which can help prepare graduates for professional certification exams.

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